The John T. Vucurevich Foundation recently donated $60,000 for math and science education scholarships at Black Hills State University to assist in the effort to meet the growing need for educators in these fields.

Twenty new scholarships in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded in the spring 2008 semester to BHSU students studying to become math and science teachers thanks to the grant from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation. In addition, 20 math and science education majors will be awarded $2,000 in the next academic year with the grant funds. The BHSU scholarships were part of a donation announced by the Foundation recently to help meet the needs in the workforce of the state.

Officials at BHSU, which is a leader in math and science education, recognize the growing demand for quality math and science education teachers in the state and say this generous donation will have an immediate impact on increasing the number of teachers for these critical fields.

“These generous scholarships from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation will assist in our on-going effort to prepare students to work as math and science educators throughout the state,” Dr. Kay Schallenkamp, president of BHSU, says. “The John T. Vucurevich Foundation is applauded for its investment in the state’s future through these generous scholarships.”

Schallenkamp noted that math and science education is a priority for BHSU. The S.D. Board of Regents this year designated the increase of math and science educators as one of BHSU’s performance indicators. Schallenkamp notes that BHSU, with its tradition of excellence in preparing educational leaders combined with its strong science program, is uniquely qualified to take a leading role in meeting the growing need for educators in these fields.

Future students should contact Beth Azevedo, admissions director, at 642-6411 for details about obtaining these scholarships.

Steve Meeker, vice president for University Advancement at BHSU, praised the John T. Vucurevich Foundation for their on-going support of BHSU and its students.

“We sincerely thank the John T. Vucurevich Foundation for this generous scholarship donation and for their ongoing support of the University,” Meeker says. “John T. Vucurevich understood the importance of higher education and it is gratifying to see his legacy continued through financial support of BHSU students.”

John T. Vucurevich grew up in Lead, where he learned the value of hard work, telling the truth, the need for keeping sound spiritual values, and the importance of helping those persons less fortunate.  He felt that community service was very important and served in both the South Dakota House of Representatives and Senate, and was also an active supporter of higher education. He was a successful banker, and his success allowed him to create the John T. Vucurevich Foundation to carry out his goal “to make a piece of the world a brighter place.”