July 28, 2008
Vol. 14, No.32
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Continuing my summer school focus, the Summer Youth Programs have been scurrying around campus this year, as you could tell by the photos in the slide show atop TechAlum.

Just this week, I saw SYP students hurling paper creations out of the top floor of the Smith ME-EM Building to see if they would fly before crashing to earth. Some did. Some didn't.

I also must admit a bias. Both of my children spent several years in SYP, and it has paid off. My daughter learned enough to focus her studies on history, and she liked it so much, she's still going to school! My son benefited from teachers in computers, technology, and rocketry, like above. He has followed these early studies into his current field of computer network and system administration, a fairly new degree program.

This year's rocketeers had some nice things to say: "It was harder than I thought it would be, but way more fun. I found out that I'm really good at this kind of science and engineering. I think I might like to go to work for NASA after college."—Mike, 17, from Greece

"I was surprised by how much math we had to learn, but it was actually really easy because it made sense. Launching the rockets was so exciting, especially after the work we put into making them. This class was so cool!"—Chris, 17, Dallas, TX

I even taught a few sessions of SYP, and I've kept the newsletters and booklets the students created many years ago.

I was wondering if any of you have memories of Summer Youth? Did it help lead to your present career? Did you make friends there that you later met again at Tech (like my son has)? Any special teachers?

Drop me a line.

Dennis '92

P.S. Don't forget Alumni Reunion, August 7–9.

At Tech

Isle Royale National Park, Tech Celebrate 50 Years of Wolf-Moose Research


It’s not your ordinary 50th anniversary. Scientists, National Park Service personnel, environmentalists, politicians and the public are gathering at Isle Royale National Park on July 25-27 to celebrate 50 years of research on the wolves and moose of Isle Royale.


Experience Tech Initiative Opens Opportunities to Students

The Experience Tech initiative, passed June 19 by Michigan Technological University’s Board of Control, will give students free access to Mont Ripley Ski Hill, the Portage Lake Golf Course, the Gates Tennis Center, Department of Visual and Performing Arts events, hockey games, and intramural sports. The plan will be subsidized through a student-wide $64-per-semester tuition-added fee. More

Greeks Now Can Recruit First-Year Students

A group of Michigan Tech students have brought change to one of the University's oldest and most storied traditions—Greek life. The University recently announced the decision to eliminate its deferred recruitment policy for Greek organizations. Now students—including incoming first-years—will be able to join a fraternity or sorority without completing the 12 credit hours formerly mandated by the University. More

Building a Better Helmet

Helmets are helpless against some of the most dangerous injuries in football. They protect players from direct impact, as when linemen slam head-on into each other like battling yaks. But when it comes to rotational impact, a helmet doesn't offer much more protection than a full head of hair. More

Alumni Around the World

Detroit Alumni Gather at Comerica Park

Belle Isle
Over 160 alumni and friends came out for a beautiful day at the 3rd Annual Detroit Tigers Outing. Sponsored by the Detroit Alumni Chapter, guests enjoyed the wonderful barbecue buffet while getting to know each other on one of Comerica Parks Party Decks. There were new and returning faces alongside the many Detroit area current and former Alumni Association board members in attendance. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-2. Alumni can't wait for more upcoming local events such as the YES! Expo Reception in November and GLI Hockey Tournament in December.

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Bosch Brewery
Do you remember the old sampling room at the Bosch Brewery? Email me.

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Lego league

Perhaps you worked on the LEGO competitions in the 2000s. Email me.

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Tech Sports

Track and Field Teams, Individuals Honored

The Michigan Tech track and field teams received several academic awards from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Senior Andrea Metz and junior Erin Ballun were each named to the Women’s USTFCCCA Division II All-Academic Track and Field Team. More

Women's Hoops Boasts Nation's 2nd Best GPA

The Michigan Tech women's basketball team earned the second-best grade point average of any NCAA Division II women’s basketball program it was announced today by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. It is the second straight season the Huskies have ranked among the top five of the nearly 300 teams nationwide. They were fourth a year ago. Michigan Tech boasted a team GPA of 3.639, which trailed by just a hundredth of a point to South Dakota’s 3.649. More

Palmgren Named Academic All-America

Michigan Tech women’s tennis player Amy Palmgren has been selected to the 2008 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America At-Large Second Team picked by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The Huskies’ number one singles player has now earned Academic All-America honors twice—she was an at-large third team honoree last year. More
Sports Events View Composite Schedule
Northwood Women's & Men's Basketball, 6:00 & 8:00 p.m.
North Dakota Hockey, 8:37 p.m.
Saginaw Valley State Women's & Men's Basketball, 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
North Dakota Hockey, 8:07 p.m.
Wayne State Women's & Men's Basketball, 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
Hillsdale Women's & Men's Basketball, 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
Coleraine, Minnesota Women's & Men's Nordic Skiing, Central Super Tour

Around the Keweenaw

UP Firefighters Converge on Houghton

"Ready, set," then the bang of a starter pistol. That scene was repeated numerous times Friday, as the 114th U.P. Volunteer Firefighters Tournament marked its second day in Houghton with a series of competitions at the Kestner Waterfront Park. More

Miles for Smiles: Unicyclists Plan Ride to Marquette to Raise Money

Riding a unicycle on flat ground is difficult enough, and riding up and down hills is an extreme challenge, but three friends are planning to do just that next month in an effort to raise money for two boys who have leukemia. Bob Evans of the Dollar Bay area, and Jason Cattelino and Ben Bachran, both of Houghton, will ride from Houghton to Marquette beginning Aug. 13 and hopefully arriving Aug. 17. More

County Seeks Replacement for Sinking Transfer Station

Houghton County's plans to abandon the transfer station on Technical Drive in Houghton are progressing. Board of Commissioners Chair Paul Luoma, controller Eric Forsberg, station operator Jim Zerbst, county building inspector Gerry Juntunen and Douglas Dernberger of Waste Management recently toured transfer stations in Iron River and Marquette to see what the operations had to offer. More

Promoting with "Shop Hancock" Cards


Members of the Hancock Business & Professionals Association are regularly looking for ways to encourage shopping in the city, and they're currently working on another promotion they hope will do that. en Murphy, president of the HBPA, said the idea for wallet-sized "Shop Hancock" business cards was the idea of association member Jack Eberhardt, owner of the Book Concern print shop.


From the Email Bag

Cross Country Meet



The "T" is Sigma Phi Epsilon's Peter Van Der Hagen and the "U" is
Justinian Broughton of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity.

-Ben Biesterveld MTU '06


Houghton Train Depot

Train DepotDennis,
I do remember the station. I took a train ride from Houghton to Milwaukee for a military physical. I guess it was cheaper that the Blue Goose which I later flew for a second trip to Milwaukee. I graduated in Summer 1968 and was trying to go Navy Civil Engineer Corps. I remember one of my civil professors, known for his rather prudent spending, was on the train also. But he ( I do not recall his name now ) was only going to Chassell with his granddaughter. I guess she wanted to ride on the train and grandpa could only afford the short few minutes of travel to Chassell. Maybe he was going to the frat house in Chassell also??

It was a sad day for the UP when the railroad went away. I know many who used the train as great transportation; especially those who did not like to fly. Oh well, we Americans have our ways.

Rick Martin, 1968


I remember arriving at the Houghton depot in the morning after an all night trip from the Soo. It was the late 40's and after school ended at the Soo branch [ Soo Tech ] I had to get to Houghton for summer surveying class. The train left the Soo in the afternoon and went to Trout Lake for a long stop or perhaps we changed trains. Then it was on to Pembine Wisc, where we got off and spent a few hours in the station waiting for the train which came up from Chicago. Finally in the wee hours of the morning we left for Houghton and arrived about midmorning. Not the kind of trip easily forgotten.

Larry Watson 51


I remember taking the 14 hour trip from Detroit to Houghton in 1957 for my freshman year at Tech hauling a large metal foot locker with all my belongings. We called it the square wheel express back then.

Jim Roley 1962


I well remember the depot in downtown Houghton. My first year at Tech was 58-59. I was a transfer from Benton Harbor Jr. College pursuing a ME degree. I left my fiancé at home when I came up to Tech. When Winter Carnival time came around in 1959, she decided to come up for the event. I got her a room in the Union, and her brother drove her to Chicago to catch the train for Houghton. It sure was a wonderful day when I went to the depot to pick her up in a borrowed car, a wonderful week-end, and a sad time when I had to take her back to the depot to go back home. We got married the following September, and she came back up to Tech with me for the last two years. The last year, we lived in the brand new student housing up behind Wadsworth. This September, we will be married 49 years. You bet I remember that Depot.

Andy Robinson "61"


I remember the depot and the Milwaukee Road train. Took it to Milwaukee and back to 'Da Tech" once during my freshman year. I recall, if my memory serves me correctly, it left Houghton at 7 PM and arrived in Beer town at 7 AM the following morning after numerous and lengthy stops along the way. It had earned the sobriquet of "The Square Wheeler". The return trip, also overnight, was in the company of some fellow Wadsworth friends returning from Philly who had, and shared, a fifth of "antifreeze" (The conductor also shared in a nip or two) and we arrived in Houghton in the early morning darkness feeling quite mellow. After that trip I always "snared" a ride, splitting the gas cost, or thumbed. Once was enough!!

Rick Mahringer
Forestry - 1966


I remember it well.

In 1957 I traveled with the Tech Band on a special train from this depot to Colorado Springs for the NCAA hockey play offs. Many students and local fans joined us for an enjoyable journey to the West.

Later I returned to this depot from an interview trip to US Steel in North Chicago. The train stopped in Baraga for a fresh roll and coffee for breakfast served on the train.

Kyle R Ericson
BSME 1959


The only thing I remember about the train was that when we heard it go by on the railroad tracks below DHH, the day's mail would arrive at the dorm mailroom about two hours later. Back "when dirt was young", without modern communications technology, we waited expectantly outside the wall of pigeon hole boxes, hoping there would appear in the little window a letter from the girl friend back home.

Could today's student even imagine that each precinct of DHH shared one phone stuck in a cubby hole in the hall wall? I believe there was a buzzer in each room. The switchboard operator signaled the person being called to come to that phone. I got maybe two calls a year.

Larry Doyle
Class of 1964


In September 1948 I boarded a train in Providence, RI and headed to Houghton. I had traveled quite a bit by train in the East and had seen many large train stations. After 24 hours riding trains, I arrived in Houghton and was met by hockey coach Amo Bessone at the smallest depot I had ever seen. The depot looked smaller than our streetcar exchange station in downtown Providence. For the next nine months, I lived in the Dee flats above the Board of Trade Bar on Isle Royale St. about 100 yards from the depot. I heard the two trains a day arriving and departing for Chicago and Detroit. I have memories of boarding trains at the depot to go back home, traveling with the hockey them and meeting friends coming from out of town. My saddest memory is arriving back from Grayling in 1950 with Coach Bessone after the fatal bus accident.

Bob Monahan

Summer in the Keweenaw

My first summer in Houghton was after my junior year in 2002. I got a summer job at the Health Department in Hancock and spent the summer driving my 91 oldsmobile all over the western UP visiting almost every campground, park, and restaurant (and getting paid for it!) That summer I also convinced my dad to let me borrow his fishing boat for a month and I’d take my friends out fishing on Keweenaw Bay and catch enough lake trout to make a decent meal. Houghton/the Keweenaw is a great place in the summer when you don’t have to worry about “school”. I would spend the next two summers in Houghton and they were the most carefree days of my life. It’s tough being “land locked” now in Ann Arbor, but I’ll keep watching for open positions up there.

Ed Verhamme ’03



I graduated in 1957 with a degree in Forestry. The curriculum back then required not one but two summer sessions.

Following my sophomore year there was surveying camp. During this time I played softball with the Houghton town team and traveled the circuit from South Range to the Air Force base then located at the tip of the Keewenaw. One of the fields we played on was 100% stamp sands. Not much aesthetically, but a remarkably good playing surface.

Following my junior year came forestry camp. After this was over, my roommate Dick Norlin and I spent the rest of the summer living in beautiful downtown Seney while working on a timber cruising job.

Thus, I had the good fortune of two summers in the UP, complete with tromps through the Seney swamps and trout fishing on the Otter, Fox, Driggs, Ontonagon and other rivers as well as many out of the way beaver ponds. Wouldn't trade 'em for anything.

Ron Sadler
Forestry 1957


Back in da old days, like da summer of '65, us civil engineering students actually had to take a full 18 credit summer surveying course. We had tons of fun running level ciruits up and down Mt Ripley, Getting out on top of Ripley before dawn so we could watch the sun come up and stretch our steel tapes, or spend hours in the hot sun up in Dodgeville searching for section corners that were last seen in the eighteen hundreds. But the parties were a blast.

My most memorable summer, though was in '68, my senior year. The late professor E.R Roberts had flunked me the previous winter when I missed too many of the war stories he told in his construction engineering class (I seem to remember preferring skiing), so I had a few credits to make up. One of them was an 8:00 (ouch!!!) logic course that I often fell asleep in. However, I was awake enough to notice, a cute girl sitting across from me who seemed too sophisticated for a Tech student. Turns out she actually was from Hancock (Jenness Jacobson), but had just finished her freshman year at MSU and was taking a summer course as a guest student. To make a long story short, after getting her to come over and help me wash my brand new car, a Datsun 2000 roadster, a few trips around the Copper Country with the top down, some drive-in movies, and other summer activities, I actually worked up the nerve to pop the question, and here we are 39 years later with three kids and five grandkids. My son Simon, BSEE '92, is a fellow alum.

When I was back in grad school, I never passed up an opportunity to needle prof Roberts and blame him for hooking me up with my wife. There are many more stories from those two summers I got to spend at Tech, but most are too politically incorrect for even your newsletter. I will be back in August for our 40th reunion, so look me up there if you'd like to hear a few of the funnier stories about summers at Tech.

Darrell Joque '68


I had the pleasure of spending the summer of 1954 taking Surveying at Tech. What a beautiful summer it was regardless of the daily classes and walking up and down the hills taking levelshots and the topography on Ripley hill.The cold one at the Hurontown Bar at the end of the level runs made the day worth while.We were also the victims of one of the instructors( Roberts) who swiped our teams transit when we were given a coffee break and went to the Union. A good lesson we never forgot. There is no place nicer than the Copper Country in the summer --or Winter.

Jim Nyquist --"55"


Summers up at Tech are both spectacular and a blast. If some of you never had the chance then you really missed out. I highly recommend it. I spent two summers up at Houghton, summer of '91 & '92. Some of the best times were going over to Hancock beach every day and playing volleyball in the afternoon after class or going 4-wheelin' on top of Cliff Drive and seeing the Keweenaw for miles. Camping trips on the weekends we also a lot of fun, camping on 5 mile point near Eagle River or on the beach at Bete Grise. I think some of the best times, though, were laying on the "sun deck" of the Sig Ep house and watching the northern lights. Parties wouldn't start until the sun set, somewhere around 10:45, and then go until the wee hours of the morning. I had a lot of fun at MTU and got a degree to boot. I try to get up at least once a year, otherwise I make the Sig Ep reunions. Thanks for a great news letter.

Chris "Mooner" Munn '92



This is important, by gosh!

Pasty story link.

Frank Shoffner

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