Supporting families and students

by | Jan 6, 2020 | Alumni Network, Winter 2020 | 0 comments

When Jennifer Steans and Jim Kastenholz’s son came to Mines, they had to do some math. Not to see how many credits he’d need to take or how many days of sun he’d experience in Colorado. Instead, they calculated how much they could give back to the university.

“There’s a math formula,” said Steans. “What does it really cost annually to educate a student at Mines? The tuition is much less than that cost, so we were going to make up the differential of that through our philanthropy.”

Their son, Nick, is set to graduate in May 2021. The couple has been involved on campus since he was a freshman and are currently serving as Family Fund co-chairs. Through this role, they engage and educate other families on ways they can provide scholarship, technology and innovation support to Mines students, clubs and organizations. Many families are surprised to find just how impactful the Family Fund can be for Mines students—and how rewarding giving back can be for other families as well.

“The more involved you get, the more you do feel like [your student] belongs here,” said Steans. “For those of us who didn’t go to Mines, by getting more engaged, you get more of a sense of belonging, and it helps you understand where your student is.”

They are very grateful for the Mines community and the supportive environment Nick has experienced on campus, which helped him find his footing after a tough academic year. They want to make sure families know that a Mines education is rigorous but that their students have many resources, such as advising, tutoring services and mental health counseling.

Not only do the couple give their time and talents by being leaders on the Family Fund, but they also supported Mines and students through leadership gifts during #idigmines Giving Day 2019. And they will continue this support by playing a major role in this year’s #idigmines Giving Day on February 6, 2020 and donating toward the grand bonus.

“There’s such an overall sense of gratitude for what the university is doing for the students. We want to spread
that goodness around,” Kastenholz said. “Every time I find myself on the Mines campus, I get energized because I look around—and I know it’s cliché—but you see the future and you can’t help but feel good.”

Are you an Oregiver?

OreGivers donate their time, talent and treasure to Mines and through Mines. Many support the university through financial gifts, while others volunteer their time on campus and serve their communities, using their talents and resources to embody the spirit of giving. The Mines community has a service-oriented culture, built on gratitude for what we have received and a desire to pay it forward. Orediggers are OreGivers.

Learn more about how you can be an OreGiver at