New BHSU student scholarships established

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, August 13, 2015/Categories: 2015








            Leroy Hill






           Beth Mathis



Two new scholarships have been established at Black Hills State University, with donations from alumni and a longtime University supporter.

The first Leroy Hill Scholarship will be awarded in the fall the new Beth Mathis Athletic Scholarship will be awarded starting in the fall of 2016.

The Leroy Hill Scholarship, established by Leroy&rsquos wife Harlene, is a second chance scholarship tailored for students that have been re-admitted to BHSU on a probationary status.

Both Harlene and Leroy are BHSU alums. Leroy earned a bachelor&rsquos degree in economics and business administration in 1956. He was actively involved in the debate team, where he met Harlene (Sharpe), who graduated in the late 1960s. Leroy earned his doctor of law degree in 1958 and served as state&rsquos attorney for Lyman and Butte counties over the years.

"Leroy was all about second chances and in his law practice he got such joy out of helping people," Harlene Hill said. "He believed people could resurrect their lives and become whole again."

Leroy&rsquos devotion to his work and support of BHSU made it natural to offer a scholarship to BHSU students that needed that extra support, Harlene added.

"BHSU is a wonderful college. We are happy with our association to the University," she said. "BHSU has enriched our lives and our children&rsquos lives by living in the Black Hills and attending college functions."

Leroy was involved with the BHSU Alumni Association for a number of years and served as president of the Association. He also was active in a number of community organizations including the VFW, Boy Scouts, American Legion and a variety of law-related associations.

The Beth Mathis Athletic Scholarship began with longtime BHSU supporter Beth Mathis. Mathis moved to Spearfish in 1987 and bought the Cedar House restaurant in 1988.

During the 26 years she owned the Cedar House, Mathis recalled how often the BHSU faculty, staff and students frequented her establishment. Mathis donated to the University for more than 20 years and developed lasting relationships with BHSU employees which led her to establish an ongoing scholarship for future students through a student-athlete scholarship.

"I thought it was my turn to give back," Mathis said.

In addition to meeting the BHSU scholarship criteria, all applicants for the Beth Mathis Athletic Scholarship must be student athletes. Two scholarships will be awarded annually, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester.

For more information on the Leroy Hill Scholarship or Beth Mathis Athletic Scholarship or to apply, visit

Number of views (484)/Comments (0)