The Hasselmann legacy

Karl F. Hasselmann, a 1925 mining engineering graduate and Hasselmann Alumni House’s namesake, poses for a picture with his wife Marjory. The Miner Alumni Association’s new house was dedicated in his honor during St. Pat’s on Saturday, March 14.

Karl F. Hasselmann, a 1925 mining engineering graduate and Hasselmann Alumni House’s namesake, poses for a picture with his wife Marjory. The Miner Alumni Association’s new house was dedicated in his honor during St. Pat’s on Saturday, March 14. Contributed Photo

Behind the name of the Miner Alumni Association’s new home is a 1925 graduate who grew up on an Iowa farm and came to Rolla to study mining engineering.

A pioneer in offshore oil and gas exploration, Karl F. Hasselmann got his first taste of drilling for black gold on a summer job in Oklahoma his junior year. After graduating, the football and track letterman joined the California Co. as a field geologist, gaining the experience that led to his next career step as the chief geologist for Sinclair Exploration Co., with responsibility for prospecting in Austria, Hungary and Germany. While working in Europe, two turning points changed his life: He began researching how to use gravitational survey methods to locate offshore oil — and he met and married an American vacationing abroad, Marjory Nell Meyer.

After returning to the United States in 1933, Hasselmann was ready to look for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. He founded Houston-based Salt Dome Oil Corp. and began using the gravitational methods he developed to identify possible oil pools. After detecting a likely source in Galveston Bay, he drilled.

In February 1938, Salt Dome Oil, in partnership with Standard Oil Co. of Texas, discovered one of the first oil pools in the Texas Gulf — a forerunner of the massive offshore developments to come in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide. The research launched nearly a decade earlier by the young geologist delivered results.

Throughout his career, Hasselmann maintained a strong connection to Missouri S&T. He was awarded a professional degree in 1945 and an honorary doctorate in 1966. He served as president of the Houston alumni section, president of the Miner Alumni Association and co-chair of the 1964 centennial fundraising campaign. In addition to establishing the Karl F. Hasselmann Chair in Geological Engineering at what is now Missouri S&T, Hasselmann and his wife, Marjory, established chairs at Rice University and at the Mayo Clinic.

The facade of Hasselmann Alumni House.

The facade of Hasselmann Alumni House. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

But the contribution that made the greatest difference to S&T was an estate gift that encompassed not only a significant monetary bequest but also the continued proceeds from mineral rights and oil and gas leases held in trust. As Missouri S&T’s most generous donors, Karl and Marjory Hasselmann have contributed more than $20.4 million to date. Their remarkable legacy is recognized in the naming of the new alumni home, which will serve as the headquarters for alumni visiting campus.

The Miner Alumni Association held a public dedication ceremony for Hasselmann Alumni House on Saturday, March 14.

Maridel Allinder

Snakes invade Missouri S&T

St. Pat’s Snake Invasion: The Game
Go back in time with this special St. Pat’s game! A nest of snakes has made its way from the springs, streams, swamps and glades of the Ozarks to the highlands of Rolla. Playing as St. Pat, strike down 107 snakes using only your shillelagh and skill. Defeat them all before time runs out and receive a special bonus score. Can you save campus and banish the snakes from Missouri S&T? Help make this St. Pat’s the Best Ever!



A (Very Brief) History of Snake Invasions at S&T
According to legend, or Dr. Lance Haynes, fourth faculty advisor of St. Pat’s, Snake Invasion was started in 1912 by the junior class as a way to “initiate” freshmen.

Freshmen must use giant sticks called shillelaghs to club (plastic) snakes to death and bite their heads off.

This being the 108th Best Ever, each participating student is expected to club at least one snake 108 times consecutively. If they fail to do so, they have to start over.

Until they complete the ritual rite of passage, participating students must carry around their shillelaghs. So, don’t be surprised to see stripped and customized tree trunks propped up outside of buildings and classrooms on campus during the snake invasion, which starts Monday, March 7.

Now, on with the bashing!

CACAARR celebrates 30th anniversary


George Holmes (left), a senior in mechanical engineering, and Marquia Lewis (right), a junior in computer science, student representatives on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention (CACAARR), talk with Shenethia Manuel, vice chancellor of human resources, equity and inclusion at Missouri S&T and the chancellor’s liaison to the committee, about the success of CACAARR. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Earlier this month, we sat down with Shenethia Manuel, vice chancellor of human resources, equity and inclusion at Missouri S&T, to talk about the growth, success and future of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention (CACAARR) as the committee celebrates its 30th anniversary. Manuel serves on the committee as the chancellor’s liaison.

S&T: CACAARR is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Why was this group formed?

Manuel: This committee was formed when members of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and their key advisors met with the chancellor at the time to express concerns about recruitment and retention programs for African American students at the university.

S&T: Why is it important to have a committee like this?

Manuel: In general, African American students at predominantly white universities have had lower retention rates. When you walk around campus and can’t find others who look like you, who have shared backgrounds, it can be very isolating. It’s important for our university community to do what we can to make our campus a welcoming environment for all individuals.

S&T: What about recruitment, the other “r” in CACAARR?

Manuel: Recruitment and retention go hand in hand. As you increase the number of African American students on campus, retention becomes easier because the culture of the university itself is changing. We’ve been able to make great strides in the number of African American students over the years by stepping up our recruiting in African American communities and establishing articulation or transfer agreements with colleges and universities that have historically attracted African Americans.

S&T: So, it’s been 30 years. Why is it still important to have a committee like this?

Manuel: Because we still have a long way to go! Our goal is for the demographics of this campus to mirror that of our state and nation. Plus, it’s vitally important to focus on diversity and to welcome and support African Americans and other underrepresented minority groups and women, because it’s of the utmost importance to our corporate partners. They expect that we will have diverse students and graduates — diverse in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, where they’re from, what they studied, and so on.

S&T: What is Missouri S&T doing to change those trends?

Manuel: We’re doing lots of things, from adopting diversity and inclusion as a core, shared value of this university to encouraging African American alumni to come back and mentor students today. Over the years, the committee has also provided scholarships for African American students.

S&T: Of the 17 members of the advisory committee, the vast majority — 14 — are alumni. What motivates them to remain engaged with their alma mater?

Manuel: I think it is a love of the institution and the students, and a recognition of the opportunities that opened up to them as a result of the education they received here. It’s a way to give back and pay it forward.

By Liz McCune

See a full list of Black History Month events at Missouri S&T.

Whipping up a custom career

Darian Johnson

Chemical engineering junior Darian Johnson with cupcakes she made for her fellow camp counselors at Missouri S&T. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Food Network aficionado Darian Johnson always wanted to be a chef. In high school she also discovered an affinity for chemistry.

“I thought, ‘I like chemistry and I like food. What can I do with this?’” she says. “So I applied to all the food science-y schools.”

Of course, Missouri S&T was not one of them.

“My plan was to go to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to study food science. My twin brother was going to UT-Martin. I thought it was perfect; we could be together!” says Johnson, a junior in chemical engineering from Kansas City, Mo. “But then I thought about my mom — she only has two kids and he’s going away to Martin. I just couldn’t leave her.”

Then her best friend from high school came to Missouri S&T and told Johnson, “I love it here, but there’s just one problem: You’re missing.”

A Missouri S&T representative who visited Johnson’s school during a college fair also encouraged her to give Rolla a try. “He said, ‘I’ve seen your test scores. You should really think about engineering,’” says Johnson. He suggested she study chemical engineering, supplemented with some online food science courses.

Johnson visited campus for a Pre-College Initiative program. “After meeting students and seeing campus I thought, ‘I might actually like this place,’” she says.

But when Johnson arrived as a freshman, she didn’t participate in anything outside of class. She also ignored numerous emails inviting her to meet potential mentors, she says.

“I just kept hitting delete, delete, delete. So my freshman year I didn’t have a mentor,” she says.

Today, she mentors others through the student diversity program, during Opening Week, and as a student success coach at the Burns & McDonnell Student Success Center. Johnson is also the new president of the Association for Black Students and is active in Phi Sigma Phi national honor fraternity.

“I love it here now,” says Johnson. “I’m meeting all types of new people and I’m very involved.”

She’s also networked with people in the food science industry and is researching online courses. “I would like to work in product development,” she says. “I want to make new food products that are more tasty, healthy and cost effective.”

By Linda Fulps