|The BHSU Alumni Association recognized four individuals for their service and achievements. Individuals recognized were John Fidler, Palmdale, Calif., Special Aceivement Award; Beth (Gallup) Benning, Spearfish, Distinguished Alumni Award; Linda (Morris) McKay, Belle Fourche, Excellence in Education Award; and Jim Benning, Spearfish, Special Service Award.
Jim Benning owner and manager of Ainsworth-Benning in Spearfish, will receive the special service award. He provides employment for 65 to 130 people, many of whom are BHSU students. His company has worked on many prominent projects including Lookout Memorial Hospital, Spearfish Municipal Services Centre, Spearfish Convention Center, and Premier Bankcard in Spearfish. Their work also includes the BHSU Student Union and current landscaping projects.
His service to BHSU includes the donation of labor to renovate the Institutional Advancement Office, which is home to the Alumni Association, BHSU Foundation and Yellow Jacket Foundation staff members. He also donated the labor to install the new flagpole at Lyle Hare Stadium. Meeker indicated that this past year, Jim purchased a restored pickup with a flatbed for the sole purpose of letting the Alumni Association use it for their float.
Jim, as well as many of his employees, is an active supporter of BHSU. “Jim Benning and his crew have been incredibly supportive of Black Hills State,” said Steve Meeker, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Jim’s donation of labor for renovation of the alumni office was a major investment in the university and the Alumni Association. Jim also works with the Alumni Association each year to help construct a Swarm Day parade float and even provides a trailer for our use.”