John Gritts (center), former Black Hills State University financial aid director who now works with the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., visits with Dr. Larry Landis, retired vice president for academic affairs at BHSU, and his wife, Sue White. Gritts gave a presentation about his artwork to a crowd of over 90 at the first-ever American Indian College Scholarship Gala. The gala raised $8,000 for BHSU scholarships.

Over 90 guests and participants attended the American Indian College Scholarship Gala sponsored by the Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) at Black Hills State University. All funds raised were matched by a challenge grant from the American Indian Education Foundation.

The first-ever gala, which was held at the new Belle Luce’ Ballroom above Roma’s Ristorante in Spearfish, raised $8,000 for BHSU scholarships.

“As this was our first effort, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Dr. John Glover director of CAIS. “However, we couldn’t be more pleased with this inaugural event and are looking forward to next year.”

Events began with an artist’s talk by John Gritts, former BHSU financial aid director who now works with the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. Gritts gave a presentation on his artwork, which is on display in the Ruddell Gallery located in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union. Following his talk, a Native American buffet with roast buffalo was served by A’Viands (BHSU Dining Services) and the Spearfish Chop House.

An exhibition of American Indian music and dance featuring the Pass Creek Singers followed dinner. Several door prizes were awarded at the event, including a Gritts print, accommodations at the Spearfish Holiday Inn, gift basket from Black Hills Reception and Rental, a volume of works by Edward Curtis from Pioneer Bank and Trust, and items from the BHSU Bookstore.

For more information, contact Glover at 642-6578 or JohnGlover@bhsu.edu.