August 25, 2008
Vol. 14, No.34
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Moving In

Checking In
Michael Brendel checks in to his future.

Early Sunday morning the campus was cool and quiet under partly grey skies. The dumpsters and bike racks, however, told the tale from the day before.

Some 1,150 first-year students and their families had moved in to Wads, McNair, and DHH, according to staffer Joan Pastore, who was setting up for the second wave of 300+ students moving in Sunday.

Up at McNair, Marcus Campione of Grayslake, Illinois, and Ralph Stuart of Richmond, Michigan, had just returned from their morning jog.

Marcus will be studying civil engineering, and Ralph will be in computer networks and system administration (I told him to watch out for my son). Marcus's sister, Marcella, was a Tech forestry major, and Ralph was here for the Mach-I summer math and chemistry program, so both already "knew the campus."

Both men thought move-in was "good" with "a lot of help." Tech students and employees, in addition to the orientation staff, have a new tradition of helping carry all that stuff into the residence hall rooms. It's a great experience, and everyone gets to relive that orientation feeling again.

Marcus was looking forward to mountain biking and intramurals, Ralph was anxious to hit Mt. Ripley "and it's free this year!" he said, referring to the Experience Tech fee that pays for just about everything. Their parents were leaving for home Monday, they said.

Back at the Rozsa Center, Michael Brendel (pictured above) from Oxford, Michigan, was checking in with his parents Paulette and Kevin '83. Kevin was an ME now working in computing for EDS. Michael had chosen Tech over Kettering and was looking forward to swimming, snowboarding, and maybe the Pep Band after he got his feet on the ground his first year.

As I left them, I told Michael to enjoy this, the best years of his life.

His dad had already told him that, he said.

Dennis '92

At Tech

Tech Finance Student on CNBC

APMP student

Business administration senior Tony Hellenbrand was interviewed Monday morning on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Tech's award-winning Applied Portfolio Management Program.

See the video here.

The APMP program advisor is Dean Johnson, associate professor of business administration.

Safety First Alert Provides Rapid Communication

Campus safety is a high priority at Michigan Technological University, so Michigan Tech is implementing an emergency communications service called Safety First Alert. Safety First Alert enables the University to send emergency and other time-sensitive notifications via telephone, email and text message. To make it function effectively, faculty, staff and students are being asked to sign up and provide their phone numbers and email addresses via a password-protected website, More

Tech Moves Up in US News Best Colleges Rankings

Michigan Tech’s undergraduate education has moved up in the top tier of national universities, according to the latest edition of "America’s Best Colleges," published annually by US News & World Report. This year, Michigan Tech ranked 121st among 262 national universities, both public and private, compared to 124th last year. Among 162 public national universities, Michigan Tech ranked 60th. More

Biochar: Grow Bigger, Better Veggies With Wood Scraps


There’s a new player on the organic gardening front. Amazon natives have used it for centuries to improve their soil and grow better crops, but now it’s made an appearance on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Students in a summer humanities class at Michigan Technological University are making biochar from sticks and wood scraps. The product of a slow-burning charcoal-creation process, biochar can vastly improve soils for growing food and other plants. More

Need a Ride? Want a Rider? Michigan Tech Has an Online Solution

College students have always shared rides, usually finding a ride or riders by tacking index cards to a campus bulletin board. Now, at Michigan Tech, they have a high-tech option. With the click of a mouse, students, faculty and staff—anyone with a University internet logon—can access an interactive map and find a ride or rider to or from Houghton. Created by the Inter-Residence Hall Council (IRHC), the IRHC Online Rideboard offers an electronic alternative to the physical ride boards in University residence halls. More

Alumni Around the World

Northwestern Michigan Alumni Network: Traverse City

Scholarship Winners

Scholarship winners, left to right: Ben Wittbrodt, Dana Kuncaitis, Anne Wiese, and William Preston. Not pictured: Preston Sanford.

by Tim Wolf '05 - Northwest Michigan Network Leader

On August 6th the Northwest Michigan Alumni Network held an alumni gathering at Wuerfel Park in Traverse City. The Traverse City Beach Bums event was organized to bring together the local alumni and recognize the Network’s Scholarship recipients. Over 75 alumni, current/prospective students, and friends of Michigan Tech were in attendance to honor Preston Sanford, William Preston, Dana Kuncaitis, Anne Wiese and Ben Wittbrodt. Although the evening didn’t fare well for the home team (the Bums lost to the Gateway Grizzlies by a score of 7-0) those in attendance enjoyed meeting each other while having hot dogs, chips, and pop. There were also multiple Michigan Tech apparel prize give aways and the group was also allowed to go on the field during the 7th inning stretch and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with Suntan and Sunburn, the team mascots. Thanks to all for making this event happen. And we look forward to seeing you at our Tech vs. Northern football game watching event on Sept. 18th. For more info please visit or contact Gary Wittbrodt '83 or Tim Wolf '05.

Fill in the Blanks

Remember when panty raids might mean jail time? Bob Carnahan '53 does. Read his story, below, then email me.

Fill in the Blanks: II


Remember this dump truck in the Hobo Parade? Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

110 Youth Enjoy Free Football Camp

The Michigan Tech football team hosted 110 junior high youth at a free camp this afternoon at Sherman Field. Huskies players and coaches took a break from their preseason practice to instruct the youth on the basics of offense, defense, equipment and conditioning. More

Tech has Nation's Most Academic Achievement Awards

Michigan Tech ranked No. 1 in the nation in terms of number of recipients of the Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award. The award, which is in its inaugural year, recognizes student-athletes who have a 3.5 grade point average or higher. Tech boasted 97 academic achievement award winners — more than any other Division II institution in the country. More

FSN Detroit to Carry Tech-NMU Football Game

The Michigan Tech-Northern Michigan football game will be televised live by FSN Detroit on Sept. 18. The television network, which is available on channel 33 on Charter Cable systems in the Houghton area, is available to more than 3.2 million households throughout Michigan and portions of northwest Ohio and northern Indiana. 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

Baroni's Taken Over by Vollwerth's

Having a business owned by the same family for 73 years is quite a tradition, but some traditions have to come to an end. Although the products of the Paul J. Baroni Company will still be made, the company will no longer be owned by the Baroni family. Nancy Baroni, who has been running the company, which makes sauces, various pastas and frozen pizzas, for two-and-a-half years, said although family members hadn't been giving serious thought to getting out of the business, when the opportunity came up last November they took it. More

County Fair Ends Sunday

The 57th Annual Houghton County Fair began Thursday, with plenty of new attractions to reel in new and returning fairgoers alike. The Adrenaline Jam Tour, produced by Interactive Game Experience (IGX), will stop by the fair. The 19-monitor setup will include popular games from across the reigning platforms, including Nintendo Wii and Nintendo GameCube, PlayStations 2 and 3 and Xbox and Xbox 360. "They just come and play for free, and it's in the Indoor Arena," said Genny Gierke, a member of the Fair office staff and the reigning Houghton County Fair Queen. More

Quincy Smelter Update

Franklin Township has owned the Quincy Smelter Works in Ripley since 1999, but it has been in a state of decay for decades. However, work has begun to bring the site to a condition where it can be used as a revenue-creating facility for the township. Franklin Township Superintendent Glenn Ekdahl said asbestos abatement work in several of the buildings at the site has been completed, and several groups and government organizations are involved with trying to determine the next step. More

Trail Blockages Still in Place

No change has yet taken place in the physical reality of the stretch of former Soo Line railroad grade between Houghton and Chassell. Three homeowners along the corridor have not removed a series of barriers they built across the grade in 2005. The Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan Department of Natural Resources are still working on a plan to remove the impediments following last Friday's deadline set by the Michigan Attorney General's office. More

From the Email Bag

Reunion and Panty Raid

Ola Dennis, I had hoped to meet you last week but somehow didn't connect at the Pasty Picnic, reception at the Club House, or awards banquet. I had a great time and got to spend a few minutes with Bob W. before he flew away, lunch with Eric H., a presentation on the CPR Mattress by the marketing team + demo thanks to my good friend Bob Mark, later a ride in the Hybrid vehicle sans electronics but a wonderful interaction with the young ME who will be the leader on the ECO Car team this year. He typified an amazingly genuine enthusiasm for the Enterprise Program that has been my experience each time I've had the pleasure of interacting with it's participants. I had a short visit with Mark Plichta Chair in Materials and Mary Raber (a clearly overloaded and never ever complaining Director of the Enterprise Program). Tech is blessed to have someone of her dedication and ethic in setting up and providing whatever time she has left over to provide assistance to the teams, soon to be 30 with some 700 students involved. I truly wonder how many of our Alums comprehend the value of this program and its work product e.g. well trained, well educated, and experienced young engineers, business majors, foresters, and science and arts grads. They will, I'm confident, contribute a significant level of wider recognition world wide for the quality of our graduates and their contributions to society, to say nothing of the elevation of MTU's reputation.

On a lighter note, in a recent Alumni mailing you included some archival info that I browsed and happened across a reference to of all things a Panty Raid. I was pretty sure that it occurred during my Sophomore year in the Spring. No I didn't participate, I was heavily involved with Track and Field, student council, student union board, and was pinned to a local student at Suomi College in Hancock. At any rate on attempting to pull up info the only references that came up on Google all gave U of Mich credit for the first such event in the State sometime in 1952. U of M got national coverage and a citation in Wikipedia. So I did a bit of digging in the Tech Lode archives with Erik (Nordberg)'s assistance and VOILA wa kari mashta, I found it. The report made Headlines in the Lode dated May 28, 1951, many months before the U of M accreditation. Erik was psyched as was I, perhaps he's already advised you? I couldn't begin to identify any of the Tech 14, one might have been Carl Fraidenburg, '54, but I'm not at all certain. Anyway it's newsworthy for the Alumni communications trivia in my humble opinion. Anytime MCM&T (MTU) can best UofM in anything has to be newsworthy. Hope to hear back from you,

Bob Carnahan '53

Bob: Yes, Erik Nordberg and I have chatted about an infamous panty raid on then Suomi College, and some of the men ended up in jail (see photo above). Erik's response follows:


Hello Bob:

Bad news -- the issue of the Lode you saw had a misprint on its front page. The issue is actually from May 28, 1952, not 1951. I double checked it today.

For whatever reason, only the front page carried the wrong year. You should note that the other printed pages you took have the correct date.

Still an interesting story, but not a gazump on the U of MaizeNbleu.

Erik Nordberg

Reunion Golf

Dennis,Now when I read your Newsletter, I'll put a face with it. And the memories of a pretty wild golfer! We enjoyed the golf with you and Norm, our family friend of yore. If we would have putted better, ....

Merle Potter

Thanks, Merle, for remembering my "four-fairway-left slight hook" that didn't hit anyone and only hurt my pride! I'm working on straightening that out!

Tech Senior helps Student Golf

From the Gaylord Herald Times

By Jeremy Speer, Sports Editor
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chris Miller, who just graduated from Michigan Tech, helped create a golf enabler for a paraplegic student.

HOUGHTON — Chris Miller knew he’d be given a project as a senior engineering student at Michigan Technological University.

He didn’t know he’d be helping someone realize a dream. More

Tech Alums at Wolf-Moose 50th on Isle Royale

Wolf/Moose Celebrants

I was one of many alumni that attended the 50th anniversary celebration of the wolf/ moose research at Rock Harbor on Isle Royale on the weekend of July 26th. I likely travelled the farthest to attend since I had to fly from Victoria via Edmonton and Toronto to Thunder Bay and return (over 10,000 km (6,000 miles)).

The Canadian contingent met up in Thunder Bay and traveled by boat, tying up at the wharf at Daisy Farm. Our outing was organized by Brian McLaren (PhD '95) who is a professor of wildlife at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

Here are just some of the alum that I recognized, a very auspicious group: Dr. John Vucetich PhD '99, Dr. Leah Vucetich PhD '98?, Dr. Doug Smith MS '88, Dr. Mary Hindelang PhD '96, Darcy Rutkowski MS '84, Phyllis Green BS '76 (Superintendant of Isle Royale National Park), Dr. Peggy Gale MS '80 (Dean of FR&ES), Dr. Brian McLaren PhD '95

I have attached a photo of the Isle Royale researchers on the stage on Saturday afternoon.

Kneeling: Candy Peterson, Joe Sheidler MS '79
Middle Row: Don Murray (pilot), John Vucetich, Peter Jordan, Brian McLaren
Back Row: Leah Vucetich, Doug Smith, Mary Hindelang, Don Glaser (pilot), Rolf Peterson, Dave Mech, Wendel Johnson, Rick Page

Rick Page, PhD '89
Victoria, BC

Newman House and Wesley House

newman became the phi kappa theta house around 1966 and burned down around 2003 and was rebuilt

al pruett


The Newman House was the predecessor to the original Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity house. After the opening of St Al's in 1964 the then Newman House (also operating as a local fraternity called Chi Rho) started the track to join the National PKT fraternity. Father Don Shiroda was the first chaplain, Father McGee having gone off to Berkeley California on a Danforth fellowship. The house was located at 1301 Ruby, same as the current PKT house.

The original Newman house was built as a rooming house in the 1890's. I believe at one point in its history it was occupied by the Theta Tau Fraternity. The Newman Club purchased the house in 1950
with the help of several local businessmen, including Emile Sanregret and Judge Donelly.

I lived in the Newman House from 1962 to 1965. The Chi Rho Fraternity was established in 1966 and Phi Kappa Theta was chartered in 1968. I think the Wesley House was behind the Newman house on Pearl Street for a while, across from the current Jim's market.

In 1964 I wrote a history of the house called 'Notes on the Newman House' which surprisingly was still in use by the fraternity in 1985!

BTW the Newman House spawned three fraternities:

An attempt to form a Phi Kappa Theta chapter in 1961 collapsed as Father McGee (and Dean Meese) were opposed. A number of house \ members resigned and later formed the Sig Eps fraternity.

The Chi Rho gang was buddies with some of the Gamma Delta Lutheran guys and they (GD) formed the Beta Sigma Psi fraternity (now the Beta Sigma Theta). One of the founders was Jerry Benedict who was
a drinking buddy of mine in the old Tech Mens Glee Club (Does that still exist?)

The Chi Rho evolved into the Phi Kaps. Father Don Shiroda was a local boy who celebrated his first Mass at St Ignatius in 1958. I was then a freshman and was at the service.

Keep up the good work on the alum pages. BTW whatever happened to Tom Hruby?

Gary Rhoney

Gary: Thanks for the info. There are choral groups here, but no male chorus. And you'll be glad to know Tom Hruby is doing great. Retired and still active in St. Ignatius.


I believe the location was just across the street and east of Jim’s Food Mart; south of the Wells Fargo Bank. About 95% sure.

Tom Narva


Dennis, I’m writing concerning the “Fill In The Blanks II” in the most current alumni newsletter. The Newman House became Chi Rho Fraternity, which later became the current chapter of Tech’s Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. The original Newman House burnt down August 13, 2002, when the Phi Kappa Theta house burnt down. It was located at 1301 Ruby Ave, behind Wells Fargo, where the new Phi Kappa Theta house stands. If you have any questions, hit me back and I can help you out – I was a Phi Kap and learned much about the Newman House during my time there.

Carl Bednark


If I remember right Wesley House was just across the street (to the west) from the Union.

Gail Richter '61


Quads! Alums Give Birth to 3 Boys, 1 Girl

Wow Times Four: Area family, Munson welcome quadruplets



Make that: Oh, boy; oh, boy; oh, boy; and oh, girl.

Tonya and Jeremy Lewandowski were astonished.

"It was shocking," said Tonya, of the confirmation that she was pregnant with quadruplets.

With that news, the Bellaire couple, now in the process of relocating to Traverse City, embarked on a sometimes scary, always busy and ultimately joyful journey to double their family. Tonya gave birth to four infants known in utero as Babies A, B, C and D on July 31. The three boys and a girl joined big brothers Aiden, 4, and Caleb, 2, to boost the family count to eight. More

Alum in Indy Car

There is an article on a MTU graduate over at

She majored in forestry but has been involved in racing since she graduated. It's an interesting article. Perhaps you could link to it from the main page?

-Mike Foster

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