News Releases

Mines Alumni Gifts Top $1 Million to Honor President Harvey Fraser
Release Date Monday, June 9, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (June 9, 2014) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology announced today that the new two-court gymnasium being built at the university will be named for former School of Mines President Harvey Fraser.  The new gym is under construction and expected to be complete by early 2015.


“Generous gifts from Mines alumni Bill Brodsky and Larry Pearson took us over the top,” said Mines President Heather Wilson.  “Over 300 alumni and family and friends of Harvey Fraser have contributed to the effort, and we met our goal.”

Fraser, who passed away on Nov. 10, 2013, served as Mines president from 1966 to 1975.  The new gymnasium will be part of the new 24,750-square-foot Stephen D. Newlin Family Student Wellness & Recreation Center being built as an addition to the King Center.

Bill Brodsky, a former quarterback for the Hardrocker football team, is originally from Broadus, Montana. He is a 1968 mechanical engineering graduate, who has spent his career in the railroad industry and is president of the Washington Transportation Group in Missoula, Mont.

“Dr. Harv changed my life and ultimately became a very good friend.  One rarely has an opportunity to try to honor one of life’s heroes and I feel this is a great opportunity, with the support of his family, to do just that,” said Brodsky.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mines in 1968, Brodsky served in the Army Corps of Engineers until 1970.  After returning from Vietnam, he began his career with Milwaukee Railroad.  He earned an M.B.A from the University of Chicago in 1987 and had a very successful career in the railroad industry.

Pearson, of Wausa, Neb., received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mines in 1972 and an M.B.A from Creighton University in 1981. Pearson began his career in energy first with Peoples Natural Gas, Northern Natural Gas, and Enron Gas Supply Company.  In 1988, Pearson joined Tenaska, Inc., and in 2002, he was named president and CEO of operations at Tenaska.

“Harvey Fraser was a positive influence on the students, like myself, who attended the School of Mines during his tenure as president.  Linda and I are glad to help to memorialize his legacy by supporting the Harvey Fraser Gymnasium and scholarships, which will serve School of Mines students for years to come,” Pearson said.

Now retired, Pearson remains an active member of the Mines community, serving on the Foundation Board of Trustees and Mechanical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board.

The alumni, along with their spouses, Judy Brodsky and Linda Pearson, combined with more than 300 contributors ranging from Mines alumni to Fraser friends and family, to complete the gymnasium naming project.

The Harvey Fraser Scholarships

With the support and encouragement of the Brodskys and Pearsons, the School of Mines also announced today that it will do more to help students and honor Harvey Fraser.

Brodsky and Pearson will match contributions up to $250,000 for two scholarship funds:  the Fraser Academic Scholarship fund and the Fraser Athletic Scholarship fund.

“This generous matching scholarship gift will help us raise funds for more young people to get a great education at the School of Mines,” said Wilson.  “It’s a great way to honor President Fraser’s commitment to athletics, scholarship and leadership.”

Donors will have the option of directing gifts to the Fraser Academic Scholarship fund or the Fraser Athletic Scholarship fund.

Gifts can be made by visiting the Foundation website at or by contacting project coordinator Larry Simonson at  or at (605) 394-6661 or (605) 484-4147. 

Video embedded above, featuring President Heather Wilson and Harvey Fraser’s daughter, Joan Fraser, is available on YouTube at


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