Mines News

Release Date Thursday, January 24, 2019

Craig Tieszen Memorial Scholarship Established at Mines

RAPID CITY, SD (Jan. 24, 2019) – The Craig Tieszen Memorial Scholarship has been established to honor the memory of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology alumnus who died Nov 22, 2017, in a kayaking accident in the Cook Islands of the South Pacific.  

Tieszen graduated from SD Mines in 1971 with a degree in chemical engineering. He then served as a volunteer teacher in the Peace Corps for four years in Kenya, Africa. In 1975, Tieszen started his 32-year career with the Rapid City Police Department, ultimately serving as police chief from 2000 to 2007, after which he retired. He represented District 34 in the South Dakota State Senate from 2009 to 2016 and was serving his first term in the House of Representatives when he died. In December 2012, Tieszen was invited to speak at the SD Mines 166th commencement ceremony where he received the honorary title of Doctor of Science.

Tieszen was a dedicated public servant. As a law enforcement officer and then lawmaker, he promoted the philosophy of creating opportunities for children and adults to learn to be positive contributors to society. His 35 years of volunteering at The Club for Boys in Rapid City, along with 35 years of basketball officiating, reflected his desire to positively guide young people in their journey to adulthood. In addition to his public service, he sat on many nonprofit boards, including the Rapid City Club for Boys, the Crazy Horse Memorial monument and West Hills Village in Rapid City. He was co-chair of the United Way of the Black Hills - Rapid City from 2001 to 2002.

The first scholarship in the amount of $6,000 will be awarded in the upcoming school year to a SD Mines incoming freshman with financial need with first preference given to a student who has graduated from Canistota High School, Tieszen’s hometown. Second preference will be given to an incoming freshman with financial need who has graduated from a Rapid City high school. The recipient must have taken at least one semester of college pre-calculus or calculus either online or in a classroom setting. In the event there is more than one qualified student, selection will be based on academic performance, which is defined by high school GPA in math and science classes plus ACT score.


About SD Mines  

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 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, 605-394-2554, Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu

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