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 with me in the parade.

Homecoming is a great time for alumni to show off Mines to family and friends, visit favorite faculty, tour new facilities and to connect with current students. Some of you saw our students let loose at the Bill Nye lecture, while others connected with them at various Homecoming events. If you had the opportunity to meet some of them and hear their stories, I suspect that you would agree that our current students are amazing, and that you can’t help but be impressed by their passion and energy. To me, the strength of the students is the sign that Mines continues to be a unique and special university and that the future for Mines and our graduates is bright.

My hope is that Homecoming will not be the only time we see alumni on campus. We envision a future with a very visible and constant alumni presence on campus, through engagement in student mentoring, in classroom instruction or in one of our alumni focus groups supporting entrepreneurial activities, recruitment of underrepresented students, and preparing our students for opportunities in the aerospace industry. This is a priority for our new alumni association executive director, Damian Friend (read more about Damian here).

I always say that our proud alumni are one of Mines’ greatest assets. Your passion for Mines and desire to see it prosper in the future will help carry this institution forward. We are updating our strategic plan with an eye on Mines’ future. Mines will celebrate its 150th anniversary in eight years, in 2024. Your input to this planning process is critical, and I invite you follow my blog (, follow me on Twitter (@ILoveBlaster) or share your thoughts via email ([email protected]).
Thank you for staying connected with Mines.
Go Orediggers!
Paul C. Johnson
President and Professor