Fourteen descendants of Maude (Campbell) Dana, Class of 1917, were honored this spring as the 2019 Black Hills State University Legacy Family. Grandma Dana, as Maude is fondly remembered by her loved ones, was known for inspiring and encouraging her family’s education.
Maude attended Spearfish Normal School from 1916-17 earning her teaching certification. Originally from Mud Butte, Maude’s descendants said “all her ties were here in South Dakota.” When Maude made the decision to become a school teacher, Spearfish Normal was the best choice.
Jo Conda (Tifft) Dana, ’70 & ’92, Maude’s granddaughter-in-law, researched Maude’s years of study at Spearfish Normal School through the University Archives and Special Collections stored at the E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center on the BHSU campus.
“One item we found was a postcard addressed by Maude to another young woman. It was addressed to her “roomie,” and must not have been sent in the mail. Sure enough, we were able to find out through the library that the addressee was her roommate at Spearfish Normal,” said Jo Conda.
After achieving her certification, Maude taught for several years in country schools near Mud Butte. She married Orin Dana in 1920 and the couple had seven children. Widowed at a young age, Maude inspired a strong work ethic in her children that continues to inspire her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to this day.
“Her life certainly wasn’t easy, but her desire to get an education, to teach others, and to encourage and promote education in her family lives on,” said Jo Conda.
Maude, along with her son, Wayne, attended the school that would become BHSU. Maude’s grandson, Mick Dana, ’69 & ’70, started another line of BH tradition when he and his wife, Jo Conda, graduated from the university. Five of Mick and Jo Conda’s six children also joined the Yellow Jacket family: Brad Dana, ’90; Jesse Dana, ’97; Raquelle (Dana) Strawn, attended; Nicole (Dana) Samuelson, ’02; and Monique (Dana) Tetrault, attended.
The Dana family is known for their strong support and care of the community through their success in the fields of dentistry, orthodontia, and financial management.
“We are so appreciative of this wonderful honor of Legacy Family of 2019. Black Hills State University has a special place in our hearts for the education we received, the many wonderful people we met and still continue to meet and the special memories that we are so thankful to have,” said Jo Conda. “We thank everyone who was so gracious to us and we are humbled to have been recipients of this award.”
BHSU created the Legacy Family Award in 2008 to honor family members that have attended, graduated, or are currently attending the university. For more information or to nominate a family, contact Tom Wheaton, director of alumni relations at BHSU, at 605-642-6325 or Tom.Wheaton@BHSU.edu