Discover the History of Black Hills State Alumni

Before South Dakota had even gained statehood, the people of the Black Hills of Dakota Territory demonstrated a high regard for education and began advocating for a university in the Black Hills. Dakota Territorial Normal School was founded in 1883.

Four-year degrees were added in the 1920s, and in 1941 the school was renamed Black Hills Teachers College. Graduate courses followed in 1953 and by 1964 there was a new designation: Black Hills State College.

Over the next several decades, the college continued to grow in strength and stature. In 1989, the campus was designated as a university to reflect the depth and breadth of the academic offerings. Today, Black Hills State University is home to an increasing population of nearly 4,000 students with three colleges: Liberal Arts, Business and Natural Sciences, and Education and Behavioral Sciences. BHSU is recognized as an innovative, quality institution of higher learning.

For well over a century, Black Hills State University has retained a strong connection with its regional history while stretching out toward a horizon of dynamic change and global influences to provide an innovative institution of learning.

In 2008 BHSU celebrated its Quasquicentennial (125th) anniversary. As part of that celebration, 125 Accomplished Alumni were named, a book titled "Black Hills State University 125th Anniversary" was created, and much more. Several other fun elements still can be found here including photo galleries of our history.

Alumni from 1887 to 1919

Headshot - Jean Comerford

Jean Comerford
Class of 1887 - Communications

In 1887, Jean was a member of the first graduating class at Spearfish Normal. She was a well-respected Journalist, newspaper reporter, and writer of short articles for newspapers and magazines. Jean was also an actress and was prominent in welfare work in Chicago.

Orina Frost

Class of 1900
Educator - Deceased

From 1901 to 1907, Orina became the Critic Teacher in the Training School at Spearfish Normal. She later became the Superintendent of Schools in Pomona, Calif.

Headshot - Lyle Hare

Lyle Hare
Class of 1907 - Doctor

Lyle was a football coach and physician at Spearfish Normal, and coached only a couple of years, but continued to teach Physiology and continue as a school physician for many years. He was Mayor of Spearfish, served as First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps during World War II, was the only doctor in Spearfish for many years, and was runner-up to the National Doctor of the Year in 1940. He was instrumental in establishing Spearfish Normal as a four-year school in 1940. The football stadium at Black Hills State was named in his honor in 1947.

Headshot - Ida Henton
Ida Henton
Class of 1913 - Educator

Ida joined the staff at Spearfish Normal in 1914 and served 43 years in the commercial and business department. In June of 1968, Ida Henton Park was officially dedicated on the Black Hills State campus. The park includes the arches, the only salvageable piece of Normal Hall which burned in 1925.

Headshot - Jay Pyle

Jay Pyle
Class of 1889 - Management

Jay was the superintendent of the cyanide plant at diamond mines in Johannesburg during the Boer War. In 1894, Jay, along with two other alums, met in the office of the Lawrence County Superintendent of Schools, to consider the launching of a movement for the forming of a Spearfish Normal Alumni Association.

Headshot - Walter Dickey

Walter Dickey
Class of 1915 - Banking

Walter enjoyed a 45-year career in the banking business with the last 23 years as vice president and manager of the newly formed Spearfish Branch of the First National Bank of the Black Hills. He established Chevrolet dealerships in Spearfish, Rapid City, Joliette, and Hot Springs, as well as in Newcastle, Wyo. Walter was named an honorary member of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command. He was instrumental in establishing the Dorsett Home and Lookout Memorial Hospital, and helped secure the financing that eventually brought Josef Meier’s Passion Play to its home in Spearfish.

Headshot - Waldemar Hansen

Waldemar Hansen
Class of 1915 - Scientist

Waldemar was the recognized authority in the Chemistry of Portland Cement. He holds seven patents in cement and gypsum and has received the Award of Merit from the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM). He is listed in “American Men of Science,” “Chemical Who’s Who” and Who’s Who in the Midwest.”

Headshot - Millie Heidepriem

Millie Heidepriem
Class of 1905 - Educator

Upon graduation, Millie continued her studies at the University of Chicago, and later returned to Spearfish as a faculty member from 1922 to 1951; she was an instructor and head of the English department. Millie was the author and for many years director of the Gold Discovery Days Pageant in Custer. Heidepriem Hall, on the BHSU campus, is named in her honor.

Headshot - Lynn McCain

Lynn McCain
Class of 1892 - Educator

Lynn joined the Spearfish Normal faculty in 1903 and taught for 40 years in charge of teacher reading, composition, bookkeeping, and physiology. In 1925, he became Vice-President of Spearfish Normal. While serving as Vice President, he died on , of complications following surgery in Rapid City. Lynn also handled placement duties along with his teaching and many other jobs.

Alumni from 1920 to 1939

Headshot - Vi Cowden

Vi Cowden
Class of 1936 - Aviation
Huntington Beach, Calif.

Vi taught for many years after attending Spearfish Normal. She earned her private flying certificate and flew small planes in the northern hills. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Vi sent a wire to Washington, DC, and told them if her country needed her she was ready. She became one of the first women military pilots to serve in the United States Army Air Force. After the war, she began a ceramics business and then returned to education as a teacher’s resource aid. Vi was inducted into the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame.

Headshot - Vera Gould

Vera Gould
Class of 1928 - Government
Government - Deceased

Vera graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, School of Occupational Therapy in 1946. She was employed with the Veterans Administration for 30 years. In 1960, she was named Federal Employee of the Year. She went to the White House to receive the award.

Headshot - Joe Nelson

Joe Nelson
Class of 1927 - Inventor

Joe taught at Faith High School and served as school superintendent there before going on to earn a master’s degree in organic chemistry and a doctorate in chemistry. He then went to work for Esso Research and Engineering Company (EXXON) in New Jersey, where he conducted research on making synthetic rubber by drying oils, resins, chemicals, and other petroleum products. Joe was also the inventor and co-inventor of 81 U.S. patents on chemicals, rubber, and detergents made from petroleum.

Headshot - Hope Glenn

Hope Glenn
Class of 1939 - Educator
Spokane, Wash.

Hope’s accomplishments were numerous during a teaching career that spanned 35 years. During that time, she served as a consultant to various districts in Southern California in developing continuums and proficiency standards, represented the district at the state level in developing California proficiency tests, and was an assistant to the superintendent in curriculum for grades K-12 in the San Bernardino Unified School District.

Headshot - Marie Loveland

Marie Loveland
Class of 1928 - Educator

Upon graduation from Spearfish Normal, Marie went on to obtain a supervisory credential, an administrative credential, and a master’s degree. She taught school for many years. From 1955 to 1971, she was the principal of Hoover School in California.

Headshot - Alvin Underhill

Alvin Underhill
Class of 1927 - Attorney

Alvin was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia, as an Attorney to the US Court of Appeals, and as an Attorney and Counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Headshot - Richard Williams

Richard Williams
Class of 1930 - Educator

Richard served the Sturgis schools for 31 years as a teacher, principal, and administrator. He was a noted historian, specializing in Indian, frontier military, and Bear Butte history. In 1973, prior to his retirement, the citizens of Sturgis honored him by dedicating the Richard B. Williams Junior High School. From 1964 until 1974, he was president of the Old Fort Meade Historical Museum and Research Association and had been recognized by the State Historical Society.

Alumni from 1940 to 1959

Raymond Adel
Class of 1943- Judiciary

Raymond is a former Appellate Court Judge of the Worker’s Compensation Court of Appeals for the State of Minnesota. Prior to his duties in court, he was the assistant commissioner and deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Compensation Council an Attorney for the Minnesota Workmen's Compensation Commission, and worked in the claims department for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. 

Gene Bovee
Class of 1959- Banking
Saddlebrooke, Ariz.

Gene has traveled extensively to South America, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East during 35 years of international banking. During his career in banking, he dealt primarily in the financing of United States Agricultural Exports to over 35 countries. He has worked for Chase Manhattan Bank of New York, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela; First Interstate Bank, Seattle, Wash; Central Bank for Cooperatives, National Bank for Cooperatives, and CoBank of Denver, Colo.

Headshot - Lloyd Eaton

Lloyd Eaton
Class of 1940 - Coach

Lloyd was the head football coach at the University of Wyoming from 1962-1970. Over that time, he posted a 57-33-2 record. During his tenure at Wyoming won three WAC titles and competed in two bowl games. Lloyd also coached at Alma College compiling a record of 40 wins, 20 losses, and two ties. His teams were in the MIAA championships in 1950 and 1951. He then joined the staff of the Green Bay Packers as the director of personnel and a scout.

Headshot - Helen & Leonard Fahrni

Helen Fahrni
Class of 1955 - Real Estate
Aiea, Hawaii

Helen is the founder and instructor at Fahrni Realty School of Real Estate. She is also the co-founder of Fahrni Realty, Inc. She is active in many organizations including the Assistance League, Mooa, and the Republican Party. Helen is a trustee and co-chairman of the finance committee of her church. She has earned her CRS and GRI designations.

Headshot - Maurice Fitzgerald

Maurice Fitzgerald
Class of 1949 - Educator

Maurice was a B17 pilot during World War II. He began his coaching and teaching career at Eagle Butte and then moved to Lead. From there he joined the coaching staff at BHSU as head basketball coach. An outstanding athlete in his own right, he was named to the list of 10 top athletes in western South Dakota. In 1975, he became vice president for academic affairs and dean at BHSU. In 1976, Maurice became the fifth president at Black Hills State College.

Headshot - James Hansen

James Hansen
Class of 1952 - Government

James has held virtually every position in the South Dakota scheme of Education. Following service in the US Air Force, he committed to a career of service to South Dakota public school that spanned 25 years. James was a teacher, high school principal, and superintendent. James is a former state senator for South Dakota. Since 1995, he has served as a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Headshot - John Karinen

John Karinen
Class of 1958 - Oceanographer
Auke Bay, Alaska

John is a research oceanographer for the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Auke Bay Laboratories. He researches Alaska’s fish stocks, fish habitats, and the chemistry of marine environments. John has been program leader and program manager for various projects at Auke Bay Labs and was task leader for work following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. John is a member of many organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Headshot - Charles Linander

Charles Linander
Class of 1940 - Dentistry

Charles was the superintendent of schools in Morton, Wyo. He served in the Marine Corps from 1944-46 and was stationed in Japan. Following his discharge, he attended Creighton University Dental School, earning a doctor of dental surgery degree. He opened a dentist’s office in 1953, which he operated for 33 years. Charles was actively involved in community and area service. At BHSU, he co-founded the athletic booster club, and the Green and Gold Club.

Lloyd Petersen

Class of 1940 - Military

Lloyd taught school in Beulah, Wyo., Nisland, New Underwood, and Custer. In 1941, he enlisted in the civilian pilot-training program and became a flight instructor in 1942. He was later stationed in Rapid City, Los Angeles, and Vietnam. In 1970, Lloyd retired from the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Headshot - Paul Roach

Paul Roach
Class of 1952 - Educator
Laramie, Wyo.

Paul was the only man in the history of the University of Wyoming to serve in the dual capacity of athletics director and head football coach. Paul earned WAC Coach of the Year honors in 1987 and 1988, and was a two-time finalist for National Coach of the Year. In his four seasons as head coach at Wyoming, he led them to three bowl games. Paul also coached in the National Football League with the Raiders, Packers, and Broncos.

Headshot - Gregory Schopen

Gregory Schopen
Class of 1970 - Educator
Los Angeles, Calif.

Gregory is a leading scholar of Indian Buddhism and department chair of Asian Languages and Cultures a UCLA. Gregory has written numerous articles and books on the subject. Gregory has also taught at universities in Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States including Stanford University. In 1985, he received the prestigious McArthur Fellowship Award.

Raymond Adel
Class of 1943 - Judiciary

Raymond is a former Appellate Court Judge of the Worker’s Compensation Court of Appeals for the State of Minnesota. Prior to his duties in court, he was the assistant commissioner and deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and Compensation Council, an Attorney for the Minnesota Workmen's Compensation Commission, and worked in the claims department for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. 


Headshot - Bruce Davis

Bruce Davis
Class of 1958 - Educator
Poulsbo, Wash.

The school Bruce administered was designated a California Distinguished School. In 1995 the Readers Digest Association named him an American Hero in Education. His numerous articles have appeared in professional journals and the popular press. His book, How To Involve Parents In A Multicultural School, is a best seller.

Charles Emery

Class of 1953 - Government
Rapid City, South Dakota

Charles served in the United State Marine Corps for two years and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He taught and was later principal at Cheery Creek and Little Eagle Day Schools. From 1974 to 1983 he was the HEW Branch Chief Title IV, in Washington DC. In 1983, Charles was named Deputy Director of Division Local Education Agency Assistance for the U.S. Department of Education. He retired from government service in 1986. Charles is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and in 1966 was named Honorary Chief of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (War Bonnet).

Headshot - Helen & Leonard Fahrni

Leonard Fahrni
Class of 1955 - Real Estate
Aiea, Hawaii

Leonard joined the United States Maine Corps in 1955 and retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1975. In 1976, he co-founded Fahrni Realty, Inc.; a prosperous company with two offices and over 75 agents. He also co-founded the highly successful Paradise Pizza. Leonard is active in his church as chairman of the finance committee.

Headshot - Howard Fryett

Howard Fryett
Class of 1959 - Educator
Spokane, Wash.

Howard has made significant contributions to the community college movement in Washington, Oregon, and Montana. As President, he led Flathead Valley from a failing to a robust institution. He was a respected Vice President at Big Bend, a successful administrator at Clackamas, and a noted instructor at Green River. Howard is also a co-author.

Headshot - Grace Huck

Grace Huck
Class of 1949 - Ministry

Grace made history in 1956 as the first woman in the nation granted full clergy rights in what now is the United Methodist Church. Grace originally enrolled at Black Hills during the Woodburn era, left after a year to teach in rural schools, then returned and graduated during the Jonas years. Like Woodburn and Jonas, Grace has a campus building named for her – at Harris Memorial College in Manila in the Philippines. She taught there and was eventually dean of academic affairs.

Robert Lahti

Class of 1951- Educator

Robert was the founding president of William Rainey Harper College in the Northwestern Chicago Illinois suburbs and during his 12-year tenure led the formation of its master plan. His career included serving as president of the Denver Metropolitan two-year college system and assistant commissioner for State of Texas Higher Education from which he retired in 1997. Robert taught Dick Cheney at Natrona High School in Casper, Wyo.

Headshot - Ed McLaughlin

Ed McLaughlin
Class of 1950 - Government
Rapid City, South Dakota 

Edward was an educator serving as principal and superintendent of schools in Lead and director of student teaching at Black Hills State. He was a special agent with Prudential Insurance Company. From 1991-1997, he was the Mayor of Rapid City. He was a captain in the United States Air Force and was the recipient of the Kiwanis Hixon Fellow Award. Since 2003, he has been a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Headshot - Dick Roach

Dick Roach
Class of 1958 - Coach
Danville, Calif.

Dick was a defensive assistant with the Buffalo Bills which included four Super Bowl appearances and the number one ranked defense in 1988. He also coached in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, and New England Patriots. He also coached with the Michigan Panthers in the USFL and the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL. He also coached in the college ranks at Washington State, Fresno State, Wyoming, Oregon State, and Montana State.

Headshot - Sharon Robison

Sharon Robison
Class of 1959 - Finance
Santa Rosa, Calif.

With over 40 years of experience in the public schools of California, Sharon has served in a number of positions from teacher to superintendent of a multi-million dollar school district with over 1,800 employees and 19,000 students. She currently serves as a consultant on educational governance and planning with districts throughout California. She founded a program to serve first and second-year superintendents. With both state and national awards, her most cherished occurred at her retirement with the rededication of the district administrative complex as the Sharon S. Robison Administrative Center.

Headshot - Donald E. Young

Don Young
Class of 1940 - Educator

At Black Hills State, Don coached football, basketball & track, and started the extension program at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He enlisted in the Navy in 1940 and commanded the Underwater Demolition Team in the Pacific, which is now known as SEALS. He was Mayor of Spearfish from 1967-76 and served on many state and local committees. When he retired in 1979, he volunteered to reorganize the BHSU alumni program. The Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center was dedicated to him in 1990.

Alumni from 1960 to 1969

Headshot - Amiotte Lowell

Lowell Amiotte
Class of 1964 - Educator
Rapid City, South Dakota

Lowell has spent the last 44 years in education. During that time he helped to start and organize three different tribally controlled colleges. He helped to establish the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and served on the board for three years. He was a founding member and served as president of the South Dakota Indian Education Association, SD Indian Counselor Association, and the South Dakota Association of Bilingual/Bicultural Education. Lowell served as president of Oglala Lakota College and was a representative at the White House Conference on American Indian Education. Lowell has been awarded two honorary doctorates.

Headshot - Sharon Andersen

Sharon Andersen
Class of 1967 - Entrepreneur

Upon graduation, Sharon taught kindergarten in Rapid City.  In June of 1971, she moved back to Spearfish, with her husband Gary Andersen, and opened Taco Johns. She has been involved with Taco Johns for 37 years. During this time Sharon was director of a state daycare, taught preschool, and sold Avon for 23 years.

Raj Bhathal

Class of 1962 - Entrepreneur
Tustin, Calif.

Raj is the president and founder of Raj manufacturing; one of the largest swimwear manufacturing companies in the world.

Dave Buss

Class of 1966 - Educator
Cody, Wyo.

David has retired after 30 years as an elementary teacher. However, his career in education is far from over. Presently, he teaches extension classes through Eastern Wyoming College and serves on the governing board of the Gillette Boys and Girls Club. In 1986, David was selected Crook County Teacher of the Year and received a Taft Institute Award for his work teaching government to elementary students. In 1995, David was a recipient of the Milken Family Foundation Award.

Headshot - Dahl Von

Von Dahl
Class of 1968 - Administrator
Buffalo, Wyo.

Von has worked for over 40 years in public education in Wyoming. He served as Superintendent of Schools in Johnson County for 11 years and in 1995 was selected as Wyoming’s Superintendent of the Year. Von has been the administrative representative on the Wyoming State Board and has served as the Executive Director for the Wyoming School Administrators.

Jim Dunn

Class of 1962 - Public Relations
Lead, South Dakota 

Jim served 30 years in the South Dakota legislature and was the prime sponsor in the South Dakota Senate for the Deadwood gaming bill in 1989. Jim worked for 30 years at Homestake Gold Mine spending the last 23 years as Assistant Director and Director of Public Affairs. He served in the military from 1945-1947. Every year from 1956-1985, Jim designed, constructed, transported, assembled, and manned the Homestake informational display booth at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

Fidler John

John Fidler
Class of 1960 - Management

John enjoyed an illustrious 30-year career in hospital and health care administration for major hospitals in California and Missouri. John was CEO and was a healthcare leader with expertise in developing new services, resulting in increased market share, higher profits, and improved productivity and quality. Later in his career, John served as a senior consultant for M.L. Schwartz and Associates.

Headshot - Mike Foley

Mike Foley
Class of 1967 - Entrepreneur
Weston, Wis.

Michael is the owner of a Computer Systems Engineering and development firm. A pioneer of proprietary systems software for the radio and television industry worldwide, Michael has received numerous commendations for the development of computer systems software. He volunteers for various community, political, educational, and outreach organizations. Michael is a Vietnam veteran with numerous decorations and commendations.

Headshot - Jim Hood

Jim Hood
Class of 1969 - Attorney
Spearfish, South Dakota 

A Spearfish native, Jim has practiced law in Spearfish since 1972. Jim served five terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives including two years as Speaker of the House. Jim has been recognized locally, statewide, and nationally for his contributions to the many civic, fraternal, educational, and professional organizations he has served.

Headshot - Douglas Mccalla

Douglas McCalla
Class of 1969 - Attorney
Jackson, Wyo.

Douglas is one of eight partners with The Spence Law Firm, LLC-Spence, and McCalla in Jackson, Wyo. Douglas has appeared in trials in nearly 40 states. Doug also serves as a faculty member of the Trial Lawyers College teaching other lawyers enhanced communication skills.

Headshot - Randy Morris

Randy Morris
Class of 1960 - Government
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Randy is Executive Director of the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative. He was appointed to the South Dakota Board of Regents in 2001. He was the former assistant director of special education with the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs and has served on the boards of South Dakota Regional Economic Development, West River Business Service Center, School Administrators of South Dakota, and the Governor’s Citizens’ Education Review Panel.

Headshot - Mike Sullivan

Michael Sullivan
Class of 1969 - Management
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

After his days at Black Hills State, Mike coached at the high school level in Arizona and Florida before returning to school and receiving a Master’s degree. He then returned to coaching at the College level at George Mason, Davidson, and Eastern Wyoming before becoming the Director of Sports Development for the city of Jacksonville, Fla. After retiring from the city of Jacksonville, he accepted his current position as the Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority.

James Toohey

Class of 1964 - Management
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

James is a retired corporate officer of Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri. He was responsible for this division's 6,000 employees in wholly-owned subsidiaries publishing in 24 languages with a marketing presence in 100 countries through subsidiaries, licensees, and distributors. He is an emeritus former chairman of the University of Kansas International Programs Board and a founding member of Phi Beta Delta.


Headshot - Dick Termes

Dick Termes
Class of 1964 - Artist

Dick is an artist who has created his own art form, the Termesphere. Each sphere is a revolving three-dimensional space/time exploration of an entirely closed universe. His work bridges art and math. His original Termespheres show all over the world. Dick also lectures and does workshops on his unique art form.

Headshot - Gary Andersen

Gary Andersen
Class of 1968 - Entrepreneur
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Upon graduation, Gary became involved with a multi-unit operation of Taco Johns for 37 years and a multi-unit operation of Perkins Family Restaurant for 15 years. Among the numerous awards he has received over the years, the most recent honor was last year when he received the Spearfish Area Chamber of Commerce Life Time Achievement Award.

Headshot - Linda Asheim

Linda Asheim
Class of 1966 - Educator
Belle Fourche, South Dakota 

Linda taught in Idaho, Oregon, and South Dakota. She was named South Dakota Teacher of the Year 2003-2004, and received the South Dakota State Director’s Award for Innovation and Excellence for the Office of Adult, Vocational, and Technical Education. Other highlights of her career included meeting President Bush and First Lady Laura; attending Space Camp in Huntsville; and being nominated several times for Who's Who Among America's Teachers. For 25 years, Linda taught business, technology, and career preparation classes.

Headshot - Lionel Bordeaux

Lionel Bordeaux
Class of 1964 - Educator
Mission, South Dakota 

Lionel was born in a log building on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and was reared by his grandparents. He has served as President of Sinte Gleska University for nearly 36 years. SGU is the first tribal institution to be accredited for Bachelor's and Master's Degrees. Lionel’s voice is heard from Tribal Chambers to the halls of Congress and the White House. He is recognized globally for his vision, inspiration, compassion, and leadership. He is the recipient of many awards on the Tribal, State, National, and International levels.

Headshot - Mona Chancellor

Mona Chancellor
Class of 1960 - Entrepreneur
Golden, Colorado 

Mona pursued a career as a teacher and reading specialist for twenty years that included stops in Colorado, Florida, Texas, and South Dakota. In 1998, she became President of Chancellor Energy, Inc., an oil and gas exploration company located in Golden, Colo. She is actively involved in many organizations in the Denver area.

Headshot - Dick Dubois

Dick Dubois
Class of 1964 - Educator
Rapid City, South Dakota 

For 35 years, Dick taught in the art department at BHSU. He has been recognized numerous times by the Northern Plains Watercolor Society, including a gold medal award he won this past August, and has received the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Visual Arts Award, the Hugh Fitz-Lane Watercolor Award in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the Northwestern Bell Telephone Calendar Award among others. Throughout the United States, his work is featured in permanent collections and galleries.

Headshot - Terry Egge

Terry Egge
Class of 1961 - Management
Rapid City, South Dakota 

In addition to Terry’s schooling at Black Hills State, he did graduate work at North Texas State University and the University of Georgia. In the 1960s, Terry taught and coached in Wyoming, Michigan, and South Dakota. In 1970, he started work for the Deluxe Corporation, a Fortune 500 company. Terry retired in 1993 as a senior vice president and national sales manager.

Headshot - Thomas Finn

Thomas Finn
Class of 1966 - Management

Tom taught in Geddes, Las Vegas, Nev., and then returned to Lead, where he was Director of Guidance and Counseling. After a three-year stint as Dean of Student Affairs at Archbishop Shaw High School in Louisiana, Tom left education and began his 20-year career with McDermott, Intl, a multi-national offshore oil construction company. He began in foreign personnel and eventually became the HR Director of Domestic Operations, before retirement was HR Director for Far East Operations and Country Resident HR Manager for both Singapore and Indonesia.

Headshot - Gregg Forsberg

Gregg Forsberg
Class of 1969 - Entrepreneur
Watertown, South Dakota 

Gregg is a retired president/owner of Watertown Granite Centre, Granite Design, Western Granite, and the Sand Creek Trading Post in Beulah, Wyoming. He is the director and stockholder of New West Senior Housing. In 1989, Greg was associated with a firm called Persona, which was the only South Dakota business listed in the Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies. In 1994, he was also named in the 100 Most Influential People in South Dakota. He served on the S.D. State Fair Foundation and was a delegate to the President’s White House Conference on Small Business.

Headshot - Richard Lemm

Dick Lemm
Class of 1969 - Management
Story, Wyo.

Richard is currently President of Lemm Enterprises, Inc. and an officer in the Marvin Garrett Roughstock Rodeo Series, LLC. In 2002, he retired from a 25-year career with Mini Mart, Inc. as a corporate executive officer/pilot. Richard is a former Agriculture Pilot, Charter Pilot, and Aerial Predator Hunter. He was also an Administrator, Coach, and Flight Instructor at Sky Ranch for boys. He has received numerous awards in his career fields.

Headshot - Sandy Michelena

Sandy Michelena
Class of 1960 - Coach
Sheridan, Wyo.

Sandy taught for 35 years, coached for 47 years and he’s still coaching. His coaching records are as follows: Track – won 19 regional titles and six state championships; basketball – has a record of 196 wins and 68 losses, including one state runner up title; football – has a record of 33 wins, seven losses, and one tie; Volleyball – he recorded 169 wins and 25 losses, including two state championships. Sandy was inducted into the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame and the National Coaches Hall of Fame and 13 times was named Wyoming Coach of the Year.

Headshot - Wayne Snoozy

Wayne Snoozy
Class of 1963 - Educator
Klamath Falls, Ore

Wayne received the National Distinguished Principal Award and the Oregon Outstanding Elementary Principal of the Year Award in 1990. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Black Hills State University and the University of Oregon. Throughout his 32 years in education, he has raised over a million dollars for children.

Alumni from 1970 to 1979

Headshot - Louise Achenbach

Louise Achenbach
Class of 1970 - Educator
Woodlake, Calif.

Louise retired in 2007 after 39 years of teaching at Woodlake High School. She also spent 32 years coaching: tennis, basketball, softball, and volleyball; her volleyball teams brought home 29 championships. She was the volleyball league coach of the year 20 times. She was the California Teacher of the Year 1st runner-up, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Interscholastic Federation, and was inducted into the California State Coaches Hall of Fame. She spent 16 years in the United States Army Reserve and received letters of commendations and medals of achievement.

Headshot - Beth Benning

Beth Benning
Class of 1973 - Government
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Beth worked for 36 years as Finance Officer for the City of Spearfish. In 1977, she received the Excellence in Municipal Government Award from the South Dakota Municipal League. In 2003, she was named South Dakota Finance Officer of the Year. She is the past chair of the South Dakota Municipal League and the South Dakota Governmental Finance Officers’ Association. Beth has also served as a board member of various civic, community, and statewide organizations.

Headshot - Leslie Botos

Leslie Botos
Class of 1970 - Public Relations
Roseville, Calif.

Leslie has received national and international recognition for her work in media, public and governmental relations. She has held leadership positions at Continental Airlines, Pacific Gas, Electric Company, and BloodSource. Leslie is published, frequently speaks at national and international conferences, and has received several awards recognizing her expertise and community service.

Headshot - Tony Chytka

Tony Chytka
Class of 1977 - Sculptor
Belle Fourche, South Dakota 

In 1995, Tony created a bronze steer wrestler sculpture that was displayed in Las Vegas during the National Finals Rodeo and is now on permanent display in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo. His sculptures have been featured on the George Michael's Sports Machine, Ducks Unlimited, Make a Wish Foundation, and the Calgary Stampede. Tony has also been named Artist of the Year by the South Dakota Western Heritage Hall of Fame.

Headshot - Randal Evans

Randal Evans
Class of 1976 - Engineer
Enumclaw, Wash.

In 1981, Randal joined the Seattle Boeing Company as an Electrical Engineer with the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) program responsible for supporting the preparation of the IUS for spaceflight. He has received several Boeing individual engineering awards for his leadership ability and engineering accomplishments. Randal is currently a senior Program Engineering Manager responsible for a large national asset program that is unique to the space-flight industry. He and his team have received several individual & customer engineering awards for unique engineering accomplishments.

V.J. Hirsch

Class of 1972 - Oncologist
Abilene, Texas

V.J. is a medical oncologist in Abilene, Texas. In 1998, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), and the society of internists. He also served as the medical director of Texas Oncology Cancer Centers in Abilene.

Headshot - Kathryn Johnson

Kathryn Johnson
Class of 1975 - Government
Hill City, South Dakota 

Upon graduation, Kathryn obtained a master’s degree in chemistry from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in geology from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She has had a career of over 30 years providing consulting services in the area of geochemistry and environmental science to business and industry. She was appointed to the SD Board of Regents in 2005. She served on the Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. She was a 1997 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow.

Headshot - Craig Katt

Craig Katt
Class of 1975 - Entrepreneur
Euharlee, Ga.

Following a successful career as a professional musician and event manager, Craig served as a company market manager for DAKTRONICS and was selected as National Market Manager for the international Belgian-based BARCO corporation. He became President of the Atlanta-based SOLARE Corporation and is now President/CEO of ATI CONSORTIUM. Serving on a number of boards, including the NIGA Executive Committee, he consults for investment firms, is a legislative advocate in Washington, DC, and has authored a number of articles for industry publications.

Vincent Lombardi

Class of 1971 - Management
Milton Park, Pa.

Upon graduation from Black Hills State, Vincent worked 19 years for Boeing Helicopters working on aircraft delivery and dealing with foreign country representatives. He is the past elected secretary and executive board member of the PHILA chapter of the American Helicopter Society. Vincent also received an Air Force Commendation Medal. Today, he is working for Verizon Wireless and is a sales management official with Microsystems Corporation.

Gary Pechota

Class of 1971 - Management
Bethlehem, Pa.

Gary received his MBA from Stanford University (CPA). He is the CEO of DT-Trak Consulting, Inc. Formerly President and CEO of South Dakota Cement, Gary transformed Giant Cement Holdings, Inc. a distressed cement company into a diversified construction products/hazardous waste firm recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of 200 Best Small Publicly Traded Companies. He currently serves on the Board of Directors, Black Hills Corp, and Insteel Industries.

Headshot - Roger Tellinghuisen

Roger Tellinghuisen
Class of 1975 - Government
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Roger is currently the managing partner in the firm of Tellinghuisen and Gordon, P.C., in Spearfish. Roger was formerly attorney general for the state of South Dakota and, at the age of 33, was the youngest to be elected in this position. Prior to that, he served as the Lawrence County deputy state's attorney and the Lawrence County state's attorney. In 1988, Roger was named a centennial alumnus for the state of South Dakota. Roger has appeared before various state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. In 1986, he received an award from the Victims Rights Commission.

Headshot - Dave Weiss

Dave Weiss
Class of 1979 - Management
Portland, Ore.

Dave owns a company, Sports Unlimited, which represents 700 celebrity athletes like Mark Spitz and provides skilled sports talent for national print and television commercials for Nike, Bowflex, and Mountain Dew. He previously was a sports model for companies including Nike, Columbia Sportswear, REI, and Adidas for 11 years.

Headshot - Kevin Whalen

Kevin Whalen
Class of 1977 - Management
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

In 1977, Kevin began his professional career as an Internal Revenue Service Special Agent in the Criminal Investigation Division. For more than 20 years he was a field Special Agent conducting complex financial investigations involving tax evasion, money laundering, and currency reporting violations. Kevin was then promoted to Supervisory Special Agent. During his career, he received performance awards from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including the Albert Gallatin Award for exemplary career service.

Headshot - Bob Worth

Bob Worth
Class of 1974 - Banking
Danville, Calif.

Bob is an executive vice president for Wells Fargo & Company. He is responsible for the Business Banking Support Group, California Business Banking, and National SBA Lending, which provide business-banking services to more than 200,000 customers in 23 states. Bob has worked at WFC for 35 years serving in multiple management roles and geographies. Presently he serves as a board member and past chairman of the California Bankers Association and previously has been very involved in multiple community support roles and board positions.

Headshot - Bob Albert

Bob Albert
Class of 1976 - Construction
Firestone, Colorado 

An entrepreneur and philanthropist throughout his career; Bob built a successful construction business through innovation employing over 450 people. He is recognized for his commitment to quality construction and integrity.  He made significant contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Parade of Homes, and all levels of sports teams.

Headshot - Mike Berg

Mike Berg
Class of 1972 - Coach
Grand Forks, N.D.

Mike is a coach, physical education, and social studies teacher at Grand Forks Central High School in North Dakota. Mike spent 28 of his 35 years coaching as Central’s head coach. His football team’s made 16 playoff appearances, three state championship appearances, and won the state title in 2005. Mike has been named football coach three times. The past year, Mike was named the National Football League (NFL) High School Coach of the Year. This award allowed Mike and his wife to be guests of the NFL at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.

Headshot - Carol Byington

Carol Byington
Class of 1970 - Management
Chesterfield, Mo.

Carol, who received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Tennessee, has been an environmental consultant since 1973. Although she continues to consult, her primary focus is owning a construction firm, Seals Enterprises. Carol satisfies her teaching desire as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Chemistry Department at St. Louis Community College where she has received recognition for excellence in teaching.

Headshot - Roland Dolly

Roland Dolly
Class of 1977 - Government

Roland distinguished himself early as an athlete and a doer. He worked in Washington for U.S. Sen. James Abdnor, was a lobbyist, and served at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He advised Governor Mickelson and then accepted a cabinet post as Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in 1991.

Headshot - Paul Higbee

Paul Higbee
Class of 1976 - Author
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Paul is the author of five books, including BHSU’s 125th-anniversary book, and covers the Black Hills for South Dakota Magazine. He was head writer for the Emmy Award-winning TV series, “Dakota Pathways,” and writes for magazines nationally including, the American Profile Magazine and Notre Dame Magazine. He was the South Dakota Author of the Year in 2000.

Headshot - John Johnson

John Johnson
Class of 1970 - Management
Mahtomedi, Minn.

John is president and chief executive officer of CHS Inc., a Fortune 200 energy, grains, and foods company and the nation’s largest cooperative business. He began his career with the former Harvest States in 1976 as a feed consultant, holding numerous other roles before assuming his current position in 2000. He serves on the boards of Ventura Foods, LLC, CF Industries Holdings, Inc., and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He was named CEO Communicator of the Year by the Cooperative Communicators Association and has been inducted into the Scandinavian American Hall of Fame.

Headshot - Kay Jorgensen

Kay Jorgensen
Class of 1973 - Government
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Kay has been the presiding director of Black Hills Corp since 1992. She also is a director for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota and is the chairperson of that board. Currently, Kay is a member of the board for South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the BH Area Community Foundation, the Youth Business Adventure, and other regional boards. Kay served in the South Dakota Legislature for 12 years, was a member and president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, was chairperson of the South Dakota Centennial Commission, and served on the Spearfish School Board. Her current business is in marketing and development as the owner of KSJ Enterprises, LLC.

Headshot - Harvey Krautschun

Harvey Krautschun
Class of 1972 - Financial Advisor
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Harvey is a partner with Financial Benefits, Inc., a company he started 25 years ago, specializing in insurance and benefits planning. He served a term as president of the Black Hills Life Underwriters and has lectured for numerous business and estate planning workshops throughout the United States. Harvey served in the South Dakota legislature for 12 years and held the position of Speaker of the House. During his years in the legislature, he was honored with the “Guardian of Small Business” award by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).

Bonnie Omdahl

Class of 1979 - Radiologist
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

In 1988, Bonnie graduated as a Stirling Honor graduate from USD law school. After a two-year Federal District Court clerkship, she returned to USD to attend medical school, graduating in 1995. Her Radiology Residency was with Texas A and M in Temple, Texas. Currently, she is a board-certified Radiologist working for Altru Health Systems in Grand Forks, ND. She serves on the ND Medical Association’s Commission on Legislation and the ND Medical Association’s Ethics Committee. Bonnie is a clinical instructor for UND Medical School and was named clinical instructor of the year for UND in 2000-2001.

Headshot - Michael Shann

Michael Shann
Class of 1970 - Management
Marina Del Rey, Calif.

Michael is the Executive Producer (Events) of the Young Presidents Organization in Santa Monica, Calif. Previously, Michael served as the senior producer of creative entertainment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Prior to that, he served as director of entertainment for Tokyo Disneyland, production manager of convention entertainment at Disney World, and worked in the creative show development area at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Headshot - Kenneth Usiak

Kenneth Usiak
Class of 1970 - Educator
Richland, Wash.

Kenneth was a senior technical trainer with the Westinghouse Hanford Company. Prior to this, he taught at the University of Maryland. He also worked for Rockwell International. He earned a Ph.D. degree from Texas A and M. He developed a software program that determined training requirements for up to 16,000 employees.

Headshot - Nancy Wetheril

Nancy Wetheril
Class of 1977 - Military
Rapid City, South Dakota 

Nancy is currently assigned to the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. Previously she served as commander of the 109th Engineer Group of the South Dakota Army National Guard. Nancy was the first woman to take charge of the 1,270-person unit that includes the 109th and 153rd Engineer Battalions, the 155th Engineer Detachment, and the 1085 Medical Co. Nancy has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Commemorative Medal of the Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic, Excellence-in-Competition Pistol Gold Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Action Badge, and Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for Wartime Service.

Headshot - Thomas Williams

Thomas Williams
Class of 1975 - Educator
Fayetteville, Ark.

Tom earned his Doctrine Degree in 1985 from the University of Arkansas. He served as Director of Orthopedic Research Institute and taught Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology in the Fayetteville Public Schools for 28 years, receiving the Arkansas Health Educator of the Year in both 1986 and 1987, the Southern District Health Educator Award in 1987, and the National Educator’s Award 1991. He also won the Arkansas Mt. Bike Championship Sport 50+ series in 2007.

Alumni from 1980 to 2006

Headshot - Linda Albert

Linda Albert
Class of 1982 - Construction
Firestone, Colo.

Linda has a variety of career experiences in the business field. She was Human Resources Manager for General Electric and was honored as a member of the prestigious Summit and Pinnacle Clubs for outstanding performance. More recently she was involved in the growth and operation of a successful construction business.

Headshot - Stephani Rissler

Stephanie Rissler-Christopherson
Class of 1995 - Communications
Vermillion, South Dakota 

Stephanie is the Public Affairs Producer at South Dakota Public Television. Her productions include: State House, South Dakota Focus, and Dakota Life. Stephanie has been an Upper Midwest Emmy Nominee twice. She was a recipient of the 2008 WETA News Academy Scholarship. In 2006 she was the National Education Television Association (NETA) Scholarship recipient. In 2004, The South Dakota Associated Press awarded Stephanie first place for talk show host.

Headshot - Sheryl Crofut

Sheryl Crofut
Class of 1997 - Educator
Rapid City, South Dakota 

Sheryl teaches eighth-grade English and Social Studies at North Middle School in Rapid City. In 2007, Sheryl was the recipient of the National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation. She is currently working on her second year of the National Board Certification for Professional Teachers process. For the last two years, she has been a facilitator at the Governor’s New Teacher Academy.

Headshot - Priscilla Dressen

Priscilla Dressen
Class of 1982 - Veterinarian
Fort Collins, Colo.

After Priscilla graduated from BHSU, she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 from Colorado State University (CSU). Following one year of private practice, she became a clinical instructor at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital in the Exotic Animal and Wildlife Department. In 1997 she established North Star Veterinary Clinic, a mixed practice of small animals, exotics, and wildlife concurrently volunteering with seven non-profit organizations. Dr. Dressen completed her Veterinary Acupuncture Certification in 2000 and continued as an instructor for the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association.

Headshot - Kathleen Engle

Kathleen Engle
Class of 1980 - Educator
Newcastle, Wyo.

Kathleen is currently a Physical Education Teacher at Newcastle Middle School. She received the Carol E. White, Physical Education for Progress Grant that totaled $265,000 and has been honored with many excellence in teaching awards, including the nationally esteemed Milken Award, which includes a $25,000 gift award; Golden Apple Achiever Award, Christa McAuliffe Fellowship, Team Nutrition Grant, USWEST Teachers, and Technology Award, Disney Salutes the American Teacher Award, and this past year Kathleen was inducted into the National Teacher Hall of Fame.

Headshot - Colleen Goldhammer

Colleen Goldhammer
Class of 1987 - Management
Richmond, Va.

Colleen is currently Senior Vice President of Sales for Genworth Financials (formerly GE Financial) Long Term Care Insurance Division. Colleen joined General Electric (GE) in 1988 and is a graduate of GE’s highly regarded Financial Management Program (FMP). She has held various roles in finance and management with increasing responsibility during her 20-year GE/Genworth career. Prior to joining the insurance segment in 2000, she spent five years with GE’s Global Consumer Finance businesses living and working in Asia and Europe.

Headshot - Ronald (McNeil) His Horse Is Thunder

Ronald (McNeil)
His Horse Is Thunder
Class of 1985 - Educator
Ft. Yates, N.D.

Ron is the tribal chairman for the Standing Rock Reservation and recently served as president of Sitting Bull College from 1996-2005. From 1989-1993, he served as president of Standing Rock College. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed him as chairman of the President’s Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Headshot - Russell Lewis

Russell Lewis
Class of 1991 - Toxicologist
Newcastle, Okla.

After graduating from BHSU, Russell migrated south to the University of Oklahoma to complete a Master's in Chemistry in 1994, a specialization in Neuroscience in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 1997. He took a position as the head Toxicologist of the Forensic Toxicology Research Lab at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he continues to work today. Russell has published over 60 scientific journal articles/book chapters.

Headshot - Jennifer Mercer

Jennifer Mercer
Class of 1997 - Scientist
Laramie, Wyo.

Jennifer is currently a senior research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Wyoming. In 1997, Jennifer participated in the Summer Student Fellowship, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. In 2002, she received a Ph.D, in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College, and was inducted into the Sigma Xi International Honor Society. In 2004, she served as an International Academy of Advancement Honor Delegate. Jennifer was featured on NBC’s TODAY show while working from the McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

Headshot - Tim Penton

Tim Penton
Class of 1980 - Management
Tulsa, Oklahoma 

Tim entered the energy industry working in drilling logistics, offshore oil loading terminals, and economic analysis. Today, Tim is Vice President of Business Development and International Operations for the Williams Companies –Midstream Division. He has also served as a Board Member and Chairman for international schools in Africa and Venezuela, on the Executive Board of the Venezuelan American Friendship Association, and as a Board Member of Knowledge is Personal Power in Tulsa, Okla.

Headshot - Ryan Robinson

Ryan Robinson
Class of 1993 - Accounting
Murrieta, Calif.

Ryan is the chief financial officer at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Southern California. Pechanga, which is the largest casino in California, employs more than 4,500 people. Ryan supervises 500 people. It was the first casino of its size to be completely coinless. Ryan has developed an interest in the legal aspects of the business.

Headshot - Troy Stende

Troy Stende
Class of 1997 - Speaker
St. Paul, Minn.

A professional keynote speaker, author, and high-impact trainer, Troy is a three-time recipient of the prestigious 'Best Campus Speaker' award from the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities and recently released his latest book, College Success Secrets. Troy was a Kappa Sigma Fraternity member, an NCAA Division 1 gymnast, and has been featured by National Public Radio and USA Today.

Headshot - Zac Alcorn

Zac Alcorn
Class of 2006 - NFL Athlete
Chadron, Nebraska 

Zac is the only BHSU Alumnus to ever play in the National Football League. He was signed by the Green Bay Packers as a non-drafted free agent in 2006. That season he played on the practice squad for eleven weeks and played in six games. In addition to the Packers, he has played for the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Seattle Seahawks.

Headshot - Robert Cook

Robert Cook
Class of 1990 - Educator
Summerset, South Dakota 

Robert, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (Oglala Lakota), is employed at Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation as the Cultural Affairs/Education Outreach Specialist. Robert has been the recipient of many education awards and honors: Little Wound School Educator of the Year in 1998 and 1999; Lower Brule teacher of the Year in 2000-2001, South Dakota’s Milken National Educator in 2005, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Teacher of the Year in 2006 and NIEA’s Teacher of the Year in 2006.

Headshot - Jesse Dana

Jesse Dana
Class of 1997 - Dentistry
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Currently in private practice of orthodontics in Spearfish and Rapid City, Jesse is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, American Dental Association, Black Hills District Dental Society, and Midwestern Society of Orthodontics and is certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. Jesse was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Alpha Alpha Chapter dental honor society. He is co-author of an article featured in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics and is the author of a paper that was published in the Orthodontic CYBER Journal. Jesse has presented research at state, regional, and national orthodontic meetings. He also serves as a guest lecturer.

Fred DuBray

Class of 1990 - Management
Mobridge, South Dakota 

Fred, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is the former Executive Director and co-founder of Pte Hca Ka, Inc., which is a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Corporation created to restore and manage the tribal buffalo herd. It is currently the largest and fastest-growing tribal buffalo operation in the United States. Fred is the founder and former President of the Inter-Tribal Bison Cooperative (ITBC). Fred is known for his work in buffalo restoration and has been featured in People Magazine, National Geographic, and Newsweek.

Tracy Gawan

Class of 1990 - Finance
Phoenix, Ariz.

Tracy is the Chief Financial Officer of Sun Devil Auto, a 27-store automotive repair and glass business operating in Arizona and Nevada with gross revenues of $30 million. Previously, Tracy was the Chief Financial Officer for NextCare Urgent Care, an urgent care company with 24 locations in Arizona, North Carolina, and Colorado.

Headshot - Seth Gudmunson

Seth Gudmunson
Class of 2006 - Photographer
Los Angeles, Calif.

Upon graduating, Seth moved to Los Angeles to work as a freelance photographer’s assistant for some of the top photographers in the world.

Headshot - Kari Jungclaus

Kari Jungclaus
Class of 2000 - Educator
Rapid City, South Dakota 

Kari started her teaching career at Rapid Valley Elementary in Rapid City. One year, after receiving her Master’s degree from BHSU, she was honored as Rapid City Area School’s Elementary Golden Apple Award recipient. In 2002, she was named South Dakota’s first Milken Educator.

Headshot - Todd Lowery]

Todd Lowery
Class of 2000 - Coach
Rapid City, South Dakota 

Todd was named the South Dakota Sportswriter’s College Women’s Coach of the Year in 2003. His volleyball teams at National American University in Rapid City have won two national championships. In 2002, his team was undefeated with a 41-0 record. In 2006, he was named Region III Coach of the Year, National Tournament Coach of the Year, and NAIA Coach of the Year. In his six seasons, he led the Mavericks to a 213-22 (91%) record. Todd has been named NAIA Region III Coach of the year five times.

Headshot - Dan Patterson

Dan Patterson
Class of 2002 - Communications
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dan is the Chief New York and United Nations Correspondent for Talk Radio News Service. Dan spends a great deal of time at the United Nations Office in New York, reporting on world events for political talk radio stations. Dan is also a social media consultant to public relations companies and their clients. He helps articulate new media, such as blogs, podcasts, and social networking, to old media companies.

Headshot - Lorri Riley

Lorri Riley
Class of 1987 - Podiatrist
Saint Petersburg, Fla.

In 1991, Lorri received a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. In 1995, Lorri founded the Spearfish Surgery Center. She obtained a patent on Thinnail (registered symbol), a topical cream used for thick nails, coming to market this fall. She went on medical mission trips to Nepal in 2007 and 2008.

Headshot - Richard Sattgast

Richard Sattgast
Class of 1994 - Government
Pierre, South Dakota 

After high school, Richard joined the U.S. Army where he spent 18 years in the military, including being stationed as part of the Occupation Force in Berlin in the 1980s, Desert Storm in the 1990s, and the South Dakota National Guard in the new Millennium. He also acted as a military liaison to the US Embassy in Kuwait for the commander of the US Armed Forces in Kuwait. Today, he serves South Dakota and its citizens as the State Auditor.

Headshot - Steve Vopat

Steve Vopat
Class of 1982 - Surgeon
Wrenshall, Minn.

Steve is a general surgeon practicing in Cloquet, Minn., where he is Chief of Surgery and serves on the hospital board of directors. Steve and his wife Cheryl are active as the technical and musical directors of New Wine, a youth drama/music troupe.

Headshot - Roy Wilson

Roy Wilson
Class of 1986 - Management
Lincoln, Neb.

Roy is currently the president of the Irrigation group for Landscapes Unlimited, a nationally known golf and recreational development company. He has also gained a reputation for quality irrigation system installations. A couple of projects include: the renovation of the Southern Hills Country Club golf course prior to the 2000 U.S. Open and building a putting green in 1990 for Vice President Dan Quayle in Washington, D.C.

Headshot - Dee (Denise) Welsch

Dee (Denise) Welsch
Class of 1982 - Management
Arvada, Colo.

Dee is employed as a graphic designer for United Technologies Corporation and Pentax U.S.A., Senior Print Production Manager for JWT (J. Walter Thompson Advertising) working on the Ford Motor Company account. She is also a freelance photographer for National Football League, NCAA, and general stock photography for Getty Images. She worked for Fuji Photo during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Manager and sales account representative for commercial/industrial photography lab in Los Angeles, California.

Attended BHSU 

Headshot - Keith Anderson

Keith Anderson
Attended - Entrepreneur
Black Hawk

Keith is a Physical Scientist. He designed relay systems so rural areas from Montana to Australia could have TV. He went to Washington and wrote the basic booklet for TV for the FCC. He is the inventor of Solid State TV and Radio Translators, Block Conversion Home Satellite Systems, Video Descramblers, and Vidiplex Decoders, Ferrite F.M. Detector – US Patent, Bipolar BC Oscillator – US Patent, Variable Null Antenna – US Patent.

Jeff Jacobs

Attended - Entrepreneur
Goodyear, Ariz.

In 1986, Jeff modified his grandfather’s barbecue sauce to give it a Southwest Flair, and he began a business known as Southwest Specialty Food Inc. Today, his company ships to over 3,000 specialty gift, gourmet, airport, upscale grocery, and tourist areas in the United States and Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Japan, as well as servicing over 120,000 direct-mail customers and an ever-expanding base of Internet customers. Jeff also grows the habanero pepper, which is used in 95% of the gourmet items manufactured by his company, on his 80-acre farm in Goodyear, Ariz.

Headshot - Gary Mule Deer

Gary Mule Deer
Attended - Entertainer
Spearfish, South Dakota 

Gary has performed on every major concert stage in the country and made over 350 television appearances, including many on both The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman. He was one of six comedians, along with Jay Leno, to star in the very first HBO Comedy special. For the past 15 years, he has been touring in concert as a special guest with Johnny Mathis. During his career, he has shared the stage with many performers, from Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra to Vince Gill. He performs often on the Grand Ole Opry. On , Gary will appear at Carnegie Hall.

Headshot - Clint Roberts

Clint Roberts
Attended - Government
Fort Pierre

After attending Black Hills State, Clint served three terms in the South Dakota Senate, two years as assistant minority leader and two years as president pro tem. After serving one term in the United States House of Representatives, Clint was appointed international trade representative by President Ronald Reagan. He later served as Secretary of Energy for South Dakota.

Headshot - Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
Attended - Entertainer
Hendersonville, Tenn.

Bruce and his comedic partner Terry Ree have toured the world entertaining crowds with a unique blend of humor. Williams and Ree, often referred to as “The Indian and the White Guy” have entertained thousands, performing over 300 shows every year. The comedy duo has sustained a career of over 30 years in arenas from Niagara Falls to Las Vegas. The duo hosted COUNTRY KITCHEN with Florence Henderson, a show that entertained audiences for 10 years.

Headshot - Gordon Hanson

Gordon Hanson
Attended - Communications

One of the Associated Press’s most prolific writers of national wire stories in the 1970s, Gordon turned down an offer to join AP’s elite cadre because it meant moving his young family to New York City. Instead, he reported some of the most historical events in the Upper Midwest, including presidential campaigns in Iowa and the Leonard Peltier murder trial. Gordon was an infantry observer and radio-gunner aboard B-29’s in the Korean War before attending BHTC.

Headshot - Russell Jonas

Russell Jonas
Attended - Educator

Russell had his first teaching experience in 1915 when, at the age of 13, he helped his regular teacher handle the lower grades in the local Turtle Creek School. Russell served one term as Meade County Superintendent of Schools. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, he worked as Director of Research and Executive Secretary of the Board of Educational Examiners, a position he held until 1942 when he became the third President of Black Hills State. Jonas Hall, on the BHSU campus, was named in his honor.

Headshot - Terry Ree

Terry Ree
Attended - Entertainer
Hendersonville, Tenn.

Terry and his comedic partner Bruce Williams have toured the world entertaining crowds with a unique blend of humor. Williams and Ree, often referred to as “The Indian and the White Guy” have performed at such venues as the Comedy Store in Los Angeles and shared the stage with Garth Brooks, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Randy Travis. They have made appearances on the Nashville Network, on designated cruise ships, and in American Indian Casinos across the nation.

Headshot - David Velte

David Velte
Attended - Sound Technician
Valencia, Calif.

David is a sound technician and works in a variety of familiar and famous venues. He’s been the recipient of seven Emmy Award nominations including an award for his work on the 49th Annual Grammy Awards and the 2002 Opening Ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. David has worked on television shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, Arsenio Hall, MTV Video and Movie Awards, the Miss America Pageants, the Screen Actor Guild Awards, and numerous others.