BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Harold Hamm, the oil-drilling entrepreneur that the University of Mary’s engineering school is named after, cut the ribbon on another addition to the groundbreaking facility on Tuesday, September 20.

While the original Hamm School of Engineering facility opened in the Fall of 2020, in 2022, an additional 3,900 square feet of space was added to the south end of the building. This was celebrated during a ribbon-cutting event at the building attended by Hamm himself — as well as Governor Doug Burgum, Senator Kevin Cramer, University President Monsignor James Shea, and students and staff of the University of Mary.

“We are deeply grateful, honored, and humbled to share this momentous day with Mr. Hamm, members of his family, and Continental Resources,” said the president of the University of Mary Monsignor James Shea in a press release. “Today is a testament to the pioneering spirit of our founders, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. It is a tribute to our dedicated faculty and talented students.”

In the seven years since its beginning, the school has already attained a reputation. According to Dr. Terry Pilling, dean of the Hamm School of Engineering, the heavy curriculum, and high-impact courses have had tremendous results on the students.

“During the development of our engineering school, we made it a top priority to prepare our students for engineering careers in western North Dakota and beyond,” said Pilling, dean of the Hamm School of Engineering. “To this end, we have nurtured relationships with many of the companies that do business here and encouraged them to hire our students for summer internships and semester-long co-ops while they are completing their degrees. Companies have responded beyond our expectations and have informed us about how impressed they have been working with our students as interns.”

The school has also witnessed a rise in employment numbers: nearly 200 have been registered in 2022, already halfway to the goal of 400 by 2030 that was outlined in the university’s Vision 2030 campaign. According to Pilling, these applicants and graduates are also reaping the rewards of the school’s rigorous training.

“All of our graduates are employed and doing well,” he added. “We have a 100 percent placement rate. Also, our students have a 100 percent pass rate on the national fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam. Passing this exam is required before a student can pursue a professional engineers (PE) license in the future. I know of no other school in the country with that 100 percent pass rate.”

By 2030, the University hopes to graduate at least 50 engineers who are culturally ready for leadership and work, as well as possibly create more programs focused on other types of engineering, including industrial and chemical engineering.

“I know from speaking with the leadership of the University of Mary that a great deal of thought and research has gone into designing and building this facility for students so that they can receive world-class, hands-on education as both engineers and leaders in business and industry,” commented founder and chairman of Continental Resources Harold Hamm in the release. “While I am extremely proud and honored to have our family name associated with the University of Mary and this facility, we know it’s the world-class faculty, comprehensive curriculum, and imaginative and hard-working students who make the Hamm School of Engineering a shining success and a model for others to follow.”

For more information about the new expansion, visit the University of Mary’s website.