From engineering creative designs for the “M” on Mt. Zion, to coordinating Winter Carnival festivities for students each January, members of Blue Key Honor Society define themselves by much more than just GPA. The Mines Chapter of Blue Key, in existence since 1926, challenges members to use leadership, service, and scholarship to better themselves, the Mines campus, and the Golden community.
“I love everything about it,” says Kyle Heser, club president and a senior in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering. National Blue Key has its roots at the University of Florida, where the university president called upon a group of 25 student leaders to coordinate a Homecoming program in 1924. The event was such a success that the students formed a permanent service group and the idea quickly spread to colleges across the nation. While there are a few national requirements and a national conference is held each summer, the individual chapters are given the freedom to create their own traditions and require stricter membership eligibility if desired.
“There aren’t many organizations that play such a significant role in so many different events,” explains Kyle on Blue Key’s involvement here on campus.
Mines students in this organization lead the freshman M-Climb each year, promote attendance at sports and other activities, volunteer at career fair and graduation, and even take care of Blaster the donkey when he is away from his owner Bill and home in Idaho Springs.
The chapter has been advised by Michelle Kozell of the Environmental Health and Safety Department over the past year with assistance from Bruce Yoshioka, Mining Engineering Laboratory Coordinator.
Blue Key additionally works with the Golden Chamber of Commerce to coordinate annual service projects like decorating downtown Golden with holiday lights and contributing to Habitat for Humanity projects. Because the Mines chapter constantly strives to increase service and involvement, the group has hosted the national conference several times and received recognition from Congressman Ed Perlmutter, President Bill Scoggins, and even the City of Golden.
While all of these events promote school and community spirit, they also allow members to grow as student leaders and build lifelong friendships. Members form a tight-knit community and help one another discover talents with committee and leadership roles. In addition to that, Blue Key has a retreat each fall to further develop meaningful connections among students.
Mines Blue Key is accepting 2015 membership applications (by email invite only) until Tuesday, March 3rd at 12:00 PM. To be eligible, students must have a GPA in the top 1/3 of their graduating class and have completed at least three semesters at Mines (or be a transfer student with enough credit to qualify as a fourth semester student). Additionally, the board is looking for students who are excited about the organization, have involvement experience, and are passionate about making a difference on campus.
“The overall enthusiastic spirit makes it unique,” says Kyle. “Everyone knows how to work hard but also have a good time.”
National Blue Key’s motto is “Zu Ziihpeton,” which translates to “Serving, I Live.” Members of this special campus organization must have immense life balance to maintain such high academic standing and still dedicate time to service. Kyle puts it best saying, “Blue Key is all about getting to know exemplary folks and seeing what we can accomplish together.”