Return to campus

by | Apr 7, 2023 | Alumni Network, Spring 2023 | 0 comments

Four Mines students explain a project to an alum.

For many college graduates, their alma mater is a point of pride. It’s where they earned a degree or two (or three). It’s where they started their professional lives. It’s where they made some of their best friends and started their network.

However, after completing their degree, many graduates may only return to their alma mater for events such as Homecoming and their class reunions. But at Mines, there are so many other opportunities for alumni to return to campus and engage with the Oredigger community long after graduation—with benefits for both the university and alumni.

“Having alumni on campus is really the ultimate win-win proposition.” said Andrew Flynn ’86, ME ’98, director of alumni engagement at Mines. “For students, alumni coming back to campus demonstrates a desire to be part of the school and share their professional experience. For alumni, there is a great sense of pride being asked to come back to campus. Being around Mines students reminds you the quality of education is still at the highest level and to contribute to our students’ success is personally rewarding.” 

“Mines alumni provide a connection to industry and innovation that helps our students see beyond their degree to opportunities that at one time may have seemed unrealistic,” Flynn said. “Alumni participation in special interest groups has connected Mines to the aerospace industry, helped promote and support women in STEM and developed a new set of entrepreneurs. Alumni investing their time and sharing their passion for problem solving instills an atmosphere of excellence across campus in all departments and programs.”

We asked some alumni who regularly volunteer on campus for their perspectives. Here’s what they had to say about their experiences and motivations for giving back to Mines.

“My father, Jim Molden ’60, motivated me to stay in touch with Mines and give back. We started one of the first M Clubs as a way of keeping alumni engaged and connected in Bellingham, Washington. Currently, I am interested in volunteering my time because our son is attending Mines, and I want to help make his experience as good as it was when my father and I attended, to continue the reputation of Mines. I value the capabilities of Mines graduates, and I am interested in hiring more Mines graduates for the clean energy consulting work I do.” 

–Sabine (Molden) Brueske ’94

“During my industry career, I participated in campus recruiting at Mines and other schools. This was always a very positive experience, discussing courses and outlook with the students. Direct student interaction reviewing Capstone Design projects is a similar opportunity to understand current student goals and objectives, new technology applications and to provide some feedback regarding my experiences.” 

–Dennis Fagerstone ’71

“Judging the Capstone projects is a great way to learn about cutting-edge technology the students are learning—their projects are amazing, and the students’ enthusiasm is infectious. And mentoring in the Innov8x class is an exciting way to share my experience and at the same time be with students as they come together as teams and solve complex problems in new and innovative ways. I’m really impressed by the excitement and energy that there is on campus and how many student activities there are. When I attended, it felt like it was pretty much just classes, studying and exams with a little bit of sports—you had to go somewhere else for any special interest and social activities. Now, there are so many activities, organizations and support groups available on campus. I’m really energized to volunteer and be part of the present and future of Mines and these amazing students.” 

–Gary Hoffman ’70

Interested in getting involved on campus? Learn more about all the ways you can engage with students, share your expertise and volunteer your time at