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Montana School of Mines. NWDA

 
 

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Biographical History

Although the Montana State School of Mines in Butte, Montana, was founded in 1893, it did not open for classes until Ssptember, 1900. Nathan R. Leonard was its first president. This school was designed to prepare students for careers as mining engineers. At first, two degrees were offered, leading to the designations of Mining Engineer and Electrical Engineer. The school stressed a good work ethic, and many students worked two shifts a week in local mines to help finance their educations. There was a large emphasis on placing students after graduation and presidents saw it as their personal responsibilities. Both men and women were admitted to the school. In 1918, the school name became the State School of Mines. In 1919, the State Bureau of Mines and Metallurgy was created as a department of the School of Mines. For years, the president of the school was also head of the Bureau. Through the years, the school has enjoyed many sports teams and student groups. One important activity was the creation of the "M" on Big Butte in 1910. This started the tradition of "M-Day," when students would whitewash the "M," clean the school statue of Marcus Daly, and generally have fun. During, World War II, the school became a Naval College and provided the V-12 program for hundreds of Navy men. Over the years, the school adjusted curricula and degrees offered to suit the demands of the time. Graduate degrees were offered beginning in 1929. At some point, the name was changed to the Montana School of Mines, and in 1965, to the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. In the 1990s, the school became Montana Tech of the University of Montana.

From the finding aid for Montana School Of Mines Records 1901-1925 (Montana Historical Society Archives)

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