Membership Manuals

  1. Purpose of the BHSU Presidential Student Ambassadors Association

      1. Black Hills State University Ambassadors Association was founded under the direction of the BHSU Alumni Association and University Advancement office for the purpose of representing the President’s office and BHSU while serving as a link between current students, administrators, faculty members, alumni, and friends. The organization will work to represent BHSU, help alumni keep in touch with campus life and make students more aware of their potential roles as alumni. 

      1. Membership to this organization is available without regard to race, lifestyle, color, religious creed, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender.

      1. The objectives of the Association shall be to:
        1. Serve as the BHSU President's official representatives
        2. Serve as Black Hills State University's official hosts in promoting the University
        3. Promote and support the Alumni Association and BHSU Foundation
        4. Provide an opportunity to enhance each individual Ambassador's educational experience
        5. Assist in promoting the campus to Presidential guests and alumni by representing BHSU on campus and in the community.

  1. Ambassador Benefits

    1. Interaction and mutually beneficial relationship with the President of the University
    2. Opportunity to meet legislators, prominent alumni, Board of Regents members, and other dignitaries
    3. Letter of recommendation from the President upon completion of the program
    4. Travel to district or national conventions
    5. The satisfaction of knowing that you have played an integral role in the success of Black Hills State University
    6. Develop public relation and communication skills
    7. Chance to meet employers in your area of emphasis

  1. Membership Requirements

    1. The group will have bi-weekly meetings in which all members are required to attend. Ambassadors should expect to spend approximately 3-5 hours per week on group activities (this will vary depending on certain events).
    2. Members will be asked to join committees and participate in project/event planning as well. 
    3. Each Ambassador will sign a membership contract outlining the responsibilities of his/her position.
    4. Attend all meetings unless excused by the President, Executive Vice President or one of the advisors
    5. Maintain a 2.5 GPA

  1. Ambassador Activities

    1. Presidential Events
    2. Alumni Association Meetings
    3. Alumni Chapter Events Assistance as Needed by  the Alumni Association
    4. Alumni and Campus Gatherings Hosts  
    5. Ambassador Social Events 
    6. Board of Regents Meetings on Campus 
    7. Assist at BHSU Commencement
    8. BHSU Foundation Activities and Events 
    9. Founder's Day Activities 
    10. Community Volunteer Activities – Recycling, School Programs 
    11. BHSU Etiquette Dinner

  1. Dress Code  

    1. Meeting days – Business casual attire-No Shorts
    2. Formal Events – Green blazer with business appropriate skirts/dresses or slacks and blouses for the ladies –slacks, button down shirt, and BHSU tie for the men.
    3. Special Events – as per each function- please consult with advisor 

  1. Utilization of Members

    1. In order for the BHSU Ambassadors to be a successful organization, we have to utilize our resources completely.  We have a low number of members compared to some organizations, yet we do a great deal for our university and community.  We believe our organizational structure is the best way to involve every single member in each of our programs. We are set up so that each person feels as though they have been a large part of the success of our organization.  

    1. Several of our programs require many of our members to be involved.  Some of our programs require extensive planning on the part of a specific committee, but the work of all members the day of the event.  All members are required to attend programs and events, thus they can give their opinions on the outcome of the event.

  1. Meetings 

    1. General Board meetings are held every other Tuesday at 7:00 am in the Joy Center. Attendance is mandatory. All excuses must be communicated in electronic to an executive council member. Please consult the organization's "Constitution and Bylaws" for more information.

  1. Executive Board

    1. An Executive Board that includes 6 elected officers governs the BHSU Ambassadors. In addition to the elected officers, the advisers may serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the Executive Board. The Executive Board meets during the alternate weeks of the General Board meetings and other times as necessary throughout the semester. 

The executive board titles and duties shall be 

    1. President
          1. Schedule, coordinate and execute General and Executive Board meetings
          2. Prepare all meeting agendas with approval of the advisor and executive board
          3. Coordinate all association activities, providing leadership and inspiring membership
          4. Represent the PSA’s at Alumni Association meetings
          5. Communicate with advisor, University Advancement, Alumni Office, and the President’s Office to coordinated needs of the organization
          6. Represent Presidential Ambassadors at on campus BHSU Organization meetings

    1. Executive Vice President
          1. Assume the duties of the president in their absence.
          2. Update and maintain membership Manual
          3. Notify members of attendance violations 
          4. Take attendance at all meetings
          5. Help in verification and tracking of membership volunteer hours and events attended
          6. Oversee and record member PSA hours and verify with members
          7. Complete monthly student org. report

    1. Vice President of Finance & Administration
          1. Maintain budget
          2. Verify role at mandatory events
          3. Keep record of all events that Ambassadors assists with
          4. Organize fundraising opportunity

    1. Vice President of Membership and Recruitment
          1. Welcome new members and coordinate New Member training with Advisor
          2. Solicit, review and plan for new member recruitment with the Advisor
          3. Welcome new members and coordinate new member training with President and Advisor
          4. Respond to new member applications and coordinate interviews
          5. Maintain databases of membership information, and assist with historical information

    1. Vice President of Marketing & Communication
          1. Maintain Ambassador Website and Facebook 
          2. Coordinate efforts to inspire a greater loyalty, enthusiasm, and a sense of pride toward BHSU between the students and alumni of the university.
          3. Keep members up to date on all upcoming events and schedule member volunteers for upcoming events

  1. Committees

    1. Ambassadors are able to join committees to increase their roles of leadership in the organization.

  1. Fundraisers

    1. All fundraising activities encouraged for members. All members of the BHSU Ambassadors must try be active within the fundraising activities each semester. If a member is a participant of the organization or team where a fundraising event is being held alternate duties will be assigned.  The member who cannot attend is required to set contact the President and see if there are alternative activities to be active in.

  1. Confidentiality

    1. Student Ambassadors will occasionally be exposed to personal data of alumni or other stakeholders. 

Helpful Hints


Def- (n): The conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life.

When is Etiquette appropriate as a BHSU Ambassador?

In a simple answer, ALWAYS.  Etiquette is something that should be practiced with great frequency as an Ambassador, and in life in general. Simple knowledge of etiquette could set you apart from other individuals throughout your life, and it is something that is expected of an Ambassador. The following information will help you with your different interactions with alumni, administrators, and professionals, as a BHSU Ambassador.  

You are in a unique situation to deal with many administrators and a minimal level of decorum is expected. As an Ambassador you will be attending various events and some of these events will require you to socialize with highly distinguished professionals. This outline will provide you with the appropriate dress, manners, and formalities for your upcoming experiences as an Ambassador, and throughout your life. 

The First Impression

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

The first impression could affect how people view you for a long time.  You do not get a second chance. In our business of interacting with alumni, it is important to make a lasting and memorable impression because we are not only representing BHSU, but also ourselves. Our appearances, gestures, and actions reflect on the university and that is why it is necessary to follow a few tips to ensure that everyone is impressed.

The Handshake:

is made with a firm, not bone-crushing or fish-limp, grip   

is held for about 3-4 seconds (not so long that the other hand feels caught in a vise)

The Handshake is a Three-Step Process:

  1. Opposing thumbs should interlock first without anything else touching (at this point say, “Hello, my name is ...)

  1. You then turn your wrist so that your hand wraps around the other person’s (at this point you should be on your first name “John”)

  1. You then squeeze and give one firm shake (at this point on the shake, you should be saying your last name “Doe”)


Introducing yourself will be an important part of meeting people because in many situations with the Ambassadors, you will be at an event without knowing many of the people. It will be your responsibility to be proactive and introduce yourself to them. First of all, do not be intimidated by unknown individuals. Introductions can be awkward, but the other person is nervous too. The experience will go surprisingly smooth if you simply introduce yourself with a smile. The conversation usually flows by itself from that point.

An introduction should bring people together, not alienate them. Therefore, use first and last names of each individual, regardless of status. This tip is important when you are introducing one individual to another, and when introducing yourself to an individual.


Speaking to people one-on-one and speaking in front of a group are going to be a natural occurrence as an Ambassador. Some things to remember about your verbal communication are:

Watch the tone, quality and volume of your voice

Guard against inappropriate speech. Avoid slang, street language, and non- professional verbal conduct

Make eye contact

Important Information

The Office of University Advancement and Alumni Relations Office

Vice President for University Advancement Steve Meeker Class of 1984

Director of Alumni Relations Tom Wheaton Class of 1987

Director of Development Shauna Junek Class of 1997

Scholarship Coordinator Kanda Guthmiller Class of 1991

Assistant Athletic Director of External Operations Melissa Christensen Class of 2003

Accountant Brandon Bentley Class of 2010

Director of Information Chad Lundberg

Program Assistant Hailima Yates

Office Information 

University Advancement:

Phone (Main Office): (605) 642-6385 

Address: Alumni Welcome Center

1200 University Street, USB 9506 Spearfish, SD 57799-9506


(605) 642-6335 (BHSU)

(605) 645-2087 (Cell) *feel free to text

(605) 642-6845 (Fax)

The BHSU Alumni Association Board of Directors President Lori Caldwell BHSU Class of 1987

Black Hills State Foundation President Pete Cappa BHSU Class of 1974

Yellow Jacket Foundation President – Dan Green BHSU Class of 1964


 Administrators You Should Know…

President Tom Jackson University President

Rod Custer Provost

Kathy Johnson Vice President Finance and Administration

Lois Flagstad Vice President Student Life

Jhett Albers Athletic Director

Warren Wilson Chief Information Officer

Priscilla Romkema Dean College of Business and Natural Sciences

Patricia Simpson Dean College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Amy Fuqua Dean College of Liberal Arts

Board of Regents 

President: Randy Schaefer

Vice Pres: Bob Sutton

Secretary: Terry Baloun

Exec. Director: Michael G. Rush 

Members:       John W. Bastian, Harvey C. Jewett, Kathryn Johnson—BHSU 1975, Jim Morgan, Joseph Schartz