BHSU announces alumni award recipients to be honored during homecoming

SPEARFISH –– Black Hills State University (BHSU) will honor five alumni during the 2019 Swarm Week homecoming celebration Sept. 22-28.

The recipients will be honored during the Alumni Awards Luncheon at noon Sept. 27 in the Joy (Proctor) Krautschun Alumni/Foundation Welcome Center in Spearfish. Tickets for the Luncheon must be purchased in advance by contacting the BHSU Alumni Office at 642-6385. Seating is limited. Tickets are $20 per person.

The 2019 Alumni Awards Recipients include: 

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Wayne R. Mundt, Class of 1970, of Spearfish

Wayne R. Mundt was a combat medic in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. Mundt was awarded the Silver Star Medal for Valor, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and several other honors for his service and gallantry in action. He was wounded on three occasions. After discharge from the Army, Mundt worked in state government encouraging companies to expand to South Dakota. He then started a general contracting company, was successful in real estate sales and development, and retired from the oil industry. Mundt coached numerous youth activities in Spearfish including boxing, basketball, and track. He is a supporter of Wounded Warrior Outdoors, and is an avid Yellow Jacket sports fan. Mundt serves on the BHSU Board of Directors, Capital Campaign, and Real Estate Acquisition Committee. Mundt and his wife are the proud parents of four sons, and have generously included BHSU in their estate planning.

Excellence in Education Award: Tracy (Surdez) Vik, Class of 1995, of Canton

Tracy (Surdez) Vik serves as principal of Sonia Sotomayor Spanish Immersion Elementary School in Sioux Falls. In 2006, she and her daughter founded Project Warm-Up to create blankets for area youth in need. To date, over 22,000 blankets have been delivered to children due to homelessness, financial and health concerns, loss of a parent, placement in foster care, or for other tragedies. Vik received several awards for her service including the 2018 South Dakota District Sertoma Service to Mankind Award and the 2014 South Dakota Education Association Human and Civil Rights Award. She previously served as assistant principal at Edison Middle School in Sioux Falls, as a technology integration specialist at the South Dakota Department of Education, and as a special education teacher in Converse County in Wyoming. Vik is married to Todd Vik and together they have four children.

Special Achievement Award: Les Lindskov, Class of 1971, of Isabel

Les Lindskov was chairman for the Black Hills State Rodeo his senior year and went on to be named SDRA Champion Bull Rider in 1971. He returned to the family ranch in Isabel after graduation. Lindskov and his wife, Marcia, and all four of their sons have expanded their family’s farm equipment dealerships across the state along with farm and ranch holdings in western South Dakota and Utah. Their family has entertained over 400 clients at their hunting destinations, Firesteel Creek Lodge and Timber Lake Lodge. The family is currently developing land in several states including the Black Hills, which they have done for over 30 years. Lindskov served as Game, Fish, & Parks Commissioner for eight years. In addition to his service at BHSU, Lindskov is also a board member for the South Dakota Community Foundation.

Special Service Award: Everett Follette, Class of 1955, of Spearfish

Everett Follette pioneered the return of earth science in South Dakota high school curricula and proposed the thriving outdoor education major at BHSU. Follette taught at schools in Sturgis and Custer, and served in the Army, before becoming a science/math professor at BHSU in 1965. He taught at BHSU for 30 years. Prior to his retirement, Follette received a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Iceland to develop a course in teaching science methods. He has served as a volunteer math aide/instructor at Spearfish schools for 16 years. In 2019, Follette and his wife, Joann, received the “Tip of the Spear” Award from Visit Spearfish for their efforts in establishing the Big Hill cross-country skiing trail system. The Follettes have four children, nine grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.


Young Alumni Achievement Award: Cheryl (Cowan) Westland, Class of 2010, of Belle Fourche

Cheryl (Cowan) Westland is the owner and operator of Prairie Hills Pharmacy in Belle Fourche. Born and raised on a ranch in Montana, the values of hard work and dedication inspired Westland to pursue a degree in biology at BHSU and a pharmacy degree at the University of Montana. During her time at BHSU, Westland received the Outstanding Rodeo Scholarship Award from Lantis Enterprises and participated in barrel racing, team roping, and breakaway roping as a student-athlete. Westland is proud to provide personalized care as a pharmacist to help her patients “live their best life.” She says owning her own pharmacy has been an exciting and rewarding experience. Westland and her husband, Curt, have one son. 

For a full listing of BHSU Swarm Week events, visit

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