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Press Release
Sanford Lab invites the public to a virtual dedication and naming of the Yates Ramp in honor of William "Jack" Stratton 


LEAD, SD— The Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab) invites the public to a virtual dedication and naming of the Yates Ramp in honor of William "Jack" Stratton on November 19, 2020, at 3 p.m. MST. 

William Stratton, better known as "Jack" to those who worked with him, spent more than 40 years of his life in the shafts and drifts of the Homestake Gold Mine and the Sanford Lab. In May 2019, Stratton passed away. This November, we memorialize Stratton's life and years of service with a dedication of the Yates Ramp during the “Stratton Station Dedication.”

“Jack Stratton led the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority’s efforts to provide reliable underground access for our world-leading science experiments through the mile-deep Yates Shaft,” said Mike Headley, executive director of Sanford Lab.

Stratton took on many responsibilities at both Homestake Gold Mine and Sanford Lab, including as the Yates Shaft Foreman, where he oversaw shaft operations and top-down maintenance for more than 10 years. When Stratton passed away, he left behind a family of 5 children, 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He also left behind another family—the people with whom he had worked for so many years. A man of integrity, Stratton’s leadership skills and tremendous sense of humor left an indelible mark on the people in his life. 

“Jack was a dear friend to everyone at Sanford Lab and embodied our core values of safety first, care for others, professionalism, and being a team player,” Headley said. “We’re incredibly honored for the opportunity to recognize Jack’s life and his dedication to the Sanford Lab family through the Stratton Station Dedication.”

This celebration of Stratton’s life will include the revealing of the “Stratton Station” memorial plaque, which will be mounted at the Yates Ramp during the event. Members of Stratton’s family, as well as coworkers and friends, will speak at the event.

Attendees can join this event via Zoom or watch live on Sanford Lab's Facebook page. Webinar space is limited, and early registration is encouraged. View full event information on Sanford Lab’s website.

Sanford Lab is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy. Our mission is to advance compelling underground, multidisciplinary research in a safe work environment and to inspire and educate through science, technology, and engineering. Visit Sanford Lab at