Meet President Paul Johnson

2020 Vision: Connecting a new class of Orediggers to Mines’ tradition of excellence

On behalf of our community of amazing students, passionate alumni, creative faculty and caring support professionals — Welcome to Mines!

The start of the fall semester is one of my favorite times of the year—in large part due to the new energy, ideas and personalities that each class brings to Mines. 

First-year students experience a lot of “newness” in their first few months—new places, new expectations, new traditions, new challenges and a lot of new faces. I experienced this newness when I came to Mines last year. My goal for the first semester was to see and experience Mines as our new students see and experience it. I learned that students must be prepared for a healthy dose of hard work and academic rigor, to avoid flying solo, to get engaged in the Mines community, to explore new activities, and find ways to have fun and create balance in life. These seem to be the basic ingredients for success at Mines and beyond.

I also learned a lot from discussions with the Mines community during my first year, including many of our alumni. I often found myself wishing that I had recorded these conversations and could replay them to our students. Thus, one of our major efforts with the Mines Alumni Association this year is to explore ways to connect alumni and students to facilitate that exchange of advice and wisdom and pride in their connection to Mines. 

Corporate CEOs and recruiters frequently tell me that one of the valuable and distinctive features of Mines graduates is their effectiveness in teams and tendency to be collaborative rather than competitive. Encouraging our students to get involved early and often, will lead to effective collaboration skills and ultimately, to succeed at Mines and after graduation. 

Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you and please share any ideas you have for advancing Mines. You can reach me through the president’s office at

Go Orediggers!

Paul Johnson

Paul C. Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor and President, Colorado School of Mines

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Last Updated: 10/20/2016 19:46:42