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Reaching through Teaching Scholarship established for non-traditional education majors

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, September 3, 2020/Categories: Students, Academic Affairs, Alumni, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Community, Donations, Scholarships, 2020

Nearly 25 percent of Black Hills State University students are non-traditional, meaning they are 24 years old or older. Recently established, the Wilma Gabrielson Reaching through Teaching Scholarship is now available for those non-traditional students that are pursuing a degree in elementary or early childhood education.

In honor of her mother and BHSU alum Wilma Gabrielson, Kellie (Gabrielson) Rude donated funds for the new scholarship. Wilma attended BHSU as a single mother with three small children. “Black Hills State University gave Wilma the opportunity to complete her degree in education, better herself and her family, and restore her dignity and self-worth,” Kellie shares.

While challenging, Kellie says that her mother never gave up and was proud of her accomplishments. Utilizing BHSU courses available in both Rapid City and Spearfish, Wilma was able to finish her teaching degree in 1975. Along the way, Wilma had to overcome a lot and through this scholarship she will leave a legacy of helping others who may be in a similar position.

Following in her mom’s footsteps, Kellie graduated from BHSU in 1986 with a degree in elementary/special education. She adds, “The scholarship is a way to keep the memory of Wilma alive in the field of education. She touched the lives of so many young students that it only made sense to create a scholarship in her memory.”

Shauna Junek, director of development at BHSU says now, more than ever, college students need financial aid.

“By establishing this scholarship, donors like Kellie Rude are investing in the success of BHSU students. Her generous donation will encourage students to follow Wilma Gabrielson’s positive example now and in the future,” Junek adds.

BHSU offers a wide variety of scholarships for both new and current students. For more information visit or contact BHSU Admissions at or 605-642-6131.

About BHSU
Black Hills State University is a masters-level state university with more than 3,800 students. The campus leads the region in sustainability efforts and maintains top academic programs in business (AACSB accredited), exercise science, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, mass communication, health sciences and education. The University, founded in 1883, is located in the northern Black Hills, a region abundant with outdoor activity and culture. Spearfish, S.D., is recognized as one of the top 10 most livable small towns in the USA and has also been recognized nationally for outdoor recreational opportunities. A second location, BHSU-RC, was established in Rapid City, the state’s second-largest city. BHSU, a member of NCAA Division II athletics, offers 14 sports and has a legacy of champion rodeo teams.

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