School of Mines Alumni Receives Hall Named in Her Honor

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:37 PM MDT
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The South Dakota School of Mines received their largest one-time gift in the history of the University today.

Coming from the family of an alumni who has passed, but left a legacy that would last a lifetime.

Karen M. Swindler graduated from SD Mines and was known for her successful career and continuous involvement with the university.

Karen, who passed away in 2018, was the symbol of innovation today at the School of Mines, as the University showcased the new naming of their Chemical and Biological Engineering Wing after her.

Making history as the first ever female in the nation to have an engineering department named after her.

During the reception, colleagues, friends, and family spoke about the work Karen did advancing both school of mines student involvement and educational programs.

Her husband said the donation was his way to give back to their alma mater.

“You know she was humble so I think she would be a little bit maybe embarrassed about all of the pomp and circumstance, but you know she cant help but be proud of it. I’m sure she’s looking down and you know just thinking ‘wow I really did have an impact,’ and she did. And so, you know I just feel like, what a great way to memorialize her.” Said Lee Swindler, Karen’s Husband.

The Multi-Million-Dollar donation was referred to as a “transformational gift” and will go towards scholarships, innovative projects and research done in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the university.

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