Finding a million ounces of gold from campus using satellite photography isn’t usual for a student earning a master’s degree in geology, but it’s what happened to Russell Dow MS ’04. His story of mineral discovery is probably the luckiest find recounted in the feature story, ‘Hitting Paydirt,‘ but it’s not the most unusual of the four we share.

The cover story about Jerry Grandey ’68 is also fairly extraordinary. My interest was first piqued in February 2011, when he mentioned in a talk that he had been an anti-nuclear activist during the ’70s. Since he had later become CEO of the largest uranium company in the world, there was obviously a story to tell, but it was more than a year before we spoke and I found out just how much of a story it was.

Anyone who struggled through Physics I or II at Mines should read ‘Studio Physics Makes Waves.‘ The work of Professor and Physics Department Head Tom Furtak and his colleagues over the last 15 years has undoubtedly led to more effective ways to teach some tough foundational physics courses, and the approach is also gaining traction in other technical disciplines. Could this be part of a fundamental change in teaching methodology that influences engineering education everywhere?

On the subject of impacting education, you may recall our story from 2009 about Hugh Harvey ’74, MS ’80 and his wife, Michelle, who created a $10 million scholarship program in 2009. In this issue, we announce that they have more than doubled the size of the Harvey Scholars Program fund. The Colorado School of Mines Foundation estimates that their gifts will fully fund a Mines education for about 300 students over the next 25 years, that’s quite an impact!

A lesser impact, but one we hope you favor, is the new design in this issue. In addition to cosmetic changes, we’ve simplified how departments are divided. You’ll now find all campus stories in Inside Mines, such as the one about the men’s basketball team making a big splash last season, and photos sent in by alumni are now dispersed throughout Class Notes. Another addition is found on the back page Miner’s Pic is a place to feature your creative photography that carries a Mines theme.

Lastly, a couple of acknowledgements: Since joining the alumni association as managing editor in August 2011, Amie Chitwood’s hard work and thoughtful contributions to the publication have been considerable, and are particularly evident in the pages that follow. I’d also like to thank Oliver Dewey ’12, who worked on the magazine all four years he attended Mines. The care, sensitivity and respect he devoted to our obituaries are particularly appreciated.

And, of course, thanks to you for taking time to read this issue. We’d like to know what you think of the changes, so please email us at [email protected]. You can also start a conversation about any of the articles you read here by going to and sharing your thoughts at the bottom of the story.

Best wishes for the remainder of this blistering (in Colorado, anyway) summer.

Nick Sutcliffe
Editor and Director of Communications
Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association