News Releases

Clarkson Family, Pioneer Bank and Davis FLP gift to benefit Mines freshmen
Release Date Friday, February 28, 2014
From left: Earl Davis of Davis FLP; Jeb Clarkson, senior vice president and senior trust officer with the F.L. Clarkson Family Foundation; Ferman Clarkson and Mary Buchholz of the Clarkson Foundation; Jim Morcom, senior vice president of Pioneer Bank & Trust and manager of the Rapid City West branch; Kevin Whitlock, president and chief executive officer of Pioneer Bank & Trust; Brad Johnson, vice president of development with the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Foundation; and Rick Messer, senior vice president of Pioneer Bank & Trust and manager of the Rapid City South branch.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Feb. 28, 2014) – The F.L. Clarkson Family Foundation, Pioneer Bank & Trust and Davis FLP have committed $50,000 to freshmen scholarships at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

The commitment will help support the university’s growing enrollment. With 553 first-time students, this year’s freshman class increased by 20 percent compared to the previous year. Mines’ overall enrollment is 2,640. 

One of the university’s strategic priorities is to increase enrollment to 3,500 by 2020, and offering scholarships to incoming freshmen is key to achieving that goal. One of the deciding factors on whether some students will be able to enroll at Mines is scholarships.

“In an effort to follow two of the Clarkson Family Foundation’s tenets, one being to promote education and the other being to champion the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, we are pleased to be able to support students seeking higher education in South Dakota’s universities and trade schools. Youth are the future of this state and of this nation and the goal is to help them to become hard working, taxpaying, contributing members of society,” said Jeb H. Clarkson of the F.L. Clarkson Family Foundation.

Mines President Heather Wilson thanked the Clarkson Family Foundation, Pioneer Bank and Davis FLP for their gift and said a scholarship is a great investment in student success.

“A freshman scholarship can mean the difference between a family deciding they can afford college or deciding to choose another path,” Wilson said. “We continue to get applications from highly qualified students who will be able to do the hard work to succeed at Mines, and if we can narrow the gap between what an education at Mines costs and what a family can afford, then we all benefit.” 

Once new freshmen have enrolled at Mines, chances are they will stay throughout their college careers. In the fall of 2013, the first- to second-year retention rate from fall 2012 was 79 percent.

With a 98 percent placement rate for its graduates, the School of Mines continues to prepare leaders for the high demand in science and engineering fields. The average starting salary for a Mines graduate is $62,400.


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at