Construction began in 1896 on what is currently Main Hall, and in 1900, the College enrolled its first students. Initially the MSM granted two degrees, one in Electrical Engineering and the other called an Engineer of Mines which had numerous Courses of Study allowing students to specialize in Mining, Chemistry and Metallurgy, and Geology. The inaugural graduating class commenced in 1903 and the first graduate to be placed was Louis Bender who accepted a smelter position at the Anaconda Reduction Works. However, it wasn’t until 1922 that the MSM began offering a separate Metallurgical Engineering degree that focused on mineral processing and extractive metallurgy. This focus remains intact today; however, in the early 1960’s, the program was broadened to involve materials engineering and thereby include physical metallurgy and materials processing, particularly ceramics. Although changes to the degree offerings have since been incurred to meet the changing needs of industry, the program has retained this broad base. In 2000, the present name of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering (M&ME) was adopted. Undoubtedly, the program will continue to change, but it will always honor its heritage thereby helping fulfill Montana Tech's mission. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the Anaconda Reduction Works is now home to world-famous "Old Works" Golf Course. Also, one of many fundraising accounts is named after Louis Bender, who coincidentally was an avid golfer! This account allows the M&ME Department to bring in industrial representatives for seminars and guest lectures. Other M&ME accounts in the Montana Tech Foundation also aid in student education including, but not limited to, scholarships, undergraduate research support, laboratory equipment acquisitions, and library book purchases, all in support of M&ME Student Excellence Program.