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26, Second Annual Detroit Tigers Outing


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Reunion 2007: Teaching future engineers about pasties.

August 13, 2007 (Vol. 14, No. 8)

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

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

If you no longer wish to receive TechAlum or would like to change your e-mail address, visit HuskyLink, the online alumni community, and update your profile or, if you are not a member of the OAC, use our on-line update form here.

For past issues, see our archives.

In This Issue
* Reunion Highlights
* At Tech
* Tech Sports
* Around the Keweenaw
* From the Email Bag
* Featured Alumni Benefits
* Job Opportunities

Reunion 2007: Does it go in?


During Thursday's Pasty Picnic, a young alum’s three-year-old played among the flowers on the campus mall before being herded back to the family by an older sister. Mom and dad gathered them both up before there was any horticultural damage.

Frank Cartwright, class of 1941, toured the sunny, windblown campus Thursday, with his daughter, Karen, and her husband, John Mansfeld. There are only four buildings remaining from Frank’s day: DHH, where he lived for awhile; ROTC Building; Alumni House (formerly the president’s residence); and Academic Office Building, which housed the old bookstore. (“I didn’t have money for books.”) He also said he lived in Hancock, and, in the winter, used to ski across the Keweenaw Waterway to campus. The next oldest nametag he saw was from 1943.

My cousin, Bob Smith ’77, now a natural resources professor at Virginia Tech, recalled taking a class from then-grad student Glenn Mroz.

Another alum from the 1970s was overheard getting caught up on the children with another mom: between the two of them, their four children are in Guatemala, Houghton, and two are in Virginia, within easy driving distance of each other. Small world.

At Friday’s basketball reunion golf outing: the class of 2003 was well represented. Matt Cameron was on the golf DL, nursing a sore back. He wanted to save himself for dunking over his fellow alums in the reunion game. He’s working in Alpena, his hometown, with Lafarge (building materials manufacturers), and has become a dad. Cameron and his wife, Megan, his high-school sweetheart from Alpena, recently had their first child, Connor.

His scrambling fivesome was missing putts on number 11. J. T. Luginski ’03, Kelsey Fors ’03 , Justin Dahlinger ‘04, and Caleb Lambs ’03 were having fun in spite of a bogey. A couple of holes later, they birdied 13 on a nice eight-footer by Luginski. Funny—all the putts look short when the tall guys look over them.

On 15, Bill Steele ’75 was leading a foursome of Patricia Henderson ’77, Russ VanDuine ’81, Rob Flash ’82. Bill’s been known to frequent St. Andrews in Scotland and asked me when I was going. (Sigh.) Three of the four hit 40-foot putts to get the ball close enough for a par. We won’t say which three.

Basketball supporters Dennis Smith, Steve Waudby, Brad Perala, and Micky Wright posed for a group shot after missing the green—all four—on number 14. “Do I have to stand next to him?” Smith asked pointing at Wright. Laughter could be heard all over the course, on the sunny 80-degree day; also a few shouts across fairways were heard.

Saturday’s golf outing allowed me to play with cousin, Bob, and Bob Landsparger '96 and his dad, Arnold, from Pontiac, Michigan. We had a great time scrambling around the course in spite of only carding two birdies to go with one bogie. I wasn’t much help, hitting one good drive all day and only one putt (the usual).

I enjoyed playing a family foursome, and the lunch afterward was worth the trip: burgers and brats, and Bob Landsparger won closest to the hole on one of the par threes and a new golf bag in the raffle.

All in all, it was a nice ending for me and a nice reminder of the importance of family, and that includes the Michigan Tech family.


At Tech

Michigan Tech GRAD DIES IN AFGANISTAN: 1st Lt. Benjamin John Hall was a mentor to the Michigan Tech U.S. Air Force ROTC cadets who were under him and they remember him fondly after his death in Afghanistan.

The 2005 Tech graduate died July 31 from enemy fire in Chowkay Valley, close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, said Lt. Col. Dallas Eubanks, professor of military science at Tech and Reserve Officer Training Corps commander.

Washington Post article about his funeral service last Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.


NSF--MICHIGAN TECH RESEARCH UP 12 PERCENT: The National Science Foundation's report on research expenditures shows Michigan Technological University's research program grew 12 percent from FY2004 to FY2005, Provost and Vice President for Research David Reed told the Board of Control Aug. 2.

Among institutions without a medical school, Michigan Tech ranks 79th in the nation and the highest in the state. Industrial funding makes up 10.6 percent of the university's research dollars, placing Michigan Tech 17th in the nation.


Guy Hembroff

HEMBROFF, SUITS WIN DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARDS: A faculty member whose computing students learn the subtleties of public speaking and a physicist who once advised on pumpkin percussion are the 2007 winners of Michigan Tech's Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Physics Professor Bryan Suits was honored in the associate professor/professor category. Assistant Professor Guy Hembroff, who teaches computer network and systems administration in the School of Technology, receives the award in the lecturer/assistant professor category. The award carries a cash prize of $2,500. Scott Amos, dean of technology, credits Hembroff for much of the success of the new bachelor's program in computer network systems administration. "To see the progress that both Guy and thestudents in the program have made over the past three years has been phenomenal," said Amos. "The professionalism of the program, the success of the graduates, and the program's increasing national recognition can all be credited to Guy's tireless efforts. He has really been the driving force."

Bryan Suits




SCIENTISTS ON THE TRAIL OF PINE-KILLING WASP: Scientists have found another exotic bug in Michigan that eats native trees, but at this point, it appears that the sirex woodwasp won't cause quite the same devastation as the emerald ash borer.

In part, that's because Sirex noctilio, a native of Eurasia, probably only attacks trees that are already stressed, says Andrew Storer, an associate professor in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. "It is also possible that an important biological control agent of the woodwasp has arrived with it, a nematode worm that parasitizes the wasp larvae and sterilizes the adult female," he said.


Tech Sports

2007 MEN’S BASKETBALL GOLF OUTING A BIG SUCCESS--Former Players, Community Members, and Staff Make Memorable Day: The Michigan Tech men’s basketball hosted a golf outing during the University’s annual alumni reunion. With cooperative weather, a large number of golfers, and competitive play, the event was a success.

More than 90 former Husky basketball players, members of the community, and athletic department staff took part in the four-person scramble. Prizes were awarded for first, seventh, and 14th places, and there were prizes awarded on nearly every hole.


GOLD TEAM PREVAILS IN EXCITING MBB ALUMNI GAME--Cameron's 40 Points Leads Six Decades of Former Players: Six decades of former Michigan Tech men’s basketball players entertained fans at the SDC Gym tonight with an exciting alumni game. Matt Cameron’s (1999-03) jumpshot as regulation ended sent the game to overtime, where his Gold Team prevailed, 116-111, over the Black Team.

Cameron (pictured here) scored 40 points in the game and teammate J.T. Luginski (1999-03) added 28 more. Both players were All-Americans for Michigan Tech on their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship teams in 2001-02 and 2002-03.


Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV6

Photo courtesy WLUC TV6.

GRANHOLM: NEWBERRY WILDFIRE TO BE CONTAINED WITHIN A WEEK: Gov. Jennifer Granholm surveyed the perimeter of a burned and charred Upper Peninsula forest Friday from a Blackhawk helicopter, hovering several hundred feet above the ground while the sharp odor of smoke filled her head.

Granholm said she was awed by the destruction. ‘‘Very wide expanses of land are completely black,’’ she said after the military helicopter returned to Newberry, about halfway between lakes Michigan and Superior. ‘‘It was incredible how much expanse of land is completely burned.’’

Photo courtesy WLUC TV6.

TECH STUDENT SAID HE FOUND LIFE RING: How's this for a bizarre twist in the recent discovery of a life ring from the Edmund Fizgerald?

A Michigan Tech student told TV6 Friday that he and a friend actually found the ring in the water along the coast near Copper Harbor in May of 2006. They were on a backpacking trip.

"We were thinking about bringing it with us, but since we were on the first day of the trip, we didn't want to strap it on," said Tim Gebuhr. "And so what we did was hide it back in the woods. And we hid it underneath a tree--the crater a tree makes when it blows down."


FINNISH STUDENT MAKING INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS: A Finnish student from the Jyvaskyla University of Applied Sciences, Aleksi Rastela, is helping to reinforce connections between Finland and the Copper Country this summer through his internship at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Michigan Tech University.

Rastela is a third year student of International Business at the Jyvaskyla University in central Finland. He said every student at the university is required to participate in an international exchange, whether it be studying or an internship.

From the Emailbag

My son forwarded this to me. Not many read the NY Times so most missed this. It might be interesting to your readers

Bruce Kelly 60



More on WMichigan Tech, WDHH, WRS, and now W8YY!

I also remember DJing on the campus radio station. However, it appears I was a decade or two later than most from your email bag. My memory must be failing me; because I thought we did it in the basement of Coed Hall (it has a real name now). I thought the call letters were WMichigan Tech (but my memory may be wrong there too). What I do remember was that the all the CD inserts were removed to deter people from stealing the CDs. This made it difficult to determine what songs were on the CD or what tracks they were on unless they were printed on the CD. It seemed ironic to me that they were worried about these particular CDs being stolen. During our hour block we were broadcasting Christian music.

I wanted to comment on the photos in the TechAlum Newsletter banner. In the pictures there are a total of six women and three men. That is not the ratio I remember when I was at Tech. I remember being in entry level EE classes and counting 40 students. There was only one other female in the class besides myself.

Sara Hale
BSEE ‘91


Hi Dennis,

I have to hop in here on the WDHH issue as well. It is nice to see Ora and Pete respond as they were the primary instigators of the station. I spun a few disks from time to time as well, both there and at Wadsworth, but spent most of my time listening from afar. It was great fun and when I moved out of the dorm in late '57 we could still hear the
stations from the leakage.

By the way, what ever happened to W8YY? That marginally-legal ham transmitter afforded many of us a lot of entertainment when we should have been studying. You could read fine print by the light of the glowing plates in the final of that thing.

John Gonser
Eng. Physics '58

Albuquerque -- Grand Rapids

Editor's note: Good point, John. Any alums out there remember W8YY?


Hi Dennis,
I was involved with WDHH from 1972 through 1976. I was station manager through part of that time. We had a wonderful station engineer by the name of Mark Wichert who first got us a used mixer board from the college station in Appleton. It was a big RCA tube job which replaced the masonite home made board. Then over the course of a summer, he built a beautiful solid state mixer board from scratch. During that time, we also added tape cart machines to be able to play commercials or other short programs. Those were in additon to the two turntables and the reel to reel tape deck.

As others have said, it was a carrier current station (using the dorm's wiring as the antenna). The problem was that the stations frequency of 600 on the AM dial was a nice even multiple of the 60 cycle frequency of the power lines. We used to have a little spot we played that went: "Why do you listen to WDHH? To get a little bit of a buzz." It had a LOT of hum. Anyway one afternoon we built a little FM wireless mike from parts people had in our house. We hooked it up to the board and we became a very low power FM station. The frequency drifted a lot. Later we had one or two improved versions of that so we actually had a quite stable signal that sometimes could be heard in Hancock and Dollar Bay. Because it was FM, there was no hum and it was much more pleasant to listen to.

It had lots of quirks. The key to the door was attached to a canoe paddle, so no one would walk off with it. There was an I-beam that pierced the walls on an angle in the back of the studio. We had a wonderful mural on the back wall for inspiration. During it's heyday, it was on the air from 6:00 am until midnight and beyond that on the weekends. Since it was the days of vinyl albums, the DJs learned how to slip cue the records on the felt covered turntables so the music would start right when they wanted it to.

We patterned ourselves after the album oriented stations of the day like WWWW and WRIF in Detroit. It seems to me that we were reasonably successful, because I had DJs complaining to me that they got so many requests, they didn't have time to play their own songs. We had a lot of fun with that and I think it's too bad that it is no longer there for the students to enjoy.

Art Rathke


Hi Dennis,

A couple more things to add to the WDHH discussion: I was a sometimes evening DJ in the 1960 to 62 era. The job consisted mainly of putting a classical album (deemed best for those hours of study) on the turntable, announcing the name of the piece, and then leaving for a while, as classical numbers are generally pretty long. I wasn't too good at pronouncing the names of the composers and conductors, as I had no background in music. Reminds me of an old joke about a R&R DJ encountering a new record to play: "ROCK-MON-in-off - must be some new cat!"

Some of the station's albums were available for loan to dorm residents. As a librarian, I had a stash of boxes in my room, and regular hours when guys could come in and check albums out. I remember, the Kingston Trio and Brothers Four were much more popular that Beethoven, Brahms, and that ilk.

Larry Doyle
Class of 1964


Walt's name was Burville. I moved into the second floor east of Coed Hall about the beginning of winter term 1967. At that time my room was on the inside about the center of the east side of the rectangle. I think Walt was my roommate at that time and I am sure he was when I moved to the center of the south side in the fall of 67. We were doing an experiment because of the length of the house, the two RA's were separated with non-RA roommates instead of sharing a single room. Being an RA's roommate was not always easy, there were a few times I had to ask Walt to take a walk, and nights got late especially on weekends. At that time there were no phones in rooms. The only communication was the intercom. After the switchboard closed, the resident councilor still had access to the intercom and there were a couple times we were woken up by Julie Cade in the middle of the night - a shock to hear a female voice.

The summer of 67 was when Detroit burned. I had one of the few radios that could receive WJR and many evenings I had lots of visitors to listen to the news.

Bruce Kelly 60, 68, 69

Editor's note: Great piece, Bruce. And the summer of 67 in Detroit means a lot to me, since I was living there then. I'm sure many alums have memories of that hot summer.


Back in the days when the ratio was 9 guys to every girl, I was a DJ on WRS (starting in the spring of 1972). The station managers had to teach me to run the control board, but the hardest part was getting the LPs ready to play with the right amount of lead time. We had a record library in the back of the studio with some tracks scratched over (George Carlin was the one I remember most vividly) so that we couldn't play them over the air. I didn't do too much talking on air because it usually resulted in getting some heavy breathing-type phone calls, even though my show was on from 9 to 11 on Sunday mornings.

It was a great experience. I'll always remember the weekly staff meetings...

Becky (Windmuller) Christianson
Class of '74


Featured Alumni Benefit

Michigan Tech Group Insurance

Liberty Mutual and the Alumni Association

As a Michigan Tech Alum, you qualify for a special group rate on your auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual. For a free, no-obligation quote, call *800-524-9400* or visit the Liberty Mutual website.

Exclusive discount rates for our Alumni living in Canada.


Links to other Alumni Benefits & Services information

Class Rings
Diploma Frames
License Plates

Job Opportunities This Week

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

Regional Admissions Manager, Admissions
Regular, full-time, nine-month position based in the Chicago area

Regional Admissions Manager, Admissions
Regular, full-time, nine-month position based in the southeast Wisconsin/northern Illinois area

Director of Recruitment and Advancement, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Senior System Administrator/Programmer, J. Robert Van Pelt Library


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


Michigan Tech is on the web at <>. For the alumni pages, click on "Alumni/Friends" at the top of the home page.

Dennis Walikainen
University Marketing and Communications
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295
(906) 487-3510