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Colorado School of Mines History Timeline


The late 1930s saw the start of the 10-Year Building Program, which changed the face of the campus. Women students were intermittently enrolled, mostly in summer courses. With the Depression, the School tightened its financing, and many students received financial aid from the federal government that allowed them to remain in school. Traditions and "agitation" [hazing] became increasing concerns as institutions across the country examined campus cultures.

1930 -- 

  • The School graduates its first son of an alumnus, Max Scheble, Jr., Class of 1930.
  • Guggenheim Hall continues to shift on its foundations; the Simon Guggenheim philanthropies donate $31,000 for repairs.
  • The Geophysical Lab is established in a building on the Armstrong Block..
  • There's a proposal to erect a large neon "M" on either Castle Rock or North Table Mountain.

1931 -- 

  • Fall enrollment is the largest this year, attributed to the rise in unemployment in the country.
  • Natural gas is installed for the student assay furnaces, removing the need to haul away the ash and clinker left by coal.
  • Wild Horse Park is established as the School's field camp. Students make the annual trip there for their 3-week field session.
  • The Student Activities Committee passes a set of "agitation" [hazing] rules approved by the President and the Dean.
  • The Student Store opens to provide school supplies.
  • A golf team and an unofficial hockey team are established.
  • The Alumni Association creates the Engineers' Lease Program to grubstake unemployed alumni to work properties in Cripple Creek.

1932 -- 

  • The class entering in 1932 averages at 18.8 years of age, the youngest yet.
  • As the Great Depression unfolds, the School of Mines and other institutions make salary cuts for faculty and staff. President Coolbaugh calls for the "strictest economy."
  • The Geophysics Department acquires an old automobile to reconstruct as a traveling geophysical laboratory.
  • The 'M' is permanently lit with electric lights.
  • The National Society of Scabbard and Blade, honorary military fraternity, is established.
  • Foss Drug Store, billed as the Miners' Hangout, stops allowing soda fountain purchases "on credit" due to the poor economic situation.
  • Construction on the Golden-to-Boulder road starts; when completed it will shorten the distance by 19 miles.

1933 -- 

  • The Public Works Administration (PWA), part of the New Deal, begins support for construction and infrastructure of Colorado campus buildings.
  • About one third of Mines faculty reportedly hold commissions in the military Reserves.
  • It's the custom for freshmen to use the sidewalks only when walking on campus; to use the back door of Stratton Hall; to speak only when spoken to. Freshmen and sophomores are not allowed in the Assay Lab [Chauvenet Hall].
  • The Student Council decrees that freshmen be allowed to wear cloth miner's pit caps with lamps in place of the frosh hats; freshman headgear is required to be worn on campus for their entire first semester at the School.

1934 -- The first silver diplomas are awarded to the entire graduating Class of 1934.

1935 -- 

  • Former President Herbert Hoover is a guest at the 1935 commencement ceremonies; he receives an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree.
  • About 20% of the student body is set to receive federal financial aid for the first time through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The National Youth Administration provides funds for over 100 students to work on campus.
  • Students add a float parade through town to the Homecoming festivities.
  • Blue Key changes the lights on the 'M' to red for the Christmas holidays for the first time.
  • The Colorado Supreme Court rules, after protracted legal battles between farmers and mining companies over the state of Clear Creek, that pollution of public streams is illegal. Research will be undertaken to treat mine tailings so they can continue to be dumped in Clear Creek.

1936 --

  • The School has the largest international student enrollment in Colorado (59), nearly half of all international students enrolled in the state.
  • The new Mining Engineering Building is completed with the renovation of the former Assay Lab and Power Plant.
  • ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits 4 of Mines' programs for the first time.
  • Buildings -- housing and a laboratory -- are constructed at Wild Horse Park.
  • Zenith II, a burro characterized as very smart and very noisy, is adopted as the mascot and makes his appearance at the Homecoming game. [It's unknown whether there was a Zenith the First.]
  • The Senior Stetson, after a 2-year gap, reappears in Spring 1936.
  • NIls Christiansen, Class of 1938 (representing the Philippines and John Liddle, Class of 1939 (representing Canada) compete in the Berlin Olympics 1936.

1937 -- 

  • The university's name officially becomes Colorado School of Mines.
  • The Field House [later named Steinhaur Field House] is completed.
  • The CSM Baseball Field [later named Darden Field] is constructed.
  • Wild Horse Park gets a bunk house, kitchen, showers and other buildings on site.

1938 -- 

  • Class lists showing students' grades will now be posted on the campus bulletin board.
  • The Student Exchange campus bookstore opens in the Geophysics Building to sell course supplies and used textbooks.
  • "Another thing worth mentioning is the promiscuous use of dynamite and other high explosives. There has been entirely too much  dynamite being used by men on the campus who know very little of its properties.... THINK BEFORE YOU USE WEAPONS OR DYNAMITE."
  • Mines has a winning 1938 football season with the strongest starting line-up in its history that includes Loping Lloyd Madden and "Tiny" Harry Tanaka.

1939 -- 

  • State tuition for new students increases from $20 to $35.
  • The Dramatics Club is formed and gives their first performance, "Journey's End."