TechAlum News

September 6, 2005 (Vol. 12, No. 14)

A weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Director, Web Development, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:

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


It would be hard to imagine a better Labor Day Weekend in the Keweenaw. Saturday and Sunday were both in the high 60s to low 70s and sunny. Monday was hot, but we don’t complain about heat in September.

Saturday was also the perfect day for an outdoor wedding, in this case on a family farm at Boston Location, where a nice breeze kept everyone cool. We had to open up the sides of the tent to accommodate all the guests. The bride, my niece, is the first from my children’s generation to tie the knot. It was odd watching the person I carried around when little (like a football because she was so tiny when born) walk down the aisle. Speaking of football, it’s a mixed marriage: she, a Packers fan, is marrying a Lions fan. I hope that works out. We’ll find out next Sunday.

Later at the reception in the Houghton County Arena, where the groom played hockey for the Hancock Bulldogs (the bride played basketball), I talked with many old friends and relatives. The conversations were heart-warming and revealing and full of laughter for the most part. One neighbor is recovering very well from a stroke; another is getting along after recently losing his spouse of 50 plus years. A couple of couples announced their dates for weddings next year, and a couple more are expecting their first children.

During the “Anniversary Waltz,” they have a tradition here where all the married couples dance, and the deejay counts off the years of marriage until they get down to the last couple with most years. Our 26 years held out fairly long but paled in comparison to the winners’ 63 years. The husband was a good friend of my late father. After they finished the song, they had words of advice for the young couple (over the sound system). The wife of 63 years said to the new bride, “Love him and hang in there.” The husband said to the groom, “Do whatever she says.”

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

TECH OPENS DOORS TO KATRINA STUDENTS: Michigan Tech is accepting students enrolled at all universities closed by the effects of Hurricane Katrina, university president Glenn Mroz has announced. “Every effort will be made to accommodate students whose education has been interrupted by this tragedy,” Mroz said. Students and their families may call the Michigan Tech Admissions Office, 1-888-688-1885, or email for more information.

TECH REACHES OUT TO Michigan Tech STUDENTS FROM HURRICANE REGION: Vice President for Student Affairs Les Cook has offered assistance to Michigan Tech students from areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. "If there is anything that I or the university can do to assist you or those that you love, please contact us immediately," Cook said. "You've got a big family here at Michigan Tech, and we are poised to help you, your family and friends in any way that we can." Michigan Tech students from the disaster area, particularly Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, are invited to contact Cook at 487-2465 or 281-1465.

K-DAY COMING THIS FRIDAY: The annual picnic on Lake Superior’s shore will be this Friday at noon. Students, faculty, and staff will head out to McLain State Park for fun, food, games, music, and more. It will partly sunny and 71F.

Tech Sports

FOOTBALL HUSKIES RUSH TO 2-0 -- Michigan Tech’s football team turned in its second straight 300+ yard rushing game last Saturday (Sept. 3) vs. Indianapolis and now it leads the GLIAC in rushing yards per game with 332.5 -- more than 73 yards per game ahead of the second-place team on the list. Junior tailback Lee Marana notched 201 rushing yards vs. Indy, while sophomore Daryl Graham tallied 114. Both players are among the top five rushers in the league.

TECH’S TOP TENNIS DUO STAYS PERFECT -- Number one and number two singles players Silvia Oliveros-Torres and Amy Palmgren both opened the 2005-06 season without losing a match. The duo combined to 2-0 at number one doubles. Oliveros-Torres, a freshman, was 2-0 at number one singles including a come-from-behind, three-set victory vs. Mercyhurst on Saturday (Sept. 3). Palmgren also had a three-set triumph and fared 2-0 on the weekend. Michigan Tech, which is 1-1 as a team, travels to face Grand Valley State and Ferris State this weekend.


Saturday, September 3, 2005
FB: at #19 Michigan Tech 24, Indianapolis 6
WTN: Mercyhurst 5, at Michigan Tech 4
VB: Michigan Tech 3 vs. Indianapolis 2 (Flyer Festival)
-- (23-30, 33-31, 21-30, 32-30, 16-14)
VB: vs. Winona State 3, Michigan Tech 1 (Flyer Festival)
-- (30-28, 30-26, 30-27)

Friday, September 2, 2005
VB: vs. MSU-Moorhead 3, Michigan Tech 1 (at Flyer Festival)
-- (30-28, 31-29, 28-30, 30-20)
WTN: at Michigan Tech 5, Ashland 4

Thursday, September 1, 2005
VB: at Lewis 3, Michigan Tech 2 (at Flyer Festival)
(30-22, 27-30, 30-20, 26-30, 15-11)



Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. on WKMJ, 93.5 FM

Friday, September 9, 2005
Women's Tennis at Grand Valley State, 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 10, 2005
Football at Mercyhurst, 1:30 p.m.
--Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM
Women's Tennis at Ferris State, 10 a.m.
Cross Country at Northern Michigan Invite, TBA

All Times are Eastern


Around Town

REGIONAL RESPONSE TO KATRINA Local residents and churches are gathering momentum in their efforts to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina. At a booth at the Michigan Tech University Community Expo Wednesday, students and staff donated a total of $318 to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief fund. Favorite Silk-Screening and Embroidery gave out more than 300 free Michigan Tech t-shirts to the donors. "Originally we wanted to just have some fun with the students with some free t-shirts," said owner Keith Riley. "But after much discussion with our employees we decided not do it through a game, but get right down to business on how a community can make a difference." "It didn't surprise me at all at the response ... They are truly people on a mission committed to altruistic ideas and actions," he said. The local chapter of the American Red Cross has also mobilized its volunteer relief efforts. Volunteers, as well as financial help, are needed. Anyone wanting to assist may call the Red Cross Office in Hancock at 482-8085.

APPLEBEE’S TO OPEN IN SPRING Rumors that a popular eatery will be coming to Houghton have been confirmed. "We're getting an Applebee's, just not as soon as we thought," affirmed Don Schwenn, sales and property manager for Moyle Real Estate & Development. The restaurant will be located on a three-acre parcel to the left of the new entrance to the Wal-Mart Supercenter, also under construction. The 75-room Country Inn & Suites located behind the proposed Supercenter's parking lot is ahead of schedule and expected to open in November, while the Supercenter itself is expected to open next month.

DETROIT FLIGHT DEFINITELY RETURNING Nonstop air service to Detroit is a sure bet, but what form that service will take is still undetermined, according to Dennis Hext, manager of the Houghton County Memorial Airport. "We're expecting a contract from the (U.S.) Department of Transportation within the week, and then we'll start the negotiation process with Northwest (Airlines)," Hext said Monday. Hext said the flight would be in place no later than Sept. 1, 2006, but he hoped to get it reinstated much earlier. "My plan is to get it on-line no later than March," he said. "It would be nice to have it in place by the holidays." Although receipt of the grant guarantees a Detroit flight, it's up to Northwest to determine the specifics of how the flight will operate, from the time slot to the type of plane.

From the E-mailbag

As you would expect, we received many emails concerning Dean Woodbeck’s departure. A representative sampling is offered here:


Still can't imagine Tech without you.
Best of luck in all of your endeavors.
Many great things lie ahead, I have no doubt.

Erik Nordberg


So long. I did enjoy the weekly E-mail. You will be missed.

Good luck in NY.

Orhan Soykan, 1985.


Congratulations to you on your new venture!

Please know how much your newsletters have been enjoyed, and how much they will be missed.

Best of luck to you and your family,
Heather Valencic '94


Thanks for all your efforts Dean.

Richard Bunce '78


Dean, Thanks for the memories. While I never emailed I always read and enjoyed the weekly "trips" back to DA TECH. Even you going away newsletter made me laugh and remember the Thanksgiving drive of '85 that we had to pay for our hotel room with our laundry quarters. Good luck in all you do.

John Fowler


We will all miss your tales and weekly newsletter. I always pop open my email and read your newsletter as soon as it arrives. Don't be a stranger to the Michigan Tech newsletter-- I am sure the alumni would love to hear from you when you can!

Good luck with all of your endeavors.

Eric Morris- Class of 2002


Hello Dean,

I enjoyed your last e-mail newsletter. I am sure many will send congrats to you. I want to join them. I send lots of good wishes and good juju to you and yours. May you find lots of adventure and peace of mind in the eastern regions. Thanks for all you have done for Tech and for Tech alums during your long and productive time here. I think you are a class act. You'll do very well, wherever you are.

Good, better, best to you,
Sherry Kauppi



I ran into Bruce & Linda at the Whitecaps on Friday and they said you may be leaving.

I was sorry I didn't seek you out while at Tech in Aug, and I was hoping you would be involved with the Sig Ep alumni activities.

Where is Clarkson at? I also like that part of NY ever since I drove thru Albany in early Oct a few years back. The area reminded me very much of Houghton/Hancock. Hilly and colorful.

Good luck!

Sean McIntyre, PMP



What an unpleasant surprise for a Monday Morning! As a ’76 Tech grad living in Penn State territory I have enjoyed reading about your exploits, the goings on at Tech and in the UP, the snow reports, and the pictures that justify the colorogolist’s reports in the fall. (The aerial shot of campus is my computer background and has generated more than a few “where’s that?” questions)

My nephew graduated from Clarkson and will attest to the fact that you are not moving to the sunny south!

Thank you, Good luck, and I hope your replacement will continue the weekly tradition!

John A. Dwyer, MCSE

Oh, my Goodness... Dean, the Michigan Tech Alumni will be missing you! (YOU CAN'T GO and that's final.) Good luck with the new state and university. (PLEASE SAY IT ISN'T SO.) Rats, now we'll never have any fun on Mondays. (YOU ARE GOING TO MISS MONT RIPLEY YOU KNOW.) Dang, lost another one. Give the mailing list to somebody we can make fun of and warn them. Good luck.

Chris Otis
BSEE '70 (should have been '69 but the Library opened. :)



You will like Northern New York; it's a lot like the UP but
Different from a good point of view. Keep me on your mailing list and if you need some information about SUNY-ESF in Syracuse give me a call.

Larry Abrahamson

Good luck Dean!

It has been very nice receiving your newsletters over the last several "years." I wish you and your family the very best and yes, I think I speak for many that a brief "Woodbecking" news should still remain in circulation! Think of all the new adventures that you will have regarding your new location that you will have to share! New tools, projects and surroundings (new ER facilities!) to enlighten us all.

Thanks for your dedication!

Mark Vermeulen


I wish you the best of luck and I have you enjoy the Northeast. I have enjoyed your newsletter over the years. It always enlisted a response something like, "Sweet!" when I saw it in my inbox. I miss the UP and it keeps calling me back. Perhaps one day I will return. It is really the only place the feels like home to me.

Thanks again,
Jason Holmberg
Salt Lake City, UT
Fall '93



You mentioning the storm of '85 reminded me of a story...

I had already graduated but my girlfriend (and wife), Katie, was caught in the storm between Chicago and Houghton. She and her friends were in the UP close to the Wisconsin border when their vehicle 'floated' off the road and wound up deep in a drift. They were eventually rescued by the snowplow driver and they spent the night at his home. He brought them back to their car the next day, pulled them out and they were again on their way.

During the storm, I also remember watching the Green Bay Packers football game. It was obviously snowing and heavily and it looked like it would be trouble for returning Tech students. Does anyone remember who they played and who won that game? And for bonus points, the score?

Finally and most importantly, thank you for your service to Michigan Tech and your fine newsletters over the years. Katie and I wish you and your family safe travels and continued happiness.


Bill Myers


While I am happy for you and your family as you move on to the next phase of your life, I am going to miss seeing the weekly update. I know that it has been a big time commitment, and we are all grateful for the weekly walk down memory lane. Thanks for all your hard work and good luck out east.

Doug Brubaker - Class of 1999

You will be sorely missed! At least we lost you to another great hockey school, Clarkson University. I wish you well in your new opportunity.

Bill Lehmer, '68

Dean and Family,

Although we've never met, I feel I gotten to know you and your family very well....just like good neighbors!

Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to Michigan Tech and its' alumni. Through your newsletters, I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping up to date on life at Michigan Tech.

You will be greatly missed. Good Luck on your new endeavors!

Paul Radke '89


Thanks for the effort. You'll be missed. (and not for just the woodbecking stories) Best of luck in your new endeavors.

Martin Vonk
B.S. Chem. Eng. 1974

Best wishes - it will NOT be same without your outlook which was born through your 20 years of experiences.

Mike Marshall
BSME '68



Wow! I am almost speechless. Thank you so much for all
your wonderful efforts over the years, especially in writing and distributing the TechAlum newsletter. Indeed, such an accomplishment. Words can't express the joy it brought!

Good luck on your new endeavors. I give my best to your
family, too, because I know what it's like to uproot them
to move a distance. Do learn to enjoy the land of the
Golden Knights for us. (

Please keep me posted of any new writings, as you hinted
in today's issue.

Take care and God bless you and your family.


Michigan Tech 1983
the space guy



I'm actually tearing up.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have helped countless alumni reconnect, and stay connected, with Michigan Tech, and for that you have my eternal gratitude.

Certainly, Clarkson's gain is our loss. I wish you luck in all your endeavors. Hopefully this is not the last we will hear from you!

Best wishes,

PS - I actually take the blame for you leaving. In the recent alumni poll, under the heading "Anything else you'd like to share with us?", I said "Do whatever you have to do to keep Dean Woodbeck around as long as possible. He is the voice of the university, and a rallying point for the alumni". I guessed I "Woodbecked" us. :(


Thank you for the years of enjoyment.

I looked forward to your news letters so I could step out of the rat race (for a few minutes) and remember back when life was a little simpler and slower.

Thanks for a great the memories.

Good luck with your new opportunity!

Tim Jackson (89')

TechAlum Subscriber Stats


The servers for compiling these numbers are not responding, as of two weeks ago, we were at 7,171 subscribers. Changes to your TechAlum newsletter subscription should be made via commands to majordomo(at) Questions? Contact Dennis Walikainen (dkwalika(at)

Here are the recent new email addresses:

1975 Roger A Reichel rogerreichel(at)

1981 Craig L Gooding craig_gooding(at)
1984 Joan M Hart (Hawn) hart90266(at)
1989 Michael S Cole michael.s.cole(at)

1992 Amy R Hurshman ahurshman(at)
1995 Mary Eleanor M Eggers (Mateo) mary.eggers(at)
1996 William J Hutchinson wjhutchi(at)
1996 Matthew B Watkins mattwa(at)
1996 Colin C Durham ccdurham(at)
1997 Maria A Livermore (Campau) maria.Livermore(at)
1998 Laura L. Higgins chiggins4806(at)

2001 Shannon M Matthes (Kearney) shanty831(at)
2001 Patricia Brodeen Maher maherp(at)
2001 Randal A EngBlade randye(at)
2002 Joshua T Bennett bennettj(at)
2003 Terri R Geese (Lund) trgeese(at)
2003 Christopher D Olmsted colmsted(at)
2003 Roland N Alix rnalix(at)
2004 Jeffrey W Jost jwjost(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.

23-24 HOMECOMING: Football vs. Ashland

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Youth Program Coordinator
  • Assistant Research Accountant

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