Riley Donnelly of Elk Point and Karli Verhulst of Reva were named recipients of the Joe and Elaine Floyd Scholarship at Black Hills State University. Donnelly and Verhulst will each receive a $17,000 scholarship when they attend BHSU this fall.
The Floyd Scholarship was established in 2009 for female students from South Dakota who have a farm or ranch background, along with a desire to learn. The full-ride scholarship is renewable for four years if the students achieve satisfactory progress.
Donnelly and Verhulst will both compete on the BHSU Rodeo Team.
Donnelly plans to major in general studies at BHSU. A decorated high school athlete, Donnelly was known for her commitment to her sports and her leadership. She received defense and hustle awards in basketball and served as team captain. She competed in high school volleyball, basketball, track, and rodeo. In 2019 she placed second in the state in pole bending and in 2018 she was the state breakaway champion. In 2018 she placed third in breakaway roping during the first round of the National High School Finals Rodeo.
“I first met Riley at the National High School Finals Rodeo a few years ago and was impressed with her drive and competitive level. She is a very diverse student athlete who is a tough competitor in several events. She has a lot of talent and has worked hard to prepare herself for the next level of competition. I’m excited to welcome Riley to our Yellow Jacket family,” said Glen Lammers, head rodeo coach at BHSU.
Karli Verhulst is coming to BHSU as the first step in her goal of earning a veterinary medicine degree. The Harding County High School graduate earned a 4.0 GPA and was second in her class.
She has taken dual credit courses through BHSU and completed at the Academic Olympics for three years placing in both biology and English. In 2018 she became South Dakota’s 4-H Reserve Goat Tying Champion in the senior division. That same year she also won the goat tying at the Northern Hills Challenge.
“I’m really glad Karli choose Black Hills State to pursue her academic and rodeo goals. When I first met Karli her enthusiasm and positive attitude stood out to me. Her character and passion for our sport, makes her a great fit for our team. She is a talented young lady who works hard and has a lot of potential,” says Lammers.
About the Floyd Scholarship
Joe Floyd and the his late wife Elaine established the Joe and Elaine Floyd Scholarship in 2009 for female students from South Dakota who have a farm/ranch background along with a strong desire to learn. The scholarship pays for the student’s cost of attendance and is offered to eight students annually. Elaine attended Black Hills Teachers College, spent time as a teacher in a one room school in her hometown region, was a recruiter for BHSU, and also worked with Joe in the cable television industry. Joe, the son of one of the original founding partners of Midcontinent Theatre Company and KELO-TV, earned his college degree in engineering and worked in the cable television industry. He was instrumental in guiding the construction and purchase of cable systems in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Western Minnesota. Employment took them out of state, and they have fond memories of their time living in Washington, D.C., and in the Minneapolis area. They eventually moved to Sioux Falls where Joe served as executive vice president of KELO-LAND Television.