Emilie Rusch

Celebrating 150th anniversary, Colorado School of Mines has special ceremonies in store for Spring 2024 Commencement

Graduate Commencement to be held May 9, followed by three Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies May 10
President Johnson speaks during Midyear commencement

Colorado School of Mines will celebrate its Spring 2024 Commencement with two days of ceremonies May 9-10.

In honor of Mines’ 150th anniversary year, university officials are planning an extra special celebration with traditions old and new for graduating students – many of whom missed having a traditional high school graduation in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That includes the creation of a special 150th Anniversary Hat, which harkens back to the head coverings worn by hardrock mining engineers in the mid-1800s, as well as the Senior Stetsons purchased and worn by many Orediggers until the 1970s. 

Graduate Commencement will kick off the two days of festivities at 3 p.m. May 9 in Lockridge Arena. Undergraduate Commencement will follow on May 10, with ceremonies at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. split by academic department. Tickets are required to attend Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement for anyone over the age of two. All four ceremonies will also be live streamed on the Mines’ YouTube channel.

Two Mines alumni will be giving the keynote address at Undergraduate Commencement: Hugh E. Harvey, Jr. ‘74, ‘80, co-founder of Intrepid Potash, Inc.; and Nancy A. Keegan ‘82, Investment Committee Chair of the Colorado School of Mines Foundation Board of Governors. Harvey will speak at the 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ceremonies, and Keegan will give the keynote at the 5 p.m. ceremony. 

Hugh E. Harvey, Jr. ‘74, ‘80

Headshot of Hugh Harvey

Harvey’s 50-year professional career has included employment in both the mining and petroleum industries.

In 1984, he started his own company, Harvey Operating and Production Company, jumping onto the roller coaster of being an independent producer of oil and gas. In 1996, Harvey and his business partner Bob Jornayvaz co-founded Intrepid Oil and Gas, LLC, followed by Intrepid Mining, LLC and then Intrepid Potash, Inc., the last of which was listed on the NYSE in April 2008. Harvey devised the key technology that Intrepid Potash uses to mine potash in Utah: solution mining of potash and horizontal drilling, the latter borrowed from the petroleum industry.

Harvey and his wife, Michelle, are also strong supporters of education through their family foundation, especially in science, technology and the arts. In 2009, they formed the Harvey Scholars Program at Mines – this unique program emphasizes philanthropy and cultural enrichment and has provided full tuition scholarships to almost 200 students to date. The Harveys also support the Harvey Transfer Student Scholarship at Mines, the Harvey Scholars scholarship at Red Rocks Community College, and the apprentice teacher program at the Denver School of Science and Technology.

A member of the Mines Foundation Board of Governors, Harvey holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering and a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Mines. 

Nancy A. Keegan ‘82

Headshot of Nancy A. Keegan

Keegan has held key positions in several prestigious firms throughout a career spanning the realms of engineering, finance and entrepreneurship.

She began her career as a Process Plant Foreman and Process Engineer for the Exploration and Producing Division of Mobil Corporation. Later, she served as Vice President of Simmons & Company International, where she specialized in mergers, acquisitions, and financings in the oil and gas service and equipment industryShe also served as Managing Director of Crosshill Financial Group, a boutique investment bank, and co-founded, directed and served as Chief Financial Officer of Prestwick Companies, Inc., an early-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on central nervous system disorders.

Driven by a passion for education and philanthropy, Keegan chairs the Investment Committee of the Mines Foundation Board of Governors. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, University Technology Development Corporation, and Nebraska Global Investment Company.

Keegan and her husband, Donald Voelte, established the Nancy A. Keegan and Donald R. Voelte Endowed Scholarship Fund, with a focus on supporting students who have participated in the Challenge Program at Mines. She was recognized with the Mines Distinguished Achievement Medal in 2015, and is a member of the Mines Century Society, Infinite Miners, and is a Guggenheim Member of the President’s Council. 

Keegan holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from Mines and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.