Native Sun News: Oglala Lakota College celebrates a milestone

The following story was written and reported by Ernestine Chasing Hawk, Native Sun News Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

The hooding ceremony for Oglala Lakota College students receiving their bachelors of social work degrees took place on the bridge near the Old Story Book Island Gazebo in Rapid City, South Dakota. Photo by Ernestine Chasing Hawk

Bachelors of Social Work Hooding Ceremony a first for Oglala Lakota College
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Editor

RAPID CITY –– When the graduating class in Social Work from the He Sapa Campus of Oglala Lakota College were asked what they wanted for their graduation ceremony, they said caps and gowns and Black Hills gold rings.

What they also asked for was a first for OLC, a hooding ceremony. The hood, or caputium, is a special part of the academic regalia that denotes scholarly and professional achievements. The distinctive colors of the hoods represent the official colors of the university and the colors appropriate for their profession.

The Hooding Ceremony took place this past Saturday, June 13, on the bridge near the Old Story Book Island Gazebo and prior to official OLC graduation ceremonies that will take place June 21 at the Piya Wiconi Campus in Kyle.

Professor Katheryn Kidd Department Chair of Social Work Practicum Coordinator who is retiring this year and who taught her last class at OLC, performed the Hooding Ceremony. “All of them have reached an educational milestone in their careers, and I am proud of them,” Kidd said.

Students who were hooded at the ceremony include; Lacey Thompson, Laticia Ryan, Jeremy Vu, Lorie Brave Heart, Rebecca L. Waters, Amanda Cordova, Sarah Beare and Janelle Cantrell. Not present but receiving their hoods and Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work were Scott Means, son of the late Russell Means and Sheena Means.

According to Lacey Thompson, the students wanted to have caps, gowns and hoods so they paid for them out of their own pockets which showed their commitment and dedication to reaching this milestone in their educational endeavors.

Thompson and Vu will be furthering their education in Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

“I am very happy to be graduating after four and a half years. I am a single parent going to school and keeping a job. It’s bittersweet, but it’s been a long time coming,” Thompson said.

Prior to the ceremony, a picnic for all the He Sapa Campus graduates that was enjoyed by more than 75 people. Bryant High Horse, who teaches Lakota Psychology at OLC performed the opening prayer.

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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