Representatives of Alliance Coal, including Chairman, President and CEO Joseph W. Craft III, joined Dean Thomas Lester and faculty of the Department of Mining Engineering in ceremonies Friday to acknowledge Alliance’s gift of $300,000 to the College of Engineering.
Several federal and state mining officials were also present as a laboratory in the Mining and Minerals Research Building was named the Alliance Coal Analytical Laboratory. Renovation of the lab and new equipment will be funded by the gift, as will student scholarships.
“This is a significant and historic day,” said Dr. Richard J. Sweigard, chair of the Department of Mining Engineering.
” Alliance is once again leading the industry by establishing the first named laboratory in the Department of Mining Engineering: the Alliance Coal Analytical Laboratory,” said Dean Lester. “By purchasing this equipment and updating this lab, together we are providing additional opportunities for our students to further their education and improve their preparation for careers in mining.”
Craft expressed appreciation for the College’s accomplishments in mining engineering education.
“We deeply appreciate your interest in mining, and your recognition of the importance of coal to our economy,” Craft said. “It provides so many opportunities for families in Kentucky that they would not have otherwise.
“The people who work in the industry are heroes,” Craft added. “They are making a difference in people’s lives. The education you provide gives them the tools they need.”
Brian O’Dea, speaking on behalf of mining engineering students, said education must be followed by action.
“This gives students the ability to take action,” he said.