December 4, 2006 (Vol. 13, No. 29)

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:


I got acquainted with Verdie Cox through his association with the Portage Lake Golf Course. Verdie was in the Thursday night men's league for many years and was always around the clubhouse. The highlight of league, for me, was Verdie telling jokes at the annual banquet.

At PLGC, he designed what is now the front nine, in 1972, and has a hole named after him, number six: a tough, long par four. He always had the great old stories about the course, but I was able to return the favor once. When my son was trying to qualify for a high school golf meet, he didn't have a good day and shot a bad score. "But," my son said excitedly when he got home, "I birdied Verdie." Verdie smiled at that one.

He was still very active until recently. He was home for the August Alumni Reunion, and I was able to get a photo of him with former President Ray Smith (pictured here), to which Verdie said, "I'm gettin' my photo taken with him?" Of course Ray laughed. Verdie had that great southern drawl that at once stood out and seemed right at home on the course or off.

We'll miss him, and I know St. Peter probably heard a good one before he waved him in.


Snowfall Totals

Snowfall to date: 15.5"
Depth on ground: 5.5"

Snowfall total last week: 8"
Depth on ground last week: 0"

Snowfall total last year: 32.5" (72.5" at Painesdale)
Depth on ground last year: 9" (23" at Painesdale)

At Tech

VERDIE COX DIES: Legendary Michigan Tech basketball and tennis coach Verdie Cox passed away Nov. 22, in Oshkosh, Wis., after an eight-month battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Cox, who was famous for his wit and sense of humor, worked at Tech for 32 years and was among the inaugural class into Michigan Tech's Sports Hall of Fame. He was selected to the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. One of the most versatile athletes in the history of Southern Illinois University, Cox continued that trait as a coach and teacher at Michigan Tech. He was head basketball coach for 19 seasons, leading the Huskies to one of the best records in the school's history (17-5) and finished third in the NCAA Division II regional in 1962-63. Cox was also named Coach of the Year in the Northern Intercollegiate Conference that same season. He was tennis coach for 23 years, leading Tech to three NIC titles, and was named NIC Coach of the Year four times.

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HUSKIES ARE ANGELS: Michigan Tech Athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, made up of all Tech student-athletes, will participate in the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The Angel Tree program will provide gifts for those in need this holiday season. Christmas trees are located in the Hall of Fame area near the main entrance of the Student Development Complex and have angels hanging on them. Each of the angels has gift suggestions written on them. People should take an angel, buy one or more gifts listed on it, and return the gift(s) to a collection box. Collection boxes will be located near the main entrance at all home athletic events through Dec. 19. Gifts may also be brought to a collection box at the main office of the athletic department (SDC 239) any time during business hours. "This is a great community service project for the department and student-athletes," said Tech Athletics Director Suzanne Sanregret. "It is a way to help those in need during the holiday season, and we thank all the community members and students in advance for their support." Below is the list of home athletic events where angels can be picked up or gifts dropped off.

Thursday, Dec. 7--Basketball hosts Northwood, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 8--Hockey hosts Minnesota, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9--Basketball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.; and Hockey hosts Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16--Basketball hosts Findlay, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 19--Men's Basketball hosts St. Joseph's, 7:00 p.m.

Tech Sports

ECONO FOODS KIDS DAY SET FOR SATURDAY: Tech will celebrate a full day of home athletic events with Econo Foods Kids Day on Saturday (Dec. 9). The Huskies have home games in men's and women's basketball as well as hockey, and Econo Foods will give away 500 tickets for kids 14 and under beginning at noon on Thursday (Dec. 7). The tickets will be available free at the Econo Foods Service Desk on a first come-first serve basis and each ticket is good for general admission to all three Saturday events.

FRIDAY IS '80s NIGHT AT TECH HOCKEY: Friday's (Dec. 8) Tech hockey game against Minnesota has been dubbed '80s Night. Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite '80s-style clothing, and several of the most festive fans will be included in an intermission contest to win prizes.

TECH BASKETBALL SWEEPS NORTHERN MICHIGAN: The Michigan Tech basketball teams recorded a doubleheader sweep at Northern Michigan last Wednesday (Nov. 29). The Tech women won a 69-58 decision as freshman Katie Wysocky scored a game-high 21 points. The men came away with a 78-69 victory behind a career-high 19 points from sophomore Kris Alpers.

RADAYL RICHARDSON RECORDS 1,000TH CAREER POINT:  Senior Radayl Richardson became the 20th player in Tech men's basketball history to score 1,000 points during a last Saturday's (Dec. 2) game at Ashland. The 6-3 guard scored 14 points in the game to run his career total to 1,003. Richardson's 1,000th point came during a second-half run in which he scored eight points in 65 seconds. The Detroit, Mich., native is the fifth Tech player in the last five years to surpass the 1,000-point plateau (Matt Cameron, J.T. Luginski, Josh Buettner, and Jason Marcotte are the others).


Recent Results

Hockey (6-6-2, 3-5-2 WCHA)
12/2--#10 St. Cloud State 4, at Michigan Tech 1
12/3--#10 St. Cloud State 3, at Michigan Tech 2, OT

Men's Basketball (3-3, 1-1 GLIAC)
11/29--Michigan Tech 78, at Northern Michigan 69
12/2--at Ashland 78, Michigan Tech 57

Women's Basketball (4-2, 2-0 GLIAC)
11/29--Michigan Tech 69, at Northern Michigan 58
12/2--Michigan Tech 86, at Ashland 79


What's Happening This Week
Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Huskies Drive Time on Mix 93.5 FM, 7:30-8:00 a.m.

Thursday, December 7, 2006
Kids Day Ticket Giveaway Begins at Econo Foods, 12 noon
    500 Free Youth (14 and Under) Tickets Available First Come, First Serve at Service Desk; Tickets Good for All Home Athletic Events on Saturday
Women's Basketball hosts Northwood 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Men's Basketball hosts Northwood, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Friday, December 8, 2006 (Husky Friday: wear school colors!)
Blueline Club Luncheon, 12 noon (Grant Hockey Ed Center)
Hockey hosts #1 Minnesota, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)--'80s Night!

Saturday, December 9, 2006--Econo Foods Kids Day
Nordic Skiing at Central Opener (at Ironwood, Mich.)
Women's Basketball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 1:00 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Men's Basketball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 3:00 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)
Hockey hosts #1 Minnesota, 7:07 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Nordic Skiing at Central Opener (at Ironwood, Mich.)

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette

BOMB THREAT AT SCHOOL: A report Friday of a bomb on the campus of the Houghton Middle and High schools led to the evacuation of the building, but no bomb was found. Houghton Police Chief Ralph Raffaelli said school officials notified the police department at about 1 p.m. immediately after learning of the threat. "Information was received there was a possible bomb in the buildings," Raffaelli said. "We notified the (Houghton) fire department." Raffaelli said the school buildings were cleared very quickly. "The school has a good evacuation plan," he said. "It was done in about two minutes." Once out of the building, Raffaelli said the students and some teachers were placed on buses and taken to a safe location. The entire Houghton Fire Department and five Houghton police officers were at the schools searching until about 3:00 p.m., Raffaelli said. Raffaelli said he was very impressed with the entire evacuation and search process. "It went perfectly," he said. Houghton-Portage Township School District Superintendent Bill Polkinghorne said he's very upset by the bomb threat. "We're not pleased," he said. "This is very disruptive to the system. It's not pleasant." Polkinghorne said all Friday after school activities at the schools were canceled. Raffaelli said an investigation into the threat has begun.


QUINCY MINE SITE OPENS FOR WINTER TOURS: The Quincy Mine site will be open for tours all winter long. Although the site was selectively opened for certain group tours in early spring, Mine Manager Ed Yarbrough said it was time for the site to make the move to year-round tours. "Part of it is certainly due to the economic challenges we're facing," he said. "Our utilities are increasing every year, and we need to be bringing in revenue year-round." As a non-profit organization, the site does pursue grant funding, but much of that is used for stabilization and maintenance of the site's structures. "It's bricks and mortar funds," Yarbrough said. "We need to create additional revenue to offset our operating expenses, and this is where we're starting." From Wednesday through Saturday until March 10, underground tours will be held at 1:00 p.m. and at 3:00 p.m. A tour of the hoist house and an introduction to mining operations will be offered at 2:30 p.m. as a bridge between the underground tours. In addition, the gift shop will be open from noon to 6:00 p.m. on those days, and a blacksmith will also be on site from noon to 3:00 p.m.
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GRANT HELPS AREA SKIERS: Now that winter has finally come to the Keweenaw, a local club wants to be sure everyone can enjoy it. The Michigan Tech Ski Club is offering beginner cross-country skiing classes for adults who want to learn the basics of classic skiing. "Cross-country skiing is a relatively inexpensive way to get out and enjoy the Keweenaw winters and to stay in shape at the same time," said Blair Orr, who is one of the club's faculty co-advisors. Orr cited Atlantic Mine resident Sal Sharp who began skiing at age two, and at the other end of the spectrum, octogenarian Ed Harjala, who continues to compete in ski marathons. "It's a sport that people can continue to participate in throughout their lives," Orr said. It's also relatively inexpensive, with an entire season family pass for the Chassell, Michigan Tech and Swedetown trails costing $125. While the Ski Tigers have filled the gap for younger beginning skiers, adults new to skiing have been on a first-come, first-served basis. During the 2004-05 season, the club offered a limited set of adult lessons, Orr said. During 2005-06, the club offered 14 sets of lessons, and participation is expected to grow every year.
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MOUNT BOHEMIA SEEKS ZONING CHANGES: The owners of Mount Bohemia Ski Resort in Grant Township intend to expand the facility sometime in the future, and to assure that can happen, representatives from the resort appeared at the regular meeting of the Keweenaw County Zoning and Planning Commission. Lonie Glieberman, president of the Mount Bohemia Ski Resort, said in an interview Wednesday that because the county is in the process of revising its zoning regulations, it's important that the resort's possible expansion projects be allowed. "We just don't want to be restricted in developing Mount Bohemia as a ski resort, which the voters approved in 2000," Glieberman said. "We want to make sure new zoning allows growth."
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TWO NEW ORDINANCES TARGET ABANDONED SIGNS: Houghton will have tougher standards for defining and cracking down on abandoned signs. The City Council unanimously adopted a pair of ordinances recently. An "abandoned sign" is now defined as a sign tied to a particular use that has been discontinued for more than 60 days, down from the previous 180. Furthermore, these signs must be removed within 30 days of meeting the definition, or the city will remove the sign and bill the owner. The changes will take effect after 10 days. City Manager Scott MacInnes said the changes are intended to "put some teeth" into enforcement. MacInnes said the main target is the sign outside the Ming Garden, which closed in 2004. "There's probably a few others around town," he said after the meeting. He previously talked with the building's owner earlier this year, who said he would either reopen the business or take down the sign by June 1. However, the Ming Garden may end up being both the reason for and the exception to the rule. "Someone has already indicated that they're trying to get the business open, which none of the people with abandoned signs have done," MacInnes said. MacInnes said an overview of signs in the city would probably be done next week to find other candidates. A public hearing before the council meeting yielded no comments.

From the Emailbag

From the Michigan Tech Fund:

Please Make Your Annual Gift to Tech Soon

Many Tech alumni make year-end gifts to the University in order to benefit from a tax deduction for the current year.  If you are planning to make a 2006 contribution to Michigan Tech, please don't wait. The end of the years is rapidly approaching!  You can call the MTF at 906-487-2310.

The IRS states that a check you mail to a charity is considered delivered on the date it is mailed.  Contributions charged on your bank credit card are deductible in the year you make the charge, so it must be completed by December 31.

Gifts to the Michigan Tech Fund can be made online at  <>.



I have to admit that I am surprised by students saying they are "too busy" to vote. I have to concur with John Alaniva about absentee voting. Both of my children are away at colleges-one in Texas, 2/3's of the way across the country, yet they both manage to vote by absentee ballot each election. I'm not sure how it works in MI currently, but in CA they can go on-line to request an absentee ballot and then go to the registrar of voters pages to read ALL the propositions (we voted on 17 in our district), etc to be well-informed voters. Maybe the Tech student government could give a little push for students to be responsible citizens and make the effort to obtain a ballot in their home election. They forget they won't be in college forever and will have to live with the decisions made during their time away.

Thanks for a great newsletter,

Nancy Leeman Lefler '79


Ignore the fact that you are getting old.

Did you know that the average projected age for the young folks, that is those under 21, is 100 years here and now in these United States. And did you know that the average age of the entire present population of Japan is 89. That's the dilemma we are in. But we're not losing our friends and relatives as fast as we thought just a few years ago.

Dick Berry, Class of 1950

Editor's Note: I told Dick that his letter made me feel better about this aging thing.

Alumni Association Programs

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


20--Houghton, Keweenaw Alumni Chapter, Holiday Social, Thirsty Fish (Franklin Square Inn), 5:00-6:30 p.m.

29-30--Detroit, GLI Hockey at the Joe Louis Arena

The order form for GLI tickets: 


Tickets that are ordered in advance are $1 less than the box office, and a portion of the money goes to the Detroit Chapter Scholarship Fund.


3--Michigan Tech vs. GVSU West Michigan Chapter Event

28--Brunch at Marie Catrib's West Michigan Chapter Event


10--Houghton, Tech Legacy Reception, Winter Carnival


ALUMNI ASSOCIATION LOOKING FOR NOMINEES: The Alumni Association would like to solicit nominees for the four awards to be given at next year's Alumni Reunion in August 2007. The four awards are Outstanding Service, utstanding Young Alumni, Distinguished Alumni, and Honorary Alumni. Nomination forms can be found at:
There was an outstanding slate of award winners at this year's Alumni Dinner at Reunion including former Michigan Tech President Ray Smith. Any alumni can nominate someone they feel is deserving via the online form. Nominations must be in by January 2007. Feel free to contact Mark Mitchell <mmitch12(at)>   if you have any questions.

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Laboratory/Demonstration Coordinator--Materials Science and Engineering
Position duration dependent upon external funding

Planning Analyst--Institutional Analysis

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