Dear Readers,

What a tremendous testament to the dedication and work ethic of generations of Mines graduates that the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association, a membership-based and volunteer-led organization, has now keptMinesmagazine in print for 100 years. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to readPart I of the 100-year retrospective included in this issue; I also encourage you to explore this newly updated magazine website where you can look through more than 100 issues ofMines magazine in searchable PDF format, taken from throughout the last century.

Turning to a major accomplishment in the present era, the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, described by many as a new national landmark, will already be familiar to many after it received national media attention in October when it opened. What may be less well-known to readers is that the six-year project was led ‘start-to-finish’ by Mines alumnus, Dave Zanetell ’87. ‘Constructing a Landmark‘ tells his story.

Shortly before Arden Bement ’54 stepped down as director of the National Science Foundation in May, he spoke with Mines magazine. We bring you highlights of our conversation, which included the personal, the professional and his forward-looking perspective on issues of national and global concern.

Many know of Tim Marquez ’80 in connection with his philanthropy: in 2005 he and his wife, Bernie, pledged $10 million for a new building for Mines’ Petroleum Engineering Department; in 2006, their $50-million gift helped establish the Denver Scholarship Foundation. In addition to detailing the Marquezes’ philanthropy and motivations for giving, this article traces Tim’s intriguing and turbulent career.

The profile of Eric Friedland ’87 chronicles another intriguing and turbulent career. He’s doing well now, having struck upon what may turn out to be one of North America’s largest diamond mines, but he’s seen some challenging times.

If you are wondering how you can make a difference in 2011, you might find inspiration in the profile of Durga Prasad Kar MS ’02, PhD ’10. After growing up in rural India, he is now operating a non-profit dedicated to improving life for villagers in his home country. In a similar vein, Spotlight includes an article about two graduate students who have launched a non-profit organization to support educational initiatives in Cameroon.

In Inside Mines, we look at what a Mines degree is worth; it turns out you can’t do much better if the metric is return on dollars invested, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article. We also report on the Geology Museum’s newly acquired moon-rock exhibit, a senior design project that was implemented by the Colorado Department of Transportation, and how the school is honoring the legacy of former Mines trustee and dean of student affairs, Mike Nyikos. New Frontiers explores how the BP oil spill has prompted new research on gas hydrates. And finally, in Scoreboard, find out what a great start the Orediggers have had this year.

If the nature and relevancy of the alumni association is something you question, then I’d encourage you to readJulia Hoagland’s message in Network. Adding my own thoughts to her message, with CSMAA’s membership drive in full swing, please remember that it is this source of revenue that largely sustains this publication. If you are looking for a reason to take action, consider taking out a membership in honor ofMines magazine’s 100th anniversary. Your support will be most appreciated.

Your interest in Mines magazine is also appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read; and consider taking some time to write a response to something you read here, the new Mines magazine website provides plenty of opportunities to share your thoughts and engage in dialogue with other readers.

On behalf of everyone at the alumni association, I wish you a happy and healthy start to 2011.

Sincerely,

Nick Sutcliffe

P.S. We will be sending out a readership survey soon via email. If we don’t have your email, please provide us with an update on minesonline.net, or simply send a message right now to magazine@mines.edu with ‘Email Update’ in the subject line. And please take a moment to respond when the survey arrives. Your participation will be greatly appreciated.