USD and the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation announced this educational initiative during Native American Day ceremonies last October at the historic carving in the Black Hills.

The nonprofit Foundation since 1948 uses private donations and not government taxes in its educational and humanitarian mission to honor the historic traditions and living heritage of all Native Americans.

The students and classes will be housed in a new $2.5 million facility, provided to the Memorial by the T. Denny Sanford Foundation. The ongoing operations of the university student living and learning center will be funded from investment revenues produced by the $5 million Crazy Horse Memorial Centennial Endowment established by Muffy and Paul Christen of Huron and managed by the South Dakota Community Foundation.

USD is selecting the program’s faculty and curriculum. While the program is designed with external funding for Native American students, all applicants will be considered for the select number of student positions. The deadline for students to submit applications to USD is April 30.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for American Indian students to take college preparatory classes and introductory freshmen courses,” said Keith Moore, chief diversity officer at USD. “The Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial provides the first step in helping American Indian students prepare for college and a career. We are honored at USD to assist students with achieving their goals and dreams.”

Students enrolled in classes during the 10-week summer program can sign up for courses in English, math and American Indian Studies. They can earn from six credit hours up to 12 college credits from USD. Crazy Horse will sponsor scholarships to qualified Native Americans to pay for tuition and books, and offer paid student internships in various staff positions at the Crazy Horse Welcome Center/Studio complex for visitors.

Even though Crazy Horse has hosted university-accredited classes for more than a decade, this will be a first in South Dakota—developing a curriculum that celebrates the spirit of Crazy Horse.

“It’s the goal of the program for students to learn more about Crazy Horse, the man,” said Laurie Becvar, dean of the Graduate School and Division of Continuing and Distance Education at The U. “We will explore beyond his reputation as a decorated warrior and as a courageous leader, to help the students learn the values he considered necessary for creating better opportunities for themselves.”

To apply for this opportunity or to learn more about USD’s partnership with the Crazy Horse Memorial, please visit

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