May 17, 2010
Vol. 16, No. 19
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Campus Life

Ray Smith and Glenn Mroz
The old Remington House, now the home of Lambda Chi Alpha.

It was a bit daunting to be asked to be the advisor to the Tech chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha in the early 1980s. I wasn't much older than the active members, and I didn't know if I was advisor material. Besides, we had just moved home to start our own family.

I couldn't say no, though. They were a special group of men, having started the chapter a couple of years before with great help from Phil Whaley '81 and Doc Berry. And now, thirty years later, they are getting together during the Alumni Reunion this August (details here).

I also got to see the chapter grow, moving from no house to the old "morgue" to the first house on College Avenue (now demolished) to the Remington House (as I like to call it) also on College Avenue.

Of course, the men grew, too. When they bought the present house, I got to see many of them as alumni for the first time. It was great to hear where they were living and working, see them with their better halves, and hear about their children.

I'm happy to report most were happy and at least somewhat successful in their lives (that's why they could purchase the fraternity house and rent it to the chapter). I'll wager that, to a man, they will credit their involvement in the fraternity, and in campus life, as a part of their success.

In the immortal words of Kid Rock: "You get out what you put in, and people get what they deserve." Involvement on campus is just like that: the more you do, the more fun you have and the more you learn.

But then, I'm probably preaching to the choir.

Dennis '92, '09


Tell us your campus life stories. You can do so via the Tech Life section of the 125th anniversary website or the Alumni Association Facebook page. Be a historian! You can send me your memories, too.

At Tech

Hu Paper Among “Most Accessed” in Advanced Materials

A paper by Michigan Tech faculty member Yun Hang Hu has been ranked among the most accessed articles in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials (impact factor 8.191) for the month of March. The article, “Hydrogen Storage in Metal-Organic Framework,” provides an overview of the latest research in this growing field. More

Local High School Students Get Innovative for National Lab Day

“If you could do or be anything, what would it be?” In the Integrated Microsystems Enterprise lab deep within Michigan Tech’s Electrical Energy Resources Center, a group of high school students pondered the question. Soon, they began calling out answers. Doctor. Astronaut. Research scientist. More

Feeling Stressed? So is the Poplar

People aren’t the only living things that suffer from stress. Trees must deal with stress too. It can come from a lack of water or too much water, from scarcity of a needed nutrient, from pollution or a changing climate. Helping trees and crops adapt to stress quickly and efficiently is a pressing goal of plant biologists worldwide. More

Ellen Marks Named University Librarian and Library Director

Ellen Marks, past director of the Shiffman Medical Library and Learning Resource Center, part of the Wayne State Library system, has been named university librarian and director of the J.R. Van Pelt and Opie Library by Provost Max Seel. Marks’ will start on Aug. 1, 2010. More

Alumni Around the World

West Michigan, Keweenaw Alums Gather

West Michigan winners
Signed hockey stick winner Roger McCarty ’77, Signed hockey jersey winner Jeff Shut ’06

West Michigan Spring Dinner

More than forty people attended the Annual Spring Dinner held at Egypt Valley Country Club in Grand Rapids.

Brenda Rudiger, director of Alumni Relations, gave an update on the latest happenings on campus. Jaclyn Timmer, regional admissions manager, offered her assistance in getting information to prospective students. Our guest speaker, Larry Lankton, professor of history, enlightened the audience with his experiences teaching at Tech and book writing in the Copper Country.

After election of new West Michigan Alumni board members, raffles were held for Tech memorabilia, signed hockey stick (winner Roger McCarty ’77), signed hockey jersey (winner Jeff Shut ’06) and a Lake Michigan fishing trip with Anderson Charter Service (second- time winner Jim Carpenter ’70). A highlight was auction of specialty beers and sodas by Charles (Chas) Thompson ’91 from Schmohz Brewery who also provided samples of their beer for this special occasion.

All proceeds from the event were designated for a Michigan Tech scholarship program for area students.

History of the Keweenaw Research Center

The Keweenaw Chapter of Alumni hosted a spring event at the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC).

Jay Meldrum, Director of the KRC welcomed guests with a presentation on the history of the KRC from 1954 to 1992.

Attendees were able to get a close look at a M1A1 battle tank and tour the brand new KRC facility located on Airpark Boulevard. The event brought in around 100 local alumni and community members.

For more information about the KRC please visit

Bay Area National Park and Vineyard Tour Planned

bay areaJoin Glenn and Gail Mroz on this exciting trip to visit several of our National Parks and two Vineyards in the Bay Area, July 21-25, 2010. You've never experienced our nation's National Parks like this before. During the first two days of the trip, Tech Alumna, Debbie Campbell '76, National Park Service Pacific West Region Facility Manager, will guide our exploration behind the scenes to learn about the unique features of four of the nation's treasured national parks: San Francisco Maritime Museum / Golden Gate National Park, Alcatraz Island, The Presidio of San Francisco, and Muir Woods National Monument. More

Fill in the Blanks

commencementSummer session 2006 in Dana Johnson's class. Where you there? It's clickable. Email me.

WIE 1984

Women in Engineering, 1984. Did you partake of WIE? Email me.
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Tech Sports

Future Husky Named Rookie of the Year

Future Michigan Tech forward Tanner Kero was named the North American Hockey League Rookie of the Year. The Hancock native led the NAHL with 32 goals while totaling 51 points in 57 games for the North Division regular-season champion Marquette Rangers. Tanner will play in the United States Hockey League in 2010-11 before joining the Huskies for the 2011-12 season. More

Parnell Finishes Second in 100 at GLIAC Championships

Quinn Parnell was a bright spot for Michigan Tech during a day that was marred by heavy rains with a second place finish in the 100 at the 2010 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships hosted by Ferris State Friday (May 7). He used a great start to finish with a time of 10.98. Parnell was also a member of the 4x100 relay that finished sixth in 43.31. Other relay members included Aaron Tetzloff, Tylor Rathsack and Nate Saliga.More

Around the Keweenaw

Students Aid World’s Fair Project

Some Houghton Middle School students spent Thursday morning designing their car of the future. The sketching will be used in testing for part of an ambitious project to create a three-dimensional representation of the 1964-65 World's Fair, held in New York City. More

Schoolcraft Township Talks Cell Tower

The planned cell phone tower in Schoolcraft Township was the main topic of conversation Tuesday night at the township board's monthly meeting. A small, passionate crowd filled the township's office to discuss the tower, which is being constructed by Central States Tower on the corner of Gregorie Road and Bootjack Road on the shore of Torch Lake. More

County Studies New Justice Center

Houghton residents met with a committee investigating the possibility of building a new facility holding the Houghton County jail, sheriff's office and district court at the courthouse Monday night. About 15 residents showed up who live in the immediate vicinity of the jail. One of the sites under consideration for the move is the land across the street, which currently houses a community garden. More

From the Email Bag

Commencement at the Dee/Doc Berry

Hi Dennis,
I thought someone else would answer the questions about The Dee and graduation but it seems that only John Baker responded. I agree with him; we, the class of 1971, were the last class to graduate in Dee Stadium. Our commencement speaker was Eric Hoffer, the author of The True Believer, and other books. A very acclaimed author of the time. Check him out on the internet. The entire commencement speech was only about 10 minutes and I couldn’t hear a word of it because of the poor acoustics. My husband Tom, who was in the audience, said it was a great speech. Fortunately, they printed it in the yearbook, so I have a copy. By the way, in 1968 or 1969, to get the new stadium going, the students of Tech voted to put a 15% (maybe it was 10%) surcharge on our tuition to fund a new stadium. We never heard much about it after that, but the SDC was built and so we were OK with it.

As for the Plexiglas at Dee: In my 1970 yearbook there is a clear picture of chicken wire at the goal ends. So it had to be sometime after that.

Here is my Doc Berry story. First, I picked Tech not for the great academics or the men or anything like that. I picked Tech because I could take my PE requirements in skiing! (and they had Med Tech as a major – but that was secondary.) I got an A Doc Berry’s fall freshman Chem 101 mainly thanks to my chemistry class background from Midland High School in Midland, MI. (Dow Chemical influence maybe??) So when I got my schedule for winter term, they had put me into the “honors” Chem 102 - which, to my horror, directly conflicted with my PE credit in skiing! The only way I could get out of it was to have Doc Berry officially sign a form releasing me from his “honors” class. As I recall, I had to wait in line a half hour to see him – of course I had never met him face to face – his classes were huge and I was only a name to him. I still recall sitting across the desk from him and telling him basically “screw the honors class – I want to go skiing!” He was not happy, and told me I was wasting my talent on Med Tech (which I think was egotistical BS) but I held firm and got transferred to a “normal” Chem 102 class. And had a great time with Fred Lonsdorf skiing for a PE credit!

As always, enjoy your newsletters.

Gretchen (Ehman) Paupore ‘71


President Obama spoke at the U of M graduation here in Ann Arbor over the weekend with the requisite security searches (no water, no umbrellas). I remember my graduation from Tech in 1986 as a huge party on the floor of the hockey stadium. Some brought champagne while others slipped towers of cups up their sleeves. No one sat down after going up to the stage and we milled about popping corks and drinking. Is that still allowed or is there tighter security even at Tech now?

Brenda Kerr (Cutrara) CS ‘86

Brenda: I can tell you the drinking is gone, and the need for security is minimal.

Spring Commencement 2004

Sure enough, I'm in your "Spring Commencement 2004" photo. I'm in the upper left, just below the woman in light blue, apparently watching the photographer! To the right would be Amy Huff, but her head is hidden. The whole row was math majors. I was the lucky one who got the aisle seat!

David Clark


Hey Dennis,
Great newsletter as always! Noticed the picture from the May 2004 commencement ceremony. The group in the bottom right corner of the photo are all from the Chem Eng dept. I'm just outside the picture, but recognize a lot of faces - Chuck Litzner, Beth Timmer, Ronald and Jennifer Fadenholz, James Eickhoff, and Kari O'Dell. Ahh, memories!!

Thanks again for the newsletter.
Kevin Soper
Class of '04 - Chem Eng

The Mystery Graduation

Hi Dennis,
I only see one woman in the picture. You could probably have some engineers graph the male/female ratio evolution on campus and plot this percentage on it to get in the right time frame!

Barb Matz, '74

Doc Berry Quote

As I mentioned when I visited you last week, I am fairly certain that I recall Dr. Roy Heath, Doc Berry's predecessor lecturing in freshman Chemistry, saying about the same thing. But I do not recall the part, "That's my job."

Frank Shoffner '62


I was at a loss to answer the Doc Berry question, as I never had him for a teacher.

I started at MTU in my junior year. I checked with a few other friends who had him, and none could remember.

Now that I saw the answer, I do remember hearing something similar at the new student orientation that I attended.

The individual doing the orientation stated that we should look at the person on our left and on our right, because at the end of the first term, one of us would not be there. Similar but not exact.

Jim Olson
Class of 1966

Wedding/Alumni Reunion

My husband and I were at one of our friends weddings last weekend we had many tech alumni so I gathered everyone for a Michigan Tech Alumni picture. The groom is a Michigan Tech Graduate Steve Kamarainen from Ironwood, MI who resides in Tampa, FL.

Present were: Jason Kmiecik
Kevin and Julia Posse
Ben and Nicole Biesterveld
Phil Meneau
Felipe Moura
Keith Nackers
Tony Arts
Scott Roosa
Brian Johnson
Chad and Jessica Geurts
Jen Kamarainen (1999 or 2000)
Pat Kamarainen (grad early 70s)
Pete Kamarainen (grad mid 60s)
Bonnie Kamarainen (grad late 80s)
Mike Kamarainen (grad early 90s)

Nicole Biesterveld
Ben Biesterveld

The Old Campus

mining/civil building

This was the Mining/Civil Engineering building. Great building, always thought it too bad that it got replaced.

Don Barkel (1956/59)

Don: Thanks for the great shot. We are always looking for old photos!

West Houghton Fire

Two years after Les [Reid] graduated in '53 the "Big West Houghton Fire " took place in July. Everything on the main drag (both sides of the street) between the the four gas station , Frackie's Texaco, Klee's Standard, Perventure's 66 and the off brand at the Tire Shop, burned to the ground. Yes, that included Apple Mary's ice cream parlor. The fire started in late afternoon and lasted several days before totally extinguished. It was big news in the copper country.

Hardee's is where the Texaco was and Klee's was on the same side but one block further west. The 66 was across the street from Klee's and the Tire shop was across the street from the B&B bar. The fire was surrounded by four gas stations. I can remember them pouring water on the above ground gas tanks to keep them cool. In those days not all the tanks were under ground.....That's all I have for ya now, Later.

.....Keep up the good work guys..

Paul Butkovich "67

Another Worthy Cause

I am asking you for help to spread the word to MTU Alumni asking them to vote for the Keweenaw Family Resource Center's Tree House in a Pepsi Refresh Grant Contest. This will benefit families in the Copper Country with children through 4 years of age.

Here is the link:

Thank you,
Mabel Shandley

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