The Janzens

Name: Howard and Cherine Janzen
Current Residence: Englewood, Colo.
Status: Howard is an alumnus of Mines, Cherine’s father was a Mines alumnus and she grew up in a house located where Brown Hall is currently
Graduation Year: 1976 (Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgy), 1977 (Master’s degree in Metallurgy)
Giving Clubs: Guggenheim Member, President’s Council, Silver-level members of Mines Century Society
Involvement at Mines: Howard is on the foundation’s board of governors

What are some of your favorite memories of your time at Mines?
Howard: “When I was brand new entering Mines, Dr. Matlock was my adviser. He was a brand new, freshly-minted professor. In my first meeting with him as my advisor, he said, “I’m brand new at this, I’m just like you and I have no clue what I’m doing.” I worked on a lot of projects with both him and Dr. Olson. Dr. Olson recruited a bunch of metallurgy students as undergrads to work on some of their research projects. We ended up getting a lot of valuable experiences.”

“I grew up on the Mines campus - my father graduated from Mines in the 50’s after World War II. Mines has always been an important part of my life. When I was fortunate enough to meet Howard and then get married, it became even more so important. We feel it’s a wonderful school; our daughter also graduated from there. We want to encourage other alumni to donate to keep what they value at Mines alive and well.”

How did your time at Mines set you up for a successful career path?
Howard: “There are several things that a Mines education drills into you that are critically important. One is learning how to work hard. I grew up working hard but Mines teaches you how to buckle down and work hard and stay focused and get whatever the challenge is you’re trying to conquer wrangled. 

 All of that leads to lots of confidence, you have to have confidence to be able to tackle obstacles and be a leader in business, have people be willing to follow, be a good role model and a good example.“ 

What excites you about the future of Mines? 

Howard:  Every time I’m on campus, there are a couple of things that strike me. It’s amazing how the campus has transformed into a world-class facility. The most important thing is the students. I have opportunities to interface with students and I’m so impressed with how focused they are, how serious they are in getting a good education. It is really, really exciting the Mines students that are there today.

You’re involved in student philanthropy on campus – why is it important for you to connect with students that way?
“It’s a fantastic thing to get students involved in philanthropy while they’re in school. It starts them understanding what kind of support it takes to deliver a quality education. It’s exciting to me to be around those students and their level of enthusiasm as they start in their careers. It’s kind of like one of those lifecycle things; we all benefited by getting a Mines education as a result of all of the people who were able to make that high-quality experience before we got there. When I was a student, I didn’t have any realization what it took for Mines to be a world class institution. The school makes a difference in people’s lives.”