501 E. Saint Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701-3995
Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2003
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Tech Honors Yankton Resident During Commencement
As bona fide boosters of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Jim and the late Jean Bauer of Yankton are in a league of their own. During the past three decades, this husband and wife team sent three sons to South Dakota Tech, held recruitment meetings in their home for hundreds of prospective Tech students, hosted the university's track and cross country teams in their home on several occasions, and provided generous financial support for the university’s track and other programs. On top of all that, the Bauers' Hardrocker hospitality has a kitchen connection - chocolate chip cookies. During the quarter century before her passing in 1997, Jean Bauer baked an estimated 10,000 chocolate chip cookies for Tech students.
For their support, Tech will award an honorary doctorate to Jim Bauer during Tech’s 147th Commencement, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
Jean's cookie-baking endeavors for Tech began in 1973 when she and Jim were making plans to attend their first cross country meet to watch their son, Jeff, compete. When Jean asked her son if there was anything he needed them to bring to Rapid City, Jeff requested a batch of his mother's homemade chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were a hit with Jeff's team members. That began a chocolate chip cookie tradition that endeared Jean Bauer to hundreds students.
The Bauers' success in recruiting students for Tech is phenomenal. An estimated 180 to 200 students came to Tech because of the Bauers. Every January for many years, Tech would send the Bauers a list of prospective southeastern South Dakota students. Inviting both students and parents into their home, the Bauers described college life at Tech based on their sons' experiences. Remembering what it was like when their oldest
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child went away to college, they answered questions from parents about linen, laundry, and other aspects of dorm life. Forty to 50 people often attended these living room gatherings.
The Bauers also have strong ties to the Hardrocker cross country and track teams. All three of their sons made the Tech varsity track and cross-country teams as freshmen and competed in track events during their years at Tech.
For more than 22 years, the Bauers attended cross-country and track meets, both at Tech and at East River competitions. Even after their sons had hung up their college track shoes, Jim and Jean continued to faithfully attend meets to cheer on the Hardrockers. In recognition of the Bauer family's support for the Hardrocker track program, Tech renamed the annual Tech Invitational meet as the Bauer Invitational Track & Field Meet.
Jim Bauer established one of the first licensed electrical companies in South Dakota and has been heavily involved in long range planning for Tech. In addition to three children graduating from the university, he also has business ties to the campus. Bauer Electric wired the Electrical Engineering/Physics building built in the early 1970s.
In addition to their many types of assistance to Tech over the years, the Bauers also have provided scholarship support. The Jeff L. Bauer Memorial Scholarship is earmarked for sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are majoring in geology or geological engineering and who are active in campus activities.
“We appreciate everything the Bauers have done for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology,�� Tech President Dr. Richard Gowen said.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.