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Colorado School of Mines History Timeline


The Great War shapes this decade and the School of Mines continues to develop its reputation. As the School grows, controversy over governance and curriculum spreads to state and national venues, and its leadership fragments.

1910 --

  • National Guard Engineer Company A in Golden is designated as a Corps of Engineers unit due to its large number of School of Mines students and faculty.
  • Colorado School of Mines Magazine begins publication in 1910.
  • Ten Chinese students funded by indemnity money from the Boxer Rebellion are selected to attend the School of Mines. This is the first of a wave of Chinese students enrolling at the School.
  • Mine rescue cars from the new US Bureau of Mines travel by rail to the School of Mines to provide training in first aid and mine rescue.

1911 -- 

  • Victor Alderson is re-appointed to continue as President after much opposition; this appointment would end up drawing alumni, professors, Golden citizens, and State officials into the controversy.
  • Seniors stage a strike, demanding a holiday break. President Alderson becomes aware of the issue when he is serenaded by a group of students in costume with a list of demands and accompanied by a mule wearing plaid pants.

1912 -- 

  • The Experimental Ore Dressing and Metallurgical Plant is constructed near the south bank of Clear Creek.
  • By 1912 informal geology field camps are being held. Students slept in tents and supplemented camp cooking with game shot during their field work.
  • The first formal Senior Day is held. It starts with dynamite blasts from the clay pits. Seniors dressed in costumes or women's clothing roamed campus; classes were disrupted, and the seniors took the day off. The day ended with the Senior-Faculty softball game.
  • Mines joins the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The RMAC, formed in 1909, is the second oldest athletic league in the US
  • Boulder's goat -- A Mines supporter seizes the CU-Boulder mascot during a football game; the goat reappeared at the next Boulder-Mines game accompanied by the sign, "We've got Boulder's goat."

1913 -- President Alderson resigns amidst conflict, and a succession of 3 presidents follow over the next 4 years as the School tries to address community needs.

  • William G. Haldane is appointed Acting President after Alderson's resignation.
  • The National Guard Armory is constructed on the corner of 13th and Arapahoe St.
  • The curriculum is considered one of the toughest of the time--the student attrition rate for 1913 is reported to be over 50%.
  • The CSM Scientific Society is established. Its purpose is to promote scientific inquiry at Mines and in the community.
  • Football players take the field with numbered jerseys at a Mines-Colorado College game--reportedly the first time numbers are placed on football jerseys. True?

1914 -- Engineering students across the country are urged to earn their degrees rather than drop out of college. Many Mines students enlist in the military almost immediately after graduation. Mines Magazine lists 185 Mines men in uniform in March, and over 200 in service in its May issue.

1915 -- 

  • William Battle Phillips is appointed President.
  • Students excavate a new addition to the School Tunnel on Mt. Zion and construct a road to the Tunnel to replace the existing footpath as part their education.
  • The Board of Trustees authorizes the installation of an "intercommunicating telephone system" on campus, with telephone services to every building.
  • A Prospector's Short Course is offered for the first time. Instead of the 10 or so students expected, about 50 people enrolled. Calling themselves "shorthorns," the attendees ranged in age from 17 to 76 and included 2 women, a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister.

1916 -- 

  • Howard C. Parmalee is appointed President.
  • No women persisted at the School over the 1910's, although reportedly an unnamed "fair co-ed" and a sister of a professor were enrolled briefly.
  • The SAE fraternity buys land on 15th and Illinois St. to build a fraternity house; the Betas lay plans to build their own house on the corner of 16th and Arapahoe St. Prior to this, fraternities occupied rental housing in town.
  • Mines is designated as the first school in the US to be a federal military college and training ground for the Army Officers' Reserve Corps under the National Defense Act of 1916.
  • The US Bureau of Mines Golden Experiment Station is established on campus in the Physics Building (now Engineering Hall). This Station, which included work on uranium ore processing, is part of the growing Denver "radium boom."

1917 --

  • Victor Alderson is appointed President for the second time, after President Parmalee resigns when faced with interference from the Board of Trustees on the handling of a student boycott precipitated by the repercussions of Senior Day excesses. Alderson's appointment is controversial and much disputed.
  • The Military Science & Tactics Department is established.

1918 --

  • Military drill and instruction is now required of all students not physically disabled by the Board of Trustees. Mines students are formally organized into a unit of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC), along with over 550 other colleges and universities. The SATC is a war measure for rapid response; the School's existing military programs were barely formed when it was felt that an accelerated program was needed.
  • The Spanish Influenza epidemic reaches Golden in the fall and winter of 1918-19. The Armory Building is converted into an emergency hospital for the sick. Golden suffered less compared with other areas, but students and faculty were bedridden. Classes are canceled for much of December and early January.

1919 -- 

  • Fall 1919 enrollment is expected to reach 400, the largest student body on record. Soldiers were being demobilized, and CSM ran an ad for the school in the Stars and Stripes. According to an alum, Class of 1923, about half of the incoming freshmen were "grizzled veterans [of the Great War]".
  • The Latin American Club is founded. Within 2 years, it will have members from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
  • An Engineer Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is established at Mines.