April 19, 2010
Vol. 16, No. 17
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"Spring" Fling

Supermileage car near the MEEM and the wind tunnel. Tough duty.

27 degrees with the wind chill, by my amateur meteorological calculations, and the campus mall was actually quite busy. (Of course, it was 74 degrees the day before.)

It was Spring Fling 2010 last Friday, and students cruised campus in the afternoon to check out the student orgs, eat, listen to music, and not study.

John Heffron (left), a second-year ME, was standing near the Supermileage vehicle, which runs on a 3.5 HP engine. "This old one got 1,148 MPG," he said. "We are working on a new one." The new carbon fiber body will be monocoque, or unibody, Heffron said as he huddled next to the MEEM to get out of the wind.

Josh Howell was staffing the ME Honor Society table that featured a contest to build a tower out of paper and tape. "In this wind?" I asked. "Sure, it's early, someone will try it." Josh was a third year student who had interned at the Fermi Nuclear Plant downstate and in the R&D division of the Navy.

Lucy Dernovosek, in her third year, was holding down (literally) the Accounting Club table with Greg Franz, a business post grad. They were selling delicious-looking deserts outside Fisher Hall.

Mu Beta Psi was represented by Chris Bork and a clever Music Q&A game: "Was 'Walk this Way' Aerosmith's first number one song?" The answers were under the note cards and prizes were food and other goodies. Chris was a fourth-year computer networking and system administration major and discussed all the thing Mu Beta Psi does: they bring hot chocolate to the Pep Band at football games, work with the Wind Symphony, usher at the Rozsa Center and McCardle Theatre, and sell athletic programs.

Discussing the weather, Chris said, "Yesterday was great, then we got Houghtoned!"

Then he thanked me for writing about his music society.

Finally, the Automotive Computing Enterprise was showing off a nice SUV with monitor and game controllers in the back, but it wasn't all about gaming, according to Max Leason, a senior in computer engineering.

"We tapped into the vehicle's network, so we can send and receive signals for things like liftgates, doors, and windows, for example," he said. "We also are creating a dynamic instrument cluster, where drivers could add information and use things like infrared cameras to see better at night."

They were also trying to create an all-electric vehicle, an S-10 donated by GM.

I would have settled for an electric heater. In fact, one of our student photographers gave me a hand warmer for the trip back across campus. I needed it.

And that answer to the Aerosmith question? No, their first number one hit was "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," from the movie Armageddon in 1998.

I would have won a Little Debbie snack cake.

Dennis '92, '09


We'd love to hear your Spring Fling stories. You can contribute to the 125th anniversary website. There's also the Alumni Association Facebook page. Help us write the history of Tech.

You can send your memories to me, too.

At Tech

Tech's Best Undergraduate Research on Display

Michigan Tech's tenth annual Undergraduate Expo, featuring the research projects of more than 1,000 Michigan Tech students, was held on Thursday, April 15. Highlights of the presentations, projects and posters include a cool-air, cool-planet carbon calculator; a hand-washing detector, a wireless cardiopulmonary monitor; underwater robots designed by high schoolers; a human-computer interface for the blind; the relationship between stress, sleep and exercise among college students—and much more.


Grass Shows Promise for Removing Antibiotics from Water

What goes in must come out, and when animals are given antibiotics, they can find their way into the water supply. Now, a Michigan Tech senior has identified one way to sop them up. Antibiotics, like many pharmaceuticals, pass through the digestive tract largely unchanged. The resulting drug-laden waste from farms and feedlots (or for that matter, apartments and subdivisions) may be treated, but conventional methods don’t break down excreted antibiotics. More

Seniors Build Air-Powered Moped

What do you get when you cross a couple of scuba tanks and a 1978 Sachs moped? Ideally, an air-powered two-wheeler to give you a boost up Houghton's hills, backed up by leg power if the air runs out before you get home. That's the idea behind an air-driven moped developed as a Senior Design project in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. More

OpensAll Tackles Jars and Cans with Ease

Have you ever found yourself in the kitchen at grappling helplessly with an impossibly stuck lid on a jar of hot fudge sauce? When your can opener failed on the fourth try, were you ever tempted to go after the pork and beans with a hammer? Then you will appreciate the OpensAll, an electric can- and jar-opener that sits on the counter and opens almost anything with the touch of a button. If the problem is a sticky lid, a pair of arms grasps the jar while a mechanism closes over the top and twists it off. The can opener blade, located behind the jar opener, slices the can open just under the lid. More

APMP Takes Runner-up

Michigan Tech’s Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) took runner-up honors at the University of Dayton’s Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE X) conference and competition recently. Michigan Tech’s Gold Team portfolio had a 31 percent return this year and was narrowly defeated by the College of New Jersey in the value-style portfolio category. Fifty teams entered that category. More

Tech Concrete Canoe Team Floats to the Top in Regional Contest

Michigan Tech paddled the competition at the 2010 American Society of Civil Engineers North-Central Regional Concrete Canoe contest, held March 26-28 at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo. The team took first place in three of the competition’s four categories, paper, display and racing, and finished second in the presentation. More

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Funds 27 Projects at Michigan Tech

The Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has awarded approximately $375,000 to nine Michigan universities with aerospace, engineering and space science related programs. Michigan Technological University submitted 40 proposals, and 27 received funding totaling $105,000. More

Icelandic Ash Cloud Wreaks Havoc, and It Could be Worse

The recent Icelandic volcano eruption that closed down airports across United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Belgium and northern Germany, has affected air traffic all over Europe and transatlantic flights from the US. One Michigan Tech professor says it’s important to track the cloud not only to monitor its impact on aviation, but also because of the gases within. More

Alumni Around the World

East Coast Alumni Events

Pittsburgh alums

Pittsburgh Pub Night
Metallurgical Engineers (left to right): Steve Kamykowski '70, Ken Szefi '66, Walt Cebulak '65, and James Simmons '66

More than eighty alumni last week ranging from class of '57 to '09 enjoyed a night of networking with Pub Nights in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Alumni in attendance were very excited to hear an update on Michigan Tech and share some stories from their college days. Some stories of note include the infamous 1965 beer truck accident on US41, 1971 free-fall elevator glitch in the ME-EM, and a group who incorporated yearround deer hunting into their college food budget. Everyone expressed their eagerness for their next chapter event.

phil alumPhiladelphia Pub Night: Alumni enjoying a beer (clickable).

nyNew York City Pub Night: Alumni staying out late in New York sharing stories (clickable).

bostonBoston Pub Night: Alumni holding up their many Husky raffle prizes won at the event (clickable).

Alums Meet in Switzerland

Tech alumni Kurt Larson (left, BSMG '82) and Allen Modroo (BSEGY '75) met at a conference in Saas Fee, Switzerland in early April to explore carbon dioxide injection techniques to enhance oilfield recovery and provide carbon capture. Modroo is Partner/Exploration Manager of Core Energy LLC in Traverse City and Larson is Principal of Result Consulting LLC based in Kingairloch, Scotland. In between the meetings and occasional beers they also got a few runs in on the 6,500 feet-of-vertical mountain terrain--a little bit higher than Mont Ripley!

Fill in the Blanks

bridgeThis 1965 photo was taken when the Lift Bridge controls malfunctioned.
Anyone remember? Email me.

April 2005

April 2005 was warm enough for outside studying. Recognize anyone? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

White Beats Black 17-7 at Annual Spring Game

The Michigan Tech football team played its annual White-Black spring instrasquad game today, with the White Team coming away victorious 17-7. For the players, it meant a chance to get game experience and have some fun. For the coaches, it was a chance to evaluate players in a live-game experience. More

Tech Claims Fifth at GLIAC Tennis Tournament

The Michigan Tech men’s tennis team wrapped up play in the GLIAC Tournament Sunday with an important 5-2 victory over Lake Superior State. The win not only gave the sixth-seeded Huskies a fifth-place finish at the league tournament, it also lifted the Black and Gold over .500 on the year at 10-9 making them eligible for the NCAA Tournament. More

Around the Keweenaw

A Plan for Downtown Hancock

When Chris Lin was looking for a place to open his Far East Grocery, he saw not only there was retail space available in downtown Hancock, but also an unfilled niche. "It's not like any grocery in downtown Hancock," said Lin, who co-owns the business with Jo Zhou. More

Surplus Outlet Reopens

Karl Gustafson has been shopping at Surplus Outlet in Houghton for many years, and he'd often go into the outdoor equipment retail store once a week. "When I walked downtown, I'd stop in and see what they have," he said. More

Making Houghton More Bicycle Friendly

Houghton City Council members heard about two initiatives to promote healthy transportation at Monday's council meeting. Members of the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee appeared at Monday's Council meeting to petition them to apply for recognition under the League of Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community campaign. Member Ann West gave the council a brief overview of the program, which judges communities based on five Es: engineering, education, evaluation and planning, encouragement and enforcement. More

From the Email Bag

Aerial Photo, etc.

campus 60s
I started at Tech in 1962, and the Mich Tech flying club offered short rides along the Portage and around the campus. The planes took off from the stampsand north of US 41 just east of campus. Chuck Pettyjohn, who was the RA for the Artic Attic house where I lived in Wadsworth was our pilot. This may be how Dan Bessinger happened to be in the air, although I am not sure they were building Fisher Hall that soon. (Yes, it is Fisher Hall under construction across from Smith House, not the library.)

Don Ingersoll
Class of ‘67

P. S. Our graduation was in Dee Stadium as were they all during the mid-60s.

Don: I've been enlightened by many alums on two corrections: it was Fisher Hall, and that was Hotchkiss Hall, not Koenig. My education continues!


Thanks for the great vintage MTU photos - the very best Hotchkiss Hall photo that I've ever seen.

The "Campus" photo that you posted from Dan Bessinger '69's mail-in shows the Hotchkiss Hall (EE-ME depts) in the center with the radio towers on it's roof. I earned my BSEE of '66 taking all of my EE courses, some ME courses, plus Engineering Mechanics courses in that building from 1964 thru 1966. I have many fond memories of those days !

That was Fisher Hall (Physics-Math) under construction. It was already completed by the summer of 1964 when I transferred to Tech from a Jr College. It was diagonally across the street corner from Wadsworth Hall where I lived on the West end of the 4th floor until my senior year. I had several classes in Fisher Hall, plus we used to go to a Friday night movie there for 25 cents admission.

The present Library was located just to the right of Fisher Hall, but was only under construction during 1966 when my class graduated. I believe it was scheduled to open that fall.

Does anyone remember the previous library that was located in the Administration Building at the West end of the campus back then ? I remember studying there back then because it was a quiet out-of-the-way place, plus I did some research for a Technical Writing course report, entitled: Modulation of Coherent Light (laser beams).

Thanks for the memories,
Frank Zakshesky BSEE '66


Hi Dennis:
Enjoyed, as always, your Michigan Tech Alumni newsletter that appeared on my iMac this a.m.

The aerial photograph in the newsletter piqued my interest. I immediately pulled out my old pilot's log book and sure enough found the attached photo that someone took on Feb. 2, 1961, from the back seat of the PA 22 Piper Tri-Pacer that I was piloting that afternoon. I was in my third year of Mechanical Engineering at the time .

The aircraft (Reg # N35692) belonged to Prof Holbrook (Math) and a few of us from Thunder Bay Ontario were allowed to fly it on the weekends. We always took up classmates for 40 minute flights around the immediate Houghton area.

This is the only picture (left, clickable) that I have as I did not own a camera at the time but I'm sure one can recognize a famous landmark in this coloured (Canadian Spelling) photo. I don't remember who took the picture.

I was also fortunate enough to fly the Piper Cub J-3 (Reg # N42406) for the Skydiving Club at that small airport near the golf course in those days.

Michigan Tech and its staff were very good to us and the Tech degree served us well in our careers .

Dave Dowhos, P.E., Mech Eng. Class of '62
On the beautiful shores of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, Ontario.


Hi Dennis
In the latest alumni newsletter, in the second photo sent by Dan Bessinger showing the campus, isn’t that Fisher Hall being built rather than the library? Its been quite a few years since I came out of the west end of the Wads and crossed the highway but I thought Fisher was on that corner and the library was a little farther west.

Tom Partanen, BSCE ‘70


I believe the building in the center is Hotchkiss Hall (Electrical Engineering). The fourth floor housed the A.E.Seaman Mineralogical Museum before it was moved to the new library. Koenig was further west on the other side of Sperr and set farther back from the street (US41). The antenna kind of gives it away. What ever happened to the large copper mass on display out in front, near the sidewalk?

But, I've been wrong too many times.
Chris Otis '70 BSEE

Chris: Not this time! And the mass of copper is between the Chem-Sci and EERC buildings.

Labs Gone Bad

punch card
The photo in the last newsletter appears to be of a generic punch card. The official Tech punch cards had a picture of the husky along with the Academic Computing Services (ACS) bird.

Thanks for the great newsletter,

Ken Williams

Ken: Thanks for the great image (clickable).


Oh, the dreaded punch cards. Several years ago, I cleaned out a trunk and threw them all away...then, of course about two years later, I realized that I should have taken them to work ( I am a high school math teacher) to show the students about the "old days" before PCs!
They find the slide rule and the books of tables interesting in an antique sort of way. I needed a computer science course for my math minor at MTU, and about the only choice I had was Fortran IV. It was a challenge for me, but I felt confident when I finished my final and left Fisher Hall...until the door shut behind me and I realized that I had never written the numbers 1 through 80 across the top of my program "print out" on my final! My not so well-deserved A- turned into the B+ that I probably deserved all along.

Marietta Ehlers Johnson, B. S. Biology, 1977


If I remember correctly one way to get a grown man to cry was have him drop a stack of punch cards on the floor. That meant you had to go through and check that they were in the correct order before they could be run through the beastie (IBM).

Joe Masterson 1970


Graduated from Tech in 1966 and went out into the world to work on computers. Heck, Tech didn't have any except one that used paper tape, a Bendix G-15 as I recall. The lack of capabilities was hugely offset by the presence of the beautiful secretary (married to a Tech student, unfortunately) that manned the input function. The business office and academic scheduling area still used IBM punched card equipment.

Back then everything in the "real world" was punched cards. Spent my first years designing software for very sophisticated computerized telephone systems. We would have to write out our code on the right forms, put them in the right tray and wait for them to return from the mystical keypunch function in hours or if unlucky the next day. At my last lab we stored all of those cards out in the hall by the thousands. After one inspirational moment, I recall telling my boss that should there ever be a fire that I had no intention of returning to work. I couldn't even imagine the pain of trying to recreate all of that work again.

Later, big advances like remote job entry systems and then on-line terminals, allowed even the lowly software designers to punch their own cards and submit them or simulate that on a terminal! Even for somebody like me that never learned to type with more than 3 fingers on any hand, this was real productivity.

Jerry Davison '66 Math


Hello. I graduated from tech in 1980. I remember there being a univac 1110 computer in the lab down in the basement of the eerc building. I remember the 80 column keypunch cards with the husky logo on them that I purchased from coin vending machines in eerc building and by the box full at the bookstore in the union. I recall taking some kind of training so I could use the remote computer center in the 1st floor of the meem building after hours by myself. The room had a keypunch machine. A card reader and the green bar line printer. Before I left they had the teledyne machines in eerc for keying program code instead of using keypunch cards.

Also remember taking another computer class where I had to go to the basement of the school of business offices to use a dec pdp 11 machine that punched holes into yellow half inch or inch wide paper tape and that was used instead of keypunch cards. I think there was some machine at the same building to read the paper tape and run the program.

John Pozega


The article in today’s Alum News about the punch cards brings back vivid memories of trying to get programs to run on the old IBM 360 circa 1970’s. You would write out your programming, then punch the code onto the punch cards using a keypunch machine, then run them through the card reader. Hoping you had no “hanging chads” a problem only to be discovered years later.

Then, you would wait, and come back maybe hours later depending on the size of your program and the number of other runs in the queue. Only to find out that there is some little critical error somewhere, a space, a comma out of place, and you would edit, run again, wait again…. on and on.

Does anyone have any specs on that old IBM computer? Processing speed, memory etc. It was as big as a house and I suspect that my Blackberry has more memory.

Ah the kids today don’t know how good they have it. And I had to walk two miles to school in the snow, up hill both ways.

Don Beyer, Jr., PE | 1976


Your essay on punch cards stirred up some memories. I actually have three stories relating to that era, one of which deals with the forerunner of the card system. This is rather embarrassing, because I should have known better, but was left to my own devices, which can be dangerous. Tech had a computer lab, I think in the Ores Research Building. We were supposed to write a short program of our own and run it using what I recall was a Bendix product of some kind. It involved running a master paper tape along with a blank and was supposed to produce some useful end result, the details of which I have managed to bury somewhere in that part of my mind where dumb things like this get filed. Unfortunately, while installing the tapes I did something wrong and, when I started the machine it began to punch holes in the master tape as well as the blank one I had added. Once it started adding new holes to the master tape, of course, the machine went crazy and it began noisely putting out Z's rapidly and endlessly. Fortunately, another person happened by who heard the ruckus and recognized the problem and got the process stopped, but it left lasting scars on my psyche, from which I still have not recovered. Any of the professors that might have been around at the time are either dead or too old to care by now, so I'm probably safe from any reprisals.

I went to work for an electric railroad in Indiana in 1964. This was the last survivor of Samuel Insull's empire from the 1920's and they continued to run passenger service and freight into Chicago from South Bend, Indiana. I worked in the engineering office in Michigan City and, in the course of our daily work, we used Marchant mechanical calculators to perform computations. The Marchants, of course, clattered and vibrated like they were possessed every time one ran a calculation such as multiplying or dividing and, if it involved particularly large numbers or several decimal places, the machine might take an extraordinary length of time to finish. The railroad may have been a little behind the times, but I suspect other engineers were using comparable equipment during that period. It didn't particularly bother me at the time, because that's what we had to work with, but it's hard to imagine what the world might be like if we were still using mechanical calculators. Fortunately, Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard and IBM and other pioneers in the electronics industry came along and gave us better tools to work with and saved our ears from further assault.
A lot of alumni are too young to remember the punch card era and I can't say that they missed anything, other than the frustration of dealing with multiple stacks of cards for every project and the prospect of trying to get them back in the correct order if you dropped them. The data cards, of course had to have instructional cards preceding them for every operation to be performed, otherwise it was "garbage in-garbage out". I began working in the contracting office of the Arizona Department of Transportation back in 1978 and at the time we were using a Mark IV program to accumulate bid data from each project. I don't know how long the Department had been using this program prior to my arrival .Within a year or two we were upgraded to a direct data entry system and the cards were no more. I don't think anyone was sad to see them go, but. It was during that time that I became truly cognizant of what can be accomplished using a 0 and a 1. Like so many other great ideas, there is genius in its simplicity. It's hard to take that into consideration, however, when your PC is being difficult and you want to kick it across the room.

None of these tales are exciting and may not even be interesting, but here they are, for better or worse.

Dave Elack '60


As an EE student from 1981-1985, I vividly remember my first trip to the EERC basement, home of "UniBlab" the massive, secret, punch-card-rejecting and all-knowing machine that almost ended my Tech career before it got started. In those days, all freshmen engineers were required to take a Fortran class, and the first assignment on the first day of my first MTU class was to take a 25 line program that was already done for you down to the basement to type in to the card punch machines and run them through the Univac. Couldn't be more simple.

I immediately learned that there were WAY more students than there were card punch machines, so I patiently waited... and waited, and waited, then I gave up. I came back the next day only to find the same issue, all card punch machines were in use and the line was about a mile long. I heard a rumor that, after midnight, the computer center was nearly uninhabited, so I came back that night. Miraculously, all the machines were in use except one, so I sat down and typed in my 25 lines/cards. I was amazed to find out that the card punch was doing some sort of translation... I punched in the letter "A", it typed "3". I typed the letter "B", it typed the letter "W". "Wow", I thought, "this must be some sort of computer translation thingy! Cool!" I was very disappointed to find that my program failed on the very first line. So I returned to the same card punch machine, and tried again, with the same results. I'm not sure how many times I tried, but it was way too many, and I was exasperated. After a few hours of typing late into the night, waiting for output, re-typing, waiting for output, and on, and on, and on, I saw a piece of paper on the floor under my feet by my machine. When I picked up the paper to dispose of it, I noticed some writing on the back. It read "This Machine is OUT OF ORDER".

Barry Robbins


I was a grad student in chemistry and in '67 as an important part of my Master' thesis, involving the determination of the stability constants of cationic complexes, a fairly large volume of experimental data needed to be "fitted" to a complicated set of equations by using a least squares method. This involves multiple mathematical manipulations, no computer or calculators commonly available, and was a boring, very lengthy operation.

As it turned out, Tech did have a computer center and as a grad student I was able to sign up for a small amount of time on the University's computer. The waiting list was long, and you had to wait your turn. So, I signed up, collated the data for ease of computation, and prior to my designated time, submitted it and the equations to be calculated. After several days, I went to pick up the calculated data so that I could then plot it and make some sense out of it.

Once I got back to the chem lab, much to my surprise, the data did not make any sense at all and, in fact, was useless. After several moments of "angst', primarily because I had already scheduled my thesis defense and time was closing in on me, I realized that they had incorrectly inserted the data into my formula and all they had to do was make the correction and all would be ok. (The computer technician had substituted "x" for "y" and "y" for "x".) Unfortunately, being near the end of the term, by the time I returned to the computing center, all the time slots had been filled for several weeks and I was going to have to spend endless hours doing the calculations by hand and probably not graduate "on time". This meant rescheduling the defense, etc. What a pain!

Fortunately, one of the chemistry professors was also a math professor and he, as luck would have it, was very involved with the computer group and had all the time he wanted when he wanted it. Dr. Hakula, hope I spelled it correctly, was a physical chemistry prof, was a very pleasant and smart man. One immediately knew that he knew his stuff and was able to present it in a way that students could understand. My only direct contact with him was very casual and mostly in passing in the halls of Koenig Hall.

So, I had finally figured out what was the problem with my data only to realize that I would be several weeks away from getting it "recomputed". Hand calculating was really onerous and to me not a palatable option. It was late on a Friday and I was very disappointed and frustrated. The thought of long, tedious calculations was very daunting and I was not going to give up on finding an alternate but could not immediately see a way out of the problem. As I mentioned earlier, it took a while for me to figure out what the problem was and as I walked the halls of Koenig while thinking about the problem, who should I see in passing but Dr. Hakula. He said hello as we passed and went on his way. I, on the other hand had an epiphany.

Very early Saturday morning, I went to the computing center, spoke with a grad student in charge of scheduling, and informed him that Dr. Hakula wanted my data run as soon as possible. Once I mentioned Dr. Hakula, my data would be available by Monday morning. I never thought that anyone would realize what I had done and was somewhat relieved that I had found a solution to my dilemma, although somewhat illegal and not one that I would consider bragging about. I was not going to tell a soul about this.

On Monday morning, I went and picked up my data and after a quick peruse all was as anticipated. The world was good and I was on my way, on time and with good data. Unfortunately, when I went to my desk in Koenig, I found a handwritten note on my desk. "Please see me as soon as possible. Dr. Hakula" Oh, boy, what have I gotten myself into.

I went to Dr. Hakula's office and he was with a student. He asked for me to wait outside and he'd be with me shortly. "Shortly" seemed like several hours and I was one nervous guy. The student left, and Dr. Hakula came out of his office and invited me in. As I entered, he closed the door, sat down, and looked at me. Finally, he told me that he had gotten a call on Saturday morning and the grad student wanted to know which of his calculations he wanted done first. Since he only knew of one, he was very interested to find out that I was behind the second set of calculations. He told the grad student to do his first and then to do "mine". He then asked me to tell him "what was going on".
Well, being most contrite and trying to be as factual as possible, I told him all about my problem, how I came up with the solution, that I was very sorry, did not think that it would hurt anyone nor cause any damage to anything. I even told him that I had hoped that he would never find out. I mentioned several times that I was sorry for using his name but could not think of anything else that would satisfy my time schedule and.... you get the picture.

He looked at me for several moments, sort of shook his head slightly from side to side, and told me that what I had done was a very serious offense and that I could get into a lot of trouble with the University and the Department. After several very long moments, he told me that he would let this stay only between us, that in some way he appreciated my ingenuity, but in very strong terms stated that I was to never do something like that again. I was so relieved that I could of hugged him. He then asked whether the calculations were done correctly. I told him that they were and I really appreciated his understanding. Without further ado, he stood up, picked up his briefcase, opened his door, and stated that he needed to get to the computing center. Our meeting was over.
Everything went fairly smoothly after that and I received my MS on time.
Now that I look back on the Tech experience and the importance of the courses and lab work, I do not believe that they were the most important things I learned at Tech. The most important was that there are good people out there who although they do not need to, take the time to understand and maybe teach a lesson or two about life.

Thanks, Dr. Hakula, wherever you are!

Kenneth Abate

Dee Stadium

commencement at Dee Stadium
Hi Dennis,
I played Junior hockey at the Dee in the late sixties when the "fence" was along the boards (painful when you were checked into it). In 1969/70 we played High School hockey there with the plexiglas up. So must have been around 1968 or 1969 when the glas went up.
Best Regards,
Red C.

Red: My best guess is that they went from plexiglas to fencing and back to plexiglas, believe it or not!


I remember graduation at Dee Stadium very well. By the time Tech held graduation in June....there were not many band players still at Tech to play so they "borrowed" students from Houghton High School to play for graduation. I seem to remember playing in both my Jr. and Sr. year in high school for Tech's graduation at Dee Stadium. Those were the days! Thanks for the memories!!

Mary Eastman
STC '90


On the Dee commencements. I graduated in 64 and we had the ceremony in the Dee. Speaker was Bunky Knudsen of General Motors father of Pete Knudsen.

The chicken wire was there I recall for the 62 63 season, but I cannot recall whether it was still in 63 64. The reason I recall the 62 63 is that, in the Minnesota game, Gary Begg scored with less than a minute left to put Tech up 1-0. This of course got all the U of Minn players frustrated, and at the game end several fights broke out. Some of the Tech Students got into it and started pummeling the U of M players by reaching over the chicken wire. The guy I was sitting next to, was one of them who got into it (no name to be mentioned). One of the U of M players started climbing up the chicken wire and was only stopped from doing so by the U of M coach John Marriucci (sp?).
Then it all settled down.

Ah the memories of the old Dee.
Bill Massey


I graduated in 1958 and the ceremonies were held in Dee, and yes, it was plexiglas to protect the hockey spectators. I well remember, from playing in the tech band at nearly every home game.

Bob Gregg


Our 1958 graduation ceremony was held in the Dee.

Don Fitzpatrick


The graduation in 1953 was held in the Dee Stadium. It was in the old days. I note that the program does not say the location. As I remember it, the graduation was going to be held on the lawn at the school, but it was rainy and they moved to the alternate plan. At that time I was playing in the band (Franz Schubert, Director). I had to play the processional, then the other numbers, get my robe on and get into the line to get my diploma and then back to band for the recessional. I do note that they mention the granting of Military Commissions, but I don't remember this happening they. We were actually commissioned (Sworn in) in the old club house gymnasium..now the ROTC building, but it was not on the same day, that I remember.

At the time of the graduation, there were no screens, fences, plexiglas in the stadium. I guess the hockey crowds were more adventurous. Before artificial ice, the stadium was cold and the crowd usually wore lots of heavy clothes and hats, so they did have some protection.

Robert E. (Bob) Brown '53


Bob: Thanks for the great images, including your commencement speaker.


I believe my commencement in 1961 was at Dee.

Denis Hayner


The plexiglas was in use in 1965 when I arrived at Tech and I graduated there in 1969. There just wasn't any other place big enough.

Dave Bittner


I wonder, also, about the plexiglas that appears in the picture. The photo predates my days at Tech, as far as holding commencements goes. However, I was in the Dee for one reason or another during my tenure at Tech (’72-’78) and only remember fencing being the barrier between the fans and the action on the ice.

George Teachman

Help a Student with a Great Idea

Calling all Alumni:
Our son, David Kossak is an MTU Student majoring in Forestry while playing on the Michigan Tech Football Team. He is one of the top ten finalists in a scholarship contest to help Motivate Michigan. The contest, which was open to Michigan college students, was to present ideas that will help boost this Tugboat of an economy in Michigan. The top five finalists will be picked by the public on the Motivate Michigan website. Below is the link where anyone can vote for the best idea of the top ten finalists.


Go to this link and you will find David’s proposal for motivating Michigan. There is a button that says voting. David’s is Number 9 the Maple Syrup Natural Resources category. There are 10 students and we are allowed to vote on the best idea. Of course in our opinion David’s is the best but we’d like to spread the word that a Michigan Tech Husky has made the Top Ten Finalist spot and get everyone voting. Thanks for your support.

Jerome & Linda Kossak

Van Orden's Hill

My first lesson in drinking and driving occurred in conjunction with Van Orden's Hill (Ref - MTU alumni Newsletter). I was in second grade (I believe) in the Hancock Schools around 1962 and the railroad's round house at the base of Van Orden's Hill was still operating. Our Cub Scout troop made a Saturday morning field trip to the round house. Earlier on Saturday morning (actually late Friday night) a drunk driver came down Van Orden's Hill at a high rate of speed, missed the first curve at the bottom of the hill and went airborne directly into the round house. The incredible thing was that he somehow managed to avoid the walls of the building and went straight through a large window landing on a massive table used to work on trains. The car's roof was demolished, i.e., taken off, but the lucky driver was unharmed. In fact, we were told that he was still asleep in what remained of the car when the police arrived....we were told this is what happens when you drive and drive....it was a good lesson...

stan vitton


My Dad will love the photo of Van Orden's Hill. He and his partner owned the mechanic/auto body shop (Wedge & Markham) that you can see on the upper right-hand side of the photo.

Michelle Wirtanen

Michelle: Glad to hear it. This one is still clickable, too.

Invitation to Take Survey

Editor's Note: Alums, we'd like you to participate in this survey. We've had a great response in the past. Thanks in advance.

Michigan Technological University has agreed to participate in the 2010 Vault Undergraduate Student Survey. The information from this survey may be included in the upcoming /Vault College Buzz Book/ and will appear on the Vault.com website. Your participation will help countless prospective students make key choices during the college application process.

In completing this survey, we encourage you to be candid as _*your identity will remain anonymous*_. During the course of the survey, you will be asked for certain information that you may feel makes you identifiable to your school. However, any responses we quote will not be paired with any information that will allow your school to identify the quoted student.

Below are instructions for taking the survey. Please read all of these instructions carefully before beginning the survey:

1) Click on this link.

2) Please complete the survey by Friday, June 4.

Many thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to complete Vault’s survey. If you encounter any problems with the survey, feel free to contact Vault at vaulteducation@vault.com.

A Doc Berry Question

Hey Dennis.
I know this has come up before in the newsletter, but what did Doc Berry always say when he opened his class?

He had a unique opening line or saying as I recall to get things rolling.

I'm one of the lucky that got A's in his classes, I loved chemistry, and liked him as a prof. If I could recall his line, I might use it when I teach down here at Southern Methodist University. Not that law students would understand :)

Hope all is well my friend.

Joe Dancy '76

Joe: I'm tossing this one out to the alums.

Engineers and Cats



Frank Shoffner

Featured Alumni Benefits

Show Your Pride! Order your Michigan Tech license plate today!

license plate 
When you purchase a Michigan Technological University plate, not only do you show your Husky Pride, but you also support programs for alumni and students.  For an additional fee, your Michigan Tech plate can be personalized.

Don’t live in Michigan? Then you need a collector Michigan Tech license plate!

Whether you purchase a regular plate or collector plate, a portion of the purchase fee is given to the university.

To order visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/orderform_mtu_16221_7.pdf


More Alumni Benefits and Services information http://www.mtu.edu/alumni/products/gear/

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

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Reference and Instruction Librarian, Library

Coordinator, Residence Life, Housing and Residential Life

Academic Advisor, Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics

Non Tenure-Track Positions in Humanities, Lecturers(s) in ESL (English as a Second Language)

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus