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Pat Hall and the National College of Business: The Rest of the Story

Jim Holland, a reporter for the Rapid City Journal, recently did a terrific story on NAU alumnus, Pat Hall.

Titled “Developing Rapid City for 50 Years,” (November 17, 2017), the article provides a great account of Hall’s many business and charitable accomplishments, for the betterment of Rapid City’s community, over the last half-century.

In the article, Hall credits several individuals in his past who set him on the right track and helped pave the way for what has been a very successful real estate career.

National American University – then called National College of Business (NCB) – played a key role.

“I initially choose National College of Business out of necessity,” said Hall. “I couldn’t afford to travel back and forth from Black Hills State.”

Still, the connections he made at NCB, and the education he received, proved pivotal to his ultimate career success.

“My instructor for my real estate course at NCB, Jack Klauck, said that any student who took the real estate exam would not have to attend class,” recalls Hall. “Well, that sounded like a good deal to me so I volunteered.”

In preparing for the exam, however, and determined not to face the embarrassment of failing, Hall realized he’d been tricked.

“I spent at least five times longer preparing for that exam than I would have sitting in class,” said Hall with a laugh. “Even so, Jack and I remained good friends right up until his passing a few years ago.”

Hall marvels at how his connections back in the late 1960s were so instrumental in how his life – a blessed life he’ll say – turned out.
Without question, Hall’s connections as a young man really set the course for his future, which was to Rapid City’s benefit.

As Holland reported in the Rapid City Journal, Hall has paid forward the mentoring he received throughout his career by helping to advance the careers of several real
estate agents in the area. He has also played a key role in expanding housing options and contributing to downtown beautification efforts in Rapid City.

The value of these connections are not lost on Hall, whose reflections on life’s milestones gravitate most toward the mentors he has had and the friendships he gained.

“Some of my earliest mentors became good friends and some of my college friends remained great friends throughout my life,” said Hall in recalling his time at NCB.

“Just today, I heard from Jerry Hanson, a standout rodeo star at National College of Business. We reminisced about the time he called to tell me his daughter had been born. Today was her 50th birthday. We remain as close now as we did back then.”

Hall also appreciated NCB’s approach to education.

“Unlike some colleges, NCB was all business, in the sense that the approach to instruction was practical. It was not theoretical, but hands on, professional and practical,” said Hall. “I really liked that.”

Hall also credits NCB for helping him gain an appreciation for the world outside of Rapid City.

“NCB served ranch kids, veterans, athletes and more,” said Hall. “Up until that point in my life, like most kids in the 60s, I really had not ventured outside of my hometown of Rapid City. It was a great experience.”

As a businessman, Hall’s connections with university remained and ultimately – officially – earned him his degree.

“I have great respect for the Buckingham family and their contributions to the Rapid City business community,” said Hall of the family who has owned the university, or been involved in key management positions, since 1962 when Harold Buckingham bought the university from founder Clarence Jacobson.

Both Nancy (Buckingham) Hauer and Hall were partial owners of the Thrillers, a semi-professional basketball team in Rapid City from 1987-1998. Hall also served as the team’s business manager, helping to recruit a former NCB Mavericks Basketball coach, Dwayne Pickner.

“At that time, I had not technically earned my NCB diploma. I needed the typing class to pass and I was horrible. My best was 25 words a minute with errors,” Hall said with a laugh.

Nancy’s husband, who was Registrar at the time Hall attended NCB and was now President of the University, was impressed enough with Hall’s work as a real estate agent and business manager that he agreed to consider experience as credit for that final course.”

“Without Nancy’s support, I would not be a true NCB alum, and that would be a shame,” said Hall. “I wear that title very proudly. It was a special time of my life.”

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