Sinte Gleska Creating Alumni AssociationAug 15th, 2001 | By tcj | Category: 13-1: Honoring Our Students & Alumni, Tribal College News
Because of limited resources and uncertain futures, tribal colleges’ efforts to keep records of graduates have been limited in the past. With help from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, however, Sinte Gleska University (SGU) has created a database of 600 alumni. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe chartered Sinte Gleska in South Dakota 30 years ago. From his work with the graduates, SGU Alumni Affairs Director Kenneth W. Roubideaux Jr. gleans both data and significant comments about their experiences.
Marlys J. Walkling, who earned her bachelor’s degree in education from SGU, went on to earn a master’s degree. She said, “Sinte Gleska University brought me into a new and exciting world…. Class discussions were always interesting because you had various opinions from a variety of ages, 18-60, and backgrounds. They made you think about what you believe and why.”
Denise K. Worcester, a non-Indian, also earned her bachelor’s degree in education from SGU. She wrote, “I came to school to hurry and get a degree. What I graduated with was an education in diversity, cultural awareness, strength of character, and a huge respect of Lakota thought and philosophy. It came through the gentle patience of my instructors as I floundered through my prejudice and racism.”
Working with the alumni, Roubideaux hopes to create a mentorship program, linking graduates with current students; about 200 of the SGU graduates are employed in the local area, working for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and local schools. He is also developing an alumni directory. Roubideaux studied the Native American alumni associations at Dartmouth College, Haskell Indian Nations University, and Stanford University, using some of their material to create a constitution and bylaws for the SGU association. Anyone interested in seeing the documents or the quarterly newsletter for creating their own alumni associations can contact Roubideaux at (605) 856-4740. Roubideaux has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley in Native American Studies and archeology.