Education leader Tom Kilian dies

The founder of Kilian Community College and long-time Sioux Falls education and community leader has died.Tom Kilian died Saturday at his Sioux Falls home. He was 90.A memorial service to celebrate his life will be at 11 am Wednesday at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Burial will be at West Nidaros Lutheran Church near Crooks.He was born on March 23, 1924, in Vilas, and was a graduate of Howard High School, Augustana College, Boston University for his masters degree and Michigan State University at Lansing for his PhD. He attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Business in 1971.Kilian began his lifelong career in higher education at Waldorf College, Forest City, IA. In 1952, he began working for Augustana College as director of public relations and admissions and later as vice president of development and executive vice president. He served the college for more than 30 years.In 1974, Gov. Richard Kneip appointed him South Dakota Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs. In 1976 he began developing a community college program, the forerunner of Kilian Community College. He founded the Rural Initiative Center, a consultation and educational resource center, in 1987.Kilian served with more than 100 local, state, regional and national service-based organizations including as co-founder of the Center for Western Studies at Augustana and co-founder of South Dakota Public Television.The family suggests that memorials be sent to Kilian Community College, The Center for Western Studies at Augustana College, the South Dakota State Historical Society, or the First Lutheran Church Endowment Fund.article source