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Colorado School of Mines History Timeline


The School of Mines positions itself for a new phase of growth, with plans for increased enrollment and additional buildings while responding to the decline of domestic mining and the increased interest in hydrocarbons and uranium. It does so while navigating the conservative political climate of the time, worry over federal regulations and changes in the engineering profession, and concerns about the spread of Communism. The university faces a future that includes diversity in enrollment it is not prepared for.

1950 -- 

  • John W. Vanderwilt is appointed president.
  • The School purchases City Park, 5 acres of land east of Illinois Ave. and between 16th and 18th St.
  • Fall enrollment is expected to be about 1,000, with veterans comprising about a third.
  • The first formal job placement survey is given to students, to provide data and aid job counseling.
  • The 76th Commencement is held in Steinhauer Field House for 297 men, the largest graduating class in the history of Mines.
  • The Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity is established on campus.

1951 -- 

  • Chauvenet Hall, renovated from the former Power House/Assay Lab building, is dedicated.
  • The Admissions Department is established.
  • Mines ROTC unit has graduated more reserve officers than any other engineer ROTC unit in the country.
  • Every freshman is assigned a number and given a booklet of tickets. He submits a ticket at every School function; tickets are checked to determine who's skipped out and the negligent men are apprehended.
  • A Student Welfare Committee is established to send condolences and congratulations; to counsel and advise; and to forward grievances.
  • This year's burro mascot is named Blaster -- Our first Blaster!
  • The soccer team, composed mostly of international students, has "the finest win record ever posted by a Mines athletic team" undefeated in over 50 consecutive games.
  • The Mines Foundation is established to receive gifts and contributions and promote the welfare of CSM.

1952 -- 

  • Coolbaugh Hall, the new chemistry building, is completed.
  • A sign, "Colorado School of Mines, World's Foremost College of Mineral Engineering,"  is erected by Blue Key on the new Clear Creek Canyon highway (Hwy 6).
  • Nancy Easley enrolls at Mines. As a freshman she appears on the cover of Life Magazine posed in front of the entire student body (of all men). 
  • A Public Information Office is created, based on the public relations office established in 1951.
  • Brooks athletic field hosts the first nationally televised football game in the Rocky Mountain region, between the Orediggers and Colorado College.

1953 -- 

  • Alderson Hall is constructed.
  • An Infirmary is established in response to student feedback.
  • The practice of freshmen adding a rock to the 'M' during their M-Climb is mentioned for the first time.
  • The Mines Band gets new marching uniforms incorporating the traditional plaid shirt, engineer's boots and miner's hard hat.

1954 -- 

  • The Library building is completed. The relocation of library materials and offices from Guggenheim Hall's ground floor, sub-basement and tower, as well as storage spaces, to the new building begins.
  • Bradford Residence Hall is constructed -- It is Mines' first residence hall.
  • The Geology Museum creates an exhibit of radioactive minerals and ores, most of which are supplied by the Atomic Energy Commission.
  • The Associated Students of the Colorado School of Mines is incorporated.
  • The Graduate School is formally established by the Board of Trustees.
  • Senior Day is abolished (again) because of inappropriate behaviors.
  • A mountain peak near Berthoud Pass is named Colorado Mines Peak after the School of Mines.

1955 -- 

  • "The 100 Year Horizon Report" is published. It provides direction and sets down principles as a foundation for the future of Mines, including a multi-million dollar plan for expansion and development of academics and facilities.
  • The Mines' payroll for its 258 employees tops $1 million.
  • Catherine Larkin and Dawn Hayford are the first two women to enroll at the same time.
  • An undergraduate degree is now likely to take the student 5 years to complete; there's pressure to address this but no clear course of action.

1956 -- 

  • The old Chemistry Building complex (1880-1890) is razed to make way for the planned metallurgy building.
  • Sophomore Dawn Hayford is joined by freshmen Patricia Herald and Barbara Roylance, for a record-breaking 3 female students on campus.
  • The faculty reject a proposal to assign numerical grades along a range, that would give the student a better idea of their standing than the existing letter grades.
  • A raft race on Clear Creek is the newest edition to Engineers' Day.
  • The first International Day is held at Mines. It includes exhibits, films and a panel discussion, followed by a dinner and dance.

1957 -- 

  • Randall Residence Hall is constructed.
  • Four co-eds (women students) are enrolled for Fall semester.
  • The Department of Economics merges with the Department of English and Other Humanistic-Social Studies, and focuses on mineral economics.
  • SOMAC (School of Mines Analog Computer) is the first computer installed on campus.
  • The name College Union is adopted for the student union.
  • The Mines Flying Club purchases its second plane. The Club offers flying lessons free of charge.

1958 -- 

  • The new Metallurgy Building (later named Hill Hall) is completed.
  • Mines sets up its first formal financial aid programs.
  • The 50th Anniversary of the 'M,' still acclaimed as the largest single illuminated letter in the US, is celebrated.
  • ROTC acquires a 75mm field gun for its building.

1959 --

  • The Gymnasium is completed; it is adjacent to Steinhauer Field House.
  • The average faculty salary is about $6,500.
  • The 25th Annual Engineers' Day festivities include:
    • Award presentations
    • Exhibits: The exhibit demonstrating uranium solvent extraction won Best in Show
    • Crowning of the E-Day Queen and Mr. Engineer
    • Drilling and mucking competitions
    • 5th Annual Mines Raft Regatta (in the freezing Clear Creek)
    • Beard growing contest to observe the Colorado Centennial 1859 gold strike