new Banner
News & Events

Spring commencement ceremony to honor nearly 400 graduates; honorary doctorate to alum Lt. Col. Brett Theeler, MD

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, April 29, 2019/Categories: Events, Students, Students in the News, Academic Affairs, Alumni, Awards, Campus Currents, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Events, Faculty, Home News, Outdoor Education, President, Psychology, Staff, Veterans Affairs, 2019

Nearly 400 graduates will be recognized during the 177th Black Hills State University Commencement Ceremony. View the list of graduates.

The spring commencement ceremony is at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4 at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center on the BHSU campus. The public is invited to join and celebrate the students’ achievements. Degrees to be awarded include 53 master’s degrees, 311 bachelor’s degrees, and 33 associate’s degrees. 

BHSU President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., will preside over the ceremony. The commencement processional will be led with the University mace carried by Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology at BHSU and the 2018 Distinguished Faculty Member. She will also deliver the Charge to the Graduates. Colmenero-Chilberg has been a faculty member at BHSU for 14 years.

Ms. Beverly Running Bear, instructor of Lakota language, will share a Lakota prayer. Cpt. Jeremy DeLoach, assistant professor of military science, will confer commissions to BHSU students who will become officers of the U.S. Armed Forces following graduation. Dr. Joan Wink of the South Dakota Board of Regents will offer greetings to the graduates.

Dr. Chris Crawford, provost and vice president for academic affairs at BHSU, will recognize the following retiring faculty and directors receiving emeritus status: Dr. June Apaza, Dr. Rodney Custer, Dr. John Dixson, Dr. Dan Durben, Ms. Micheline Nelson, Dr. Priscilla Romkema, and Dr. Micheal Zehfus.

An honorary doctorate will be bestowed upon Lt. Col. Brett Theeler, MD, a 2001 graduate of BHSU. Theeler, deputy chief of the Department of Neurology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, is recognized for significantly improving access to cutting edge, multi-disciplinary neuro-oncologic care for Department of Defense beneficiaries.    

Jackson, with the assistance of Ms. April Meeker, registrar at BHSU, will present the diplomas to the 397 graduation candidates.

The BHSU Class of 1969 will be honored for the 50th anniversary of their graduation year. A record number of alumni from the 50-year class will attend the ceremony.

Mr. Steve Meeker, vice president for University Advancement, will welcome the graduates into the Alumni Association.

The National Anthem, along with special music “May It Be” by Eithne Ni Bhraonain and “Hymn to BHSU,” will be performed and led by Ms. Amy Hahn, music education major from Gillette, Wyo. The recessional will be directed by Dr. Symeon Waseen, associate professor of music, and Dr. Christopher Hahn, assistant professor of music.

The spring 2019 Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast live at for those who are unable to attend. BHSU encourages attendees to share their commencement story on social media with the hashtag #BHSU2019 in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts. A photo gallery from the ceremony will be available at after Monday, May 6.

All graduates are listed at the following link by hometown or current residence: BHSU Spring 2019 Graduaton List. Degrees are indicated by the following: MBA, master of business administration, MED, master of education; MS, master of science; BA, bachelor of arts; BFA, bachelor of fine arts; BGS, bachelor of general studies; BS, bachelor of science; BSED, bachelor of science in education; AA, associate of arts; and AS, associate of science.

Bachelor degree candidates who graduated with honors are noted by the following designations: Cum Laude, grade point average (GPA) 3.5 to 3.699; Magna Cum Laude, GPA of 3.7 to 3.899; and Summa Cum Laude, GPA of 3.9 or higher. Associate degree candidates who graduated with honors are noted by the following designations: With Honor, GPA of 3.5 to 3.699; with High Honor, GPA of 3.7 to 3.899; and with Highest Honor, GPA of 3.9 or higher.

Candidates graduating from the University Honors Program have met the highest standards of achievement, enrichment, and service. University Honors Scholars are noted by one of three designations: Research Scholar, focusing on undergraduate research and creative scholarship; University Scholar, a four-year comprehensive Honors program with an emphasis on undergraduate research and creative scholarship; and International Scholar, which requires a significant international experience in addition to the full curriculum.

Number of views (3546)/Comments (0)