During a recent conversation in his Boulder, Colo., home, Hugh Evans ’49 said, “Work is a balance between fascination and frustration.” He’s certainly experienced plenty of both over the last 89 years.
His fascination with mining, which began at age 14, led him to Golden in January 1946 after being discharged. Although he’d been accepted at MIT and CalTech before the war, he felt Mines was a better fit.
A fascination with singing led him to restart the Mines Glee Club, luring students with the promise of free beer on Friday nights for singing at a local bar.
During a blind date at a fraternity costume party in January 1949, he met Ann Gullberg, beginning the longest fascination of his life. They were engaged later that year in California, and recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
After his father died later that same year, Hugh traveled east to be closer to Ann, a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder. His plan was to work at the Climax Mine in Colorado, but on the way he stopped near Salt Lake City at the Bingham Canyon copper mine, in part because the owner of the mine, Kennecott, had helped support Hugh with a scholarship at Mines. They hired him on the spot.
Evans benefited from another Mines connection years later when, in December 1956, Utah Construction & Mining hired him as a project manager for its Zamboanga Development Company in Zamboanga, Philippines, upon the recommendation of Colonel Wendell Fertig, Evans’ ROTC officer at Mines.
“Mining has given me a full and fascinating life, which I believe has served mankind in a constructive way,” said Evans during a talk he gave in Boulder in 2012.
He’s maintained strong connections to the university throughout the years. In addition to having three alumni grandsons (Timothy Clem ’04, Christoph Hurley ’10, MS ’13 and Daniel LeVon ’12), Evans served on the board of trustees from 1997 to 2005, is chair of Mines’ Research Institute and gives generously, Hugh and Ann are Gold Level members of Mines Century Society, and Hugh is a life member of the alumni association.
READ ACCOMPANYING DENVER POST ARTICLE HERE: Having had plans to feature a profile of Hugh Evans for several years, this Denver Post article caught our attention. It’s not easy to do justice in a short article to this remarkable pioneer and leader, but Bruce Finley did an excellent job. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did