Transitioning from high school to college isn’t easy, especially for students who move to new cities and states. Alumni from across the country do their best to help our newest Orediggers make the transition through annual summer ‘send-off’ events in their hometowns.

In July and August, alumni volunteers hosted 18 send-off parties for new students, current students, students’ families, and fellow alumni. These events afford the newest Orediggers an opportunity to calm their nerves, meet other students from their hometown, and get even more excited about attending our premier university. Events included: a wild game cookout at the Munyan Family Hunting Conservation Museum in Phoenix, a Georgia hickory-smoked pork potluck in Atlanta, a tour led by alumnus Ken Brettmann ’84 from the Army Corps of Engineers at the Ballard Locks in Seattle, and a Nationals vs. Rockies baseball game in Washington, D.C.

Phoenix Send-Off Party

The send-off party in Phoenix, Arizona, included a wild game cookout at the Munyan Family Hunting Conservation Museum.

In Dallas, Orediggers not only attended a professional soccer game, but they also got to meet former Mines’ student Tesho Akindele (2014 Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year) of the FC Dallas soccer team. Akindele was drafted from Mines to play for Dallas, and send-off party attendees cheered him on and enjoyed a private meet-and-greet with him after the game. “It was great to see all of the incoming freshmen forging new connections and new friends before they even step foot on campus,” said Tim Saenger ’95, volunteer section coordinator and CSMAA Board of Directors member. Saenger added that meeting Akindele and seeing how dedicated he is to finishing his Mines degree was the icing on the cake.

Nate Brown ’07 volunteered to coordinate the Houston send-off party, because he believes that it’s his way of giving back to new students. “It’s very powerful to be able to come into a [new] situation and to be able to recognize someone you’ve met before. It makes introductions to other people easier,” he said. “Life is all about relationships with other people, whether they’re personal or professional. Providing the opportunity for someone to develop them ahead of time is very satisfying and rewarding.”

Here in Colorado, 40 Orediggers gathered in Grand Junction for a potluck at the Lincoln Park Pavilion. Their annual send-off party is hosted by alumnus and section coordinator John Howe ’83, the proud father of a Mines’ graduate and an incoming freshman. “With four high schools in the valley and invitations going out to students from five or six counties, we get to meet a lot of students and families,” Howe said. In Golden, instead of sending students off to Mines, the alumni association hosted a ‘welcome party’ on August 3 at Coolbaugh House. More than 100 alumni, students, and families mingled over nachos and lemonade. New Mines’ president Paul Johnson joined in the festivities to welcome new students and share the feeling of being a campus newcomer.

The alumni association welcomes the newest Orediggers to the family, and we thank our volunteer alumni section coordinators for planning their local events.