If you made the transition from high school to Mines in the last 25 years, you may have met Ray Priestley ’79, who regularly travels around the U.S. ‘usually paying his own way’ to speak with high school students about Mines.
“We talk about how college is a question of fit,” says Priestley. “You can go to other top-tier universities and get a good education, but are you going to be the best you can be? That comes with the demands at Mines.”
Before Priestley got involved with admissions in 1988, recruitment took place at college fairs, leaving little opportunity for substantive one-on-one conversation. But that’s changed. ‘Discover Mines’ events have been added specifically for students who are thinking about applying or who have received offers to attend Mines. They involve open discussions that, along with Priestley’s presentation, can include a Mines professor, who inevitably is asked a lot of questions from an audience as large as 250 people. “Parents have told us the combination of these events and hearing from alumni is the reason their student chose Mines,” says Priestley. “It’s factual, not sugar-coated.”
Priestley, who lives in Denver and is a member of CSMAA’s board of directors, averages about eight trips a year to events in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Phoenix, Chicago and, recently, Seattle, in air miles, equivalent to circling the globe eight times since 1988.