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Colorado School of Mines History Timeline


Under Construction

The 1970s was a decade of change -- regional and national politics, energy policy, environmental concerns -- that impacted the School's academics and research, the minerals industries, and graduates' job prospects. Mines continued to develop its humanities program and established a new environmental sciences program, although not without protest over impacts on the traditional technical curriculum. This was also a time of anxiety for what was still a culturally conservative institution, with the country experiencing civil disorder, the Viet Nam war, OPEC and the energy crisis, student protests, and the draft. The School weathered controversies over mandatory ROTC, objectionable content in the Oredigger student newspaper, freedom of expression, and sweeping college radicalism elsewhere. The School as a residential campus continued to develop. The number of women students, while still a significant minority, continued to increase and further changed the face of Mines.


  • Guy T. McBride is appointed president. He holds a dual appointment as a professor of mineral engineering.
  • The campus Commons is created as 15th St. is closed and many of its buildings are demolished.
  • The College Union is formally dedicated as the Ben Parker Studetn Center in honor of former President Parker.
  • The Florence Caldwell Women's Residence Hall is named in honor of the School's first woman graduate. Twenty-five coeds live there under rules much more restrictive than those for the men's dorms.
  • Digital Equipment Corp.'s PDP-10 is the new computer on campus, with 50 million characters of storage space, 6 teletypes, and a dial-up service.
  • Conflicting arguments on mandatory ROTC for male freshmen lead to fears of demonstrations and outside "anarchists" agitating on campus. For the first time, a group of freshmen women sign up for Military Science 101.
  • This year's E-Day features the topic of environmental pollution.
  • William K. Schroeder, a former Mines student who transferred to Kent State, is killed when National Guardsmen open fire on demonstrators. 
  • The Nils A. Swenson Intramural Field is dedicated; Swenson was an alumnus and an Olympic medal-winning athlete.


  • Freshman Orientation takes steps to become more friendly and welcoming, banning hazing. However, a practice of throwing eggs at freshmen during orientation activities becomes a "tradition."