|Alumni Award Winners:
dee (Denise) Welsch, Dick DuBois, Walter Higbee, Roger Risty
Walter Higbee was a longtime education professor at BHSU, who was honored for his work with the Special Service Award.
Higbee joined Black Hills State faculty in the fall of 1966. Previously he worked in several education capacities for the University of Iowa. Mr. Higbee spent time as a special education teacher, a special education supervisor, and a school psychologist. When he transferred to Black Hills State, Higbee moved the special education coursework from the summer to the academic year. The program was a first collateral field, which was known as a special education major that later transformed into a full special education major. At the height of the program, there were 30 to 35 special education graduates each year.
Higbee retired in 1992 after 26 years of great service. He considers the development of the special education program as the crowning achievement of his tenure at BHSU. Higbee is also remembered for training hundreds of special education teachers. He is the first recipient of the BHSU distinguished faculty award in 1987.
Higbee lives in Spearfish with his wife, Marion, and visits the campus regularly.