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Colorado School of Mines History Timeline


Major revisions in the curriculum, which began in the 1950s, continue through the 1960s, driven by accreditation expectations, the changing needs of the mineral industries, and student demographics. The course load for the Engineer of Mines (E.M.) degree, which now typically takes 5 years to complete, becomes increasingly unwieldy; additions of humanities requirements add to the load. The university finally discontinues the E.M. in favor of the 4-year Bachelor of Science degree. (The E.M. as Mines first degree holds strong ties with alumni and School identity and tradition.) During this decade Mines begins the transition to a residential institution, constructing on-campus housing, including married student housing. This is also the decade that enrollment of women increases significantly, resulting in a (relatively) major cultural shift. Concerns over changes at Mines and the growing presence of women, and the wider global issues of Communism, the threat of nuclear weapons, and the Viet Nam war manifest in different ways.


  • The Basic Engineering Department is established as a non-degree granting department.
  • Every Mines graduate of the Class of 1960 is reportedly placed in a job in their field of interest, with an overall average salary of $467/month.
  • A Summer Science Training Program sponsored by the NSF is established for secondary school students.
  • Mines Magazine's 50th Anniversary.
  • The Denver Broncos train at Brooks Field this summer.


  • William Wayne Keeler, Executive Vice President of Phillips Petroleum Co. and Chief of the Cherokee Indian Nation, is the Commencement speaker.
  • The Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory is established at Bergen Park, Colorado, in partnership with the USGS. Built around an old feldspar mine, it's reported purpose is detecting underground nuclear blasts.
  • A summer Science Institute focusing on the earth sciences and supported by NSF funds is held for high school teachers.


  • Enrollment, which has dropped since the mid-1950s, increases slightly this year.
  • Mary McGill, Class of 1962, is the first woman to earn a Petroleum Engineering degree (and the 6th woman to receive a Mines degree).
  • The first professional B.S. in Mineral Engineering in chemistry, physics or mathematics is offered by the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics as they become degree-granting departments.
  • The new "west campus" property, formerly a site of clay mining, is slated for married student apartments. Ideas for the northern portion, which is unsuitable for construction, include a sports arena, amphitheater, or all-School bomb shelter.
  • 542 Mines alumni are currently working internationally across 62 foreign countries, according to the Alumni Association.
  • Sao Kya Seng, E.M. 1953 and the ruling prince of the Shan state of Hsipaw, vanishes following a military coup in Burma.


  • Orlo E. Childs is appointed president of Mines.
  • Meyer Hall, the new 'science hall,' is completed.
  • The new metallurgy building is dedicated as Nathaniel P. Hill Hall.
  • Students and faculty assemble at the front of Guggenheim Hall for a memorial service for the late President Kennedy.
  • The American Association of Professional Engineers (AIPG) is founded at its first convention, held at the Colorado School of Mines.


  • Mines raises tuition for Fall 1964 to $300 for Colorado residents and $800 for out-of-state residents.
  • Commencement is held at Red Rocks Park for the first time.
  • The College Union (located on its present-day site) is completed. It replaces the temporary Union that was housed in the old Gymnasium building.
    • A 90th Anniversary time capsule is placed in the new College Union building. [The time capsule was forgotten but re-discovered in 2014 during renovations of the building.]
  • The Computing Center is formally opened with the acquisition of a high-speed Control Data Corp 8090 computer with a central processor, paper tape reader, punch card reader, and printer. [The Mathematics Department housed a computer center prior to this.]
  • Prospector Village married student housing is completed.
  • A women's residence hall is established in a large house on campus, as the number of co-eds has increased.
  • Dan Fix, senior in metallurgical engineering, is selected to try out for the US Olympic wrestling team.
  • The Anvil Points Oil Shale Research Center near Rifle, Colorado is dedicated and Mines receives the contract to operate it.


  • The Graduate Research Center is established in the former Gymnasium building.
  • Graduate school enrollment has almost doubled (202 enrolled) compared to 1960-61.
  • Mines students organize a blood donation campaign reportedly as a counter to anti-Viet Nam war demonstrations on other campuses.
  • Singer Judy Collins performs at Mines as part of a national folk singing tour.
  • An Art Lending Library is established for students to decorate their residences with original art works.


  • The Bachelor of Science degree replaces the School's traditional Engineer of Mines (E.M.) degree for incoming students.
  • A carillon is installed in Guggenheim Hall's tower.
  • The Geology Museum receives a collection of over 11,000 mineral specimens on permanent loan; the collection was started by the Colorado Bureau of Mines in 1895.
  • Geophysics Department students and faculty link localized north Denver earthquakes (up to 4.3 magnitude) to well injection activities at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.


  • The Mining Engineering Department reports the largest undergraduate enrollment (187) on campus.
  • Morgan and Thomas residence halls are completed.
  • The Rugby Club is established.
  • Ground is broken for he Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house, the fourth of Mines' six fraternities to move to West Campus Drive.
  • Members of the football team hand-carry the 12' Prospector statue that topped the Mining Exchange Building in downtown Denver for eight blocks to its new location at a downtown bank.


  • The Colorado Commission on Higher Education Task Force, in its review of Mines, drops the suggestion that the university consider a name change.
  • Mines creates vice president positions for: Administrative Affairs; Academic Affairs; Business Affairs; and Development.
  • Masters degrees in physics, chemistry and mathematics are approved
  • The Integral Club reopens at its new location in the College Union; "dry" on school days, with beer sales starting at 4 pm.
  • The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference is established; Mines is in the Conference's Mountain Division.


  • The Green Center [new Graduate Professional Center] is dedicated.
  • There are 151 international students enrolled for Fall semester, representing 43 countries.
  • The Mineral Economics Department is formed as a graduate degree-granting department.
  • A student submits a petition calling for the abolition of mandatory ROTC instruction.
  • Five women are reported as graduating in 1969.