Mines to honor individuals for career achievements, service

GOLDEN, Colo., March 4, 2013 – Colorado School of Mines will honor individuals for their career achievements and service to the university during the Celebration of Alumni dinner on April 26.

The Distinguished Achievement Medal, awarded to alumni in recognition of distinguished career achievements will be awarded to:

  • Larry Buchanan (’73, PhD ’79): Dr. Buchanan earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in geology and geological engineering at Mines and is now president of Electrum, LLC, a gold exploration company. In 1981 Dr. Buchanan became known in the mining industry for the “Buchanan Boiling Model,” which outlines how the
    boiling and oxidation of rising hydrothermal fluids could create rich ore deposits—a framework that has since helped guide geologists to billions of dollars’ worth of silver in thermally active regions. In 1995, while scouting for silver in Bolivia for Apex Mining, Dr. Buchanan discovered a 1 billion ounce open-pit silver deposit, a discovery for which Buchanan received the 2006 Thayer Lindsley International Discovery Award. The deposit was located under a village, which would eventually be moved 11 km away, and Buchanan and his wife were adamant that the villagers be treated ethically by the mining company. The process was detailed in the book "The Gift of El Tio" (profiled in summer 2012 Mines Magazine) and is recognized as a model of ethical practice. Along with business partner Thomas Kaplan, Dr. Buchanan contributed $1 million to establish the Buchanan-Kaplan Scholarship Fund to provide need-based scholarship awards to non-U.S. students who are citizens of underdeveloped or developing countries.
  • Deborah Peacock (’78): Deborah Peacock is the President/CEO and Managing Partner of Peacock Myers, P.C., Intellectual Property Law Services, with its primary office in Albuquerque and satellite offices in New York and Washington D.C.  Deborah is a Registered Patent Attorney and a licensed attorney in New Mexico, Colorado and New York. She is also a Registered Professional Engineer in New Mexico and Colorado. She provides legal and business/technology advice to a worldwide clientele. Her particular expertise is complex transactions and commercialization of cutting-edge technologies. 

    Deborah received her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines (with highest honors) in 1978 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1985. She uses her engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines daily, in reviewing and giving advice as a patent attorney about new technologies. Deborah has received numerous awards and professional recognition including Engineer of the year (Albuquerque Chapter NMSPE), Best Lawyers in America, Martindale Hubbell AV (highest rating), Super Lawyers, Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, Ethics in Business, and the NM Governor’s Volunteerism Award. In addition, Deborah serves on a variety of public and nonprofit boards including:

    • Regent at the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology (formerly New Mexico School of Mines)
    • Chair of the NM Environmental Improvement Board
    • Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum
    • Albuquerque Community Foundation
    • Jewish Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Donald L. Kammerzell (‘71): Mr. Kammerzell holds a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering. He is the owner of K-Zell Metals based in Arizona, a custom metal fabrication company specializing in stainless steel and aluminum. Products range from horse race starting gates to kitchen sinks to portable stages. In 2009, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performed on one of his stages during the World Series Game 1 at Yankee Stadium. A recent contract involved fabricating brackets to enable defense contractors to retrofit Humvees with ceramic composite armor. K-Zell helped develop the prototypes of a new seat system that is now required equipment for certain military vehicles. The system cushions some of the vertical acceleration resulting from explosions detonated beneath vehicles. In a 2009 Mines Magazine profile Kammerzell stated, "I'll always remember Jack Lubahn, a metallurgical engineering professor…once somebody teaches you how to truly think ... it changes your life," Another mentor was his track coach: "Joe Davies taught me that there is no job that is beneath you," he says. "The first time I met him he was raking the track and picking up little pebbles." Mr. Kammerzell is a Copper member of the Mines Century Society.


The Mines Medal, awarded to those who have rendered unusual and exemplary service to Mines whether or not they are alumni or members of the close university community, will go to:

  • Mike and Patty Starzer (both ’83): Michael Starzer is co-founder, president and CEO of Denver oil and gas company Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. (NYSE: BCEI), which went public in December 2011. The Starzers have demonstrated remarkable philanthropic leadership and have been giving to Mines for more than 20 years, providing unrestricted support for scholarships, technology, student life and faculty support, and construction of Marquez Hall. In 2012 Mike and Patty Starzer committed $5 million to support undergraduate student scholarships at Colorado School of Mines. They have stated that by giving to the university, they hope that Mines students, faculty and programs remain secure and continue to thrive so that future generations may prosper and the business and economics of the U.S. remain strong.


Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu




About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.