South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
South Dakota School of Mines
and Technology
SDSMT seal.png
Motto Invent tomorrow
Established 1885
Type Public
Endowment $34,000,000[1]
President Heather Wilson
Academic staff
Students 2,311
Location Rapid City, South Dakota, United States
44°4′26″N 103°12′22″W / 44.07389°N 103.20611°W / 44.07389; -103.20611Coordinates: 44°4′26″N 103°12′22″W / 44.07389°N 103.20611°W / 44.07389; -103.20611
Campus 120 acres (49 ha)
Fight Song Ramblin' Wreck
Colors Blue & Old Gold[3]
Nickname Hardrockers
Mascot Grubby the Miner
SDSMT logo.png
Geology Museum, SDSMT

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology — commonly referred to as SDSM&T, Tech, or Mines — is a public institution of higher learning in Rapid City, South Dakota, governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Founded in 1885[4] as the Dakota School of Mines, Tech offers degree programs in engineering and science fields. 2,311 students were enrolled in fall 2011.[5] The school athletic teams are called the Hardrockers.


The cornerstone of the first School of Mines building was dedicated on August 19, 1885, with the first classes being held February 21, 1887. John W. Hancher received the first bachelor of science degree at the first commencement on May 31, 1888.[6]

The School of Mines presented exhibits during the 1904 World's Fair[7] and the first licensed radio station in the state of South Dakota was established on campus in December 1911, a full decade before WCAT (the precursor the current campus station KTEQ-FM). The first "M-Day" homecoming celebration occurred on October 5, 1912 with the construction of the "M" on M-Hill, the school's mountain monogram.[8] The school's ROTC battalion was formed in 1918 in response to World War I. The football stadium began construction in 1931 and was completed as "O'Harra Field" in 1938.[9]

The school formally became the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in February 1943.[10]

In September 2012, SDSM&T made national news when Bloomberg announced that it had passed Harvard in the category of starting salaries for graduates.[11] On September 19, Tech President Dr. Robert A. Wharton died due to complications of cancer treatments. During the presidential search, Duane C. Hrncir was the interim President.[12]

On April 25, 2013, the School of Mines announced that Heather Wilson will become the first female president in the school's 128-year history, starting in June 2013.[13]


Mines offers degrees in more than 16 engineering and science fields, as well as 12 master's degree programs and 7 Doctorate programs.[14]

Associate degree (A.A.)

  • General Studies

Bachelor of Science Programs (B.S.)

Master of Science Programs (Masters)

Doctoral Programs (Ph.D)

  • Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Geology and Geological Engineering
  • Materials Engineering and Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
  • Physics (approved, pending funding from Legislature)


The campus is located on the eastern side of Rapid City, on the northern slope of small foothills of the Black Hills. South Dakota Tech currently has three residence halls: Connolly Hall, Palmerton Hall, and Peterson Hall. Connolly was built in the 1940s, Palmerton in the 1960s, and Peterson Hall in 2004. The three combined can house up to 660 students on-campus[15] After completion of Peterson Hall, March Hall and Dake Hall (both built in the 1950s) were demolished in 2006 to make room for additional parking.

The APEX Gallery is located in Classroom Building 211, and hosts a new exhibit every four to six weeks.[16] The gallery hosts contemporary works of artists and scientists, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognized.

Museum of Geology[edit]

Digenite-pyrite ore sample, Butte Mining District, Montana. On display at the Museum, 2010

Opening the same year as the school, the Museum of Geology collects, conserves, curates, interprets, and exhibits paleontologically, mineralogical and geologically significant objects and serves as the repository for such objects from South Dakota and the Northern Great Plains. The public exhibits of the museum have been housed since 1944 in second floor of the then newly completed O'Harra Building, while the preparation laboratories and collections are held in the James E. Martin Paleontology Center, constructed in 2009.

Student organizations[edit]

Active Fraternities on campus include Alpha Chi Sigma, Delta Sigma Phi, Theta Tau, and Triangle. Sororities include Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Omega Epsilon. Social clubs include Lambda Chi Alpha. Student government organizations include the Student Association Senate.

Student media organizations include KTEQ-FM (the campus radio station) and "the Aurum" (the campus newspaper, formerly known as "the Tech" and then "the Raver"). "The Aurum" is the original name of the school newspaper, first published in November, 1901. The newspaper changed its name back to "The Aurum" in January 2010. The campus radio station, KTEQ, was started in 1922 as a low-powered AM station, left the air in 1955, and returned as the FM-station KTEQ in 1971 and airs a freeform programming format.[17]

Amplify College Ministries, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Lutheran Campus Ministry, the Newman Center, and United Campus Ministries are some of the many Christian and religious groups operating on campus. Service organizations on campus include Circle K and Gamers for Service.


The SDSM&T athletic teams are called the Hardrockers, coming from its mining background. The history of the athletic programs stretch back to 1895 when the first school football team formed, originally named the "Longhairs".[18] The school host a variety of college sports which include: football, basketball, volleyball, track, cross country, golf, and men's soccer. The athletic mascot name is Grubby the Miner. The school is a member of the NCAA and competes at the Division II level.[19] The school joined the Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in January 2014 for the majority of its sports, except for men's soccer which joined the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) for men's soccer in 2013 and football beginning in 2014.[citation needed] SDSM&T completed the transition form the NAIA to NCAA in July 2013.[20] The Hardrockers, formerly a member of the NAIA's Dakota Athletic Conference.

On January 20, 2014, SDSM&T has accepted an invitation to join the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.[21]

Notable staff[edit]

Prior to 1897, the head of SDSM&T held the title of Dean rather than president. Earl D. Dake served as acting president from 1947-1948 and 1953-1954.[22] Dr. Duane C. Hrncir served as acting president from 2012-2013 following the death of Dr. Robert A. Wharton.[23]


  1. Dr. Franklin R. Carpenter (1886-1889)
  2. George F. Duck (1889-1890)
  3. Samuel Cushman (1890-1891)
  4. Dr. William P. Headden (1891-1893)
  5. Dr. (Hon.) Walter P. Jenney (1893)
  6. Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy (1893-1897)


  1. Dr. Robert L. Slagle (1898-1905)
  2. Dr. Charles H. Fulton (1905-1911)
  3. Dr. Cleophas C. O'Harra (1911-1935)
  4. Dr. Joseph P. Connolly (1935-1947)
  5. Dr. Warren E. Wilson (1948-1953)
  6. Fay L. Partlo (1954-1966)
  7. Dr. Harvey R. Fraser (1966-1975)
  8. Dr. Richard A. Schleusener (1975-1987)
  9. Dr. Richard J. Gowen (1987-2003)[24]
  10. Dr. Charles P. Ruch (2003-2008)
  11. Dr. Robert A. Wharton (2008-2012)
  12. Dr. Heather A. Wilson (2013–Present)

Other notable staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Graphic Standards" (PDF). South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  4. ^ "Museum of Geology History". South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  5. ^ "Facts". South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Forbes  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "APEX Gallery". South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Looney, Josh (July 15, 2013). "Division II adds new conference, members". NCAA. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  20. ^ "'Rockers enter final year to becoming NCAA member". Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^,-PhD/
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Artus, D. Sherwin". Reuters. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Capital Markets - Darby Emerging Markets Fund, L.P.". Businessweek. 
  27. ^ "Marty J. Jackley's Biography". South Dakota Office of the Attorney General. 
  28. ^ "Tony Jensen". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  29. ^ "Kurt D. Kost". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  30. ^ "South Dakota Governor Walter D. Miller". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "L3 Communications Systems - West - about CSW". Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  33. ^ "". 

External links[edit]