Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Mines dedicates Beck Ballroom in Surbeck Center

Doug and Leah Beck speak with students, faculty and staff at the dedication of the Beck Ballroom on Friday, Sept. 15 in the Surbeck Center at South Dakota Mines.

South Dakota Mines dedicated the Beck Ballroom at the Surbeck Center on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, honoring donors Doug and Leah Beck, who donated $1 million toward the university’s Surbeck Center expansion project. The ballroom is home to many university and community events, bringing together students, faculty, staff, alumni and Rapid City citizens throughout the year.

Doug, a 1980 South Dakota Mines graduate in electrical engineering, was the third generation of his family to attend South Dakota Mines. He went on to lead Harold Beck & Sons, an electric actuator manufacturer in Newtown, PA, for 27 years as President and CEO. He was the third generation to own the business, founded in 1936 by his grandfather Harold C. Beck. The company was named the 2022 Member Company of the Year by the World Trade Center of Philadelphia. Doug received a South Dakota Mines Distinguished Alumni Award in 2022.

“We’re very happy to be supporting the Surbeck Center Expansion, and the improvements planned will be a great addition to this campus,” said Doug. “Every gift we give is really for the students. We want them to have the resources they need to be successful and the comforts that help them have a good experience while they’re here.”

The Surbeck Center Expansion will add much-needed dining hall and conference space, as well as increase accessibility for student support offices such as Women in Science and Engineering, Counseling and Veterans Resources. Additionally, the Admissions Office will relocate to the Surbeck Center to provide prospective families with a distinct first impression and an immediate connection to the culture and energy of campus.

"Those of us who are serving students in the Surbeck Center have been watching the momentum grow as we fundraise for the expansion,” said Dr. Joe Dlugos, Dean of Students at Mines. “The levels of generosity and support for this project are truly inspiring. Students leave their mark all over our campus, but I think the memories made in the Surbeck Center are especially significant.”

  The Beck’s gift is very significant in the ongoing effort to raise $7.1 million for the Surbeck Center Expansion. The Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement is working hard to raise the remaining $1.8 million. Read more here about the ongoing fundraising effort.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Gray Hughes, 605-394-2554, Gray.Hughes@sdsmt.edu