Class of 2010 Detonates Their Stuff

SOCORRO, N.M. May 17, 2010 – The Class of 2010 at New Mexico Tech welcomed in a new tradition Friday, the day before graduation.

The science and engineering university in Socorro is known for explosives testing and research. This year, Tech invited this year’s graduates to blow up their least favorite mementos.

Tech students toss their detritus into a barrel in preparation for the special event for the Class of 2010.
Bob Martin, reporter from KRQE, films the preparations for the "Blow Up Your Alarm Clock" event.  EMRTC photos

About 35 students and their guests rode busses to an EMRTC test site, where students contributed items from their college years that they would rather forget – alarm clocks, backpacks, tests and papers.

The pile of unwanted paraphernalia was loaded into a barrel, then blown up. Tests and term papers seemed to outnumber all other items, with chemistry texts leading the list of books blown up.

“A bonfire would not necessarily fit well with our history and our area of expertise,” Vice President of Research Dr. Van Romero said. “At Tech, we blow stuff up. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate getting a degree here than detonating the alarm clock that wakes you up every morning.”

Bob Martin, reporter with KRQE, attended the event. His report aired three times Friday in the station's newscasts.

Romero said textbooks are acceptable, but he’d hope students recycle their books or keep them. Staff from the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center will chronicle the proceedings in video and photos.

The “Blow Up Your Books” event is sponsored by the office of Research and Economic Development, the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center and Van Romero, Class of 1977.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech