Colorado School of Mines (Mines) is a public research university specialising in science and engineering, located in the city of Golden, Colorado, just 15 miles from Denver’s downtown business district.
Established in 1859, it mainly acted as a supply centre for local miners and settlers (the then ‘Golden City’ was a gold-rush town, populated by prospectors). By 1866, a local bishop, George M Randall, had recognised the need to bring higher education to the region and set to work constructing a university that would include a school of mines.
When Mines opened in 1874, the focus of its early academic programmes was on gold and silver, and their extraction. Students could take courses in chemistry, metallurgy, mineralogy, mining engineering, geology, botany, drawing and maths.
Today, Mines priortises ‘understanding the Earth, harnessing energy and sustaining the environment’ with a science and engineering curriculum that emphasises ‘responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources.’
The university’s campus is home to both award-winning modern buildings and historical architecture restored to its former glory. Among them is the Mines’ Geology Museum, founded in 1874, which exhibits mineral, gemstone, fossil, meteorite and historic mining artefacts from the 19th century.
Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Golden itself offers easy access to stunning scenery and a range of outdoor sports. Cultural attractions come in the form of art galleries and museums: it boasts the most per capita within the whole of Colorado.
Golden is also home to the headquarters of Coors Beer and its brewery acts as a local tourist attraction, as well as being one of the leading employers in the area.
On the athletics field, Mines’ students are nicknamed the Orediggers and their sports teams’ colours are silver and blue.