GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 7, 2012 – More than $32.5 million in private contributions made the fiscal year ending June 30 the most successful fundraising year in Colorado School of Mines’ 138-year history. Nearly 3,500 donors made gifts in 2011-2012, including an $11.2 million contribution from 1974 alumnus and Mines Foundation Board of Governors member Hugh E. Harvey and his wife, Michelle -- the largest private gift ever received by the university.

Propelled by this extraordinary commitment made through the Hugh and Michelle Harvey Family Foundation, Mines saw a year of giving focused on support for students. With their gift, the couple more than doubled their support for the prestigious Harvey Scholars Program, established with an initial then-unprecedented $10 million contribution in 2009, which offers full scholarship support to select incoming undergraduate students as well as funding for study abroad and service learning opportunities.

“Our donors set the tone for fundraising this year with a focus on gifts that help Mines attract the most promising students and excite them about pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Mines President M.W.  “Bill” Scoggins. “Now more than ever, the world needs Mines, and private support helps us continue to educate leaders who will help shape our global future.”

Generous donations from alumni, friends and industry partners help to bridge the gap between university resources and the true cost of a top-notch technical education, and to bring a Mines education into reach for many students. With an endowment of more than $200 million, Mines ranks in the top 25 among public U.S. universities for endowment dollars per student. Mines is also the top-ranked public university in terms of return on investment in's 2012 "Colleges Worth Your Investment" list, with the 30-year return on investment for an engineering degree totaling $851,700.

“More than 80 percent of Mines students receive some form of private support,” said Executive Vice President for University Advancement Brian Winkelbauer. “These essential resources help the university offset the rising costs of higher education and maintain its focus on preparing students to become capable leaders who will help address the world’s complex resource and energy challenges in the years and decades ahead.”

Led by a dedicated group of geology faculty and alumni, nearly $2.5 million was raised this year to establish the Robert J. Weimer Distinguished Endowed Chair in Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology. The endowed chair celebrates the legacy of Professor Emeritus Bob Weimer, and will enable the university to recognize and reward a highly accomplished senior scholar to teach and conduct research within its geology department. With more than 5,300 students and 350 faculty members, Mines relies upon named faculty professorships and chairs that are critical for attracting and retaining a distinguished faculty of experts. The addition of three faculty chair positions this year brings the number of named faculty positions at Mines to 30.

“The campus landscape is changing both in and out of the classroom,” Scoggins said. “Private support is allowing us to draw the very best faculty and brightest students to Mines, to update and modernize academic and student life facilities, and to equip campus with the latest technologies to ensure that our students hit the ground running after graduation.”

This fall, two prominent new buildings will open on campus, thanks to private support contributed in recent years. Since 1980 petroleum engineering graduate Tim Marquez and his wife, Bernie, issued an historic $10 million challenge grant in 2005 through the Marquez Foundation, more than 200 donors have contributed $27 million in gifts and commitments to Marquez Hall, a state-of-the-art building that will house the Petroleum Engineering Department and provide 23,600 square feet of general-use classroom space in an addition made possible by student fees. The facility is outfitted with modern technology and interactive learning spaces including a 3-D visualization lab – a large theater-style room where students wearing 3-D glasses can virtually fly through petroleum reservoirs and attain a firsthand look at the underground view. 

Across campus, the finishing touches are being put on the W. Lloyd Wright Student Wellness Center, a comprehensive health and wellness facility named for former Mines physician Dr. W. Lloyd Wright, who served campus and the Golden community for more than 30 years. CSM Foundation Board of Governors member and 1956 alumnus Steve Mooney and his wife, Gayle, through their Galena Foundation, named the center in Dr. Wright’s honor as a tribute to the high standards of care that he embodied in his career.

Other notable gifts from the past year include:

  • Two 1983 Mines alumni committed $5 million in support for student scholarships.
  • An anonymous contribution of $800,000 was made in support of the Colorado Fuel Cell Center, which is housed on the Mines campus.
  • ConocoPhillips contributed $700,000 in continuing support for its ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholars Program, as well as Marquez Hall, the Multicultural Engineering Program, and several academic departments and programs.
  • Bentley Badgett II, a 1974 alumnus, and the J. Rogers Badgett Sr. Foundation contributed $525,000 to establish an endowed scholarship fund in memory of Bentley’s father, 1940 alumnus Russell Badgett Jr.
  • Chevron contributed $510,000 to support initiatives through the company’s University Partnership Program, which provide scholarships, grants and departmental gifts to the university.

Erica Siemers, Senior Director of Donor Relations and Campaign / 303-273-3154 /
Trisha Kendall, Director of Donor Relations and Communications / 303-273-3526 /