Michigan Tech Builds on a Legacy to Welcome Future Generations of Students

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

An artist's rendering of the planned John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center at the Memorial  Union Building. The current Peninsula Room (in pink) will be renovated and an addition (in blue) will be built.
An artist's rendering of the planned John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center at the Memorial Union Building. The current Peninsula Room (in pink) will be renovated and an addition (in blue) will be built.

Michigan Technological University will honor alumnus and longtime supporter John Edgar McAllister by building a new Welcome Center named for him to introduce future students and their families to the campus. Michigan Tech’s Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on Dec. 13, 2013, approved the $998,000 project, to be funded entirely by donors, with the majority coming from the John Edgar McAllister Trust.

The John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center will consist of a 3,000 square foot addition and remodeling of another 1,500 square feet of the Memorial Union Building.

“The Welcome Center, located in the heart of campus, will double daily visitor capacity and convey the energy and excitement of the Michigan Tech experience in a warm and welcoming atmosphere,” said Les Cook, vice president for student affairs and advancement.  

The space currently used by the Admissions Office for campus visitors only seats 40 and has limited parking. Over the past year, the Board heard, numbers of visitors have often exceeded the space available for them.   

The Board also approved residence hall room and board and apartment rental rates for the 2014-2015 academic year. Room and board for a standard double occupancy room with the gold (median) meal plan in Wadsworth Hall will increase $279 or 2.97 percent. Standard (double occupancy) rooms in Douglass Houghton and McNair Halls will increase by $341 or 3.73 percent. Hillside Place Apartments residents will see an increase of $260 to $280, just under a 3 percent increase.

Student residents and/or families renting Daniell Heights Apartments will pay $15 more per month for one- or two-bedroom apartments and $20 more for a three-bedroom apartment.

The Board approved a proposal to move forward with an agreement with Julien Properties to renovate and manage Daniell Heights. Under the agreement, Michigan Tech will set baseline rents for the apartments and contract with students for their rental. The University will continue to own the property, which the property management company will maintain.  

In other business, the Board:

  • Learned from Provost Max Seel that Terry Sharik, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has been appointed to the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Resources, and Guy Meadows, director of the Great Lakes Research Center, has been appointed to the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Marine Engineering. David Shonnard, professor of chemical engineering, and Craig Friedrich, professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, will continue for second five-year terms holding the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Materials and the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Manufacturing respectively. 
  • Heard from President Glenn Mroz about a report released earlier this week on the economic footprint of Michigan’s 15 state universities and their impact on the economy of their communities and the state as a whole.  “Commencement is a great time to talk about this,” Mroz said,”because our graduates are a strong link to the future of Michigan’s economy.  In today’s economy, it’s talent, not capital, that limits growth, and all of Michigan will benefit from the students who graduate this week.” 
  • Recognized Dallas K. Bates, retiring professor of chemistry, for 38 years of service, and Paul Kilpela, a research associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, for 37 years of service.
  • Granted professor emeritus rank to Dallas K. Bates and to Calvin L. White, professor of materials science and engineering.
  • Appointed Robert Hutchison as an associate professor with tenure in the School of Business and Economics.
  • Eliminated the Master of Science in Operations Management degree program in the School of Business and Economics. No degree has been awarded in the program since 2002-2003.
  • Endorsed grant requests to the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts ($4,000) and the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts ($13,000)
  • Heard a report from David Reed, vice president for research, on Michigan Tech’s research expenditures for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Research expenditures totaled $15.5 million in FY2014, an increase of $439,878 or 2.9 percent over FY2013.  By rising, Michigan Tech’s research expenditures bucked a slight decline in research spending nationally, as reported last week by the National Science Foundation.
  • Applications for undergraduate enrollment for the fall 2014 semester are up 6 percent and deposits are up 54 percent compared to 2013, Les Cook, vice president for student affairs and advancement, told the Board. He also reported that graduate student applications for the fall semester are up 35 percent for master’s degrees and 40 percent for PhDs.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 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.