BHSU Celebrates Presidential Inauguration of Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr.


Jessie Eckles, Contributing Writer

Faculty, staff, and students of Black Hills State University as well as community members celebrated the presidential inauguration of Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. in the Donald E. Young Center on Nov. 15, 2014. Jackson became the university’s tenth president, succeeding Dr. Kay Schallenkamp who retired in May of this year.

Dr. Charles J. Fey, long-time colleague of Jackson and Vice President of Academic Support and Student Affairs at New Jersey Institute of Technology, said Jackson encompasses great leadership skills and is an inspiration to others in reaching their academic goals at BHSU.

“He’s a leader who will honor the commitment to the region and who has given and will give so much to this university [a��] Tom’s vision and leadership in this area will help propel BHSU to make opportunities available to all so that its students and all of its constituencies can live their dream and make a better South Dakota for everyone,” said Fey.

“Spirit of the Hills” became the chosen theme for BHSU’s inauguration, as Jackson hopes that the celebration will serve as a way to unite the university and the community.

“We settled on a theme, ‘The Spirit of The Hills’, and that this event would not be about me. It would actually be about all of you [a��] It is a place to rejuvenate, be centered, be emerged with new ideas and possibilities [a��] BH is a place where anything is possible. It embodies the can-do spirit that says if we want to achieve something, we will. It is a special place filled with caring and motivated faculty, staff, alumni, and students. I have this picture in my mind of a campus and a place that will continue to flourish the next one hundred years because this community, all of you, will expect absolutely nothing less,” said Jackson.

Two past distinguished presidents, Dr. Thomas Flickema and Dr. Kay Schallenkamp, joined the ceremony by placing a presidential medallion around Jackson’s neck while Dean Krogman, President of South Dakota Board of Regents, performed the inauguration. The placing of the medallion on the shoulders represents the office that Jackson will hold at BHSU.

“You bring in energy to the table based on your past experience with your activism, your discipline, and your collaborative management style. We look forward to working with you,” concluded Krogman.