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Faculty Spotlight: The Ghost of Chauvenet Hall

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Written by Jacqueline Feuerborn

Posted on 30 March 2014

There is one person on campus that does not get nearly as much respect as he should. Every student, faculty, and staff member has heard of him but no one knows the real story and even fewer have even tried to talk to him. He is campus's only ghost.

Gregory Vladinkash is the ghost of Chauvenet Hall. Some people have heard the story or perhaps even ventured into the depths of Chauvenet Hall in hopes of seeing him but few have succeeded. Professor Vladinkash is not the terrifying ghost that everyone thinks he his. There are stories that claim he was a Russian prisoner during the Cold War and was tortured for information in the depths of Chauvenet Hall, but the truth is far less ominous and even more ominous at the same time. Vladinkash is a Russian citizen but he has not been to his mother country in over thirty-seven years.

The truth is, Gregory Vladinkash is not his real name. He was born as Sergi Putin. Yes, as in President Putin of Russia. Gregory, or Sergi as he use to be called, is the grandfather of the current President of Russia. How did Putin's father come to be in the basement of Chauvenet Hall on the Colorado School of Mines Campus?

Vladinkash left Russia in 1936, the year people claim he died. There is little known about how he is said to have died, for anyone who could know anything shuts up the second that the current Putin looks their way. What little is known is that Vladinkash left Russia and made his way to the United States by way of boat. As he passed the Statue of Liberty, he chose a new name. That was the day that Gregory Vladinkash was born. Vladinkash became a mathematician and soon secured a teaching job at none other than Colorado School of Mines.

He was a well-liked teacher while at Mines, and some students even went so far as to claim that he was the best teacher that they have ever had at Mines. However, when looking into who Vladinkash taught while at the school, all records of his classes and students disappear, except for the name plaque in the basement of Chauvenet Hall and a single newspaper clipping from CSM's own Oredigger. All it says in the article is that students mourn the loss of Professor Vladinkash and that 'he will be missed'. There is not even a hint of what happened to him but all we do know is that he died sometime during his time at Mines.

The rumors about his ghost inhabiting Chauvenet Hall, seem like just that: rumors. However, despite any initial hesitance there is no doubt that there is something hiding in the shadowy basement of Chauvenet Hall. What else could give the entire building that air of danger and gloom? Why else do people refuse to enter the basement of Chauvenet Hall? There is only one answer to these questions. It is simple really, Vladinkash still lives down there. The only place on campus he feels safe perhaps? We can never truly know, unless someone is brave enough to venture down there and find him. Who is willing to find Gregory Vladinkash or Sergi Putin, as he was once known, and ask him his story?
Colorado School of Mines

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