Opening doors for success
On the 50th anniversary of his own graduation from Mines, Harold Korell ’68 gave the commencement speech to the Class of 2018. He encouraged them to think about the impact the university has had on their lives and will have in the future and to give back to Mines in whatever ways they can.
Korell is a loyal supporter of the university and created an endowed fund, which has provided scholarships to more than 15 students, several of whom have been basketball players. “Mr. Korell’s generosity has contributed immensely to our basketball program’s recent success,” said Zach Rusk ’18. “We cannot thank him enough for all that he has done and the wonderful example he represents for us student-athletes and all Mines students.”
Korell made naming-level gifts to the Harold and Patricia Korell Athletic Center at the Clear Creek Athletics Complex and the Harold M. and Patricia M. Korell and Southwestern Energy Lobby in Marquez Hall. He has also supported The Mines Fund and many other initiatives on campus.
Korell, the former CEO and chairman of Southwestern Energy Co., led the company in its discovery and development of the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, one of the pioneering developments of shale plays in North America and the world. Under his leadership, Southwestern also achieved the honor of being the top-performing company in the S&P 500 from 2000 to 2010, beating out second-place Apple. Korell currently serves on the Mines Foundation Board of Governors and is an active member of the Mines community.
“There’s no better place to support than the one that kicked you off and got you going, gave you the opportunity to earn what you have. You do it by your own hard work and intelligence, but the fact of the matter is, a Mines education is a big plus because it opens doors for you,” he said. “I’m smart enough to reflect back on life and see how it happened. Mines was a big part of it, and that’s why it’s becoming a big part of our philanthropy.”
“Freedom doesn’t just equal choice. Freedom equals choice plus the responsibility to make good choices. You’ve made a great choice by coming to Mines, and you will be on a trajectory from that to take not only your engineering skills but I believe the toughness and difficulties that you’ve been through. Those will prepare you even more than you will know to compete and carry that through your careers.
“We want to encourage graduates to come back to Mines, to be involved with Mines. Give some thought about how you might be involved within the next 20 years. It might be simple things like coming back to athletic events, maybe coming back for E-Days. It might be being an ambassador for the school, or it might be guest lecturing.”
-Harold Korell at Mines’ spring 2018 undergraduate commencement ceremony