The Robinson Award is named for South Dakota's first state historian, Doane Robinson, and his son, Will G. Robinson, who followed in his father's footsteps and was the third director of the State Historical Society. It is the highest and most prestigious of the annual Governor's Awards for History. The award recognizes a lifetime of historical achievements and contributions.
Karolevitz is being recognized for his dedication to preserving South Dakota history through his books and his more than 30 years of service with the South Dakota State Historical Society Board of Trustees.
Karolevitz, often called "South Dakota's most prolific history writer," has written more than 35 books. He is also well-known for his newspaper column, "Writer at Large," which has appeared in a number of South Dakota newspapers, including the Vermillion Plain Talk.
Karolevitz was first elected to the board of trustees in 1973; he retired in June 2005. During his tenure, the society moved into the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center and the museum's permanent exhibits were completed. Karolevitz also reviewed many nominations for the National Register of Historic Places. He was a regular contributor to the society's quarterly journal South Dakota History, and played a major role in establishing the South Dakota State Historical Society Press in 1997.
Governor's Awards for History are awarded both to individuals and organizations who demonstrate excellence in the sharing, collection, preservation and interpretation of South Dakota history.
"These individuals and organizations all deserve our thanks and gratitude for helping to preserve the history of South Dakota," Gov. Mike Rounds said. "Through their work, our state's history will be available for future generations. They serve as examples of what is being accomplished through South Dakota's 2010 Initiative goal of enhancing history as a tool for economic development and cultural tourism."
The South Dakota State Historical Society, an office of the Department of Tourism and State Development, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society's world-class museum, the State Archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices.