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Ben Reifel: Service

A Career of Service

Ben Reifel’s career consisted of many years of faithful service, especially for American Indians. Because of his service, and the Department of the Interior’s Distinguished Service Award in 1961 for his exceptional career in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Boy Scouts

Ben Reifel was active in Boy Scouts for many years. He served as president of Boy Scouts of America’s Pheasant Council, was a member of the executive committee of the North Central Region and served as chairman of an Indian Advisory committee. He also served as a member of the National American Indian Relationships Committee.

Honorary Doctor of Law Degree
Ben Reifel receives on honorary Doctor of Laws degree from USD in 1971

Honorary Degree

After his retirement in 1970, Ben was honored by several South Dakota colleges and universities. He received honorary doctorates from South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota, and Northern State College.





Other honors

A dormitory at Reifel’s alma mater named a dormitory in his honor.

The Cedar Pass Visitor Center at the Badlands National Park in western South Dakota was renamed the Ben Reifel Visitor Center in 1990.

A Sioux Falls middle school is currently being built and will be called the Ben Reifel Middle School.