Orediggers Give Back: Leaving a legacy that allows students to succeed

by | Jul 6, 2017 | Alumni Network, Summer 2017 | 0 comments

Al Ireson ’47 was not one of Mines’ wealthiest alumni, but he was among the most dedicated and loyal. He died in February 2017, just before his 96th birthday, but his lifetime of loyal contributions and his regular presence on the Mines campus left a meaningful impact on the school and the students of yesterday, today and far into the future. Because of his consistent generosity in giving what he could to the school, students in perpetuity will have access to the Mines education that Ireson valued so dearly with scholarship opportunities through the Alfred T. Ireson and Family Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The Alfred T. Ireson and Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, established in 2000, has supported at least 29 students so far. Through Ireson’s after-lifetime gifts, this scholarship fund will continue to grow and provide financial help to more students at Mines.

Ireson generously deeded his home, located in Golden, to the university as a life estate gift. Per his direction, the funds from the sale of the house will be added to the scholarship fund.

In recent years, Ireson gave his required minimum distribution from his IRA to Mines, totaling almost $40,000 each year. Mines was also a beneficiary of Ireson’s IRA after his lifetime, providing the scholarship fund with an additional $722,000.

When Ireson was a freshman at Mines in 1940, tuition was only $35 a semester. During his junior year, he was called into service in World War II, after which he returned to Mines to earn his professional degree in petroleum engineering; he went on to work for Shell Oil for 37 years.

Ireson believed with all his heart that the world needs Mines graduates to solve critical challenges and make a better tomorrow. Ireson, who attended athletic and alumni events right up until his passing, loved meeting with his scholarship students more than anything; one of his most prized possessions was a scrapbook of personal letters from his scholars.

“The support I’ve received from the Al Ireson and Family Endowed Scholarship has made all the difference in pursuing a Mines degree. Al was one of the most genuine men I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, and his contagious smile and laughter will be missed. Although Al is no longer with us, the legacy he built will continue to support Mines students like myself in earning a degree and ultimately building a career.”

Nicola Lonardo, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Class of 2018

“Mr. Alfred T. Ireson’s support through my time at Mines has had an enormous impact on who I am as not only a student, but as a person. His unmistakable respect for the school and the students that attend it inspire me to become the most successful engineer I can possibly be in hopes to one day give back to Mines.”

Garret DeCarlo, Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018