Alumni Weekend is an annual Mines tradition that brings alumni to campus for reunion dinners, campus events, and interaction with students and faculty; it’s a chance to relive old memories and create new ones with classmates. In 2015 and going forward, this special weekend takes place during Homecoming in the fall.
This year’s event brought more than 600 alumni and guests home to campus, making the weekend a true homecoming for all. The weekend showcased a complete picture of Mines today: our remarkable academic progress was featured through department tours and a talk series; our incredible student athlete success was highlighted during the homecoming football game, varsity soccer games, and tour of the new Clear Creek Athletics Complex; and the balance between students’ social and extracurricular lives was evident at the Mines Market open house lunch and Homecoming parade and tailgate.
Each Alumni Weekend, alumni celebrating their 50th reunion are the “honored guests,” as Larry Hoppe ’65 described it. For some of them, this is their first campus visit in 50 years. And thanks to efforts by the reunion committee, Mines is able to roll out the red carpet for these alumni. This year, they were treated to a special breakfast at President and Mrs. Johnson’s residence, invited to be judges for the student floats in the homecoming parade, and welcomed into the Blaster Room during the football game. To top it off, the football alumni from 1965 paraded onto Campbell Field at Marv Kay Stadium for the coin toss. Their grand entrance included a mock lineup, with the alumni assuming their original field positions. “The President’s Breakfast, the great football game, and the dinner were my favorite parts of the weekend,” said Bill Wilson ’65.
The Class of ’65 wasn’t the only featured class. Graduates from the classes of 2005, 1990, 1975, and years prior to 1965 all enjoyed reunion dinners on Saturday, October 3, at venues ranging from a food truck in Lions Park to more formal dinners at Table Mountain Inn and the Old Capitol Grill. For many, the reunion dinners were the highlight of Alumni Weekend festivities, all of which took place September 30 through October 3. When alumni were asked to share the best part of the weekend, “seeing old friends” was the most common response.
Another attendance motivator was the Homecoming football game, during which the Orediggers defeated New Mexico Highlands 51 to 6. Alumni and students in the stands had numerous opportunities to belt out the Mines fight song, which is traditionally sung after every Mines touchdown.
Of course, many alumni came back home to see and learn how Mines has changed. “Mines has certainly grown a great deal,” said Justin Rotello ’10. The MINES Talks, modeled after the popular TED Talks, helped inform alumni about Mines’ growth. The talks included topics such as Contemporary Expectations of Future Engineering Graduates, Teaching Physics in the 21st Century, and The Resilience of our Cities.
We look forward to seeing even more alumni at next year’s Homecoming Weekend in Fall 2016.