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Here’s to you, Black Hills Jackets
and the colors green and gold.
You’re the pride of every student here.
We are behind you firm and bold.
And when we students get together,
there’s nothing that we cannot do
for Dear Old B‐H‐S‐U.
Black Hills Jackets
Here’s to you! Here’s to you!
J‐A‐C‐K‐E‐T‐S Jackets
Go—Fight—Win Jackets
Go—Fight—Win Jackets
Go Beat (name of opponent)


The "Arches" in Ida Henton Park.


Mascot - Yellow Jacket - Sting

The use of a Yellow Jacket as a mascot dates back to the late 1920s. According to an article in the centennial edition of the Eochia the name was first used during an football game when one of the fans jumped to her feet and yelled, "Go you yellow jackets, go!" in reference to the yellow-colored jackets the team wore.

Another account in the centennial yearbook relates “the football team had been known as the Yellow Jackets, a name that appears to have derived from the horizontally striped socks worn by team members which gave them the appearance of wasp-like yellow jackets.”

The Yellow Jacket mascot was officially named Sting in 2008 after students chose the name through a vote. Sting is always a popular draw at games and other events in the community.

Sting high-fives fans at a home football game. Sting poses for a photo at a home football game.

Northern Hills

Our location in the Northern Hills has created some unique and memorial traditions!

Students hike in a single file line in the Northern Hills. Eight students hike in the Northern Hills. Seven students hike in the Northern Hills.


Feather Ceremony
A group of people sit at commencement, waiting their turn to walk. A man sits at graduation while a photo is taken of his graduation cap.

Campus Landmarks

Circular Stairway - Honoring the Class of 1922; includes the Nikki Bogard Rose Garden
Ida Henton Park and the Arches - The park features the “Arches” created from the remains of Old Main Hall which was destroyed in a fire in the 1920s.
Wenona Cook Hall - Oldest building on campus, built in 1889

The Circular Stairway from the bottom of the staircase. The "Arches" in Ida Henton Park.

Swarm Week

Swarm Week is the annual homecoming week for BHSU. In the early years, the event was known as Pioneer Day, Paha Sapa Day, and Gypsy Day. Activities vary throughout the years including the Hike to the H, Coronation, Homecoming Parade, and football games.

Two people in costume shake hands at a 1965 BHSU Homecoming event. The BHSU Homecoming Queen (left) and Homecoming King (right) sit on the back of a car for a parade. The band float at the BHSU Homecoming parade. The traditional burning of the BH.

Rivalry: BHSU vs. School of Mines

The second longest rivalry in America takes place in the Black Hills. The rivalry between Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology dates back to 1900. The winner of the football game takes the Homestake Trophy for the year. 

Two BHSU football players hold the Homestake Trophy. A BHSU volleyball player spikes the ball at the other team.

Native American Week

BHSU has a long legacy of providing educational opportunities for American Indian students. In celebration of the Native American culture, a Wacipi is held in the Young Center every spring which has been expanded to a week of activities and speakers around the campus highlighting the Native American culture.

Four Native American men walk away from the camera. Eight indigenous people pose for a photo. A young indigenous girl and three others prepare to dance at a powwow.

Props & Liners

Props & Liners, a theatrical student organization, was founded in 1920, making it the oldest student organization on campus.

A male actor (left) and a female actress (right) perform a scene together. A male actor (left) and a female actress (right) perform a scene together.

Summer Theatre

Every summer, theatre students present a Summer Stage performance. Traditionally the performance was held downtown. In recent years, most productions were held on campus and the students collaborated on a show at the Matthew’s Opera House.

A female actress (left) and a male actor (right) perform a scene together. A female actress (left) and a male actor (right) perform a scene together.

The Anemone

The student newspaper started in 1907. It started as The Anemone, eventually changed to the Today paper, and now is known as the Jacket Journal. BHSU also produced the Eochia Yearbook from the late 1800s to 1992.

Sixteen Jacket Journal members pose for a photo. Ten Anemone members work on the newspaper in 1931.

Yellow Jacket Stampede Rodeo

The Yellow Jacket Stampede Rodeo has continued to embody the Western Heritage of the Black Hills since 1962.

The man on the left rides a horse while the man on the right falls off his horse. 25 rodeo team members pose for a photo. A man is bucked into the air by a horse, but hangs on.


The Yellow Jacket Club

Originally known as the Purple & Gold Club in the early 1960s, this group was formed to raise money for athletics. The name changed to the Green & Gold Club in the early 1980s and today is known as the Yellow Jacket Club.

Five BHSU volleyball team members celebrate on the court. A BHSU basketball player drives the ball toward the hoop.

Friends of Music

Started in the early 2000s to raise money for the music program, Friends of Music still exists today and actively supports music students.

A BHSU choir performs in the Meier Recital Hall. Two BHSU drummers perform.

Rose Hill Cemetery

The Faculty Wives Club started a tradition many years ago of putting flowers on the gravesites of the former Presidents: Cook, Jonas, and Woodburn. This tradition is still being done by the BHSU Alumni Association and Alyce Schavone.

Fayette L. Cook- Head shot Russell L. Jonas- Head shot Ethelbert C. Woodburn- Head shot

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