In an effort to honor two local Native American leaders, Black Hills State University will name a residence hall and a center for two influential South Dakota leaders.
The newest residence hall on the campus, opened in 2015, will be renamed the Lionel R. Bordeaux Residence Hall recognizing the accomplishments of one of the longest-serving college presidents in the United States.
Bordeaux is a Black Hills State University alum from 1964. Less than a decade after graduating, he became president of Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota, and has served in that role for more than 40 years.
“Lionel Bordeaux stands for service, education, humility, strength, perseverance, and justice. With this naming, Bordeaux’s influence will inspire students at BHSU for generations to come,” said Dr. Tom Jackson Jr., Black Hills State University president, in a release about the Native American leaders. Jackson also noted that Bordeaux has championed civil liberties, human rights, Native rights, and higher education for people in South Dakota and throughout the world.
This isn’t the first time Bordeaux has been honored. He was honored in 2013 for being “on the front lines of the tribal college movement,” read a proclamation noting how far tribal colleges have come.
Bordeaux isn’t the only Native American leader to be honored at the university, the BHSU Center for American Indian Studies will now be known as the Jace DeCory Center for American Indian Studies in honor of DeCory’s commitment to students and role as an educator in the Native community. Associate professor emeritus DeCory retired from a 33-year teaching career at BHSU recently.
“Professor DeCory’s role as an elder and leader within the Native community is strong. She has been the soul of the American Indian Studies program at BHSU and an amazing influence on not just Native students but all students,” said Jackson.
A formal naming ceremony for both buildings will be held this fall.