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BHSU Honorary Degree


Honorary Degree Committee

Mission: Solicit nominations and make selections for honorary degree recipients.

Membership: Position:
Steve Elliott, Chair President, BHSU
Jarrett Moore President, Faculty Senate
Nancy Shuck President, Staff Senate
Steve Meeker VP of University Advancement
Jon Kilpinen Provost, BHSU
Megan Reder-Schopp Community Member

BHSU Honorary Degree Recipients

Jim Neiman
2024, Doctorate of Public Service
President/CEO of Neiman Enterprises, and a member of the Black Hills Forest Resource Association, Intermountain Forest Association, Federal Forest Resource Coalition, and the 10th District Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Joe Floyd
2023, Doctorate of Public Service
Recently named Cable TV Pioneer for guiding the construction and purchase of cable systems in South Dakota and surrounding states.  President and COO of Midco until his 2001 retirement.
Dale Lamphere
2022, Doctorate of Humane Letters
Western regions outstanding sculptor, known for Native American and Pioneer sculptures, particularly Arch Dreams in Sioux Falls and Dignity located in Chamberlain.  Lamphere designed "The Hive" located on Jackson Blvd. and at the entrance of BHSU.
Dick Termes
2021, Doctorate of Humane Letters
An American artist known for his creation of spherical art using the six-point perspective system, the unique paintings on large spheres are known as Termespheres. 
Johnnie Johnson
2021, Doctorate of Public Service
CEO of Cenex Harvest States; led cooperatives and its predecessors through several difficult financial periods and helped the cooperative maintain its status as a Fortune 500 company.
Kenneth Hagishi 
2019, Doctorate of Public Service
WWII Veteran and member of the C “Charlie” Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a famous Japanese American special fighting force. 
Lt. Col. Brett Theeler, MD
2019, Doctorate of Science
Deputy Chief of the Department of Neurology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Dr. Lowell Amiotte
2018, Doctorate of Public Service
Recognized for his dedication and commitment to Native American education.

Jodi Archambault-Gillette
2016, Doctorate of Public Service
Former special assistant to President Barack Obama for Native American Affairs.

Jerome Greene
2015, Honorary Doctor of Letters and Literature Degree   
National Park Service employee and award-winning author. 

Michael Shann
2014, Doctor of Public Service
Producer of movie premieres, conferences, educational programs and large scale events including closing ceremony for Olympics. 

Guido Della-Vecchio & Johanna Meier 
2003, Doctorate of Humane Letters
Owners of the Black Hills Passion Play.

Alice Kundert
1985, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
A former teacher who served as Auditor, Secretary of State, and in the state House of Representatives of South Dakota.

Korczak Ziolkowski
1981, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Ziolkowski was the sculptor of Crazy Horse Monument near Custer. 

Leland Case
1980, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Case is a Tuscon, Ariz., author and publisher who donated land and a collection of western history to the college. 

Honorable George McGovern
1978, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
McGovern is a former South Dakota senator and was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972.

Honorable Arthur Westwood
1976, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Westwood is a former pastor of the Spearfish United Methodist Church of Christ.

Honorable JoAnn Haberman
1975, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Haberman, an Eagle Butte native, is considered one of the world’s leading authorities in cancer research.

Honorable James Abourezk
1974, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Abourezk was a former South Dakota senator. 

Honorable Joseph Foss
1973, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Foss was a former South Dakota governor

Joseph Meier
1972. Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Meier was the owner of the Black Hills Passion Play and portrayed Christ in the production.

Lloyd Eaton
1971, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Eaton, a 1940 BHSU graduate, was the head football coach for the University of Wyoming and was later the director of player personnel for the Green Bay Packers. 

Honorable E.Y. Berry
1970, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
Berry was the West River Congressman who helped BHSC get funding for the library learning center that was later named in his honor.