At an event held at the University of Colorado, Boulder in November, the first eight individuals inducted into the 13-school Golden Buffalo Battalion Army ROTC Program Hall of Fame included two Mines alumni and one professor. The ceremony included Hugh W. Evans ’49; Vernon ‘Bud’ A. Isaacs ’64; and the late Colonel Wendell W. Fertig, a former Mines student who served as executive secretary of the alumni association and a faculty member. Each was honored for his personal and professional accomplishments, and for serving as role models for former, current and future Army ROTC Cadets.
Hugh Evans came to Mines to earn his professional engineer of mines degree having previously served during World War II with the famed 10th Mountain Division, which specialized in Alpine warfare and played an important role in the Italian Campaign of World War II. His military honors include a Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Evans went on to a successful career as a leader in the global mining industry. He has maintained close connections to Mines, serving on the school’s board of trustees for eight years and the alumni association board for five. In addition to contributing his time, Hugh and his wife, Ann, are members of the Colorado School of Mines Century Society, which recognizes extraordinary lifetime giving to Mines. In 1979, Hugh was awarded Mines’ Distinguished Achievement Medal. Today, he is the chief organizer of the annual 10th Mountain Division Ski-In and their challenging annual veteran’s climb to a 10th Mountain Division hut.
After Bud Isaacs earned his professional degree in petroleum engineering, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His service included combat operations in Vietnam as a first lieutenant with the 101st Airborne Division, for which he was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Purple Heart. Following his military service, Isaacs held several positions in the petroleum industry, before founding V.A. Isaacs and Associates in 1985, and RIM Companies in 1989. Mines awarded Isaacs a Distinguished Achievement Medal in 2008 for his leadership in the oil and gas industry and his service to the school. Bud and his wife, Kaye, are also members of the Mines Century Society. Isaacs is active in a number of community and professional organizations, including the Denver chapter of the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers and Boy Scouts of America.
Colonel Wendell Fertig attended Mines in the 1920s before accepting a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve and going on to serve as a civil engineer with mining companies in the U.S. and the Philippines. Col. Fertig served as commander of the 10th Military District in World War II and was later assigned to MacArthur’s General Staff for his remarkable accomplishment building a 35,000-strong resistance force on the Japanese-occupied Philippine island of Mindanao during the last few years of World War II. Following the war, he helped develop the Army’s Psychological Warfare Center, and received a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in combat. He served as professor of military science at Mines from 1947 to 1950, and served on the CSM Alumni Association board in the 1960s and 70s. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Mines at his Army retirement ceremony in 1950.
One of the first four universities in the country to adopt the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1919, Mines ROTC program is now Company B of Buffalo Battalion, which is administered from the University of Colorado, Boulder campus.
‘Trisha Bentz Kendall
Attention ROTC Alumni: The Department of Military Science is building a database of past ROTC students. If you haven’t done so already, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with your name, the year you graduated, and/or commissioned, what military branch you commissioned in, how long you served and what you are doing now. Feel free to add other personal details as you wish.