February 12, 2007 (Vol. 13, No. 37)

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

Edited by Dennis Walikainen (MS ’92), Senior Editor, University Marketing and Communications

For past issues, see our archives.

In this issue:

phi tauElectrifying

It summarizes Winter Carnival 2007. The students and community worked together to put a charge into the frigid Keweenaw, and it worked.

The Wednesday all-nighter was the epicenter of the electricity. Admittedly, I was underdressed, as I was supposed to work in the Ad Building uploading photos to the Carnival website, but I had to venture out. The walk to the east wasn't bad, stopping at Rekhi Hall, and cutting through Fisher. I stopped and talked to the Alpha Gamma Delta statue builders, who were on the Walker Cam.

Local radio stations were on campus, handing out goodies and adding music to the atmosphere, but they were no comparison to the Audio Engineering Society. They were located near the Library and were loud enough to be the background music to the festivities. No Doubt, Pink Floyd, and the Scorpions were three songs I recognized. And the tunes continued through Thursday, when some modern country songs were played.

On my return trip from the Walker during all-nighter, I stopped and got a "swe-shkabob" from the Society of Women Engineers near Fisher Hall. They said sales were brisk, but they were cold.

So was I. By the time I got back to the Ad Building, the thirty-plus mph winds and single-digit temperatures were taking their toll. Our photographers and videographer also returned, chattering and wanting badly to warm up.

We all wondered how the students do it. They keep moving, of course, and there is plenty of warm chili and hot chocolate flowing. But I think they are also driven by the tradition. This year, they worked with little snow at first, then they worked through a frigid wind that started the previous weekend and barely let up until yesterday. Their results were more than impressive. <http://www.mtu.edu/carnival>

Saturday afternoon, we saw a nice presentation on the history of the Carnival, put on by the Alumni Association. It was great to remember the buses that used to bring the girlfriends north and the old clothing and hairdos, especially in the 1970s. What were we thinking?

To top it off, the hockey Huskies took three points from the number five team in the nation, Denver. The students serenaded the Pioneers with "Overrated!" cheers amid a crowd of 3,600 Saturday night. And later, the torchlight parade and fireworks Saturday put a nice ending to it all. We watched the torches from our living room on the Ripley Cam, just one more example of the electrifying (and electronic) presence of Carnival 2007.


Snowfall Totals (from KRC)

Snowfall total: 101.25"
Depth on ground: 36.0"
Snowfall total last week: 90.75"
Depth on ground last week: 32.0"
Snowfall total last year: 149.25"
Depth on ground last year: 25"

At Tech

SNOW STATUES--BABYLON BAGS THE BIG ONE: Delta Sigma Phi's frosty rendition of the hanging gardens of Babylon took first place in the highly competitive fraternity division of Tech's Winter Carnival snow statue contest, sponsored by Blue Key Honor Fraternity. The huge diorama, "Euphrates Frozen in Time Shows Babylon in Its Prime," is located in front of the their house, 1421 Woodland Road, by Wadsworth Hall. It reflects this year's theme, "Ancient Worlds Come to Play in Snowy Drifts of Modern Day." The elaborate sculptures included griffins with wings molded of clear ice, a fountain, the river Euphrates, a four-tiered backdrop replete with arches, and yards and yards of ice chains. Nabbing second place was Phi Kappa Tau for "Ancient Chinese Culture in an Icy Sculpture." A dragon snakes through the scene, which features a pair of fierce-looking foo dogs, mini-dragons with icy wings and Chinese music broadcasting from the fraternity house, at 1209 West Quincy St. in Hancock.
MORE: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/news/media_relations/536/>


TECH ANNOUNCES NEW ONLINE ALUMNI COMMUNITY: What better time than Winter Carnival to connect with old friends? Over 50,000 Michigan Tech alums are being invited to join a new secure online community where they will be able to update their directory information, email, chat and post photos and class notes. In addition, they will be able to build mini-sites for clubs and groups from within the larger alumni community. The site will also be a place to register for alumni events in their area, check out news about the university or post classified ads. It's a great opportunity to connect with other Michigan Tech grads.

As the community grows, there will be opportunities for departments to get involved and be in touch with their graduates. Information about this will be announced in April. The new community can be found at <http://www.alumnicommunity.mtu.edu>. The public will be able to read news articles and sign up for events. Members will need their First Time Number, which will be included in their mailing next week, in order to log into the secure information. For more information about the Michigan Tech Online Alumni Community, contact mtualum(at)mtu.edu or the Alumni Relations office at 487-2400.


GOVERNOR'S HIGHER ED BUDGET: Governor Jennifer Granholm's budget proposal, released Thursday, recommends delaying a portion of the August 2007 higher education payment until fiscal year 2008 to help balance the current year's budget. If the proposal is adopted by the legislature, the state would withhold half of its August 2007 payments to the state's 15 public universities. Michigan Tech estimates that, under the plan, its revenues would drop by $2.2 million. Michigan Tech's appropriation for the 2006-07 fiscal year is $49.2 million. The state is facing a revenue shortfall of over $600 million this year, and the proposed action to university appropriations is part of a larger plan to balance the budget. "No one likes to be in position like this, even if the funding is restored next year," President Glenn Mroz said. "But the state's fiscal picture is serious. Fortunately, the university's financial situation has improved over the last two years, and we are in a much better position now to adjust to a delay in payment." On the plus side for Michigan's public universities, Granholm recommends a 2.5 percent increase in the 2007-08 budget, in addition to restoring the delayed payment. "We're pleased that the governor is looking ahead and making higher education a priority," Mroz said. "In her State of the State message, she highlighted investment in education as the lasting solution to Michigan's economic woes, and Michigan Tech specializes in educating people who are critical to today's knowledge economy. Fully 83 percent of our students graduate with high-tech degrees, more than any other university in the state."


TECH NABS FOUR ADMISSIONS MARKETING AWARDS: Tech has been honored for four projects designed to attract students to the University. A total of 1,200 colleges, universities, and secondary schools submitted 2,100 entries in the 22nd Annual Admissions Marketing Awards competition. Four of the six submitted by University Marketing and Communications were singled out by the judges for excellence. The University was honored for Admissions vehicle designs, an advertisement, "Smart Cards," and a video.
MORE: <http://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20070213#1>

Tech Sports

WINTER CARNIVAL WIN: Michigan Tech gained a 2-1 win Friday (Feb. 9) and a 4-4 overtime tie Saturday (Feb. 10) over #5 Denver to earn its 38th Winter Carnival title since 1950. Senior Lars Helminen (Brighton, Mich.) garnered Winter Carnival Most Valuable Player honors for his four-point effort in the two games. The Huskies also took three of four possible points on the weekend to remain tied for sixth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. Tech's 21 points are just two shy of North Dakota, which currently sits in fifth.
MORE: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mho>

WOMEN'S HOOPS ON SIX-GAME WIN STREAK: The Michigan Tech women's basketball team defeated Ferris State and Lake Superior State on the road last week to extend its winning streak to six games. The Huskies have knocked off three of the four teams with better records in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the last two weeks (Gannon, FSU, LSSU), with the fourth (Grand Valley State) coming to Houghton Wednesday (Feb. 14). With two regular season games remaining, Michigan Tech still has a chance to win the GLIAC North Division or finish second--in position to host a league tournament first round game.
MORE: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=wbb>

RICHARDSON SCORES 31; FREE THROW STREAK ENDS: Senior Radayl Richardson (Detroit, Mich./De Porres) scored a season-high 31 points at Lake Superior State last Saturday (Feb. 10) to help Michigan Tech to a 63-53 victory. The 6-3 guard was 11-of-18 from the field and 7-of-8 at the foul line in the game. Richardson, who had not missed a free throw since a Jan. 13 game vs. Ferris State, missed his third attempt of the game to end a school-record streak of 29 foul shots. Richardson owns a team-high scoring average of 16.6 points per game and a career total of 1,323 points -- good for 14th all-time at Tech.
More: <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/sport.php?sport=mbb>


Recent Results

Hockey (13-14-5, 8-11-5 WCHA)
2/9--at Michigan Tech 2, #5 Denver 1
2/10--at Michigan Tech 4, #5 Denver 4, OT

Women's Basketball (17-7, 11-5 GLIAC)
2/8--Michigan Tech 69, at Ferris State 65
2/10--Michigan Tech 74, at Lake Superior State 61

Men's Basketball (13-12, 8-8 GLIAC)
2/8--at Ferris State 61, Michigan Tech 59
2/10--Michigan Tech 63, at Lake Superior State 53

Men's Tennis (0-5, 0-0 GLIAC)
2/10--Luther 8, Michigan Tech 1 (at St. Cloud, Minn.)
2/10--at St. Cloud State 9, Michigan Tech 0

Nordic Skiing
2/10--Michigan Tech at NMU Wildcat Open

For up-to-date standings, go to the following links:
WCHA Hockey: <http://www.collegehockeystats.net/standings/wcham>
GLIAC Women's Basketball: <http://gliac.org/womens/basketball/default.asp>
GLIAC Men's Basketball: <http://gliac.org/mens/basketball/default.asp>


What's Happening This Week

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on Mix 93.5 FM
Women's Basketball hosts #12 Grand Valley State, 5:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM <http://www.athletics.mtu.edu/REL/huskiesradio.php>)
Men's Basketball hosts #7 Grand Valley State, 7:30 p.m. (Live Radio, 93.5 FM)

Saturday, February 17, 2007
Nordic Skiing at NCAA Central Regionals (at Marquette, Mich.)
Men's Tennis hosts Ripon, 9 a.m.
Men's Tennis hosts St. Scholastica, 5 p.m.

Sunday, February 18, 2007
Nordic Skiing at NCAA Central Regionals (at Marquette, Mich.)

All Times are Eastern

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV-6

KEWEENAW COUNTY TO CONSIDER JOINING HOUGHTON COUNTY TAX LAWSUIT: The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners at their Feb. 14 meeting will discuss joining Houghton County in a lawsuit against International Paper Company and two other companies claiming insufficient transfer taxes were paid for the sale of thousands of acres of forest land in the two counties. Don Keith, chairman of the Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners, said the transfer taxes for the eventual sale of 125,000 acres of International Paper property to GMO Threshold Timber of Michigan, LLC totaled $30. "Keweenaw County is 540 square miles," Keith said. "GMO are the owners of two thirds of Keweenaw County." Linda Pizzi, Keweenaw County equalization director, said that former IP property was assessed at $7.8 million.
MORE: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5723>


CITY BUSINESS FOLLOWS CARNIVAL THEME: There's an ancient Egyptian king skiing in downtown Houghton. Actually, it's a snow sculpture constructed by employees of U.P. Engineers & Architects Inc., which is sitting on the sidewalk near their building on Shelden Avenue. Pat Coleman, town planner with UPEA, said the snow sculpture of the skiing king and an accompanying pyramid carved from blocks of ice were done to coincide with Winter Carnival. "We've been trying to come up with ideas to bring Winter Carnival into the city," he said. Although Blue Key National Honor Society, organizers of Winter Carnival, usually sponsor a window decorating contest based on the carnival theme for downtown merchants, Coleman said employees at UPEA wanted to do something more dramatic.
MORE: <http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=5703>


CAUGHT IN THE ACTION: This weekend, police arrested a man inside the Range Bank in Palmer, after allegedly breaking-into the facility. Authorities say it happened around 1:30 Saturday afternoon. A witness walking by the Range Bank noticed a man pulling on the doors. When they returned to the scene a few moments later, the glass on the doors was broken. That's when the witness called 911. Upon entering the bank, state troopers found the man rifling through the drawers and cabinets. He was arrested, and is currently being held in the Marquette County Jail.


PLANE CRASHES NEAR PELLSTON: Four people from southeastern Michigan survived after their small plane crashed in the northern Lower Peninsula. The single-engine plane's motor failed Saturday night near Pellston, about halfway along its route from Houghton to Detroit. Searchers found the plane nose-down in a densely wooded area about two hours later. The plane was owned and being flown by Dave Garland, a firefighter from Wayne County's Redford Township. Also on board was his sister, her boyfriend and Garland's 15-year-old niece, who are all from Oakland County.

From the Emailbag

RE: Heikki Lunta was originally Einel Openen:

I came to Tech in the fall of '63 and lived in DHH until after spring quarter in 1965. Surveying and Field Geology occupied the summer quarter that year, and I lived off campus then and for the following two years, graduating in June 1967 (one of Dr. Van Pelt's "50%"). I believe it was early in the winter of '64-'65 when I first heard of the "Finnish Snow God" Einel Openen--that was the year we had 300" of snow at the campus, and the night before snow statue judging was the worst in human memory (the beer downright froze solid, and the wine got slushy; it was 15-20 below zero with a stiff northwest wind and ice pellets)--if you can find the Lode Carnival issue from 1965 you will see that the snow statues were not up to their usual quality... When we would walk to town, the footpath was "inboard" from the ice wall thrown up by the snowplows, it was packed one person wide, and we could look over the ice parapet down to the roofs of the cars speeding by on Shelden Avenue. At each intersection, the path would rise over the ice rampart and rude steps would allow us to get down to pavement level and cross to the other side where the process would be repeated in reverse.

It may be that the name originated with the Delt Sigs; one of my geology department classmates was a member and I associate the name with him in my mind.  The name seemed fitting at the close of that endless winter, because we felt so thoroughly dumped upon.

Pete Dohms


Does anybody remember the Bukovich brothers of Houghton? They were tremendous hockey players. My dad took me to see them play at the Dee Stadium. I remember Paul Coppo; He started playing hockey at the Lauren/Grove Rink in Hancock.

Hi! Paulie from Patty!

Editor's Note: We just recently discussed the passing of Joe Bukovich, "Joe Buck," who was famous for sharpening the skates of many Keweenaw residents over the years.


One of the reasons I look forward to your weekly alumni email is the opportunity to reconnect with Michigan Tech!

Vicki (Mills) Betts probably remembers me as Sarge. We had many conversations over the counter at the Union! Her identification of the ladies from the '70's is right on! 

The year is 1975. The Queen from Southwest Texas State is Anne Lochte. I had the distinct pleasure of serving on the Blue Key Queen Committee that year and was responsible for insuring Anne did not freeze to death! When I met her at the airport she was wearing a windbreaker and shivering uncontrollably from her short walk across the tarmac. I asked her where her winter coat was and she told me she had it on. Our Queen Jan Nyman (now Delecke) immediately grabbed her and said "We are stopping by my house before we do anything else to this poor girl!" While the ladies raided the Nyman family closets, I managed to convince the Professor of Military Science (Army ROTC) to come in at 10PM and open the storeroom where we kept the winter parkas and boots. The olive drab parka and clunky black boots may not have been a very chic fashion statement, but Anne welcomed them for her rounds that night where she served like a real trooper until well past 4AM offering encouragement and incentive as the weary and cold statue builders put the finishing touches on. Jan's much more fashionable hand-me-downs were used for the publicity photos, but you can be sure Anne jumped right back into that parka when the cameras were not rolling!

In January of 1976 I was honored to serve as Blue Key President and got to go to Southwest Texas State in San Marcos, TX to serve as a judge in their Queen contest. Anne met me at the airport and presented me with a pair of shorts and a T-shirt to insure I was properly attired for my visit! I got to throw the first snowball in the fight between the sororities and fraternities. Never before, (and certainly not since that week), have so many beautiful women tried so hard to impress ME! I was also interviewed by several radio and TV stations during my visit. They were always stunned when I told them about how life goes on in Houghton in spite of 250+ inches of snow during the winter. Their student newspaper did a great editorial cartoon depicting a 250-inch pile of snow with their Queen waving serenely from the top! 

It certainly looks like Winter Carnival 2007 will be another great success due to the hard work and dedication of the Blue Key members. 

John M. Helge


To add to Vicki (Mills) Betts 70's memories, the photo w/ the 1977 human dog sled were members of the Sig Eps. I recognize Al Hoheisel and Carl Warner among others.

Ann (Lorenz) Seyfert '78


All of the text in the newsletter dedicated to Winter Carnival bring back a lot of memories from the '50s when I attended da Teck. I wonder if any of the photographs of the snow statues that I took are still around. We (the Lode photography staff--mostly Jim Weirauch and I) dragged Dan Rivard out in the middle of the night because he "volunteered" to carry heavy equipment. This happy contingent wandered around campus well after midnight on the morning of judging and the following morning and took shots of all the statues. We used 4x5 Graphic cameras and a huge Heiland flash unit that could light up the entire peninsula to create multiple flashes and gave the statues a translucent appearance. I remember several of the fraternity statues one of those years when the theme was Disney storybook characters. Those statues were carved with considerable skill and presented castles and characters in great detail. Some of the photos were published in the Detroit Free Press and the Grand Rapids Herald.  We didn't have problems with insufficient snow those years.

We even photographed the vet's Ujack Bird that appeared magically in the midst of the campus just before judging. It was, of course, in full color and in complete violation of contest rules. I think that picture was permanently expunged from the archives.

John Gonser
Eng. Physics 1958

Alumni Association Programs


For more information on other alumni chapter events, e-mail mtu_alumni(at)mtu.edu or see the alumni chapter site on the web:

16--Muskegon, Alumni Night with the UHL Muskegon Fury

17--Sudbury, Ontario Chapter Michigan Tech Alumni Breakfast Meeting

3--Twin Cities, Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota Hockey
<http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/events/Michigan Tech_vs_Minnesota_flyer.pdf>

16--Grand Rapids, Michigan Tech Alumni Night: Hockey with the Griffins

26--Chicago, Chemistry Alumni & Friends at ACS National Meeting


Job Opportunities This Week

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

Assistant Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Position duration dependent upon external funding

Government Documents Librarian, J. R. Van Pelt Library

Senior Research Engineer, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Assistant Women's Volleyball Coach/PE Instructor, Athletic Department

Head Track and Field, Assistant Nordic Ski and Cross Country Coach/PE Instructor, Athletic Department

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (http://www.career.mtu.edu/alumni.php)

Operations Engineer, Oglebay Norton Company, Gulliver, Michigan (in the UP) Email: staffingrequisitions(at)onco.com