It is always exciting to return to campus after enjoying time off in the summer, and this year it is particularly energizing as we celebrate our 140th anniversary as an institution of higher education. Mines has
been unique from day one, with a mission specialized to meet the ever changing needs of Colorado, and a continuing mission to meet global needs as we engineer solutions to the world’s most pressing energy and resource problems.
And we continue to meet the demand for a Mines education as we break graduation and admission records. In May, we conferred degrees on 940 graduates of our bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs’ and the Class of 2014 also had the largest number of women graduates ever, 260 (197 bachelor’s, 47 master’s and 16 PhDs). Even as we congratulated our newest alumni, we were preparing to admit more than 1,000 new students, the Class of 2018.
As we’ve seen our enrollment grow, we’ve also seen our faculty ranks grow. We launched an aggressive faculty recruiting program a few years ago and we’ve seen our total tenure/tenure track and teaching faculty numbers increase from 246 in fall 2011 to 287 this fall, with an additional 34 faculty searches initiated this academic year. One outcome of this recent growth and hiring is that more than one-third of our full-time faculty have been on campus for four years or less. This reality creates its own challenges as well as opportunities. While we might lose some institutional knowledge, we do gain new perspective and the chance to adopt new practices that help keep Mines vibrant.
For 140 years, Mines has been home to talented scientists, engineers and scholars from all over the world who teach, create and move society forward. As a community, we have continually strived to improve ourselves and what we do, to respond to global and local challenges and to focus on the future with an innovative spirit.
From our extraordinary people to our unique mission to our beautiful campus nestled against Lookout Mountain, Mines is a special place. Every day I come to campus and reflect with pride on the work of our exceptional faculty, talented students, distinguished alumni and rock-solid staff. Together, we’ve given Mines a voice in the global conversation about how people interact with earth resources, energy and the environment. I hope you, too, take pride not only in all that we’ve done, but the way that we do it, through hard work, perseverance and collaboration. Thank you for your role in Mines’ success and for the role you play in inspiring the next generation to carry on the good work at Colorado School of Mines for another 140 years.