TechAlum News

May 23, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 2)

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

It appears that spring has sprung in the Copper Country. We had 70-degree days on Friday and Saturday, the leaves have popped out, and we have a lot of blossoms on the flowering trees in our yard. The lawn received its first cutting for the season and the bicyclists are out in force--we saw quite a few ride by on the Hancock canal road Saturday.

Another sure sign of spring: the summer blockbusters have started to arrive at the theaters. We went to see the latest Star Wars movie Saturday night. I read of required advanced ticket sales and long lines at the box offices around the country. Not so in the Copper Country (at least after the first day). I was surprised that we could just walk up, buy the tickets, and sit pretty much where we wanted (although the theater ended up probably 3/4 full. I'll be posting Joe Kirkish's review of the movie later today (he gives it an A-).

The latest Harry Potter movie comes next. While I've seen the previous movies, I hadn't read the books until two days of forced R&R a couple of weeks ago. Browsing my daughter's shelves, I decided to read the first book. On day two, I decided to read the second book. I'm now in the middle of the fifth one and can see why Laura gets very little sleep for a few days after a new Harry Potter arrives at B. Dalton.

For some alumni, I know summer means trips to the UP. If you find yourself in Houghton, take a few minutes after doing your shopping at the bookstore and get a gander at the renovations to the JR Van Pelt Library and the new Opie Library. You'll be jealous of those students who get to spend their summer studying---well, almost.

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

CONCRETE CANOE WINS REGIONAL: Michigan Tech's concrete canoe team swept all four parts of the ASCE regional event, earning a spot in the national competition, June 25-27, at Clemson University in South Carolina. More:

TECH VOLCANOLOGIST A "GO-TO" GUY: As an expert on the dangers of volcanoes, Michigan Tech's Bill Rose has become the go-to guy for the likes of National Geographic and the top PBS science series Nova. At the same time, he has fashioned a faculty position tailored to his interest and lifestyle. More:

TRACK HAMMER THROWER IN NATIONAL MEET: Justin Blake has earned a spot at the NCAA Division II track and field outdoor championships next week. The senior hammer thrower is the first Tech athlete to qualify since 1990. Blake was the GLIAC champion in hammer throw for the second year and owns the school record in the event.

GAPPY NAMED TO SPORTS HALL: Former Michigan Tech basketball coach Bill Gappy has been named to the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. Gappy coached Michigan Tech for 12 years, starting in 1972, and won the Northern Intercollegiate Conference title in 1979-80.

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

Around Town

ANOTHER MINI-MALL SLATED: Developers are building a new strip mall on the site of the former Hurontown dump. The Sharon Avenue Mall will be located on the north side of Sharon Avenue, just east of M-26. Another strip mall is being built across the street, along with a new motel and the massive WalMart expansion.

ISLE ROYALE SEASON NEAR: The Ranger III has started its maintenance and supply runs to Isle Royale, as the national park nears its Memorial Day weekend opening. Prior to that date, the Ranger hauls researchers, freight, and maintenance workers, who check on any winter damage to electrical and mechanical structures and equipment.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Mark Lockwood (mlockwood(at)


Just a short note to say thanks for the PR in the
latest TechAlum News email (i.e.; "Michigan 50"
awards). There's a short list of people/lessons/
experiences in my life that played a role in "shaping
the outcome" for me, and Tech is prominent on that
list (...falling somewhere close to the subheading of
"...that which does not kill me makes me
stronger...!). If it was easy, anyone could be a

Keep up the great work, and congratulations on the
12th anniversary of the newsletter.

E-mail from Randy Down (rdown(at)


Last night I had the honor and pleasure of presenting
an Alumni Legacy scholarship to a deserving HS student
here in Raleigh, NC. It was a rewarding experience,
and I would recommend it to any Tech alum who has the
time available to do so.

E-mail from Bill Savela (pnwyooper(at)


I think this effort [the high school awards program]
by you, Michigan Tech and the Michigan Tech alumni is such great way to
get the message out that technical education is vital
to our country to maintain technical leadership.

Many people are recognizing that we are at or near
crisis status when it comes to competing with the rest
of the world with our present engineering talent and
numbers of technically educated people.

To many it is obvious, and while I congratulate other
countries for becoming more technically capable, I
simply prefer that we are always on top with
innovation and its rewards.

E-mail from Bruce Osten '67 (bruceosten(at)

Dean --

12 years, huh? Congratulations! Regrettably, I have
only been a recipient for the past year...who knows
what I've missed... From my view, each week gets
better and better. I truly appreciate your local
insight/take on Houghton-Hancock/Keweenaw plus
Michigan Tech happenings, and eagerly read all the 2-cents worth
commentary from fellow alumni each week. I guess the
older we get, the connections to our roots take on a
greater significance. Keep it up!

E-mail from John Baker '71 (jbaker(at)


While I can't refute or confirm the dire possibility
that there may not be any beer in Heaven, I do know
where on Earth (in keeping with the NPR program
mentioned) you can find what I consider the "Best
beers in the world", and that would be Australia, and
I'm NOT talking about Fosters (serving Fosters in
Australia is seen as making it easier to spot the
tourists ;-) . No, I'm talking about the local brews
that they keep for themselves and which are not
exported, the best being Cascade, a really great
premium lager from Tasmania (yes, there really is a
place named Tasmania and it famous for much more than
just being the home of a character in a "Looney Tunes"
cartoon). Note that since I've made at least one trip
a year "down under" for going on 14 years now, I get
regular opportunities to enjoy the world's finest
beers and so if it does prove to be the case that
there is no beer in Heaven, I will at least have the
satisfaction of knowing that I didn't miss the really
good stuff while I was still here on Earth.

E-mail from George DeRoche '60 (gdero(at)


Based on my experience, here's a quick comment
relative to planning home projects. If a project seems
quick, simple and straight forward, it probably isn't;
similarly, if it seems extremely complex, long and
costly, it probably isn't. Go to hang a picture,
replace a wall! Plan on two days to replace some
plumbing, done in an afternoon!

E-mail from Jason Kraft '99 (mulambda370(at)


On the contrary, I really enjoy hearing the latest
from around town or at Da Tech.

My wife Emily and I have many fond memories of the
Keweenaw. We make one or two trips a year and like to
keep up on what's new or what's changed. There aren't
many places where you can snowshoe or hike up to a
gorgeous waterfall for the day and relax to a few malt
beverages at the Library that evening.

Even in a wonderful city like here in St. Paul, MN,
you can feel crowded and long for a place that's
quiet, beautiful, and friendly ... like Houghton.

E-mail from Ken Page (enpage(at)

A Burma Shave verse I recall was:

Spring has sprung
The grass has 'riz
Where last year's
Careless driver is.
Burma Shave

E-mail from Bob Crump '87 (bob(at)

Ok Dean,

The two Burma Shave Ads I remember are:

Around the Corner
Lickity split
Nice car
Wasn't it?


Twinkle Twinkle
One eyed car
How we wonder
Where you are.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,123 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.

1968 Edward Wylie edward.a.wylie(at)
1973 Karen Casey (Helenbart) caseyk(at)
1976 M. J Miller mjohnmillr01(at)
1982 Jeffrey Savalox savaloxj(at)
1988 Richard Mushing rickm(at)
1988 Richard Boes rboes(at)
1988 Karen Kessler (Laursen)
1994 Peter McKirdy petermckirdy(at)
1997 Heather Christenson hlmueller(at)
2000 Shelby Cousineau scousineau(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.

25 Green Bay Chapter 26th Annual Golf Outing

4 West Michigan Chapter Annual Golf Outing
7 LA Alumni Event
11 Detroit Chapter 2005 Golf Outing

15 Mid-Michigan (Saginaw, Midland, Bay City) Annual
Golf Outing

GREEK REUNION INFORMATION has been moved to the web. For the link, go here:

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Auditor--Internal Auditor
  • Assistant Director--International Programs and Services
  • Laboratory/Systems Associate--Physics (regular, full-time, 10-month position)
  • Concertmaster/String Teacher--Fine Arts

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