Dr. Rod Custer, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, presents Robert Smith, elementary education major from Beulah, Wyo., with a $500 scholarship. Funds for the scholarship came from the first-ever Jacket Ride held during this summer’s Sturgis Rally.
Black Hills State University recently awarded Robert Smith, elementary education major from Beulah, the $500 Jacket Ride Scholarship.

Funds for the scholarship came from the first-ever Jacket Ride held during this summer’s Sturgis Rally.   More than 35 motorcyclists participated in the inaugural event which took riders through Spearfish Canyon, Lead, Deadwood and back to Spearfish, according to Steve Meeker, vice president of University Advancement. 

“The goal for the upcoming years is that more people will participate in the Jacket Ride and that the scholarship amount will go up or that more recipients will benefit from this,” Meeker said.

The scholarship is awarded to a veteran attending BHSU or to the child of a veteran. The BHSU Vets Club assisted Meeker in getting names of the veterans who were great candidates for the scholarship.

Smith is a chief engineering aide with the Navy Reserve and has nearly two decades of military service. He joined the reserves in 1994 and has been attached to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 17, Naval Construction Support Unit 2, Public Works Department-Chinhae, South Korea, and was mobilized to Iraq and Afghanistan with the First Naval Construction Regiment in 2008-2009.

In 1981, he earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wyoming. He worked for the Wyoming Department of Transportation until retiring in 2010, and is now pursuing a second career in elementary education. Smith lives on his family’s homestead in Beulah, Wyo., with his wife, a daughter and his parents.

“I am deeply honored to be the first to receive this scholarship and laud this organization's efforts to assist the veterans attending BHSU.  I appreciate the help and will put the scholarship to good use,” Smith said.

Meeker said they will be making this an annual event, noting the great participation in the first event.

“We would like to give a special thanks to everyone who donated to the Jacket Ride, including Black Hills Harley Davidson, the BH Pioneer, Dennis Kirk, Jim Burgess, and Rod and Marvis Custer,” he said.

The Jacket Ride will be taking place again next year during the Sturgis Rally.