Black Hills State University students participate in one of many community service projects held in conjunction with the university.

Black Hills State University was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its students’ exemplary community service efforts. BHSU was the only Regental South Dakota university selected for the honor roll designation. Sen. John Thune expressed his praise for BHSU’s dedication to community service.

“Our communities are held together by the countless volunteers who commit their time to assisting others,” Thune said. “This recognition is truly an honor that reflects Black Hills State University’s dedication to helping others.”  

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll builds on and supports the civic engagement mission of the nation’s colleges and universities. The recognition program is designed to increase public awareness of the contributions that college students are making within their local communities and across the country through volunteer service.

Among the BHSU student service projects were more than 20 projects during the National Make a Difference Day volunteer celebration, a toy drive and dinner for Red Shirt Table Elementary School children and teachers, three different Hurricane Katrina relief projects and an alternative spring break.

BHSU is making a concerted effort to involve students in community service. BHSU established a Community-University-Resource-Exchange (C-U-R-E) serves to serve as home base for volunteering, community outreach and support of service-learning and to provide a link between BHSU and the community.

“Holding true to our mission statement, we connect volunteers to the community and providing a sustainable resource to the community by developing an awareness of the needs among community members and working to incorporate service into the Black Hills State University student experience,” said Donna Trainum, VISTA member/volunteer coordinator. “We strive to improve community service and service-learning involvement throughout the campus by working with faculty, staff, students and community partners.”

BHSU is also a member of the Midwest Consortium for Service Learning in Higher Education, which promotes and supports efforts of universities to strengthen their academic and co-curricular programs through service-learning. Service learning integrates service in the community with academic study.