Welcoming new Orediggers and looking forward

by | Oct 8, 2018 | Fall 2018, Inside Mines, President's Corner | 0 comments

Students experience many welcomes to Mines. It starts at Oredigger Camp about a week before school starts (welcomed by peer mentors and alumni) and continues with move-in (welcomed by student and staff volunteers). Then there’s Convocation (welcomed by the school’s leadership, student leaders, student athletes and the marching band), the freshman community service event (welcomed by Golden) and CSM 101 success courses (welcomed by peers and faculty). 

The welcome new students remember the most, however, will always be the M Climb. After walking about three miles past dozens of enthusiastic and water-wielding student organizations and athletic teams, singing the fight song about every 100 feet, placing their rock on the M and getting splashed in as much whitewash as the M, students descend Mount Zion knowing they are now a part of Mines. 

In recent years, the M Climb has become a campus-wide welcoming event, with new faculty, staff and alumni also making the trek to the M. There were alumni who walked with students’ family members and others who came because they missed the M Climb when they were students. This year marked my fourth walk up to the M, and it might have been the wettest (tall presidents seem to be a prime water target), but it remains one of my favorite Mines traditions.  

Along with our new students, faculty and staff, this year brings a lot of activity and energy tied to our MINES@150 plan. We want to ensure that when we celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2024, Mines is positioned for continued success as one of the world’s top schools in our rapidly changing world. Some of this year’s changes will be visible, like the construction of our new on-campus residence hall, off-campus apartment-style student housing and a parking garage wrapped with state-of-the art classrooms. We are expanding beyond Golden, with our presence in the new Catalyst HTI building in Denver’s RiNo district and the launch of a one-of-a-kind pilot-scale water treatment research facility just north of downtown Denver.  

Other changes will be less visible, but equally important, including the launch of new professional development-focused online and on-campus graduate programs, increasing the diversity of our campus community and providing more opportunities for our students to integrate their interests and aspirations into their
degree programs. 

Alumni play a significant role in our MINES@150 plan. Special-topic alumni interest groups are already providing more awareness of and opportunities for careers in the aerospace industry, attracting more women to Mines, supporting our student entrepreneurs and offering professional development advice. Alumni give guest lectures, remotely Skype into classes and are visible as volunteers at key events on campus. The alumni association is also discussing how they might be involved in our students’ development from day one to facilitate the idea that they’re “Orediggers for life.”

I invite your involvement and hope to see you on campus or at Mines events near your homes this year. Check out the signature events we have coming up and other ways you can connect with your fellow Orediggers by visiting calendar.mines.edu or minesalumni.com/events.

Let’s all show our Mines pride this year—Go Orediggers!


Paul C. Johnson, PhD
President and Professor