The Mines Philanthropy Council, a student organization sponsored and supported by the Mines Fund, began in the fall of 2015. Logan Schuelke, the council president, explained that Mines Philanthropy serves two purposes.
“We started the Mines Philanthropy Council this year to make philanthropy on campus more visible to the student body, and to get students directly involved in giving back on campus,” Schulke stated. In the last fiscal year alone, Mines received $40.6 million in philanthropic contributions. These funds go to improving the campus and offsetting the cost of attendance.
“We have had incredible Mines donors provide funds targeted for us to get students directly involved in the process of improving our campus,” Schuelke said.
One way that the council is involving students in this process is through an event called Philanthro-Tank, modeled after the popular TV show Shark Tank. Philanthro-Tank is a competition-style funding process where individuals, groups, clubs, and organizations present their ideas to improve campus. The funds for Philanthro-Tank were provided by Mines donors, Jerry (‘73, ‘75) and Karen Zink and Howard (’76,’77) and Cherine Janzen.
Jerry Zink stated, “Mines has played a big part in my life. It’s a small school with dedicated students, and a donation here will last for generations.” Jerry and Karen Zink attended the event and spoke with many of the different groups that won funding.
Similarly, Karen said, “Active Minds at Mines are the future. Young, bright people are who are going to engineer a sustainable future.”
The council hopes to continue Philanthro-Tank in the future, as well as hold other events that promote awareness for and involvement in philanthropic giving. Besides Philanthro-Tank, this year was also the start of Philanthro-Chat, a series that highlights Mines alumni who have involvement in giving back.
“We hope to hold more of these events to highlight the university’s amazing donors who all have different motivations for why they give back,” Schuelke said.
The Mines Philanthropy Council is taking initiative in developing on-campus philanthropy. Through Philantrho-Tank, they are striving to meet their goals – making philanthropy more visible to the student body and getting students directly involved in giving back on campus.
Twenty-two different groups applied for Philanthro-Tank. Fifteen semifinalists were chosen to present at the event on Nov. 13. The selected groups presented to a panel of ten students, faculty, community members and staff. The panelists were responsible for asking questions to give as much perspective as possible on the proposed plans. From there, the projects were judged by a group of ten students on the Mines Philanthropy Council.
Schuelke explained, “We were looking for anything that would represent an innovative approach to making a difference on campus that had significant scope, sustainability, and campus impact.” Through the opinions of the panelists, as well as audience participation, the council eventually narrowed it down to six finalists.
On Feb. 8, the six winners were presented with their checks. The winning groups were:
- Mines Little Theater – $2,900
- Kids Lab – $2,500
- Mines Rescue Team – $1,500
- Active Minds at Mines – $1,850
- Campus Kindness Kits – $500
- Student Alumni Association – $750