2017 Inductee Tom Shortbull and Chair Richard Gowen KNBN Interview

Each year, 10 people are inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. And this year, a familiar face from Rapid City is among the mix.

Thomas Shortbull is a collaborator and advocate for Native Americans and education. Shortbull is currently the president of Oglala Lakota College, helping students across the state get their degrees.

Shortbull said that his nomination is a good way to show off the hard work of Oglala Lakota educators.

“I’m really appreciative of the South Dakota Hall of Fame for inducting me because it allows me to spotlight the important work that our college does for giving our college students an opportunity to get a college degree,” he said.

Shortbull began making a difference from the very beginning. He was selected to coordinate of the Task Force on Indian-State Government Relations. He served the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations as a South Dakota state senator, and served as Oglala Lakota College’s president not once, but twice.

Chair of the South Dakota Hall of Fame, Richard Gowen, said Shortbull is vital to the community, and he is honored to induct him.

“Tom is an outstanding educator,” Gowen said. “He has shown over the years his involvement. He has served in our legislature; he has served in several very important responsibilities. So we’re very pleased that Tom was nominated and we were able to elect him to be a 2017 inductee in the South Dakota Hall of Fame.”

Not only is it an honor for Gowen, but also for Shortbull as a nominee.

“It’s a great feeling because it validates your career and the work that I do on behalf of my college on the Pine Ridge Reservation,” Shortbull said.

The college president also said to stay true to what you believe.

“Don’t lose your positions because 9 times out of 10, your positions on what is right – is right. And don’t lose heart.”

Shortbull will officially be inducted into the hall of fame on Sept. 8 in Chamberlain. The event goes through Sept. 9.

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