Harvey family doubles support for prestigious scholars program

“I couldn’t ask for a better education than I got at Mines, and now I want to pay it forward,” said Mines alumnus Hugh Harvey. “We want to help Mines attract the best, brightest and hardest working students, then encourage them to be thinking philanthropically from the moment they enroll.”

With a second major gift in three years, Mr. Harvey and his wife, Michelle, have more than doubled their support for the prestigious Harvey Scholars Program at Colorado School of Mines.

The $11.2 million gift, made through the Hugh and Michelle Harvey Family Foundation, will expand scholarship offerings for incoming undergraduate students and provide invaluable opportunities for study abroad and service learning. The Harveys and their two children, Jeff and Lauren, share a strong belief in paying it forward, and that commitment to giving back is central to the program.

Initially established with a $10 million endowment gift in 2009, the Harvey Scholars Program recognizes and rewards student merit in academic performance, character, leadership and service and is designed to foster continued excellence in academic and life pursuits. Harvey Scholars receive scholarships covering full tuition and fees, plus enrichment grants for academic and professional activities and supplemental funding for a semester of international study. Both Colorado residents and out-of-state students are eligible to participate in the prestigious program. The three students who comprised the first class of Harvey Scholars in 2009 are now juniors, and a total of 12 students are currently part of the program.

“The Harvey family’s extraordinary philanthropic commitment helps the university to attract the most promising students from Colorado and across the U.S. and excite them about careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Mines President M.W.  “Bill” Scoggins. “Through their leadership, the Harveys are transforming the lives of the students they support, providing the necessary resources to develop them into the engineering leaders of tomorrow.”

With the additional gift, the Harvey Scholars Program will grow to 26 scholars at the beginning of the fall 2012 semester as Mines welcomes 14 freshman scholars. Over the next 25 years, that number will expand to 300 scholars, with 60 enrolled at Mines at any one time. As the family’s gift is spent down over the next two-and-a-half decades, the Harveys are charging current and future scholars to pick up the ball and continue funding the program for future generations.

“The tremendous generosity of the Harvey family goes beyond their financial investment in Mines,” said Brian Winkelbauer, executive vice president for university advancement. “Hugh’s loyal service as a member of the CSM Foundation Board of Governors and the couple’s personal interactions with scholarship recipients show that they are truly invested in the future of our students.”

The Harvey Scholars Program encourages its scholars to travel the world and gain diverse experience that will help them become better global citizens. In the first three years of the program, Harvey Scholars have applied their enrichment funding to a range of professional development and service projects. Junior Georgianna “Georgie” Zelenak spent a summer at the University of Hawaii gaining hands-on experience exploring marine biology and endangered species, and immersing herself in Hawaiian culture. Three Harvey Scholars traveled to the Khumbu region of Nepal last spring with 10 other Mines students; sophomores James Ham, Kimmy Mazza and Caleb Whitehead helped clear trails that will serve as passageways and may help revitalize the economies of local Himalayan villages. Last summer, sophomore Darren Kirk helped repair homes on a service trip to the Fort Hall Native American Reservation while learning about Native American culture and art.

The close-knit group of scholars provides peer support, and participates in community service and volunteer projects at Mines and in the broader community. The scholars meet with Hugh and Michelle regularly, giving them the opportunity to learn the Harveys’ philosophy on philanthropic giving. The students are deeply involved in the selection of subsequent classes of scholars, an activity that further strengthens their commitment to the program and to one another.

“The Harveys are a wonderful family and, as a result, it has made the scholarship all that more enriching to get to know the donors and to know how they care for our success and our accomplishments,” says Scott Harper, a junior metallurgical and materials engineering major who will travel to India this summer to pursue a research project at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. “It is just fantastic to be a part of this program and to experience all of the things we’ve had the opportunity to be involved with.”

Mr. Harvey is executive vice president and director of Intrepid Potash, Inc., headquartered in Denver. He earned his bachelor’s in mining engineering in 1974 and master’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1980, both from Mines. In 2000, Harvey and business partner Robert Jornayvaz took over a Utah potash mine that was slated for closure due to declining production. By applying a drilling technique never before used to extract potash, they quickly doubled the mine’s production. Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI) is now the largest potash producer in the United States. Michelle Harvey is president of the Harvey Family Foundation, and is a 10-year veteran volunteer with Jefferson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), advocating for children involved in dependency and neglect cases.

“The Harvey Family Foundation is committed to empowering individuals and communities to make long-lasting positive changes to society,” said Michelle Harvey, president of the Harvey Family Foundation. “The Harvey Scholars are talented and caring students who will positively impact the global community and society.”

For more information on the Harvey Scholars Program, visit giving.mines.edu/harveyscholars.