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 October 1927 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 official 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.
Our location in the Northern Hills has created some unique and memorial traditions!
Circular Stairway- Honoring the Class of '22; 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 20s.
Wenona Cook Hall-Oldest building on campus – built in 1889
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 game.
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.
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.
Props & Liners
Props & Liners, a theatrical student organization, was founded in 1920; making it the oldest student organization on campus.
Every summer, theatre student present a Summer Stage performances. 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."
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.
Yellow Jacket Stampede Rodeo
The Yellow Jacket Stampede Rodeo has continued to embody the Western Heritage of the Black Hills since 1962.
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.
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.
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.