A dedication to continued success
What do you love the most about summers in Colorado?
I love all the seasons in Golden, but summer is one of my favorites. The beauty of our campus and surrounding area really stands out. The longer days and warmer weather allow more time for outdoor activities before and after business hours. The mornings are perfect for exercise—a sunrise run through campus or bike ride up Lookout Mountain before Golden wakes up always reminds me how lucky I am to live here. The evenings are great for a walk along Clear Creek to watch the kayakers and tubers. Weekends bring the local farmers market, classic cars cruising through downtown and art events.
I also enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere on campus and the energy the hundreds of young day camp participants bring in the summer. You should see them when they all converge at Mines Market cafeteria at noon—it’s a one-hour pizza/ice cream/chocolate milk feeding frenzy.
What were some of your favorite moments with the Class of 2018?
The Class of 2018 contains many of the first students who welcomed Elyse and me to Mines in 2015. It also contains some of the first students I taught here, so I feel a strong connection to the Class of 2018. Elyse and I enjoyed dinners with the Greek Life community and student organizations, class breakfasts in the President’s House, participated in fundraisers for heart health and literacy and watched them compete in athletic and academic competitions. The Class of 2018 contains incredibly gifted artists, writers, actors and musicians who likely spent as much time on extracurricular activities as they did on their coursework. They’re going to do well. I already miss them—I hope they stay engaged.
Mines has built several new facilities over the past few years. How do you see the campus infrastructure growing over the next decade and how do alumni contribute to the success of these projects?
We’re in the process of updating our campus master plan to identify the infrastructure needed to support our MINES@150 strategic vision. Top priorities include increasing student housing and dining options; new classrooms for more interactive learning and alternate forms of course delivery; makerspaces to support hands-on learning, student projects and entrepreneurial activities; and space for institute-scale interdisciplinary research efforts. We’re also looking at partnerships for property development that will benefit the community and industry partners.
There are many ways for alumni to help with these efforts. They can periodically provide input in the campus master plan or join an alumni interest group to give more focused comments. For example, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Interest Group will offer feedback on the design of the campus innovation hub. Alumni can also help raise funds for the projects as private investors and advocates.
Alumni have been key to Mines’ physical transformation over the past decade, as evidenced by the names of our newest buildings and special-purpose rooms. We’ve been fortunate to have alumni and student interns involved in the design and construction of these projects, and others have reached out to share their expertise in land development, construction and project delivery.
Paul C. Johnson, PhD
President and Professor