Bringing Orediggers together
The Mines community has always been something special to Greg ’86 and Lanai Wolfe ’85. For Greg, it was about being part of the Oredigger football and wrestling teams as a student and then, later, the continued bond with his teammates. For Lanai, the friendships she created at Mines are still important in her life, even as those friends live around the country. Now the Wolfes are nurturing new Oredigger friendships and cultivating the Mines community in Oregon, where they co-lead M Club Portland.
As Mines approaches its 150th anniversary, the university has plans to increase alumni affinity, visibility and involvement in engagement programs to foster loyalty, pride and a pay-it-forward attitude among students and graduates.
“We laugh about a Newsweek article in the ‘80s that was talking about a Mines education and the rigor of the academics and how the student body was so connected because they were all ‘riding the same tumultuous boat together,’” Lanai said. “That binds people together, and that sense of community has stayed with us our whole lives.”
The Wolfes recently hosted a Mines welcome party at their house, which brought together incoming students and their families, current students who were home for the summer and local alumni to celebrate the Oredigger spirit before the academic year began. This is the third year they’ve hosted the party—the couple enjoy the opportunity to engage with a variety of community members, and they are encouraged by the caliber of the incoming students.
“Mines is not that well-known up here, so the fact that [these students] have an interest in engineering, sought out good engineering schools and chose Mines is exciting for us,” said Greg.
Lanai enjoys seeing the incoming students connect with current students and swap phone numbers so they can stay in touch when the fall semester starts. And she always provides guidance (and comfort) for new Oredigger parents.
The Wolfes also monetarily support the athletics department and have contributed to the Clear Creek Athletics Complex, the wrestling locker room improvement and other areas. Greg knows well that excellence on the field often leads to success in other areas.
“The strength of the Mines reputation and community benefits all of us. We continue to be involved because it’s a great thing to see the best engineers in the world coming out,” Greg said.
Lanai added that whether it’s through time or treasure, she’s proud to be able to support the Mines community. “It is very rewarding to be able to give back to an institution that has given us so much.”