Steve Meeker, Black Hills State University vice president of University Advancement, discusses the success of the “Building on Strength and Stature” capital campaign during the public kick-off Friday afternoon.


Black Hills State University President Kay Schallenkamp speaks with attendees during Friday’s public announcement of the first-ever comprehensive capital campaign. 

Check out this video to learn why it's important to give to BHSU.

Black Hills State University announced Friday its final push toward a $22 million capital campaign which will provide millions to fund additional student scholarships, and construction and renovation of campus facilities.

“We are pursuing the most ambitious campaign in the history of Black Hills State University,” according to Steve Meeker, vice president of University Advancement noting that the only other capital campaign was in 1990 for the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center. The goal for that campaign was $1 million. “Capital campaigns like this one help strength us as a University and enable us to assist students with paying for their education.”

The “Building on Strength and Stature” campaign, which began in 2008, has raised $19.4 million so far with more than half of that dedicated to additional scholarships. Currently, BHSU ranks fifth out of six state universities in the amount awarded for student scholarships, he said. “This campaign is desperately needed to help us close that gap and provide more assistance to more students.”

From the money raised since 2008, 76 new scholarships have been endowed.

“What has been most gratifying over the last years as we talk to alums and supporters from across the country is their love for Black Hills State University, their commitment to this University, and their willingness to invest in our students and our facilities,” said BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp.

The nearly $20 million in funds came from 24,819 donors with nearly 6,500 of those first-time contributors. “Out of all the statistics in the campaign this is quite possibly the most important one,” Meeker said. “To have that many new donors is a great sign of the future. Our job will be to retain those people so they continue to contribute to BHSU.”

Focus of the campaign is on scholarships, the Alumni Foundation Welcome Center, currently under construction, and athletic facility upgrades.

Aside from outside contributors, BHSU faculty and staff showed their support by donating nearly a half million dollars toward the campaign. “This says a lot about how our employees buy into what we are all about at BHSU,” Meeker said. “It is a very important message to send to our off-campus donors that our employees believe in what’s going on here.”

Schallenkamp vowed to reach the $22 million goal by July 1, 2014 – the day she retires as president of BHSU. Last week, Schallenkamp, who has been president since 2006, announced she would retire at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Attendees of the kick-off celebration also had an opportunity to view a new campaign video featuring interviews with Schallenkamp, former BHSU President Thomas Flickema and alumni and supporters including Dana Dykhouse, Sioux Falls, Mike Sullivan, Jacksonsville, Fla.,  and Harvey Krautschun, Spearfish.

For more information on how to contribute contact Meeker at 605-642-6228 or Steve.Meeker@BHSU.edu.