by Paul Higbee and Les Voorhis

In conjunction with the year long Quasquicentennial celebration Black Hills State University will kickoff the 125th anniversary celebration with a Founders’ Day Luncheon Wednesday, Feb. 27, in honor of the date the University was founded – Feb. 27, 1883.  The luncheon will take place in the Jacket Legacy Room of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.  The program and luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m.

 The public is invited to attend the Founders’ Day Luncheon; the cost per person is $10.  To R.S.V.P for the luncheon, contact the BHSU University Advancement Office at 642-6385 or email JeannieSalazar@BHSU.edu.

The program will include: lunch; a proclamation declaring Feb. 27, 2008, Black Hills State University Day by Spearfish Mayor Jerry Krambeck; a presentation by Paul Higbee and Les Voorhis on the history of Black Hills State; and an anniversary cake.

A new book about the University’s history will be available for purchase for the first time following the Founders’ Day Luncheon.   The book combines author Paul Higbee’s words with photographer Les Voorhis’ exterior and interior campus views.  The book gives an overview of the University’s history with an emphasis on the last 25 years.

 “In 1983, for Black Hills State’s Centennial, Dr. Paul Haivala wrote an outstanding history of the school,” said Higbee.  “So while I didn’t ignore those first hundred years in the new book, I’ve put more emphasis on what’s happened the last quarter century, which is an incredible story in itself.”  Paul and Les will be available after the luncheon to sign copies of the book.  After Feb. 27, the book will be available from the BHSU Bookstore.  The cost for the 125 anniversary book is $24.95.  For more information, contact the BHSU Bookstore at www.BHSUBookstore.com  or call (605) 642-6280.

This is one of several events that BHSU has scheduled this year in celebration of its Quasquicentennial. Other events include, a comedic performance by Gary Mule Deer, and in the fall of 2008, an all-school reunion during Swarm Days is being planned, as well as, an original theatre production focusing on the history of the University written by BHSU theatre student Jessica Juhrend.

“As we look back at our history, it’s obvious Black Hills State University has transformed the lives of its students while undergoing a major evolution in the role the university plays in the community, state, and nation,” President Schallenkamp says. “Our visionary founding fathers would likely be pleased by the emergence of Black Hills State University as a leader in higher education. We invite you to celebrate our Quasquicentennial with us.”

As BHSU moves decisively into the 21st Century, the University’s original mission of service to South Dakota and the provision of a quality education remain intact. BHSU continues to graduate students with the critical thinking skills needed to be leaders in the information age and the global economy.

“Our students are pursuing degrees in areas that didn’t even exist when BHSU was founded. We are proud of the institution, our history, and our legacy of dedicated faculty, staff, and students, and we look forward to our future as we continue in our ongoing quest to transform lives,” Schallenkamp says.