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Photo courtesy UTEP

Special ‘Mining Minds’ Lighting Celebrates First Day of Classes

The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, to commemorate the original first day of classes on Monday, Sept. 28, 1914.

Twenty-seven students were enrolled in the first class at the State School of Mines and Metallurgy, now UTEP. They came from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Mexico.

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange. Learn more about the statue and its artist at

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