The Dream of Rapid
Norwegian students at The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
This is the history about the 800 Norwegian students, that between 1950 and 2018, traveled to South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) in Rapid City – to pursue further education. Most of them returned to Norway after graduation, but some established themselves in America.
It all started around 1950. The President at the Bergen Technical School, Jacob. B. Eide, wanted to expand the availability of higher education alternatives for students in his hometown. Furthermore, Norway had an immense need for engineers after World War II. The door was opened, so to speak, by the Norwegian-American Ingeborg Udager, who facilitated the initial contact between Mr. Eide and SDSM&T. The response was positive. One of the contributors, Terje Albrechtsen, put it this way: “In the 1960s, usually in the summer time, I often noticed pictures in the Bergens Tidende newspaper of Norwegians that had received their education at SDSM&T. The pictures were of a group posing in dark gowns with the characteristic mortar-board graduation caps. While I was studying to become an engineer, my interest in continuing my education in USA grew. Around 1965, the desire became acute – just thinking about it – I can study in America!”
This book is divided into two parts. The first part covers historical background, how it all stated, practical aspects of traveling and life in Rapid City, obtaining visa, finances, the school and the American school system; and other aspects pertinent to the students and their education.
The second part includes 22 personal stories as told by former students. They cover experiences from 1956 until today (2019). A lot has changed in the time since the first students arrived in Rapid City. Stories as told by the spouses, and the history of the soccer team “The Rapid City Vikings”, are not forgotten and thus included. The book includes many pictures and illustrations typical of the respective times in which the stories are set. Today, we can look back at them with a smile and fond memories.
Egil Ertresvaag med flere