The Rock Auction found its roots in 2003, when then faculty adviser Dr. Lisa Hammersley was in her first year. A graduate student suggested the idea based on a similar event he had experienced at his undergraduate institution. The idea was met with enthusiasm and Dr. Hammersley and then department chair, Dr. Dave Evans, gave it their full support. During its inaugural year, the Rock Auction was organized and hosted by the Geology Club, which at the time only consisted of about twenty driven geology students. To pay for the costs associated with hosting such an event, the early club members hosted bake sales. The big night was held in the Alumni Center and attracted approximately 100 rock hounds, geologists, and rock enthusiasts. The Rock Auction raised $3,000 during the first year and has increased every year since, with more than $16,000 being raised during 2016. These funds go directly back to the students, initially in the form of subsidies for field courses and now in the form of scholarships and enrichment activities. But the Rock Auction is more than just a fundraiser for the students in the Geology Department. In addition to the money it raises, the Rock Auction connects the students with the local community of rock shops, gem and mineral clubs, collectors, and industry professionals. Alumni return for many years after they have graduated to support their alma mater and the students currently working their ways through the program.