Colorado School of Mines – Meyer Hall

AddressN.E. corner of Illinois and 16th Sts., Golden, 80401
QuadGolden, 1965 (1994)
SectionS34, T3S, R70W
SourceCSM Office of Public Information, 3/12/63, 6/11/64; CSM Office of Institutional Advancement, 3/2/92.
Initialdate1997-04-23 00:00:00-06
HistoryThis building, built in 1963 and dedicated to the memory of Dr. Paul Meyer in 1964, houses the Physics Department of the Colorado School of Mines. The building's appearance is unremarkable, unlike the man for whom it was named. Dr. Meyer was the type of professor every college or university would like to have. He was distinctive in appearance as he strode the campus and the streets of Golden with his gold-headed cane across his back. He was an excellent teacher, and he was genuinely interested in his students and their welfare. The cane, incidentally, was a gift from his students and he was never without it. Evidently, his students appreciated him as well. Dr. Paul Meyer was born in Switzerland in 1854 and moved to Denver in 1875. He did not like Denver, so he settled in Golden in 1876. He was considered a genius, and it is easy to see why. He graduated from the University of Berne at the age of 13, from the University of Heidelberg with an M.D. degree at the age of 18, and from the University of Berlin with a Ph.D. at age 20. When Dr. Meyer settled in Golden he took up the practice of medicine. Dr. Regis Chauvenet prevailed upon him to teach mathematics at Mines. He did so from 1883-1900 and simultaneously kept up his medical practice. He practiced medicine in Golden from 1876 until his death in 1930. He was asked to come to England to solve an engineering problem. The sum proposed for his services was described as "lavish," but he refused, saying he did not want to leave his patients for that long a time. He was considered one of the six top mathematicians of his day. He worked and corresponded with Albert Einstein and other top scientists such as Charles Steinmetz. His genius carried over to physics, astronomy, and chemistry. His teaching was by direct contact with his students using his own texts that he would not allow to be printed. Reportedly a great violinist, he would only play when alone or for children, never for adults. It was said that one of his two violins was a Stradivarius. As could be expected, he was also a chess champion. There were times when, deep in thought, he would arrive in the classroom, and on the board he would write two different mathematical formulas at the same time, writing one with each hand. Dr. Meyer was named the school's first Professor Emeritus.