December 14, 2009
Vol. 16, No.8
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Commencement Pride

Todd Arney
Worth the wait: Todd Arney smiles with Commencement Marshal Pat Joyce before the ceremony.

Laughter was echoing off the walls outside of the SDC in the chilly, sunny Saturday morning. A mom and dad were leaving their car, and another family group, minus their graduate, was walking up MacInnes Drive.

Inside the multipurpose room, graduates-to-be and faculty members mingled anxiously.

Todd Arney was finishing a nineteen-year journey. He started in EE, worked part-time, began working full-time, and finally chipped away at his computer network and system administration degree one or two classes at a time. (I could relate.)

"Guy Hembroff [CNSA teacher] told me he'd work with me to fit this in, going to school part-time," Arney said. "So I went all year-round, Track A and B in the summer, and I finally finished!"

to come
George Holmstrom, aka Blizzard T. Husky, Class of 2009.

A beaming Ted Holmstrom, a member of the teacher education faculty, was getting photos taken with his son, George, who was off to Wyoming for his first job after the first of the year.

"I'll be an assistant director of technical services for a school district in Lyman," George, an STC graduate, said. He gave kudos to professors Ann Brady and Marika Siegel for his education. His mom was also bursting with pride: "It's just an honor for him to graduate from this great school that is so close to home."

George also had a secret to reveal: he was on the Blizzard T. Husky mascot team. Now the truth could be told.

Candace Holt was lining up with the civil engineers and had also secured a job, with Barr Engineering in Minneapolis. "I'll be doing water resource engineering," she said. "Working with storm water control and river restoration."

She had done a co-op with Caterpillar, which she said helped her immensely, as did the guidance from professors Brian Barkdoll and Veronica Griffis.

In the ceremony, commencement speaker George Butvilas had the audience in stitches a couple of times.

He said, since only 15 percent of an education is still valid when students graduate, the grads should "march to Glenn Mroz's office Monday morning and demand an 85 percent tuition rebate."

He also compared their lives to a parade, replete with a clown hat and calliope music, but the parade is about the other people in their lives who are there supporting them all along the way. Finally, he said, it's about stewardship.

"One year from now, I don't care if it's $25 or $25 thousand dollars, you should remember Michigan Tech and those students' footsteps behind you."

In a poignant moment, after the Air Force and Army ROTC officers did their oath and received the traditional standing ovation, one person from the far back of the SDC Wood Gym shouted "Thank you!"

And, in a new tradition, the Pep Band rocked the house with the fight song, sending the proud graduates and their families out into the warming sun in perfect style.

Dennis '92, '09

Snowfall totals (an unreal week)
Season total: 62"
Snow that fell last week: 46"
Snow on the ground: 19" (at the airport, much more in my backyard)

Last year's total: 46.5"
Last year on the ground: 14"

At Tech

Mining History Comes to Life at Michigan Tech Commencement

In 1932, a distinguished Michigan mining engineer named Scott Turner received an honorary doctorate in engineering from Michigan Tech, at that time called the Michigan College of Mining and Technology. At Michigan Tech’s midyear Commencement on Saturday—77 years later— one of the first recipients of the University’s PhD in industrial heritage and archeology will wear Turner’s historic academic hood to accept his degree. More

Image Analyst Receives Top Honor in Field

Chuck Olson has been doing image interpretation and analysis for more than half a century. Now the senior image analyst at the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor has been recognized for his contributions with one of the highest honors his professional society can confer: Honorary Member of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). More

Over 400 Students Graduate at Midyear Commencement

Michigan Tech honored the achievements of over 400 graduates at Midyear Commencement Saturday. A total of 308 bachelor’s, six associate, 91 master’s and 24 PhD degrees were awarded. More

Michigan Tech Computer Science Professor Wins Fulbright Scholarship

Charles Wallace, an associate professor of computer science at Michigan Tech, has been named a Fulbright Scholar. He will spend six months teaching and conducting research in the Computer Science Department at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, starting in March 2010. More

A Reminder from the Michigan Tech Fund


As we approach the end of the 2009 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 2009 tax deduction.

You can phone the Tech Fund offices at 906-487-2310 or toll free at 877-386-3688 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 by going to These online gifts can be made up until 11:55 (EST) on December 31.

The Michigan Tech Fund offices will be closed on December 24 and 25, but will reopen on December 28, 29 and 30 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Thursday, December 31 the office will be staffed from 10:00 am until 2:30 pm.

Alumni Around the World

Successful Chicago, Madison, Western US and Canada Events Held

ChicagoChicago Networking Event a Success
On Thursday, December 3, Patricia Henderson '77 opened up her home to local Chicago alumni to connect and network together. Fifteen alumni and friends attended and had a great time sharing stories around some drinks and food. This will be the first of many events for the area geared toward networking the Michigan Tech connections within the metro-Chicago area.

madisonRecord Attendance at Annual Wisconsin-Madison Hockey Event
Over 110 alumni and friends were in the Essen Haus main dining room in Madison, WI on Saturday December, 5th for the 21st Wisconsin Hockey Pre-Game. Along with their families, Jill Meister '88 and Scott Hartz '83 from the Chicago Chapter ran the show presenting over fifty Huskies-related raffle prizes to the eager guests. Even though the Huskies lost the series to Wisconsin, the raffle raised over $600 for the Chicago Chapter Scholarship awarded to local Chicago area students at Michigan Tech.

West Coast Swing
Michigan Tech alumni in two states and two Canadian provinces came out to network and share their Tech stories at five events in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, December 1 to 5. In both Portland and Seattle, attendees ranged from the '50s to '09, representing six decades of Tech alumni. The groups had a great time talking about the Tech traditions they all shared.

Alumni from south west British Columbia braved the unusually cold weather in Vancouver to get together and in both Edmonton and Calgary, alumni did not let the first blizzard of the season stop them from attending. After all they survived four winters in Houghton!


Do you have photos or stories of your own alumni gatherings? Share them by emailing or posting them in HuskyLink.

Fill in the Blanks

mystery picCan you locate where this is? Email me.

It looks like this post-WWII Trailertown was located up the hill. Sound right? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

The Wrap-up

What’s Happening This Week

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009
No. 1 Women’s Basketball at Northwood, 6 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)
Men’s Basketball at Northwood, 8 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

Friday, Dec. 18, 2009
Hockey at Northern Michigan, 7:35 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009
Nordic Skiing at Twin Cities Junior Olympic Qualifier
No. 1 Women’s Basketball at Wayne State, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)
Men’s Basketball at Wayne State, 3 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

All Times Eastern. Home events in bold.

Complete Schedule


Last Week’s Results

Women’s Basketball (7-0, 3-0 GLIAC)
12/8 — at No. 1 Michigan Tech 100, Finlandia 38
12/12 — No. 1 Michigan Tech 64, at Northern Michigan 59

Hockey (3-13-0, 2-12-0 WCHA)
12/11 — Minnesota 3, at Michigan Tech 2
12/12 — Minnesota 3, at Michigan Tech 2

Men’s Basketball (2-6, 1-2 GLIAC)
12/12 — Michigan Tech 79, at Northern Michigan 66

Nordic Skiing
12/12 — Michigan Tech men 2nd of 3 teams, 3rd of 3 teams in freestyle races at Michigan Tech Challenge
12/13 — Michigan Tech men 1st of 3 teams; 2nd of 3 teams in classic races at Michigan Tech Challenge

Top News of the Week

Both Michigan Tech basketball teams overcame significant second-half deficits to defeat Northern Michigan last Saturday (Dec. 12). The Huskies’ sweep of the Wildcats was their first in Marquette since 2006. Tech’s No. 1-ranked women’s team remained undefeated at 7-0. The men improved to 2-6. Both teams will play at Northwood Thursday (Dec. 17) and Wayne State Saturday (Dec. 19).

Michigan Tech hosted its first full-team event of the season last weekend at the Nordic Training Center. Senior Oskar Lund won the men's 10-kilometer classic race in 31:18 after finishing second in the 10-kilometer freestyle race the day before in a time of 30:33. Senior transfer Henna Riiki-Purtsi posted a fourth place finish in both the women’s freestyle (18:04) and classic (19:13) races over the weekend. Michigan Tech finished second in the combined team score both days.

Michigan Tech will travel to arch rival Northern Michigan for a single game Friday (Dec. 18). The game will be the second of three against the Wildcats on 2009-10. The Huskies won by a 5-3 count in the season opener for both teams back on Oct. 9. Opening faceoff Friday is set for 7:35 p.m. in Marquette.

Gwilliam Finishes With Two Points in Hockey Loss to Minnesota

Senior Malcolm Gwilliam scored one goal and added one assist but it wasn’t enough as the Michigan Tech hockey team lost to Minnesota 3-2 in WCHA play Saturday (Dec. 12). The Huskies (3-13-0, 2-12-0) finished one-for-three on the power play and held the Gophers (8-9-1, 6-7-1) to one-for-three on the man-advantage. More

Former Husky Berger Starts at Center for NFL's Miami Dolphins

joe berger

Former Michigan Tech football player Joe Berger started his first career game in the National Football League on Nov. 29. The Newaygo, Mich., native, who played for the Huskies from 2001-04, started at center for the Miami Dolphins in their game at the Buffalo Bills. More

Around the Keweenaw

Former Social Sciences professor/Suomi president Halkola dies at 86

David Halkola, a former university president and professor who helped establish several local history institutions, died Tuesday after a brief illness. Halkola, 86, taught at Suomi College (now Finlandia University) from 1948 to 1954, then served as president for five years. The next year, he joined Michigan Technological University as an associate professor, retiring 28 years later as a professor of history. More

Miller heads Calumet Theatre

Laura Miller is looking forward to performing her duties as the new executive director of the Calumet Theatre, in part because of her experience with the theatre as a volunteer and a backstage mother. Miller took over as executive director of the theatre after the resignation of Jim Lowell, who left in May after six years in the position. More

A new recycling plan?

Hancock resident Susan Burack thinks there would be more participation with the city's curbside recycling program if city officials changed the policy on collecting recyclable items. More

From the Email Bag

Smith House

smith houseIt was across the street to the west of Wadsworth Hall.

Can't wait for the newsletter - read it as soon as I can get online on Mondays.

Onni Perala


If my memory is any good that was the Old women's dorm. It was Located next to the west side of Wadsworth Hall. It was torn down in school year 1968 - 1969 when the US 41 by pass was built.

Chuck Paterka "73"


As I recall, Smith House was located at about where the west end of Wadsworth Hall is now. It was a lovely house which served as a girls dormitory in the 50's when I was there. I lived at home but many of my friend lived at Smith House. I'm sure there are other photos taken in the house if one looks in the Keweenawan during that time.

Marcia Pruner


smith house stairwayIt was where I lived during my freshman year just west of Wads (with the street separating us.) It was a beautiful old mansion; too bad they tore it down. (Gail sent the photo left.)

Gail Dankert Richter '61

Gail: Thanks for all the great shots!


Gail Dankert Richter prompted me to check this out. I resided at Smith House 1956-1959, spent my senior year in Detroit interning at Harper Hospital.

Smith House was located in what is now the front lawn of the Delta Sigma Phi house. The address was 1611 Houghton Avenue. This was the traffic was rerouted from the middle of the campus. When my son attended some youth programs before becoming a student I was stunned to find it gone. My question is what happened to it? I trust some idiot didn't just terror it down. It was a treasure.

I understand it was built by a lumber magnet and had the most magnificent use of wood, a spectacular stairway, woodwork. The main floor had a small library (the birthplace of Phi Lambda Beta, now Alpha Gamma Delta), the housemother's suite that was the original dining room, a butlers pantry and big kitchen. The living room and I believe the dining room had fireplaces. There must have been a bathroom there too.

The second floor had five bedrooms, 3 plus 2 joined by a bathroom. There was another bathroom with the biggest tub I ever saw. Up to the third floor which had a large room, originally the game and play room, and a small bedroom, probably for the staff. One bathroom with a tub and another with two showers. Showers were not original. There was also a storage room with hanging space and drawers, The big room had 12 girls living there, yes 12 with 6 bunk beds, 6 dressers and study desks in the dormers, double desks too. There was access under the eves that we used for closets plus the lucky ones got the big closet in the hallway. Upper class girls got the little bedroom, probably to keep a lid of the freshmen.

The laundry was in the basement...nothing fancy but serviceable. Oh, yes, I almost forgot there was a BIG wooden fire escape down the back of the house. It was wired to ring in the housemother's apartment when opened. Remember these were the days when there were "hours." Weekdays closing was at 10:15 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11. Also there was a signout sheet, where you were going and time out and in. This would make students of today laugh.

Wadsworth Hall opened that first year. The kitchen and dining room were not complete so meals were served in the Union. Three meals a day! Good physical fitness program! One got good at jumping onto snow banks to avoid being mowed down by the snow plow. It worked
I have pictures that show some of the interior and will find them, scan and send along if you are interested.

There was a very nice house next door I believe that belonged to a dentist, Dr. Aldrich. I was fascinated when an elevated walkway was installed from his front porch with steps to the street. I learned that was for winter snow...don't shovel till it gets that deep. I mentioned the traffic patter change that came after I graduated. College Avenue was a main thoroughfare through campus and the walk to the old Forestry Building was on top of snow pack and mostly near the roof of the passing cars.

This really jogged the memory, names of old friends, and real winter. I am still in contact with some of them.


wads Here are a few pictures of Smith House. Recognizing this was 50 years ago…what a trip down memory lane (including Wads from Smith House, left, and color shot above).

It was 1959 that Pryor House was opened, in 1956 Smith House was the resident of all the women enrolled! The rest of the coeds were local. If I remember correctly our freshman class had 45 women, graduated 10. Donalee Graham Flaningam, died two ears ago, and I used to laugh that Dow Chemical hired 20% of the women graduating in 1960.

Three or four years ago Alpha Gamma Delta hosted a Phi Lambda Beta reunion. There is a video of the sharing of life in the days of old and the experience and challenges when we went into the job market. We had 2 current coeds join us and it was a history lesson. A good number of our charter group were there. Interesting that so many have kept in touch since graduation.

Joyce Buerge

Joyce: The photos are incredible! Thanks.



Smith House was one of the women's dorms. The other was Robinson House. If memory serves it was diagonally across from Wadsworth Hall at the west end of Wadsworth. I think it was closed in the summer of 1962 and the women were moved to Wadsworth. It was torn down for the new building just east of the Union.

Les Akey '64


I believe Smith House was on the site of the current library. I have one of those concrete pillars from the stone fence. They were tearing it down to build the library in the late 60's. The bit of concrete now supports a sundial in my brother's garden.

Chris Otis '70


Yes, I know exactly where it was. I grew up in Houghton on Clark Street. Dr. Fisher (namesake of Fisher Hall) lived at the top of our street. As a young boy I remember him telling me stories of his house being the first built on Clark Street. He said it was only a horse path when he first built. I recall him telling me stories of his friend Thomas Edison. He even had a light bulb in his front room that Edison gave him and as I recall it still functioned. I lived there for the 1st 24 years of my life, graduated from Houghton High then got my BSCE degree from Tech before going on for a Masters in Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M. The Smith House was directly across the street from one of my best childhood friend’s home. It sat approximately where the Delt Sig House is now. It had beautiful rows of chestnut trees lining the street in front. That area, just West of Wadsworth, was really very picturesque. I was sorry to see it torn apart for the new bypass.

Phil Jose ‘73


It was on East Houghton Ave. It was the second house to the east of Upland Dr. (Now MacInnes Dr.) In the early 50's the College Infirmary was housed there. Dr. Paul Sloan was the M.D. who took care of the students.

Right across Houghton Ave. to the North was the house of Tech's President Dr. Dillman, and a block to the East was the Sigma Rho house.

If you look at the inside of the front cover of the 1953 Keweenawan you will see the whole campus map as it was in those days.

Doug Seeber


It was across the street from the west end of Wadsworth hall.

Warren Sawicki


You probably have many responses about the location of Smith House by now, some from women who lived there when it was the college women's’ residence. It was on East Houghton Ave, near where MacInnes Drive and Townsend Drive intersect now. I lived down the street at 1517 E. Houghton Ave in 1959-1961.

Denis Hayner
BSME 1961

Denis: Yes, I received many responses! My education continues!


It was approximately on the SW corner of where US41 and MacInnes Dr cross. I have some photos of some very LARGE icicles hanging from the eves of that house in winter of '67/'68. There was a small pub there too (Lou's?). They were just down the street from the Cracker Barrel behind the Union.

Dave Brooks


Dennis: As I recall, the Smith House was immediately west of what is now Wadsworth Hall.

Jim Ombrello "58"


It used to be right across from the west end of Wadsworth Hall. It faced the eastern end of Fisher Hall.

Don Ingersoll ‘67


Smith House one of two women’s dorms at the time was located on the corner directly west of Wadsworth Hall.

Lance Dyar ‘64


I think it was a girls dorm back in the late fifties. It was west of Wadsworth and across US 41 sort of catty corner from DHH. I'm not sure about the location.. possibly where Fisher Hall is now.

Gary Rhoney '65

Fundraiser for Bruce Clarke '79, '82

Bruce Clarke
Alum Bruce Clarke '79/'82 (civil engineering) has been battling Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia since his diagnosis in 2003. Since that time he has undergone 4 series of chemotherapy which unfortunately have not knocked out the cancer. His doctors have now advised him to undergo a stem cell transplant at Karmanos Cancer Research Center in Detroit, with his brother as donor. This treatment is intensive and will require him to be in the hospital for an extended time of up to 6 months and possibly even a year. The hospital requires that a family member be present for his stay and fortunately his wife Jean is available to do that. The loss of his income while in treatment will result in a tremendous financial burden on his family. 

As friends, we have come together and organized a fund-raising event for Bruce and his family to be held Saturday, January 23, 2010 at the Family Life Center in Assumption Church in Belmont. The event will be a fun evening of music, dancing, hors d'oeuvres and raffle.

We are asking you to donate a raffle prize such as a gift certificate, gift baskets, travel, sporting event or performance tickets or cash donations. Any new items that would be appealing as a raffle item would be greatly appreciated. Donations have already started coming in just from word of mouth. Our venue rental fee has been waived by Assumption Catholic Church in Belmont, Two To Tango Disc Jockeys have volunteered to provide our music free of charge, Red Wing tickets have been donated by the Reisinger Law Firm, some table munchies have been provided by an anonymous donor (but we do need more!), and Williams & Beck is providing all promotional and printing costs. Your name will be prominently displayed at the raffle as the donor of that item. Companies that provide large prizes or cash donations valued at $250 or more will also receive additional promotion before and after our event in our advertising and press releases. All monies generated  from this fundraiser will go to the Clarke family to alleviate some of their financial burden, allowing Bruce and Jean the peace of mind to concentrate on Bruce's recovery from his transplant.

We are hoping that you can find it in your heart to help one of our own with a donation.

Just give us a call and we would be happy to come by at your convenience to collect any donated items.  Thank you so much in advance for your support. And we hope you will join us for this event come January.

The "Clarke Family Fundraiser Donation Card" requires: Name, Address, Telephone, Email, & Donation Amount. Please send to:

Clarke Family Fundraiser Committee
c/o Dawn Taylor
6440 Botany Bluff Dr. NE
Belmont, MI 49306

OR if you would like to donate raffle items, please contact:

Dawn Taylor (616) 365-2434
Kathy Uzarski (616) 361-9821

Fundraiser is Saturday, January 23, 2010, 7:00 pm. Tickets to the event will be $10. and available at the door. Music, Dancing, Hors D'oeuvres at the Assumption Church Family Life Center, Belmont, MI.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call me at (616) 874-2500.

D. Eric Strang

Tanya Klain Memorial

Mr. Walikainen,
I know Tanya Klain was known by several MTU alumni. Her passing in December of 2008 was sudden and unexpected.

Brenda Rudiger sent the link of the memorial, and I have forwarded the link to several of Tanya's former co-workers here at GM and all were very thankful they could see this event.

Tanya is missed here every day.

Thank you.

Mike Erickson
BSME '96

It's just over 40 minutes long.

November Golf

Golf in November??? In Hoton???

Jerry Philo

Jerry: Yes, it is even harder to believe now that we have 55" (and counting) of the white stuff.

Houghton Feed Mill

college bowl
The responders are generally correct. The Houghton Flour Mill was located where the park service buildings are now, on the easterly end of their facility, between the tracks and the shoreline. It operated into the 50's and maybe longer. Curt Eggleston was the owner in the 50's and likely to its end. He was active in the community.

The foundry mentioned in one of the responses was located to the east on the other side of the tracks, into the hill. I believe the foundry building was the original home of Superior Block Company before it moved to the Isle Royal Sands. The machinery was located within an old wooden building that was likely part of the foundry operation. From an old foundry building to a successful business today, a great example of american capitalism.

John Hermann, "64"


Hi Dennis,

Bob Brown is the closest, the Houghton Flour Mill was were the Park Service buildings are now and Milo and Julia Slagg owned it and when Milo died Julia kept the mill running as her husband taught her and the men that worked there respected her. Julia Slagg sold it to Curt Eggleston (he was with the City of Houghton). He ended up closing the mill.

Lorraine Konosky

Tech Grads in the News

Todd Johnson is an MTU grad.

Jeff Larson is also an MTU Grad.

Mary Cruickshank Peed

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Job Opportunities

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Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

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