Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Letter from President Wilson

It’s hard to believe that we just passed mid-terms and the semester is already half over.

It’s been a great start.

The enrollment at the School of Mines has been steadily increasing as the reputation of the University continues to grow.  This year, we grew by 6% and have just under 2,800 students.  The region needs more well prepared engineers and scientists and we are doing our part to help meet that need.

Undergraduate and graduate student groups are both increasing. The freshmen class includes 591 first-time, full-time bachelor-degree seeking students, a 9.2 percent growth compared to one year ago.  Graduate student enrollment increased 4.8 percent compared to last year.  Mines has twice as many PhD students as we had a decade ago.

This year’s students come from 45 states, and 39 foreign countries.  We have 150 veterans on campus and were just named one of the best schools for veterans again this year.  We are also, for the 17th year in a row, one of the 100 Best College Buys in America.

While Mines is growing, the quality of the students coming to the university is staying high. The average high school GPA for first-time freshmen was 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

With a growing student body, we are able to start some new programs and expand the variety of things for students on campus.

We now offer a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering and this is the second year for our PhD in Physics and our Bachelor’s degree in Applied Biology.

The new Applied Biological Sciences (ABS) program is by far the fastest-growing major.  Within four years, we expect that Applied Biological Sciences will be one of the five largest majors at Mines.  We expect our graduates will fill a need in the health professions, as well as the growing bio-tech industry in South Dakota.  The Applied Biological Sciences program allows students to specialize in one of three areas: biomedical engineering, pre-health professions, and molecular biology/genetics. Mines is the only school in South Dakota that offers an undergraduate degree related to Biomedical Engineering.

This growth will also affect our facilities.  Thanks to the leadership of students and the support of alumni, the Wellness Center will open in April.  The Loop Road will be finished at the end of October (with 75 more parking spaces).  This summer we had 60 smaller infrastructure projects going on throughout the campus.  And, we will go to the legislature in January to ask them to approve funds to finish the upgrade of the remainder of the old chemistry building.

There are a lot of things I like at Mines, but, for me, the greatest joy is the students.  I have enjoyed getting to know you.  Thanks for making it a great start to the year!


Heather Wilson
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

No comments:

Post a Comment