News & Events

Veterans Legacy Program at BHSU to host Graphic Novel Academy

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, May 29, 2019/Categories: Events, Students, Academic Affairs, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Events, Faculty, Veterans Affairs, 2019

Black Hills State University is sharing the history of the area’s military veterans with middle and high school students during a Graphic Novel Academy May 28-June 4 on the Spearfish campus. Using biographies about veterans written by BHSU students, 17 middle and high school participants will create graphic-novel style renderings.

As part of the Veterans Legacy Program at BHSU, the Academy will include a visit to Black Hills National Cemetery, mentoring by BHSU art, history, and writing faculty, and a formal, public exhibit of the students’ work June 5 at The Matthews Gallery in downtown Spearfish.

Watch a video about the Veterans Legacy Program at BHSU

About the Veterans Legacy Program

The Veterans Legacy Program was launched by the National Cemetery Administration under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to bring to life the stories of the veterans interred at national cemeteries to educate future generations and honor the legacy of our nation’s heroes. The VLP at Black Hills State University is a collection of public history materials that tell the story of America’s veterans buried in the five national cemeteries in the Black Hills region, including Black Hills National Cemetery, Ft. Meade National Cemetery, Hot Springs National Cemetery, Lakota Freedom Veterans Cemetery, and Rosebud Sioux Tribe Veterans Cemetery.

Black Hills State University is conducting the project with students and professors from different areas of study. Public history materials, such as self-guided tours and creative biographies, have been created by the History and English departments for an online text that will explore the lives of veterans, their experiences in the military, and life after the military. Education majors have created lesson plans that meet education standards for teachers to use in the classroom. These lesson plans focus on all aspects of the cemeteries including specific veterans, wars, commendations, and other topics.

The goal of this project is to honor America’s heroes by making national cemeteries not only a place to visit but also a place of local history and memory. For more information on the project, contact Kelly Kirk, instructor of history and director of the University Honors Program, at


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