South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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South Dakota School of Mines
& Technology
SDSMT seal.png
Former names
Dakota School of Mines
South Dakota School of Mines
MottoInvent tomorrow
Endowment$48.7 million (2016)[1]
PresidentDr. James Rankin[2]
Academic staff
Students2,895 (2016)[4]
Location, ,
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
Campus120 acres (49 ha)
ColorsBlue & Old Gold[5]
AthleticsNCAA Division II (2011–present)
MascotGrubby the Miner
SDSMT logo.png
Geology Museum, SDSMT

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology—commonly referred to as SD Mines, Tech, or SDSM&T—is a public institution of higher learning in Rapid City, South Dakota, governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Founded in 1885,[6] the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD Mines placement rate for graduates is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $63,000. The school athletic teams are called the Hardrockers. View the SD Mines Virtual Tour and the Online Viewbook.


The cornerstone of the first School of Mines (then known as the Dakota 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.[7] The school became known as the South Dakota School of Mines in 1889 after admission of South Dakota as a state to the United States.[8]

The School of Mines presented exhibits during the 1904 World's Fair[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

The school formally became the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in February 1943.[12]

In September 2012, SDSM&T made national news when Bloomberg announced that it had passed Harvard in the category of starting salaries for graduates.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15]


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


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[17] 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.[18] 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, mineralogically 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,Lambda Chi Alpha, Theta Tau, and Triangle. Sororities include Alpha Delta Pi, and Alpha Omega Epsilon. 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.[19]

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".[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] Dr. Duane C. Hrncir served as acting president from 2012-2013 following the death of Dr. Robert A. Wharton.[25]


  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)[26]
  10. Dr. Charles P. Ruch (2003-2008)
  11. Dr. Robert A. Wharton (2008-2012)
  12. Dr. Heather A. Wilson (2013–2017)[27]
  13. Dr. James M. Rankin (2017-Present)

Other notable staff[edit]

  • Ernest Allmendinger, football head coach (1914)
  • William Arbegast, director of the Advanced Materials Processing and Joining Center (2001-2009)
  • Maj. Dr. Haley Armstrong, head of the Music Department (2016-present)
  • Dr. Philip R. Bjork, geology and paleontology professor (1975-2000)
  • William Phipps Blake, originally offered position of first dean
  • Gary Boner, longest serving (1971-1989) and winningest football head coach at SDSM&T
  • Josh Boyer, football defensive coordinator (2005)
  • Dr. Wendell E. Dunn, Jr., adjunct professor of metallurgy (?-2007)
  • Ray D. Hahn, men's basketball head coach (1930-1935) and football head coach (1929–1934)
  • Dan Kratzer, football head coach (2005-2011)
  • Erv Mondt, football head coach (1990–1994)
  • Dr. Willard Lincoln Roberts, geology professor (1923-1987) and namesake of Robertsite.
  • Dr. Walter A. Rosenblith, physics professor (1943-1947)
  • Dave Strong, football head coach (1941) and men's basketball head coach (1941-1942)
  • Dr. Jack Weyland, author and physics professor (?-1971)
  • Dr. John Wesley Willard, professor of chemistry (1950s - 1960s)
  • Dr. Gerald W. Wolff, adjunct professor of history (1996-1999)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "The Arch: Alumni Report 2016" (PDF). South Dakota Mines Foundation. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  2. ^,-James/
  3. ^ "Fast Facts 2011-12". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  4. ^ "Enrollment at Mines Up Slightly, Number of SD Students Rising". Mine News. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Graphic Standards" (PDF). South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
  6. ^ "Museum of Geology History". South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  8. ^ "University History". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  13. ^ Forbes Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "School of Mines loses its leader | News". 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  15. ^ "Ex-congresswoman to lead School of Mines | News". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  16. ^ "All SD Mines Degrees". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  17. ^ "Housing". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  18. ^ "APEX Gallery". South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  19. ^ "History of KTEQ". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
  21. ^ Looney, Josh (July 15, 2013). "Division II adds new conference, members". NCAA. Archived from the original on July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  22. ^ "'Rockers enter final year to becoming NCAA member". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  23. ^ "Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference - South Dakota School of Mines & Technology approved as 15th member of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference". 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  24. ^ "Roster of the presidents :: Campus Archives - SDSMT". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2014-02-19.
  26. ^ "Dakota State University". Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  27. ^ "Senate approves Heather Wilson to be Trump's Air Force secretary". 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  28. ^ "Artus, D. Sherwin". Reuters. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  29. ^ "Capital Markets - Darby Emerging Markets Fund, L.P." Businessweek.
  30. ^ "Marty J. Jackley's Biography". South Dakota Office of the Attorney General.
  31. ^ "Tony Jensen". Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  32. ^ "Kurt D. Kost". Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  33. ^ "South Dakota Governor Walter D. Miller". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  34. ^ "USS George Philip (FFG 12)". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  35. ^ "L3 Communications Systems - West - about CSW". Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  36. ^ "".
  37. ^ "Gary Veurink, Dow Chemical Co/The: Profile & Biography". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-06-01.

External links[edit]