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

19 Keweenaw Alumni Chapter Holiday Social, Houghton

28-29 Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament, Detroit

8 A Big Band Show—Jazz Concert, Traverse City


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Walking between Rekhi Hall and the Library to that last final.

December 17, 2007 (Vol. 14, No. 17)

A bimonthly 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
* Goodbye, Good Luck
* At Tech
* Tech Sports
* Around the Keweenaw
* From the Email Bag
* Featured Alumni Benefits
* Job Opportunities

An Old-Fashioned Christmas concert with the Keweenaw
Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir.

The smile says it all.

A proud moment at the Commissioning.

Goodbye, Good Luck

At 7:45 a.m. Saturday, the time and temperature clock near Jim's Foodmart read "01" degree. The frigid morning melted away, however, when I entered the lobby of the Rozsa Center, as the sun rose through the wall of windows.

There, the Joint Commissioning of the Army and Air Force ROTC was taking place, and the atmosphere of the moment was awe-inspiring. The two Air Force commissonees, Christopher Brown and Kristen Fuller, and one Army commissionee, Casey Luskin (left), were surrounding by family, friends and Tech staff as they took their oaths.

Lt. Christopher Brown had the oath administered by his wife, who was already in the Air Force. After the oath, they have gold bars pinned on their uniforms by their parents, which was especially touching.

The ceremony concluded with the traditional silver dollar salute, which can be traced back to at least the 1790s, to honor their first salute as commissioned officers. In the case of Lt. Casey Luskin, he saluted and received his dollar from an officer from the 101st Airborne, the Screaming Eagles. That was my brother's outfit in Vietnam (and featured in the miniseries "Band of Brothers"), so that was especially meaningful for me.

That was one reason I went to the commissioning: to honor all my family members who served: my father, two brothers, and sister. It was also to honor these three as they go to their first assignments around the nation and beyond. Lt. Kristin Fuller was returning to Scott Air Force base in Illinois, where her father was stationed when she was born.

We don't know their fates after leaving Tech, but we'll hope for their best, and as Lt. Col. Dallas Eubanks (also pictured above) reminded the crowd, they are well trained as military personnel and engineers, so they'll be able to handle anything.

The indoor warmth continued at Midyear Commencement, right from the processional, where comments of "he's right there" and "there she is" were heard around me amid a reverent silence and camera flashes.

The commencement speaker, Bhakta B. Rath, a senior executive at the Department of Defense, acknowledged the graduates' parents' "encouragement, trust, support, and patience" and their relief at sending in "the last tuition check." He also encouraged the graduates to keep learning, follow their dreams, and ignore the naysayers. He used the example of the researcher who had to convince his superiors many times that he should analyze sweat-and then went on to create Gatorade.

Walt Anderson '43 received the Board of Control Silver Medal and had most of his family there, minus a daughter who was trapped in Boston amid "10 wimpy inches of snow," he said. The former director of the School of Technology said Tech is still giving their graduates the tools with which they can succeed.

Kimberly Turner '94 was honored with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and told the tale of the senior design class she teaches at UC Santa Barbara. One enterprising student designed a pedal-powered blender and told Turner, in amazement that, "I can actually build things." That's the beauty of a degree, she said: the confidence to design and build new things.

The presentation of degrees followed and the family fan clubs of the graduates could be heard around the SDC Wood Gym. The Young family from Saginaw was sitting near me, videotaping, as Antoine received his BS in Business Administration, and they cheered when his name was read.

They were just one of hundreds of family similarly celebrating the day, and yours truly will be celebrating the warmth of the season-amid snow-scooping, snow-blowing, and grad schooling-with my entire family home for a couple of weeks.

So, I'll talk to you next year: January 7, to be exact. Have a great holiday season!


Snowfall Totals from KRC

Snowfall to date: 51"
Depth on ground: 24"
(Copper Harbor reports 80" total; Painesdale, too.)

Snowfall total last week: 13"
Depth on ground last week: 25"

Snowfall total last year: 33.5"
Depth on ground last year: 1.0"

At Tech

MICHIGAN TECH OFFERS IN-STATE TUITION TO US MILITARY FAMILIES EVERYWHERE: Starting with the first summer term of 2008, Michigan Technological University will offer in-state tuition to out-of-state students who are the offspring or spouse of a person on active U.S. military duty. Michigan Tech's Board of Control approved the new Military Family Education Award at its December 14 meeting. The award is meant to recognize and thank the military men and women who are serving their country.


Susann Nordrum '86

MICHIGAN TECH ALUM, PHD STUDENT SHARE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Susann Nordrum knew that her work with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was important to a safe and healthy future for the world. She didn't know that it was going to win a Nobel Prize.
More on Nordrum

In addition to Susann Nordrum, a 1986 chemical engineering graduate who served as author on two chapters of the panel's 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, PhD student Veronica Brieno Rankin (GMES), currently on hiatus, was an invited expert reviewer for the guidelines. Rankin also reviewed three IPCC reports.
More on Rankin


TECH TO DEDICATE LIGHTED SKI TRAILS, NEW LIFT: With knee-high snow blanketing the ground well before the winter solstice, you couldn't pick a better time to celebrate the new chair lift at Mont Ripley Ski Hill and new lights along the Michigan Tech Nordic Ski Trails.


A REMINDER FROM THE MICHIGAN TECH FUND: As we approach the end of the 2007 calendar year, we want to take a moment to remind our alumni and friends that it's not too late to make an annual contribution in support of Michigan Tech - and still receive a 2007 tax deduction.

You can phone the Michigan Tech Fund offices at 906-487-2310 to make your gift with a credit card. You also have the option of making your credit card gift through our secure online gift site at These online gifts can be made up until 11:45 p.m. (eastern time) on December 31.

The Michigan Tech Fund offices will be closed on December 24 and 25, but will reopen on December 26, 27 and 28 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Monday, December 31 the office will be staffed from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.


PUCK TREK BENEFITS CCUW: Holiday time is also often fund-raising time for charitable organizations, but one Tech fraternity has an unusual idea for raising money: they ran from Marquette to Houghton carrying a hockey puck.


Tech Sports

TICKETS ON SALE FOR GLI: Join your friends and fellow alumni to cheer on our Michigan Tech Huskies!

Since its founding by Michigan Tech in 1965, the Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament has brought thousands of Michigan Tech alumni, Husky fans and friends to the legendary Joe Louis Arena for what is one of the greatest traditions in college hockey.

Friday, December 28, 2007
4:36 pm U of M vs. Providence
8:06 pm Michigan Tech vs. Michigan State

Saturday, December 29, 2007
4:06 pm Consolation Game
7:36 pm Championship Game

Metro Detroit Chapter
As part of the fun, you're invited to a social event under the stands in the Garden Room hosted by the Metro-Detroit Chapter of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association!

Several great ticket options are available for both students and families. Tickets are priced at $24 for the lower bowl (Sections 104 and 105) and $9.50 for the upper bowl (Section 207). Each ticket allows fans to attend both games on a single day. Fans will need to purchase a separate ticket for both Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are available at the SDC Ticket Office in person or by calling 906-487-2073. They will be on sale until Dec. 19.


Welcome to Houghton.

TECH FALLS TO NORTHERN, 2-0: After being penalized 72 minutes Friday night, Michigan Tech was called for just one penalty as they lost to Northern Michigan 2-0 on Saturday. Freshman Bennett Royer, who had not been penalized all season, was sent to the box for holding. The Huskies (6-8-2, 5-6-1) out shot the Wildcats (7-10-1, 5-9-0), 35-15. Neither could convert on the power play as Northern finished 0-1 and Tech was 0-3.



HUSKIES POST THREE TOP-10 FINISHES AT CHRISTMAS CLASSIC: Michigan Tech had three skiers finish in the top-10 at the Christmas Classic Saturday, Dec. 15. "Our team skied really well today. It also gave our athletes a chance to race on the same course that the US Nationals will use," said head coach Joe Haggenmiller.



OILERS TOP HUSKIES, 79-40, IN MEN'S BASKETBALL: No. 16-ranked Findlay built a 16-0 lead through the first nine minutes of the game and Michigan Tech never recovered in a 79-40 loss in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action today at Croy Gymnasium. The host Oilers blistered the nets for 58 percent shooting and held the Huskies to 32 percent to gain the victory.


FINDLAY OUTSCORES TECH, 92-77, IN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: The Michigan Tech women's basketball team ran into the Findlay Oilers on the wrong day. The hosts shot 51 percent from the field and made 32-of-36 free throws to outscore the Huskies, 92-77, today at Croy Gymnasium.


Upcoming Athletic Events

Tuesday, December 18
7:00 p.m., Men's Basketball vs. Finlandia

Friday, December 21
5:30 p.m., Women's Basketball vs.Minnesota State Moorhead
7:30 p.m., Men's Basketball vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Friday, December 28
8:06 p.m., Hockey at Michigan State, 43rd Annual GLI

Saturday, December 29
1:00 p.m., Women's Basketball vs. Marygrove, Country Inn & Suites Classic
4:06/7:36 p.m., Hockey at Providence/Michigan, 43rd GLI

Sunday, December 30

3:00 p.m., Women's Basketball vs. Finlandia, Country Inn & Suites Classic
4:00 p.m., Men's Basketball at Southern Indiana

Tuesday, January 1
Men's and Women's Nordic Skiing, TBA, vs. N/A US National Championships

Wednesday, January 2
5:30 p.m., Women's Basketball vs. Northland

Around the Keweenaw

Adapted from the Daily Mining Gazette and WLUC TV6

COSTING MORE TO CROSS MIGHTY MAC: It will cost Yoopers more to visit the Trolls in the new year, and vice versa. The Mackinac Bridge Authority recently announced two proposed adjustment plans to the toll fee schedule which will affect all motorists crossing the bridge in the new year.


SEEKING CASH-KEWEENAW NATIONAL PARK FUNDING BEFORE COMMITTEES: The Keweenaw National Historical Park has several unique features in the park system, and because of that uniqueness, park officials are hoping proposed legislation in the House and the Senate will be successful.


RAILROAD-GRADE CASE BACK ON DOCKET: A court case between the Department of Natural Resources and Chassell landowners who erected barriers blocking a railroad grade through their property is back on the docket.


DEQ APPROVES MINE PERMIT, BUT KENNECOTT STILL NEEDS DNR APPROVAL: Kennecott Minerals submitted permit applications for the construction of a Nickel-Copper Mine on the Yellow Dog Plains in February of 2006. And after the most thorough review ever conducted by the DEQ, all three permits were approved.


From the Emailbag

Editor's Note: For our Detroit-area alums-

Michigan Tech will have a presence at the 2008 Detroit International Auto Show at Cobo Hall. We will have a 30-second advertisment broadcast at the show, which runs from Saturday, January 19, through Sunday, January 27. It is the "largest international auto show in North America," and Michigan Tech is excited to be a part of it. Auto Show website.


I wanted to share this great story sent to me by a recent grad (Second Lieutentant Beth Molnar, Class of 2007) about another recent Michigan Tech Alum, First Lieutenant Eric Laflin (Class of 2005, same as Ben Hall's [killed in Afghanistan this summer]) that saved the life of an Iraqi baby while deployed overseas. The written story is attached, but be sure to check out the short video story online (link below)....Eric is another example of the outstanding Cadets that come through this program, and a great ambassador for the University as well....Please pass this story along as you see fit...

Lt. Col. Dallas Eubanks


I just wanted to share a neat story with you about the [2007 summer reading] book [They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky]. My dad is Director of Counseling Services at Michigan Tech University. He called me here in Alaska to say that a reading group there had just read this book and that the authors came to visit. He said my older classes should read it because it was a great book. The problem was, my school had no money to buy books for the students. And as a first year teacher myself, I didn't have any money to buy them for my students either. My dad went to the Tech students and asked if any of them would be willing to donate their books to my school. That day, one by one, the Michigan Tech students came in and donated this book. I now have a shelf with 12 books on it!!!! Enough for my older students!!! My students were soooooo excited. So this makes reading this book even more special.

Just thought you might be interested in hearing the effects this book has had on the Michigan Tech students as well as on my students here in Alaska, before we have even read it!

Beth Williams


Here's an interesting website with old postcards posted. This is one of 5,000,000# of copper waiting to be shipped in Houghton/Hancock.

Gail Richter'61


Last year we gave above and beyond what we expected in Scholarship money and we hope to do the same again this year. If anyone knows students who qualify, please pass the word onto them. Also, we are always looking for more people who would like to get involved, if anyone in the Grand Traverse Area would like to get involved, please contact myself or Terry Paquet. Our group will also be holding a mixer, like we did last year. Please keep the date of January 14th or 21st open and look for more information to come. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. Thank you.

Tim Wolf, MTAS-NWM Publicity Chair

The Michigan Tech Alumni Scholarship Committee-Northwest Michigan Chapter (MTAS-NWM) would like to announce that they will be awarding at least one $1,000 scholarship and two $500 scholarships this spring to local students (Grand Traverse Area) who will be attending Michigan Technological University for the first time this upcoming school year (Fall '08). The scholarship will be awarded based on scholastic achievement, extra curricular involvement, financial need and an interview process. An application for this scholarship is available in the Guidance Counselors' Office of all Grand Traverse and Leelanau County High Schools and Northwestern Michigan College. An application may also be obtained by contacting Cindy Kring or calling 231-938-2452. Hurry, the application deadline is March 1, 2008.


The Michigan Tech Blue Line Club is running a prize raffle to raise money in support of two student organizations, Mitch's Misfits and the Huskies Pep Band. Prizes include the game-worn masks of Tech goaltenders Michael-Lee Teslak and Robbie Nolan, autographed game pucks, a retired set of "Pep Band stripes," a night's stay at the Country Inn & Suites, and gift certificates for other local businesses.

Tickets are just $1 each and make great stocking stuffers. The prize drawing is scheduled for Jan. 26 and you don't have to be present to win.

Purchase your tickets from any member of the BLC board, Pep Band or Mitch's Misfits. Tickets are also available in the Blue Line Club skybox during home games and will be available during the Michigan Tech games at the GLI on December 28 and 29 in Detroit.

You can also purchase tickets through BLC president Kathy Pintar at 906-487-1633 or via e-mail at


Dorm life in the 50's: Part One
I enrolled at Tech in 1958. At that time the only "dorm" for the girls was Smith House which was immediately across the side street from Wads. It held about 30 girls. It was a beautiful old stone mansion with a porch and a stone fence around the property. I think the driveway was a circle around the house. The snow plow would often wake us up about 5 AM in the winter. I can't believe that the house was razed. We had a house mother who lived on site. It wasn't quite what you would call an apartment, but she had one of the rooms on the main floor with double sliding doors which opened onto the foyer, her own bathroom and the kitchen. The kitchen generally wasn't for everyone's use, but would occasionally be used by the girls, but not routinely. We took our meals at the Union. We had meal tickets that were punched for each meal.

Otherwise, on the main floor there was an airlock and large foyer, living room and a den/library, a narrow back stairway and a formal stairway off the foyer. The living room had a fireplace which we used for a Christmas party. As I recall we had trouble with it or the wood smoking for some reason. In the foyer there was an open staircase with a balcony on the second floor and large stained glass windows part way up. It was in the library late one night that a few of us got the idea to start a second sorority on campus--Phi Lambda Beta. We also put on the first PLB & Frat Rats "hockey" game that winter. Coaches MacGinnes & Lonsdorf got into the spirit of things and coached us. That eventually became Alpha Gamma Delta. We had no sorority houses then.

The second floor rooms each accommodated from 2-4 girls depending on the size. The third floor was "another story." There was one large room, the ballroom, and one small room with 3 girls, a small bathroom with a claw foot tub and a bigger bathroom with 2 shower stalls and 2 sinks. That one had probably been a bedroom or closet at one time. There were 12 (yes twelve) of us freshmen in the large room--6 bunkbeds, 12 desks and 12 dressers. There was some attic type storage space under the eaves. One girl had a stereo which was off limits to everyone else. When I bought my alarm clock to take to Tech I picked one with the loudest alarm that I could find to wake me up. One of my roommates complained that I always let it run all the way down before I finally woke up. All of my worldly possessions and my parents luggage were packed in my dad's trunk when we went up there in September. Most girls, like me, came with a radio and a typewriter and possibly a coffee pot. I went to Tech sight unseen. Some of us did have volunteer "big sisters" who wrote letters to us during the summer to let us know what to expect. It was only the second time I had been in the UP. We took the ferry across the straits and when we went home for Thanksgiving we crossed the Mackinac bridge. There was no expressway, so it was all 2 lane roads and small towns for 500 miles.

Gail Dankert Richter '61


Just an FYI for anybody that misses Marie's Deli, which was located in downtown Houghton for many years. She is now running Marie Catrib's in Grand Rapids.

Bruce Ammons

Bruce: We have included Marie's Deli in Alumni gatherings in the West Michigan area. Stay tuned!


Featured Alumni Benefit

A Great Way to Support Your Alumni Association PLUS hundreds of deals at places you shop the most…

Your Michigan Tech Alumni Association has created a FREE shopping mall for all alumni and friends.
Members of our shopping mall will receive cash back on purchases made in any of the nearly 1,000 different stores associated with the shopping mall. Cash back ranges from 1% to more than 20%. In addition:

• You'll find great coupon codes at many of our partner stores.
• We post new deals and sales every single day so you find up-to-date shopping information.
• Your Alumni Association also earns cash back on any purchases you make through your shopping mall. These funds support programming for Michigan Tech alumni and students.

Start earning cash back today and also support your Michigan Tech Alumni Association. Just visit


More Alumni Benefits & Services information <>

Class Rings
Diploma Frames
License Plates
University Images Michigan Tech Clothing & Giftware


Job Opportunities This Week

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

Assistant Research Scientist; School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Regular, part-time position; 10-20 hours/week
Position duration dependent upon external funding

Tenure-Track Technical Director/Assistant Professor; Visual and Performing Arts

Budget Coordinator; Michigan Tech Research Institute
Position duration dependent upon external funding

Supervisor, Dining Services; Residential Dining Services



ThermoAnalytics, Inc. a growing and industry leading engineering/software company located in Michigan's Scenic Upper Peninsula is seeking a full-time Thermal/Infrared Analyst for thermal and infrared simulation and analysis.

Duties include developing CAE based thermal and infrared models, analysis and reporting, and participating in field testing.

The successful candidate must possess an M.S. in engineering or equivalent, 2-5 years experience performing thermal and/or infrared analysis, a strong background in and understanding of thermal physics, with emphasis on radiation, and strong written and verbal communication skills. Experience in statistical analysis a plus.

Upon hiring, candidate must be able to attain a security clearance from the Department of Defense.

If you have any questions you can reach me by email or by phone at 482-9560.

Thank you.

Sue McDaniel

For off-campus jobs, go to the alumni section of the Career Center website for alumni jobs.

Also, there is a new local job board.


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