Randalls receive Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
At the 2023 Legacy Banquet, Ronald F. and Charlys F. Randall were surprised with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for their contributions to DWU and the lasting legacy of the Randall Scholarship.
Known best as the former owners of Randall Stores Inc., a chain of 29 grocery stores headquartered in Mitchell, the Randalls are noted for their philanthropy and support of several organizations. The Randalls are the sole benefactors of the prestigious Randall Scholarship at DWU, which is the highest academic award available to DWU students. 2023 marks 40 years since the first Randall Scholarship was awarded. Over its 40-year span, there have been 225 Randall Scholars who have made their marks on the world, going on to prominent careers in the fields of medicine, law, education, ministry and other distinguished professions.
Read more about the Randalls:
Ron, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., led the company, serving as president/
chairman of the board, president/CEO and director of operations before its sale to SuperValu. The
couple also owned Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Central South Dakota, which included a plant in Mitchell
and three sales and distribution centers around the state, prior to selling it to the Chesterman Company.
Ron was a director at both Commercial Bank and Dakota Manufacturing, and he served on the board of
directors of the Food Marketing Institute.
Charlys was educated as a teacher with B.S. and M.S. degrees from South Dakota State University and
the University of South Dakota. She worked as a teacher and a middle school guidance counselor, while
also performing administrative duties for the Randall Stores organization. Charlys loaned her talents to
the DWU Board of Trustees, serving from 1983 to 1995.
The couple are also longtime supporters of area endeavors, such as the Abbott House, Mitchell Area
Adjustment Training Center and the Middle Border Museum, now known as the Dakota Discovery
Ron and Charlys are the sole benefactors of the prestigious Randall Scholarship at Dakota Wesleyan
University. In 1983, they created an endowment in honor of Ron’s father, F. Dwain “Doc” Randall,
establishing the scholarship, the highest academic award available at DWU.
2023 marks 40 years since the first Randall Scholarship was awarded. These scholarships are awarded
on a competitive basis to incoming freshmen who exhibit outstanding academic achievement and
leadership qualities. Over its 40-year span, there have been 225 Randall Scholars who have made their
marks on the world, going on to prominent careers in the fields of medicine, law, education, ministry and
other distinguished professions. In fact, today there are second-generation Randall Scholars studying at
DWU. Randall Scholar alumni continue to show their dedication to Dakota Wesleyan, having contributed
over a half million dollars back to the university.
Several of those scholars have reported back to DWU of the impact the scholarship had on their lives,
including phrases like “shaped my entire life;” “taught me to pay it forward;” “selfless sacrifice,” “all my
success is owed to their generosity;” and, simply, “thank you.”
In recognition of your dedication to academic excellence and the cumulative effect your gift has had
on two generations of Dakota Wesleyan students, it is our great privilege to present you each with an
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.