Q&A: Why Rolla?

“Why did you choose to attend MSM-UMR-Missouri S&T?” Historian Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of history and political science, posed this question to Miner alumni this past fall. Here are a few of your answers.

It was close to home and had a stellar reputation. Also, my high school trig and calculus teacher had a degree from there and talked it up, telling us we’d never make it there. I was, of course, driven to prove him wrong. He may have been recruiting with reverse psychology.

Lori (Bartlett) Davis, CSci’83
Ballwin, Mo.


Great engineering program and when I took my first tour, it felt like home! I wanted to be surrounded by other people who were eager to learn, grow and be challenged.

Lacey Reames, CE’12
Belleville, Ill.


I chose to attend UMR (now Missouri S&T) in 1997 because it was (and still is) the most challenging and prestigious public university in Missouri.

Cori (Lock) Nelson, MgtSys’02
Leawood, Kan.


During a sixth-grade math competition, my teacher said I should consider being an engineer. I was crushed, wondering why he thought I should drive a train! I shrugged it off until career day with the microfiche. At the time I thought that making $60K a year I would buy a Jaguar XJS.

Bart Shivers, EE’92, MS EMgt’98
Wylie, Texas


I attended an eight-week National Science Foundation program at Rolla during the summer of 1960. One of our classes was taught by Dr. Ed Lorey, professor emeritus of ceramic engineering. He was a great teacher who convinced me that ceramic engineering was the field for me. Plus, I loved the campus. I applied for admission that fall, entered in the fall of 1961 and stayed all the way through a Ph.D. in 1968. Attending Rolla (MSM in those days) was the best decision I ever made.

James E. Shelby, CerE’65, MS CerE’66, PhD CerE’68
Bridgewater, N.J.


I was invited to attend a youth dinner hosted by various faculty when I was in sixth grade. The focus was on getting more children engaged in STEM earlier. Following that dinner I was hooked. Took multiple drafting and CAD classes in high school and went on to UMR. I own my own engineering consulting business now.

Tim Peters, AE’10
Derby, Kan.


Legacy — I’m third generation, No. 14, if I counted right, in my family to attend. I knew I wanted engineering, and obviously my family knows where to go.

Brian Sandhaus, MinE’09
York, Pa.


ROI. Period. End of story.

Joshua Young, CE’08, ArchE’08
St. Louis

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

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By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

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Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

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Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

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What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

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