Spring 2011 Michigan Tech Magazine

Alumni Association Notes

Tech Reflections

Having returned home from yet another exceptional Winter Carnival, I'm thinking about the many generations of my fellow alumni who have experienced this unique tradition of ours and what other special connections we have in common. Your alumni association's mission statement is "Celebrating Traditions. Creating Connections," and I believe this is a great theme for my letter to each of you.

When each of us reflects upon the things that make our alma mater special, it's exciting to think about what has changed over the last 125 years, versus what has remained the same. All generations of alumni can certainly relate to certain constants: the rigorous curriculum; extraordinary bonds and lifetime friendships formed with classmates; individual attention from engaged, world-class faculty; the third-snowiest city in the country (and all the challenges of traveling to and from it, in the long winter!); and a campus size that has remained basically the same.

One item of fond personal note that has been a campus tradition for over fifty years is our very own radio station, WMTU. I warmly recall my own late night shifts behind the control board, playing requests from fellow students (and local residents) and staying awake with pots of coffee.

On the other hand, a return trip to "the Tech" might surprise you, as many differences exist for current students as compared to even our younger alumni: current technology is dramatically transforming the classroom experience (especially for long-distance students); many new buildings have been steadily added to campus over the last twenty years; and a much heavier personal financial load is being carried by today's Huskies.

Alumni financial support is crucial to the University's continued success. Your generosity to the Generations of Discovery campaign can help ease our students' financial burden in the face of decreased state funding and ensure success for many more generations of Huskies.
I challenge each of you to find your preferred method to reconnect with Tech in a meaningful way, whether by donating to the campaign, attending a local alumni association event, visiting campus, mentoring a student, cheering for our Huskies sports teams, proudly wearing Michigan Tech apparel, or just spreading the word about our alma mater!


Paul J. Ninefeldt '96
President, Michigan Tech Alumni Association

Home again—After over a decade of exile, the Michigan Tech Alumni Association headquarters has returned to its longtime home. Alumni Relations director Brenda Rudiger, left, joins Beth Hoy '96 and Jacque Smith '85, members of the association's Keweenaw chapter, in the cozy, spacious front room of the Alumni House. Everyone is welcome to drop by to chat and reminisce; there's always a pot of coffee brewing.

Don't miss the 2011 Michigan Tech Alumni Reunion

Summer is a great time to visit the Copper Country!

Michigan Tech Alumni Reunions are truly celebrations because they are about people reconnecting to a special time and place from their past. Join your fellow alumni and friends for a few days of reminiscing and sharing stories during the 2011 Alumni Reunion, which gets under way Thursday, August 4, and runs through Saturday, August 6.

The featured classes will be the Golden Ms (those who graduated fifty-plus years ago) and the classes of '61, '71, '81, '86, '91, and '01. Other special group reunions are planned for the volleyball, cross country, track and field, and Nordic skiing teams. The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary with some great events, and Varsity Singers alumni and several fraternities are hosting special gatherings as well.

The reunion schedule provides plenty of time to visit with classmates and friends. You can learn more about the interesting research taking place on campus and experience the Keweenaw with a historical mining site tour and canoeing, golf, and hiking outings. The schedule is available online at www.mtu.edu/alumni/reunion.

To receive a reunion registration package, please email the Office of Alumni Relations at reunion@mtu.edu or call 906-487-2400 or 877-688-2586 (toll free).

Alum's two-click calendar a Mac app hit

By Marcia Goodrich

Back in high school, 17-year-old Craig Otis '10 didn't much care for any of the calendars he used to keep track of his schoolwork. "I didn't like how complicated they were," said Otis, who earned a bachelor's degree in software engineering. "You had to type in all kinds of information. I wanted something that could do everything I wanted with a couple of clicks."

So Otis built his own electronic calendar. A Mac fanatic, he designed it to run on OS X and named it iProcrastinate at the suggestion of his little brother, who knew a thing or two about the study habits of teenagers. That was back in 2006. Now, his iProcrastinate for Macs is among the top-ten free downloads in Mac App Store, where it is described as "the ideal task manager for anyone who doesn't want their to-do list to get in the way of actually getting things done."

His iPhone version of iProcrastinate, which synchronizes with the Apple version, is a pricey ninety-nine cents; you'll find it in the iTunes App Store in the "Productivity" category.

"I never expected it to get as big as it has," Otis admits. "It's just a hobby that has taken off. To see so many people benefiting from it, recommending it, is incredible."

Otis lives in Rochester, New York, and works as a software engineer out of his home for the Hancock-based IT firm Lasalletech. In addition to his day job, he puts in ten or fifteen hours a week working on iProcrastinate, including providing technical support. He's not rich, but there are rewards.

"This beautiful app has helped me get better grades in school," one elated customer wrote on the Mac App Store site. "I still can't believe it's free."

HuskyLink online alumni community makeover

Celebrating four years of creating connections

Launched in February 2007, HuskyLink has more than 14,600 members and has attracted over 109,000 unique visitors from 142 countries. HuskyLink's success stems from its alumni features that complement Michigan Tech's presence on mainstream social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And now, with a new makeover, it's easier to use than ever.

HuskyLink is the only place where you can access the entire Michigan Tech alumni family, thanks to its versatile online directory, which has received 197,000 hits. In addition to standard directory fields, alumni and students can network by searching class year, major, and employer. Other features include our professional mentoring program, which lets students connect with alumni for career guidance.

To celebrate the success of HuskyLink and its new makeover, all alumni have a chance to win some exciting prizes.

  • Enter By . . .
  • updating your information
  • submitting a class note
  • using the directory (send mail)
  • Prizes!
  • 1st—New Husky-themed iPad
  • 2nd—Reunion 2011 ticket package and lodging for two
  • 3rd—$200 Campus Bookstore gift card
  • 4th—$100 Campus Bookstore gift card
  • 5th—$50 Campus Bookstore gift card