Alumni to Be Honored at Awards Banquet

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Tech will honor the achievements of two alumni and a benefactor at the Alumni Reunion Banquet Friday, Aug. 3.

The banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday with a social hour in the Memorial Union Ballroom, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. The dinner features a variety of entrees, including prime rib. Tickets are $30 at the Alumni Reunion registration desk in the Memorial Union. For more information, call 487-2400.

Dr. Matthew N. Songer ’79, a spine surgeon with Orthopedic Surgery Associates in Marquette, will receive the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Songer is also chairman and CEO of Pioneer Surgical Technology, a business he founded in 1992 which is now a leading developer and manufacturer of surgical instrumentation and spinal and orthopedic implants.

Songer earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Michigan Tech in 1979 and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1983, where he also completed his orthopedic residency in 1988. In 2006 he received a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University and is now an adjunct professor at Michigan Tech and a clinical assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

Pioneer Surgical is expanding globally and has over 200 employees. The firm has received numerous patents, including one it shares with Michigan Tech for a device to help reconstruct the spinal column.

Songer is a member of Michigan Tech’s College of Sciences and Arts Academy and lectures in the biomedical engineering program.

Dennis E. Teeguarden ’53, a professor emeritus of environmental science and policy management at the University of California at Berkeley, will be presented with the Outstanding Service Award.

Teeguarden earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Michigan Tech in 1953. After service in the US Navy, he earned a master’s in forestry and a doctorate in agricultural economics, both from UC Berkeley, where he has served as chair of the Department of Forestry and Resource Management and as associate dean of the College of Natural Resources. Berkeley has honored Teeguarden for distinguished achievement and service.

He has been active as a consultant to industry and government, including service on a national Committee of Scientists to advise the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service on land-management planning regulations for the national forest system.

Teeguarden is the coauthor of a major textbook on forest resource management and a fellow of the Society of American Foresters. In addition, he is a member of the Western Forest Economists, the California Wildfowl Association and Ducks Unlimited.

Teeguarden has extensive involvement with the university. He is a life trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund and a longtime supporter of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, which honored him in 1993 with an outstanding alumnus award.

Ross E. Roeder attended Michigan Tech from 1958 to 1960 before transferring to Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After serving in the US Army, he earned an MBA at UCLA.

Roeder, who will receive the Honorary Alumni Award, says his years at Michigan Tech gave him “an edge” in graduate school and in his career.

Roeder is chairman of the board of Smart & Final Inc., a warehouse chain that serves caterers as well as small businesses and restaurants. The firm operates in the western US and northern Mexico. Roeder has also led businesses in food service, restaurants, photo-developing, construction, publishing and consultation for emerging companies.

He maintains close ties with Michigan Tech. He is a charter member of the McNair Society of planned givers; a past president and life trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund; and a member of the national advisory board of the School of Business and Economics.

He has established an endowed scholarship for the SBE to encourage entrepreneurship and leadership. He remains a fervent fan and financial supporter of Michigan Tech’s football program and was a founding member of Tech’s chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

Roeder was awarded the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Silver Medal in 1986.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.