Memorial scholarship to support nontraditional students at BHSU

Author: Gustave Karinen/Wednesday, October 19, 2016/Categories: 2016

A memorial scholarship has been established at Black Hills State University in honor of Elizabeth Fritz Ruff. The scholarship supports nontraditional students pursuing a degree in education.

A new scholarship at Black Hills State University has been established in memory of BHSU alum Elizabeth Fritz Ruff to support nontraditional students pursing a degree in education.

Ruff graduated from BHSU in 1972 after farming with her husband in the Nisland area. After the untimely death of her husband, Ruff decided to pursue her degree in special education.

Her daughter, Rebecca Kunzman, says obtaining her degree was a lifelong goal for Ruff.

"We hope this scholarship will encourage nontraditional students like our mother to know they can succeed at any time, that they still have choices and opportunities," said Kunzman.

Kunzman said Ruff was a dorm mother at BHSU while attending classes. After graduation, she taught children with special needs in Alliance, Neb., and later in Pine Ridge. Ruff continued her education, traveled worldwide, and earned her master's degree in 1979.

She retired in Spearfish in 1987 and was active in the United Church of Christ, alumni activities at BHSU, and volunteer activities for which she received numerous awards and recognitions.

The first Elizabeth Fritz Ruff Scholarship was awarded to Rockiel Akason, special education major from Rapid City.

The $500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a full time, nontraditional student seeking a degree in education. The scholarship was established by Ruff's children in honor of their mother. To contribute to the scholarship, call BHSU University Advancement at 605-642-6385.

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