Name: Leslie Penello
Current Residence: Houston, Texas
Status: Leslie is an alumna of Mines
Graduation Year: 1979 (Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering)
Giving Clubs: President’s Council
Involvement at Mines: Leslie is the current chair of The President's Council
What was your Mines experience like? Do you have a favorite memory?
I embraced my Mines experience for many reasons. It was very challenging as I expected it to be. I was confident the required hard work would provide me opportunities in a challenging and rewarding career. The school's commitment to supporting students through the challenging curriculum was evidenced by the small classes, the superior professors and the comradery of fellow students. And Mines supported me in other ways. I wanted to swim competitively, at a time when there was no women’s team. So Mines let me swim on the men’s team. This provided me a nice diversion from the academics schedule.
How did graduating from Mines set you up for your career?
The reputation of Mines opened many doors for me, both personally and professionally. The Mines education prepared me to succeed in both.
What inspires you about Mines?
The tradition of excellence of this small, elite institution has always inspired me. Wherever/whenever I have been asked, “Where did you go to school?” my response, “Mines” makes a statement that sets the tone for every new encounter. I am always proud to be an alumna and continue to play a small role in the history of Mines.
Why did you start giving to Mines? Why do you continue to make supporting Mines both financially and by being chair of the President’s Council a priority?
I was the recipient of various scholarships and understand the importance of that support – financially and emotionally. My gifts to Mines allow me to give back to an institution and tradition that provided me the springboard for my success. In addition, I believe my gifts are an investment in the students and their futures. Chairing the President’s Council provides me an opportunity to augment my financial support and be involved with Mines in a more significant level.
When talking to other alumni, how do you encourage them to support Mines in any way they can?
To alumni who are supporting Mines financially or through their time and energy – I say “THANK YOU” and please continue. To alumni who do not, I say “WHY NOT?” and hope that will help compel them to start giving.