BHSU honors outstanding alumni at the 2014 alumni awards luncheon

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, September 26, 2014/Categories: 2014

           Black Hills State University honored alumni (left to right) Bill Blewett, Damian Ederhoff, Lois Northrup, and Steve Williams during last week&rsquos Alumni Awards Luncheon held in conjunction with the annual Swarm Days homecoming celebration.

An accountant, architect, educator, artist, and a lawyer were honored Friday during the alumni awards luncheon at Black Hills State University.  The luncheon was held as part of the University&rsquos annual homecoming celebration.

BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., welcomed alumni to the event by asking them to recall their most memorable experience as an undergraduate student.

"The alumni we honor today did not anticipate these awards when they came to the University as students," said Jackson.  "Today we recognize and congratulate them on their astounding and significant contributions."  

Damian Ederhoff, Class of 1986, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Ederhoff earned his bachelor&rsquos degree in accounting and serves as partner at Bauerle and Company, a Denver-based accounting firm.  He is active with the Rocky Mountain Surety Association, a member of the BHSU Foundation, and former budget and finance committee member for the Valley Country Club and the Associated Builders and Contractors.  

Ederhoff thanked his university teachers and coaches for preparing him with the skills necessary to compete and excel.

"Both in the classroom and in my career, I&rsquom honored to be part of BHSU and honored to continue to contribute to this University," said Ederhoff.

Steve Williams, recipient of the Special Service Award and founder of Williams &amp Associates Architecture, Inc., said his time at BHSU gave him the confidence to pursue further education and opportunities.  Williams has received numerous recognitions and awards including Facility Design Award for Excellence and LEED Gold for his company&rsquos work on the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union and Certificate of Achievement from the Spearfish Historic Preservation Commission.

"Succeeding at BHSU helped me believe I could succeed anywhere," said Williams.  "I feel fortunate to be involved in campus projects preparing Black Hills State for the future."

Lois Northrup, Class of 1962, was awarded the Excellence in Education Award.  Northrup graduated with her bachelor&rsquos degree in physical education and history, teaching both subjects throughout her almost four decade-long career in education.  Northrup&rsquos leadership as an assistant principal was instrumental in her school receiving the Excellence in Education Award from the state of Oregon and the U.S. Department of Education.  She also served as principal at two schools, including one school district&rsquos primary location for severely emotionally disabled students.

Northrup shared stories and her appreciation of four BHSU teachers who provided her a strong foundation.

"When I look back at my career in education I see my foundation in educational philosophy taking its first steps at BHSU," said Northrup.  "My teachers here were inspirational."

Carol Hayes, Class of 1976, received the Special Achievement Award.   Hays graduated with her bachelor&rsquos degree in education. After graduation from BHSU she taught art in South Dakota and California before moving to New York City to pursue her artistic career.  Hays exhibits and sells her artwork worldwide, using landscapes and nature as inspirations.

Bill Blewett, Class of 2005, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award.  Blewett graduated from BHSU with bachelor&rsquos degrees in political science and social science.  He opened his own law firm in Sioux Falls after interning with U.S. Senator John Thune&rsquos office and the Eich Law Office.  Active in several law organizations, Blewett was named to the 2014 "Top 40 Under 40" by Then National Trial Lawyers.

Blewett recalled his law school classmates saying he had an irrational level of BHSU school pride.

"I enrolled in the Legal Environment of Business course at Black Hills State and I was hooked," said Blewett, whose grandparents met at BHSU and was the University of choice for his parents and many other family members.  "I am a lawyer because BHSU did an excellent job preparing me for what lies ahead."


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