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

by | Oct 10, 2016 | Fall 2016, Inside Mines, President's Corner

President Paul Johnson stands in the middle of a group of freshman students wearing blue hardhats
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 of hard work and academic rigor, to avoid flying solo, to get engaged in the Mines community, to explore new activities, and find ways to have fun and create balance in life. These seem to be the basic ingredients for success at Mines and beyond. I also learned a lot from discussions with you, our alumni, during my first year. I often found myself wishing that I had recorded our conversations and could replay them to our students. Thus, one of our major efforts with the Mines Alumni Association this year is to explore ways to connect alumni and students to facilitate that exchange of advice and wisdom and pride in their connection to Mines.

I hope that many of you will participate. Having seen this in action already, I am confident that the examples, insight and pride you share will inspire our students and provide them with valuable tools for long-term success. For example, corporate CEOs and recruiters frequently tell me that one of the valuable and distinctive features of Mines graduates is their effectiveness in teams and tendency to be collaborative rather than competitive. Hearing that from you and receiving encouragement to get involved early and often, will lead our students to effective collaboration skills and ultimately, to succeed at Mines and after graduation.

When you become a Mines student, you join a very special and elite community. No one knows that and appreciates it better than our alumni. We hope that these new initiatives will enrich our alumni-student connections and lead to increased student success and further distinction of Mines graduates. I appreciate your participation and support for these efforts.

Go Orediggers!

Paul C. Johnson