Creativity found at Mines


Boasting the largest crowd in history and an overflowing Ballroom A, High Grade’s April 23 launch went off without a hitch. With a live musical performance, readings from some of the published authors, and a special tribute to a Mines student who passed away.

High Grade, the school’s literary journal, started in 1970, has always published the pieces that showed the right-brain prowess of students at Mines. Students, faculty, and staff have always had their best works of fiction, poetry and art published. This year, for the first time ever, the edition features a music and spoken word CD, which was composed with the help of the Music Department here at Mines. The journal, though originally a fairly amateur-looking publication, has undergone a stunning transformation, partially thanks to the constant mentorship of Toni Lefton.

Since Lefton became advisor in 2000, the journal’s budget and quality has increased significantly, placing High Grade in a great position to compete nationally with other journals. “This journal has seeped from the pencils and brushes of creative engineers who understand that fine art and science are inseparable to the unaided mind,” said Abdullah Ahmed, the Editor-in-Chief of High Grade. “The building of this journal is nothing short of constructing a vehicle.”

It takes about eight months from start to finish to compile, design, and print the journal. This year, High Grade received a record number of submissions, making the selection process very difficult and competitive. “It was a mountain climb creating and compiling these pages,” Ahmed said, “but with the help of the High Grade team and the constant support of Professor Lefton, it became a brisk walk down the garden.”

High Grade will be distributed to the campus this week; be sure to pick up your free copy. Meanwhile, if you would like to join the High Grade team, make a literary submission, or learn more about the club, please visit the official website (


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