Sparking Innovative Ideas and Building Community

by | Oct 3, 2017 | Fall 2017, President's Corner | 0 comments

Once again, we have kicked off another year here, introducing a new batch of Orediggers to Mines and welcoming back familiar faces. With the beginning of the school year comes a great influx of excitement and many events on campus, all leading to new relationships and innovative ideas from the Mines community.

The freshmen this year got to experience Oredigger Camp in early August at Camp Como near Fairplay, Colo. Over 2 ½ days, freshmen experienced team-building, design challenges, reflective exercises and fun activities (including a spontaneous dance-off around the campfire I will never forget). The key feature of the camps was that they were led by upperclassmen, who mentored, offered advice and shared their love for Mines. The freshmen arrived a bit timid and unsure about college but left with new friends and with excitement for the start of their Mines experience. We hope to have alumni participation in next year’s Oredigger Camps, so look for an invitation next spring through the office of alumni relations.

Along with new events, we make sure not to forget our long-standing traditions. On Aug. 18, 2017, we made our annual water- and fight song-filled trek up Mt. Zion for the M Climb. A number of alumni joined the freshmen, including Jim White, whose grandson is the fourth successive generation in their family to attend Mines. Late September brings together alumni and students for Homecoming, and we are looking forward to other signature events to come, including E-Days in the spring.

This year also sees the grand opening of our newest building on campus—the CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering. The building will be home to leading-edge interdisciplinary research and teaching and industrial partnerships, and we hope those will lead to breakthroughs in science and education that will have profound impacts on society.

All these events reflect the importance of community at Mines, and how we collectively embody the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit Mines is known for and takes pride in. Community and connections are important to the success of our students and our alumni, and the strength and uniqueness of our Mines community is part of what make us all proud to be Orediggers. Check out the signature events we have coming up and other ways you can connect with your fellow Orediggers by visiting

Go Orediggers!

Paul C. Johnson, PhD

President and Professor