A Meaningful Mining Match

Nov. 1, 2022

The combined generosity of two families of alumni doubles the impact of a gift establishing an endowed leadership chair


Greg Boyce was accepted to two universities after he finished high school. But a springtime visit to Tucson made it an easy choice: He would study engineering at the University of Arizona.

“Obviously, I’ve never regretted making that decision,” says Boyce, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering in 1976 and went on to a successful 40-year career in the global energy and mining industry. His wife, Lisa, a 1978 business
administration alumna he met at UArizona, has been by his side throughout.

With a $1.5 million gift to UArizona and a plan to give an additional $1 million, the couple will establish the Gregory H. and Lisa S. Boyce Endowed Department Leadership Chair in Mining and Geological Engineering. Endowed chairs help the university attract and retain faculty members who have achieved national or international distinction. Kray Luxbacher, former head of the Department of Mining and Minerals at Virginia Tech, is the chair’s inaugural holder.

“Expanding and strengthening our mining and geological engineering program has been one of my top priorities since I joined the college in 2019,” says David W. Hahn, the Craig M. Berge Dean of the College of Engineering. “Greg’s long and impactful career is a perfect testament to the value of a mining engineering education, and we are proud to name this leadership chair after two such successful University of Arizona alumni.”

Doubling Impact to Support New School
Greg Boyce, chairman of the board of the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources and the 2013 College of Engineering Alumnus of the Year, said he felt the time for the gift was right because of the university’s new School of Mining and Mineral Resources.

Co-administered by the College of Engineering and the College of Science, the school brings together students and professionals from a range of disciplines as well as community members to tackle industry challenges, with a particular focus on sustainability. Its location is key, as Arizona produces three-quarters of the nation’s copper, and nearly 50,000 jobs in the state are connected to mining in some way. The Arizona State Legislature provided $4 million in ongoing yearly funding for the school in fall 2021.

The Lundin family, of the Lundin Group, a collective of public companies in the resource sector, donated $2 million to the school in 2020. The family also offered a $2.5 million match for funds raised by December 2022. With their gift, Greg and Lisa Boyce are not only establishing the endowed chair but also having double the impact by meeting the match.

“This is a meaningful example of alumni leaders in industry working together to move the university forward. When alumni give to programs that made a difference in their own lives, it sets the stage for all Wildcats to compete with the best,” says John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the UArizona Foundation.

Now a member of the American Mining Hall of Fame, Greg Boyce says his UArizona education set him up for a challenging global career in the mining industry.

“I feel very strongly about the importance of mining and mineral resources, and strong leadership is critical to the evolving nature of the mining industry,” he says. “Lisa and I are so pleased to be able to provide the endowment to further the mining and mineral resources education goals of the university and train the next generation of mining industry leaders.”

Kray Luxbacher

Kray Luxbacher