Summer/Fall 2021 Alumni Presidents' Letter


It has now been a year since the merger of the Alumni Association and Foundation and the creation of the Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement (CARA), during which time we have continued to honor our history, traditions and achievements while advancing the quality and stature of South Dakota Mines. We have spent the last year working on a strategic plan, which we look forward to sharing with you in the coming months, strengthening the governance of our organization, meeting with alumni & friends, and working on an increased level of collaboration with the university. In May, Paul Krueger, our new CEO, took the helm and along with the CARA team and board, is committed to serving our alumni and the university.

In July we celebrated Reunion 2021 Lite, which turned out to be one of our biggest all -school 5-year reunions ever with more than 1,100 people attending. A special thank you to Scott (EE 75) and Linda (ChE 75) Rausch for the time, energy, and passion they put in to planning the reunion. They worked tirelessly to plan an event that kept getting bigger as it got closer. Thank you also to the other numerous volunteers who played a role. Enjoy the pictures in this issue and plan now to come home to campus July 10-13, 2025 for our next reunion!

We celebrate our Hardrocker traditions during the annual Rocker Days (M Week) including climbing M Hill. Dr. Scott Kenner (CE 77) is spearheading an effort to replace the M, add a new trail and rock garden and restore the plaques. The project has a $125,000 fundraising goal. Please consider helping us restore this important landmark. Learn more in this issue on page 10 how you can help.

Congratulations to this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners, Bill Betten (Phys/EE 77), George (Rusty) Gray (MetE 76), Tim Klaus (ChE 87), Steve Vanderboom (CE 75), and Lisa Zacher (Chem 85). We celebrate your successes and look forward to recognizing you at commencement on December 18th!

Our Hardrocker family is strong, but we need to continue to support our alma mater. Please tell a prospective student about the excellent education provided at South Dakota Mines and encourage him or her to attend. Continue supporting CARA and the university with your time and financial gifts. Participate in a virtual session from campus or in person if we are in your area.

We look forward to the academic year ahead and hope to see you at an upcoming alumni event. Enjoy the final months of 2021.