The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (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 as the Dakota School of Mines, Tech offers degree programs in engineering and science fields. 2,354 students were enrolled in fall 2010. 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.
The School of Mines presented exhibits during the 1904 World's Fair 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). 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. 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.
The school formally became the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in February 1943.
In September 2012, SDSM&T made national news when Bloomberg announced that it had passed Harvard in the category of starting salaries for graduates. On September 19, Tech President Dr. Robert A. Wharton passed away due to complications of cancer treatments. During the presidential search, Duane C. Hrncir was the interim President.
On April 25th, 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.
Mines offers degrees in more than 16 engineering and science fields, as well as 12 master's degree programs and 7 Doctorate programs.
Associates Degree (A.A.)
Bachelor of Science Programs (B.S.)
Master of Science Programs (Masters)
Doctoral Programs (Ph.D)
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  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.
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.
Active Fraternities on campus include Triangle, Alpha Chi Sigma, Theta Tau, and Delta Sigma Phi. A colony of Lambda Chi Alpha was established in 2012. Sororities include Alpha Omega Epsilon and Alpha Delta Pi. Student government organizations include the Resident Hall Association and the Student Association.
Student media organizations include KTEQ (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.
Amplify College Ministries, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lutheran Campus Ministry, United Campus Ministries, and the Newman Center 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". 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 currently in the third and final year of transitioning from the NAIA to NCAA Division II. The Hardrockers, formerly a member of the NAIA's Dakota Athletic Conference, are currently an NCAA D-II Independent, but will join the Great Northwest Athletic Conference for men's soccer in 2013 and football beginning in 2014.
SDSM&T's arguably chief rival is Black Hills State University, located less than 50 miles away in Spearfish, South Dakota. The last football game of the regular season between the two schools is called the Black Hills Brawl, whose winner gets the traveling Homestake Trophy.