Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mines Dedicates Vanderboom Office of Student Success

Steve and Julie Vanderboom speaking at the dedication of the new the Vanderboom Office of Student Success on Monday, Sept. 26 in the Devereaux Library at South Dakota Mines.

South Dakota Mines dedicated the Vanderboom Office of Student Success on Monday, Sept. 26, honoring donors Steve and Julie Vanderboom, who donated $1 million to expand and renovate the office, which is part of the overall renovation of the Devereaux Library.

Steve, a 1974 South Dakota Mines graduate in civil engineering, founded Pace Analytical in Minneapolis in 1978. He served as CEO for 41 years and then as executive chairman. Julie completed a successful career in nursing and nursing management. By 2021, Pace had become the largest privately held environmental and pharmaceutical testing business in the nation with over 60 laboratories and 3,400 employees. Steve received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the environmental industry as well as a South Dakota Mines Distinguished Alumni Award in 2021.

“The value of this space to students, in particular to freshmen who are in a new environment and have new challenges, is that they can find support,” said Steve. “I love this space. I think it’s fantastic. I wish it had been here when I was here.”

The Vanderboom Office of Student Success is significantly larger than the previous student success office area that was located in the Surbeck Center and adds collaboration and study spaces for students, furniture, professional offices and conference rooms. It also brings together the offices of the first-year advisors, tutoring services and the testing center.

“One of the things I’ve worked toward is dispelling the myth that smart students don’t need to ask for help,” said Lisa Carlson, Vice President of Student Success at Mines. “This space is really helping us change that culture.”

The work of the Student Success office is paying off; Mines has an 82% retention rate in freshmen to sophomore students in the 2021-2022 school year. The Vanderboom Office of Student Success is a vital part of the university vision to develop world-class leaders in science and engineering to benefit society.


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: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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