Mines alumni build on traditions, connections and impact through volunteer opportunities

Volunteer with Mines platform makes it easier than ever for alumni to get involved, stay connected with alma mater
Mines alumni volunteers pose at 2023 M Climb

Alumni volunteers Marcin Koral ’22, Dianne Campbell ’83, Lynn Cain ’86 and Libby Booton ’16 participated in the M Climb in Fall 2023.

The M Climb. Oredigger Camp. Senior Capstone Design Showcase. Those may all sound like things exclusively for current Mines students, but Mines alumni are also often involved—and playing an important role. They’re often volunteering their time and talents at these events, whether that’s weighing rocks at the start of the M Climb, helping student groups work through engineering problems at Oredigger Camp, sharing their professional knowledge in a classroom and more. 

There are many opportunities for Mines alumni to volunteer on campus—or in their local communities—and stay connected to their alma mater. And with the Volunteer with Mines platform, getting involved is easier than ever. 

“We know a plethora of alumni volunteer to support Mines every year, but it was a patchwork method for individuals to get connected and find those opportunities,” said John Griffin, associate director of alumni engagement. “This volunteer site now provides an easy platform for campus departments and initiatives to post their volunteer needs and be a one-stop-shop for individuals to find those needs. Instead of needing to stay in constant contact with departments, faculty or staff, individuals are able to log in to this site and see the host of available opportunities that span from student life to career development to academic support.”

We asked Libby Booton ’16, who has volunteered at a variety of events on campus over the past few years, for her perspective on the benefits of the volunteer experience and why she continues to give back to Mines in this way. This is what she shared.

It’s easy to find opportunities and sign up—without a huge commitment.

Booton always anticipated being involved with Mines in some way after graduating, but she wasn’t sure what that would look like. But when she started volunteering with her sorority, Sigma Kappa, she realized she loved spending time with students.

“I started reading the alumni emails more closely and seeing volunteer opportunities in there and being able to book them online,” Booton said. “It’s really easy to sign up. It’s not a big commitment. Everything is a little bit here and a little bit there. You just give what you can. And then over time, you kind of crave it.”

It’s a fun way to give back—and fits within her current capacities.

Since that first experience, Booton has returned again and again. She’s been involved in Admissions’ Discover Mines event, Oredigger Camp and the M Climb and often visits classes in the Physics Department and supports recruitment for Sigma Kappa. And she finds all these opportunities equally rewarding.

“There are so many ways I volunteer, and volunteering with Mines is probably the most fun,” she said. “You hang out with students. You hang out with alumni. It rekindles the fire and love for Mines. I’ve never had a bad time volunteering for Mines.” 

Booton is able to contribute to Mines in a way that fits within her schedule while still making an impact.

“For me, it was an alternative to the donation requests I get as an alum,” she said. “When you can’t do much financially but you have the time, it’s a really cool, alternate way to give back. I always leave happy and excited.”

It can be a new way of experiencing Mines traditions.

For Booton, participating in Mines traditions as an alum is not only special because they introduce new students to the Oredigger experience but because they also deepen her appreciation for those traditions.

“Last year was my first year volunteering at Oredigger Camp, and I thought it was so fun. I’m jealous I didn’t get to do it as a student,” Booton said. “That kind of stuff is so fun because it’s some of my favorite parts of Mines. Getting to be involved in them in a different capacity and helping those traditions carry on—or in the case of Oredigger Camp, seeing how these things are evolving—is really energizing. You get to do the really fun things you did as a student but from a different perspective.” 

It’s a good way of bonding with others in the Mines community. 

While Booton originally volunteered at Mines to meet students and help enhance their campus experience, she has also built valued connections with other alumni.

“As I volunteer for different things, I run into some of the same people who are also volunteering. It’s a social experience because you’re connected with other alumni, not just with students,” she said.

About the Volunteer with Mines platform

The Volunteer with Mines platform streamlines the ways Mines offers volunteer opportunities and connects with alumni in a way that is approachable and equitable. Alumni can see an assortment of opportunities and pick the ones that most interest them. Opportunities range from participating on campus directly to joining virtual events and engaging with the Mines community across the globe.

In 2023, the platform had 188 unique users respond to volunteer opportunities. Those users responded to 48 volunteer opportunities and logged 1,626.5 hours.

The Senior Capstone Showcase was the biggest volunteer event to date, with 68 volunteers judging projects. This spring’s Showcase is on track to surpass that number of volunteers as they aim to recruit 100 volunteers to come to campus and judge senior projects.

Check out all the available volunteer opportunities and get involved at volunteer.mines.edu.

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.