New Mines' student wellness and recreation center receives $2 million gift
from alumnus Stephen D. Newlin
Construction will begin in February 2014
RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 23, 2013) - The
proposed new student wellness and recreation center at the South Dakota
School of Mines & Technology will move forward with a February
groundbreaking thanks to a $2 million gift from alumnus Stephen D.
The gift, combined with a $6.7 million
tax students approved through increased fees, will allow the $8.9
million project to move forward. The new wellness and recreation center
will be built adjoining the current King Center on the south end of
campus and will provide more than 34,000 square feet of new or remodeled
Newlin is chairman, president and chief
executive officer of PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL), the world's
premier provider of specialty polymer materials, services and solutions.
He graduated from the School of Mines in 1976, earning a bachelor's
degree in civil engineering.
"Steve Newlin's generosity to the School
of Mines and its students is both inspiring and humbling. I can't thank
him enough," said President Heather Wilson, D.Phil., who announced the
gift to a group of about 400 students and their parents during a Friday
morning convocation in the King Center's gymnasium. The King Center has
just one court, which is shared by Hardrocker athletics and intramurals
teams alike for basketball and volleyball.
The new construction will add two
basketball courts, a new group fitness room, a low level rock climbing
wall, new student locker rooms and expanded cardio and weight training
Newlin, who has been a major donor to the
university over the years, including recently expanding the Newlin
Memorial Scholarships endowment in the memory of Terry Newlin, recalls
his student days when he and his friends needed a recreational outlet.
"When I was a student at the School of
Mines we played basketball and other activities for exercise and fun,
building lasting friendships along the way, although we didn't often
have a gym available," said Newlin. "Student health and wellness is
extremely important and provides the needed balance with academics to
create the most impactful overall college experience."
"I was impressed with the leadership
shown by students to make this happen. I understand how they feel, and
wanted to help them. The students deserve this," explained Newlin,
adding that he hopes the first pick-up basketball game in the new
facility will be with some alumni friends vs. current students.
Students have been working on the project for three years.
"As students we are appreciative that an
alumnus would give this generous contribution. It's a family connection.
Mr. Newlin longed for an indoor court when he was at Mines, and now he
is making this possible for future generations. On a personal note, this
project is attainable by the time I graduate in 2015," said Student
Association President Mike Leopold, a junior from Frisco, Colo.,
majoring in geological engineering.
Design plans allow for easy public
access, with the main entry facing into the parking lot on the south end
of campus. Currently, the entry to the King Center faces inward toward
campus, requiring members of the community who come to athletic events
to walk around the building.
"The new facility will face outward
toward the community and the world we are preparing our students to
lead," said Wilson, who, since her arrival on campus in June, has
stressed developing a deeper bond between the School of Mines and its
community through partnerships, service and other collaborations.
She added that the student wellness and
recreation center project wouldn't have happened without the student
leadership or the generosity of Newlin. "Leadership and generosity are
virtues we admire and want to continue to develop here at the School of
Mines. We still have more money to raise, but thanks to Steve and our
students, I'm comfortable saying we will make our goal and we will make
Following his graduation from Mines,
Newlin served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health
Service. In 1980, he joined Nalco Chemical Co., where he became
president, chief operating officer and vice-chairman the world's leading
water treatment and process improvement company during his 24 years
In 2003, Newlin was named president of
the Industrial Sector of Ecolab, Inc., an $11.8 billion global developer
and marketer of cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance chemicals,
equipment and services.
In 2006, he was recruited to
Cleveland-based PolyOne Corporation as chairman, president and chief
executive officer, leading the company through a comprehensive
transformation. Today, PolyOne is a $4 billion, leading global
formulator of highly specialized solutions, and has grown its specialty
operating income more than 25-fold under Newlin's leadership.
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 more than 2,400 students
from 32 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average
starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,696 with a 98 percent
placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.