Generosity shows commitment to institution and individuals

by | Oct 8, 2018 | Alumni Network, Fall 2018 | 0 comments

Kendra (Sublette) Lema ’96 has long kept a list of 100 goals she’d like to accomplish in her lifetime. She recently crossed one of them off—becoming a member of the Mines Century Society, a distinguished group of loyal individuals whose lifetime giving to Mines exceeds $100,000. As a director of development engineering for ConocoPhillips, she was able to take advantage of the corporation’s matching gifts program, which matches employee giving dollar-for-dollar.

“I set the goal relatively early in my career, and by contributing regularly and using the match, I was able to reach it earlier than maybe is traditionally seen,” said Lema, who became the youngest alumna inducted into the society. While she didn’t think of herself as an extraordinary student while at Mines, Lema believes the university prepared her to be extraordinary in her career. Because of this, she wanted to support Mines. 

Lema’s primary area of giving is the Lema Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship was created with her husband at the time, Raul Lema ’98, and provides four years of scholarship support to a Mines student. Even though she was a civil engineering major, Lema liked the idea of not placing degree restrictions on the scholarship, which rotates between a female and male student every four years.

“What I consider a flexible and long-term commitment to individual students has helped me create relationships with them,” Lema said. Lema visits with her scholars and stays in touch with them after they graduate and start their careers. 

“I have a picture of each one of them at graduation,” she said. “I hope to have an entire wall of them.”

“Being the recipient of the scholarship eased my financial burden and allowed me to take my time with my coursework and other electives of interest. Initially, I had planned to graduate early with a petroleum engineering degree, but because I received several scholarships, I was able to take computer science courses and decided to double major. The Lema Scholarship allowed me to pursue other interests and made me a better engineer by diversifying my skill set. I am forever grateful.”   

Daniel Zarrini ’16

“The scholarship has been a wonderful opportunity to have a relationship with an alumna who is encouraging and has continued to be involved in the Mines community. It is nice to connect with another female engineer. Kendra and I have had several opportunities to meet while she is in town. Being a scholarship recipient has been rewarding, and I really look up to her for giving back to Mines. It gives me a more concrete sense of the legacy at the school and how helping future students can make an enormous impact on their experience as well.”

Johanna Henry
Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018 
Mines Century Society

For more than 20 years, the Mines Century Society has recognized those individuals who, through a lifetime of giving, have shown an extraordinary commitment to the continuing excellence of the school. This society comprises more than 300 donors whose lifetime giving to the school exceeds $100,000. Their names are prominently displayed on the donor wall in the Starzer Welcome Center. 

Giving levels within Mines Century Society are denoted by varying gemstones and precious metals. These resources symbolize Mines’ commitment to earth, energy and environment.

To learn more about the Mines Century Society, visit