Author: Paul C. Johnson

Lasting Connections

It was great to see so many of you here in Golden for Homecoming. There were many new events this year, including the Alumni M Climb, the pass-an-old-class opportunity, a Boots & Barrels BBQ and music social, and my favorite new tradition: a pre-game giant bonfire that all Orediggers would be proud of and that could probably be seen as far away as Boulder. I will always remember the Class of 1966 alumni—with their bandit scarves, strong Mines pride and entertaining stories of their lives at Mines—and how much they laughed when Blaster suddenly decided in front of the president’s house that he wasn’t walking any farther...

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2020 Vision: Connecting New Orediggers to Mines’ Tradition of Excellence

The start of the fall semester is one of my favorite times of the year—in large part due to the new energy, ideas and personalities that each class brings to Mines. First-year students experience a lot of “newness” in their first few months—new places, new expectations, new traditions, new challenges and a lot of new faces. All this newness can be both exciting and overwhelming. I experienced this newness when I came to Mines last year. My goal for the first semester was to see and experience Mines as our new students see and experience it. I learned that students must be prepared for a healthy dose...

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Celebrating Mines Pride

One day last spring, sometime between my being selected a finalist for the Mines presidency and visiting the campus, a surprise FedEx box arrived at our home in Arizona. It was filled with the first Mines gear Elyse and I had ever seen: hats, pins, t-shirts, a tie (the only tie I ever wear, when I wear a tie), a pennant, the Mines history book, and a stuffed Blaster. Dividing up the gear was pretty straightforward and peaceful—until we came to Blaster. I won’t tell you who won that “discussion,” but I will say that I had to get online and order a second one quickly to maintain peace in the house. Maybe you first saw Blaster’s likeness on Mines gear like we did, or perhaps you first saw him in person at a Mines event. In either case, many of you probably experienced that instant connection to Blaster that Elyse and I did. He’s the embodiment of our mining history and a symbol of the strong work ethic and perseverance that we value so deeply. Being a burro, Blaster is intelligent and a hard worker, and with his full pack, pick ax, and stick of dynamite, he is ready for action. In person, Blaster attracts young and old, and he can surprise you with his speed (as I personally discovered running with Blaster and Blue Key down the sideline at last year’s Homecoming game). To quote the President’s Distinguished Lecturer and celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who spoke at Mines last fall, Blaster “is one badass...

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Staying Engaged

As you read this, I will have just completed my first semester at Mines. It was focused on meeting you and hearing your stories and aspirations for Mines. As a quantitative measure of that time (as all of the engineers and scientists reading this will appreciate), I’ve hosted 24 faculty and staff lunches and 23 student pizza parties (sometimes three in one day!), attended seven alumni receptions, met with six varsity sports teams, participated in three milestone events (M Climb, Alumni Weekend at Homecoming, and Parents and Family Weekend), opened two new buildings (Clear Creek Athletics Complex and the Starzer Welcome Center), participated in the Polar Plunge in Clear Creek and the Move Your Phi’t 5K run, and shook...

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Keeping Mines Special

Since Elyse and I arrived in Golden earlier this year, we’ve had the opportunity to meet hundreds of alumni from the Class of 1935 to the Class of 2015 and just about every year in between. Whether it was on campus during Alumni Weekend or at a Mines on the Move event, we’ve loved hearing about your experiences at Mines, your impressions of Mines today, and your aspirations for this great university. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with the Class of 2019, carrying my 10-pound rock from Arizona up Mt. Zion for my first M Climb,...

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