This Week in Colorado History: Preparation for Graduation and the New Year

The Colorado School of Mines declined to renew five faculty contracts this week in 1916. “The Colorado Transcript” reported that this was due to “a general policy of retrenchment,” in other words, cost-cutting. On the other end of the spectrum, the school founded a department of applied engineering with Ralph R. Knowles as head. CSM also created “a department of English and foreign languages.” Although the professor to head it had not yet been found, he was required to be able to teach English, German, Spanish and maybe French. Additionally, the school hired Fred G. Carter “to take entire charge of the department of physical education and to act as head coach of all teams.” Carter was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and an expert in both sports and medicine.

In honor of their upcoming graduation, the Class of 1916 “invaded the sacred precincts of Guggenheim hall” and “took their last chance to be ‘boys again just for a day.'” The celebration surely annoyed local residents, as they awoke to the sound of sixteen dynamite blasts. The seniors created their own parade, apparently in costume, through the streets of Golden to Guggenheim. Once there, they held a mock faculty meeting, which amused even the professors being mocked. The seniors also published a five-column newspaper, in which “no one was spared.” Their graduation jubilance did nothing to improve their athletic achievements, as the senior baseball team lost to the varsity team.

Unlike today’s graduates who must contend with an uncertain job market, the class of 1916 had almost certain employment. According to alumni association secretary Orville Harrington, “Of course we find a few mining engineers that don’t have to work or don’t want to work, but there is no trouble now placing those seeking positions.” Harrington felt that the continued mining boom would result in increased CSM employment.

Copyright © 2020 The Oredigger Newspaper. All Rights Reserved.