TechAlum News

March 14, 2005 (Vol. 11, No. 42)

An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Senior Director of University Communications. For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:

  • Husky Tales
  • At da Tech
  • Around Town
  • From the E-mailbag
  • E-mail Updates/Welcome to new subscribers
  • Alumni Chapter Events
  • Job Opportunities
  • Electronic Services for Alumni

Husqi Tales

Michigan Tech students return from spring (?) break today, ready to make the final month-and-a-half push toward the end of the semester (and, in the case of about 900 folks, graduation).

I've heard stories about trips to Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Rocky Mountains. I'm sure it is tough to come back to below-freezing temperatures and three feet of snow on the ground. Even when you vacation in the mountains, it can get sunny and warm this time of year.

Meanwhile, we still see that winter fixture, the Keweenaw Cloud, a meteorological phenomenon created by Lake Superior and cold air/open water. This will begin to become more rare, as temperatures warm and those Alberta Clippers take a springtime holiday.

This is a turning point for winter, at least in the minds of cross country skiers. The Great Bear Chase ski marathon took place yesterday at the Swedetown trails in Calumet (I kicked my way through 26-km, then ran into several Tech alumni at the post-event pasty feed). The event seems to signal a psychological change. The ski season has culminated and now we slide toward spring. But, there should be at least a month of skiing left, plenty of time to obsess about which wax to use!

At Tech, we're also beginning student competition season, kicking off with the Clean Snowmobile Challenge this week (see the news item below). Tech hosts the event at the Keweenaw Research Center and the Michigan Tech team has finished second twice. After that, we'll see concrete canoes, robots, baja cars, formula cars, and several others.

Michigan Tech has incorporated all of these projects into the Enterprise program (, which gives teams of students the opportunity to participate in real-world settings to solve engineering, manufacturing, and design problems. The program continues to grow and is attractive to both students and recruiters.

So the weekend and the week ahead showcases some of the best about the university and the area: a great hands-on education and plenty of outdoor opportunities--even for those of us who won't ever finish at the top of our age brackets.

Snow Watch '04-'05

As of March 12, 2004 
                    This week Last week Last year 
Snowfall to date     162.01"    151.51"   218.5"
On the ground          45"        36"      25"       
See our snowfall chart, dating back to 1890, at

Day--by-day snowfall:

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else:

At Da Tech

SNOWMOBILE CHALLENGE KICKS OFF: The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge kicks off this morning, with 13 college teams re-engineering stock machines to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance. The event features an endurance run from the Keweenaw Research Center (at the airport) to Copper Harbor later this week. More:

PREVIEW TECH ON SATURDAY: More than 400 people, including prospective students and family members, are coming to Michigan Tech Saturday, March 19, for Preview Day. The program focuses on students who have been accepted at Michigan Tech but have yet to enroll. More:

BULLETIN BOARD UPDATES: The alumni bulletin board now includes separate boards for each reunion class and reunion group for 2005. For more information about the reunion in general, contact mtu_reunion(at) or toll-free 877-688-2586. You'll find the bulletin board here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter Tech Topics:

Around Town

OFFICIALS APPLY FOR WATERSHED GRANT: Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District officials are re-applying for a $126,000 grant to fund a study of the Eagle River watershed. The watershed includes approximately 13,600 acres in Houghton and Allouez townships

COUNTY TO ADD SHORELINE: The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to proceed with a grant application to add 100 acres and 4,000 feet of Lake Superior shoreline to the Gratiot River County Park. A Michigan Department of Natural Resource Trust Fund Grant would provide 75 percent of the cost, with the remaining 25 percent donated by North Woods Conservancy, the current land owner.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Jon Kreski (jkreski(at)

Oh come on now. You've GOT to tell us where the
name Lake Fanny Hooe came from!

Dean sez: According to the Web site for the Lake Fanny Hooe
Resort: Legend has it Fanny Hooe was the sister-in-law of a
young officer assigned to Ft. Wilkins. She arrived at the
Fort with the Captain William Alburtis family in 1846.
Stories of her disappearance vary, either insisting she was
picking berries outside the Fort and was either lost in the
nearby forest, killed and eaten by a bear who resented her
intrusion on his berry patch, or she was abducted by an
Indian in retaliation for white man's intrusion on former
tribal lands. More information can be found in the book
"The Fanny Hooe Story. . . the passing of a legend"
published by the Fort Wilkins Natural History Association.

E-mail from Chris Gosling (cdgosling(at)

Dean -

The stories of Michigan Tech's closing could be an
on-line project using the newsletter. Like Kerry
Irons, I remember one snow day when I was at Tech, in
1979. Same story, "first time in history". I bet
most of the subscribers could remember if they had a
day off or not.

E-mail from Jerry Philo (jkphilo(at)

Here is a web link to a story that was in today's
Detroit News/Free Press about the Bear Trap sculpture
created by Ed Sauvola in Chassell. This would be a
great story to send along to our alumni.

Dean sez: This photo and story first appeared in the
Daily Mining Gazette a couple of weeks ago.

E-mail from Jim Willerton '64 (jaws6sigma(at)

I've been remiss in not responding to the question
"Who remembers No-Pays? "No-pays" got its name
because students would order food, wolf it down and do
a "dine and dash" out the front door of the "cubby
hole" restaurant next to the Golden Pheasant. "No-
pay" finally figured it out and would lock the front
door and not let you leave until you paid. I recall
students who tried to challenge the new "system" by
crawling out of the bathroom window into the alley.
The Golden Pheasant was a great place to eat pizza
with the old fashioned high back booths that sat

E-mail from Natalie Dimitruck '95 (ndimitru_oracle(at)


I have accepted a job at Los Alamos National Lab in
New Mexico. Good to not be on the road every week
after 9+ solid years. This town *really* reminds me of
Houghton (except many fewer bars!) , and I was
wondering if there are any Tech alum up here,
interested in getting together? Have them email me at
ndimitru_oracle(at) Thanks!

E-mail from Kevin McDevitt '92 (kmcdevitt(at)

I have read a lot of e-mails from alumni in the
sixties and seventies about the insane winds between
the Me-em and the Chem building that were impossible
to traverse. I remember there being pretty strong
wind in the late eighties/early nineties but nothing
that you couldn't walk through. I also remember that
there were many small pine trees (5-6' high) on the
slope of the hill on the north side of campus dropping
down to the Portage Canal. I remember these from some
rough sledding that we did on that hill when we had
some artificial warmth in our veins. My theory is
that maybe they planted these trees in order to slow
the wind that came howling up off the canal. If
that's true then it seemed to do the trick.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,143 subscribers.

Here are the new e-mail addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
using the word "at" instead of the at sign to guard against spambots.

1965 Charles Neff NSKIP1017(at)
1977 John Dowling verywhite70(at)
1980 Gregory Meeuwsen gdmeeuwsen(at)
1981 Kenneth Ziemlewicz kziemle1(at)
1984 Carrie Geyer (Allen) carrie1(at)
1987 Jim Crowley james(at)
1988 Peter Larson peterlar(at)
1989 George Bugg georgebugg(at)
1989 David Wressell dgwressell(at)
1992 Susan Potter (Higgins) potterx2(at)
1994 Richard Medaugh rcmedaugh(at)
1995 Todd Korpi todd.korpi(at)
1996 Jennifer Nelson jen0211(at)
1996 Mylan Koski Jr. mylan.koski(at)
1996 Robert Kistler rkkistle(at)
1997 Christian Kelly ckelly(at)
1997 Jennifer Wheeler (Greve) jlwheeler186(at)
1998 Vaughn Gerber vrg122(at)
1999 Linde Jury lindejury(at)
2003 Andrew Barnes eagle81397(at)

You can update your information at:

Alumni Association Programs

CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at or see the alumni chapter site on the web.


16 Keweenaw -- after-work social at the Keweenaw
Brewing Company, 5-6:30 pm. Contact Mike Drewyor
at 482-0535.

18 West Michigan -- alumni night with the Griffins

14 West Michigan Chapter Spring Dinner

25 Green Bay Chapter 26th Annual Golf Outing

11 Detroit Chapter 2005 Golf Outing

ADA PLANS 25-YEAR REUNION: Alpha Delta Alpha sorority will celebrate its 25-year reunion this summer during the Tech alumni reunion. The event will take place the weekend of August 5-7. For information contact Kim Klender at ksklende(at) or visit the ADA alumni website at

ALPHA XI ZETA PLANS 20TH REUNION: Alpha Xi Zeta is planning its 20-year reunion Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4, 2005. For more information, contact Shannan Fisher at snfisher(at)"

SIGMA PHI EPSILON PLANS 40TH: Sigma Phi Epsilon will celebrate its 40th anniversary during the Michigan Tech alumni reunion weekend this summer, August 5-7.

LAMBDA CHI ALPHA REUNION: The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity is planning their 25th reunion during reunion weekend, August 5th through August 7th. For information, contact Carl Craven at carl_1955(at)

DELTA ZETA PLANS 30-YEAR REUNION: The Delta Zeta sorority will celebrate its 30-year reunion this summer during the Tech alumni reunion. The event will take place the weekend of August 5-7. For information contact Heidi Mueller at hmuelle6(at) or Ellie Mulcahy at eamulcahy(at)

ALPHA SIGMA TAU plans 25th REUNION:  Alpha Sigma Tau's 25th Reunion will be held over Labor Day weekend, September 2-5, 2005.  Details will be sent over the alumnae email list.  Please contact Emily Callow at elcallow(at) with any questions.

PHI LAMBDA BETA REUNION: Phi Lambda Beta Sorority, which was active on campus from 1958 thru 1978, is planning a reunion in Houghton, August 2 thru August 4, 2005.  After a year of searching and correspondence, many sisters are planning to be in Houghton for this event. Phi Lambda Beta later became Alpha Gamma Delta. There are many sisters who remain on our "lost" list, and we would like very much to contact as many as possible.  Any information:  please contact:  Diane Henderson Smith-Messner at dianemessner(at) 

DELTA UPSILON REUNION MAY 14:  I am setting up a 25th Anniversary for the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity/ Alpha Delta Upsilon Colonization on May 14, 2005 in Houghton. For more information visit or email Adam Mitteer (aamittee(at)

DELTA PHI EPSILON REUNION: Delta Phi Epsilon's 20th reunion date is Sept 2-5, 2005. Please contact Tamsen Bissell (tamsenbissell(at) or Natasha Bruggeman -- reunion chair (nkbrugge(at) for more information.

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions for these positions are available by e-mailing jobs at

  • Digital Media Specialist--Educational Technology Services
  • Technical Director--Rozsa Center
  • Assistant Professor--School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (

See you next week