July 26, 2010
Vol. 16, No. 24
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Going to Camp

The road to summer dreams.

Of all the special places in the Keweenaw, some keep recurring in memories and dreams. There was a fishing camp our aunt and uncle owned at Twin Lakes that we used to visit every summer. Driving up from Detroit took forever (especially for a certain someone who got car sick), which made the time spent there even more special.

Once, we pulled in the driveway and one of the tires instantly went flat.

That one week away from the big city was full of all the things kids love to do: swimming, fishing, campfires, cooking outdoors, firecrackers, and more. We even did some research regarding amphibians, but I'll spare the details.

We were allowed to stay up later than normal, we slept in later, too, and we still packed in activities every waking second. In later years, we camped with our children at the Twin Lakes State Park, and they were never still, either.

The location had a lot to do with the great memories. As I've mentioned before, my parents were from the Range Towns (Painesdale and Baltic), and I always felt a family presence in the spirit of the place. I still do.

We made a recent trip around the two lakes recently, and the place has changed quite a bit. Trees have grown where old cabins once stood, old businesses are closed, and the names on many of the camps have changed.

But that spirit remains, and, as we spotted jet skis instead of rowboats (and some new businesses), we realized we were witnessing another couple of generations making their own memories, with or without those snakes and frogs.

Dennis '92, '09


Tell us about your summer (or camp) experiences in the UP. You can do so via the 125th anniversary website or the Alumni Association Facebook page. Of course, you can send me your memories, too.

At Tech

It Will Make Your Hair Stand on End

Boy Scouts are discovering that science can be pretty exciting. In fact, it can make your hair stand on end. At Michigan Tech’s Youth Programs tent—the only university exhibit in the 2010 Boy Scout Jamboree Technology Quest complex—Scouts can touch the shiny ball of a Van de Graaff generator, a simple electromagnetic device that will literally make their hair stand on end. They can also run through (or over) Oobleck, a strange substance that displays the properties of both a liquid and a solid. More

Hands-On Education Knows No Limits


The platypus is rare among mammals, laying eggs rather than bearing live offspring. Even rarer is a 200-pound platypus egg that hatches into a helicopter as it careens off a 30-foot cliff into the water. But engineering is, after all, an exercise in creative problem solving, and Michigan Tech is all about hands-on education. More

Clean Genes: Chemist Culls the Good Synthetic DNA from the Bad

Birds do it, bees do it. Even scientists in labs do it. But the scientists can’t hold a candle to the birds and the bees, who can make gobs of primo DNA without even thinking about it. DNA is a critical element of gene therapy, and scientists working to develop cures for diseases make it with synthesizers. Unfortunately, synthesizers don’t do nearly as good a job as cells in stringing nucleic acids together to make DNA, and many of the resulting sequences—called truncated DNA—are too short and must be discarded. More

High School Students Sail the Great Lakes

When the classic sailing ships gather in Bay City for the annual Tall Ships Celebration this weekend, high school students from three states will hop aboard the Sailing Vessel Denis Sullivan for an exciting week studying Great Lakes biology. Their adventure is part of Michigan Tech’s annual Summer Youth Programs explorations. More

Michigan Tech Kicks Off Public Phase of $200 Million Campaign

At its regular meeting July 15, Michigan Tech’s Board of Control approved a goal of $200 million for a capital campaign now under way at the University. The funds raised will be used primarily but not exclusively for endowed faculty support and student financial aid, said George Butvilas, chair of the Michigan Tech Fund, the nonprofit corporation that receives, invests and disburses gifts to further the University's strategic plan. More

Now You See It, Now You Don’t—An Invisibility Cloak Made of Glass

From Tolkien’s ring of power in The Lord of the Rings to Star Trek’s Romulans, who could make their warships disappear from view, from Harry Potter’s magical cloak to the garment that makes players vanish in the video game classic Dungeons and Dragons, the power to turn someone or something invisible has fascinated mankind. But who ever thought that a scientist at Michigan Tech would be serious about building a working invisibility cloak? More

Alumni Around the World

Hitting the Links in Saginaw

groupWinning foursome Burris Smith '64, John Cummings '60, Dick Crannell '65, and Brian Hannon '88 take a break from golf for a photo with Tanya Maki from Alumni Relations.

More than forty alumni and friends enjoyed a great day of golf at the Sawmill Golf Course in Saginaw on July 10 for the annual event. A big thanks to Richard (Dick) Crannell '65 who welcomed alumni to his golf course. After golf, participants enjoyed a pasty dinner, pickled eggs from the Dog House, and a Michigan Tech raffle. A special thanks to Jeff Joynt '78 who “imported” the pasties from the UP for the dinner!

Tigers Baseball Gathering

tigers gameKelly (second from left) and Steve (second from right) Bailo '84 with family and friends and a prize.

Over 120 alumni and friends mingled and networked on a beautiful day in lower Michigan for the 5th annual Detroit Tigers baseball outing. Detroit Chapter Leader, Dan Batten '88, welcomed Huskies ranging from 1950 to 2010. Many guests left with great Huskies prizes.

Notice of Biennial Meeting of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association

All alumni are invited to participate in the biennial meeting of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association which will take place at the Alumni Reunion Awards Dinner, Friday, August 6, 2010.

The brief meeting agenda will call for confirmation of the following items:

  • New Officers (term: 2011–2013)
  • New Directors (term: 2011–2016)
  • New Alumni Association Constitution (approved by the MTUAA Board of Directors, July 2010) Click here to review the document.

For more information please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumni@mtu.edu or call toll free 1-877-688-2586

Join Us! Alumni Reunion 2010—August 5, 6, and 7

reunionFeatured classes will be the Golden Ms (those who graduated 50 plus years ago), the classes of ’60, ’70, ’80, ’85, ’90 and ’00. Other special alumni group reunions being planned are Huskies Hockey, Air Force ROTC, Chemistry, several engineering departments, Alpha Delta Alpha, Delta Zeta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Rho Lawn Party 2010, 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Pavement Design, Construction and Materials Enterprise and the Thompson Scholars Program and more.

Request a Reunion Registration Packet to be mailed to your home or view online!

Register ONLINE or print the 2010 TICKET FORM.

Don't forget! Share your alumni stories. Login to HuskyLink, click on My Class Notes, choose the category Alumni Stories and share your favorite memories from Tech. Remember to include pictures!


MBA Association 1st Annual Golf Outing Supported by the School of Business and Economics

Come join members of the MBA Association at the 1st Annual Golf Outing supported by the School of Business and Economics for an enjoyable afternoon of golf. This exciting fundraiser is a two-person golf scramble played on Michigan Tech's beautiful Portage Lake Golf Course. Players can register as teams or individuals. Cash prizes will be given to the top 3 teams. Each golfer receives a participant swag bag, and a prize raffle will be held.

When: Alumni Weekend on Saturday, August 7 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Please arrive at noon.

Where: Portage Lake Golf Course
Cost: $40 per person

Who: Students, faculty, alumni, and community members are encouraged to participate.

How to Sign-up: visit www.mbaa.mtu.edu, send an email to mbaagolfoutings@gmail.com, or call (906) 487-2668 for more information

Fill in the Blanks

varsity singersWere you with the Varsity Singers and Milt Olsson? Email me.

Robot on the Asphalt

Do you recall the robot research in this photo? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

Women’s Basketball No. 1 Nationally . . . in the Classroom

The Michigan Tech women’s basketball team, which spent a large part of the 2009-10 season ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II, finished with the nation’s top grade point average according to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 2010 Academic Top 25 list released today. The Huskies’ 3.732 GPA was higher than any women’s basketball team in any division in the nation. More

Around the Keweenaw

KNHP Focus: Heritage

The relationship between the Keweenaw National Historical Park and its partners, including the 19 Heritage Sites, continues to develop, according to the KNHP Advisory Commission executive director. During the regular quarterly meeting of the KNHP Advisory Commission at park headquarters in Calumet Township, Scott See told members he and KNHP Superintendent Jim Corless have visited some of the partners and intend to visit all of them by the end of summer. More

WUPHD Tests Water Quality at Local Beaches

When people see Rejean Kangas walking around in the water at local beaches in hip boots carrying a long black plastic stick, some of them become curious. What Kangas is doing is taking water samples as an environmental health technician for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department. The 5-foot-long black PVC pole he carries has a place for a small jar, which holds a water sample. The pole is so long to allow him to get samples from an area he hasn't disturbed by his movement through the water. More

Cougars in the UP?

Seeing a cougar in your back yard may never happen. But it did to Bob Bowers, a resident of Christmas. "It was, really loud,” he said. “I thought, what is in the world is that?" That was a cougar according Bowers. His encounter happened about a month ago. More

From the Email Bag

Residence Hall Photo

women in dorm The two in the dorm room photo are Jane Gale from Detroit and Sparkle Harrington from Beckley, WV. Jane has her back to the camera. Sparkle is my wife. Her birth name is Frances Harrington but she has gone her entire life being known and addressed as “Sparkle”. He name now is Sparkle Worley of West Chester (Cincinnati), Ohio.

It was 1966, 1967, or 1968 in what was called the "Coed Dorm."

Tom Worley

Thanks, Tom. That's McNair Hall now.


Not sure if the picture in the latest newsletter can be enlarged well enough, but there's a calendar in the upper right. If you could get at least the month name and a day-of-the-week from it, that would narrow down the question quite a bit.

Dave Torrey

Great idea, Dave! I tried it and it distorted from this one. We have our answer above, however.

More on Summer of 2006

dillmanHi Dennis -
The Fill in the Blank: Summer 2006 photo: the female with the striped t-shirt is Lauren Hubbell. She graduated as a Civil Engineering in spring 2006. I don't think she was there for summer classes, so maybe the photo isn't from summer 2006. I sent her the link to see if she can identify which class project they were working on.

Love the newsletter - it helps Houghton feel closer!

Melissa (Trahan) Ward
Civil Engineering, 2006


That is indeed me in the picture, with the Tigers hat on backwards, as one of my brothers correctly pointed out. I was taking Eng 1102 during the Track A session of the summer. That however was not Zach Drake with the shaggy hair and his back to the camera. My recollections of summers in Houghton are full of great memories with good friends. I appreciate the newsletters keep up the good work

Josh Taggart
Mechanical Engineering
Class of 2010
Michigan Technological University
Delta Sigma Phi National Fraternity


I'm in the fill in the blanks picture....Im the ratty looking guy with long hair...Mir was the instructor
I am a Teke and I am wearing the Cow Roast shirt from Sigma Pi's annual cow roast

David Nelson

Mt. Ripley Rope Tow

tow ropeThese pictures are too reinforce Don Wackers' account of the nasty rope tow on Ripley Hill. (Last Newsletter). Of all of the skiing I have done ,that is the fastest rope tow I have ever seen. We would burn up a pair of "Choppers" Mittens, in a few weeks. By the way having learned skiing at Tech, Our whole family still skis. Winter 1948.

tow rope

Paul Goode '50

River Stories

Hello Dennis,
Ron Sadler had a nice article about the Otter River. But I think he transplanted some geography. The “Land of Sky Blue Waters” was for Hamm’s beer. That brewery was in Minneapolis or St. Paul and I believe the song/ad referred to Northern Minnesota. I got to visit that brewery during one of the AFOTC rifle team (annual trips) and drill team (semi-annual trips) to those cities.

Frank Shoffner was correct about the colored ping-pong balls on the antennae but there were also a lot of triangular bright colored flags on the tops of antennae. Of course, the flags were furnished by the insurance companies.

Don Nancarrow ‘64

An Old Blizzard Speaks!

Blizzard Husky Good Morning Dennis,
Back in the school year 1970-1971, Kathy and my wife revived what has now become Blizzard. Is it possible to get together with Blizzard(s) and get a list of all previous Blizzards and/or mascots from 1970 to date? Then send out an invitation to all to attend the 2011 Reunion. My wife and I would like the opportunity to meet all of those that followed in our tracks.

Thank you.
William Wassberg


William: We'll see what we can do!


Dillman Lab

Hi Dennis,
The last two tech alum newsletters had photos of the jugglers on unicycles. In case you didn't already know, the bearded one is Bob Evans (no relation to the restaurant), who is a tech alum and former Tech basketball player. I played basketball with him at Tech. I think he graduated in '04 or '05.

They have a website at www.bobjasonben.com. Their YouTube videos are incredible. One was even featured on a Sports Illustrated blog.

Keep up the good work on the newsletter. I look forward to it every week.

Caleb '03

An Alum in Afghanistan

Anyone else in Afghanistan? Not sure if there is much of a reunion
available here, but there is non-alcoholic beer at the dining facility.

Charles G. Heiden, PhD.
Senior Advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Defense
for Horizontal Integration and Analysis
NTM-A/CSTC-A, Afghan National Army Development

Wisconsin Basketball Game on TV in the MUB or Wads in the 1960s

I have to agree, your newsletter is a joy, full of memories. Thank you Dennis and thank you Tech for having been there for us.

Now for my dilemma. I guess I am getting to that age where it’s hard to tell the real memories from the ‘could’ve been’ real memories. Maybe someone out there can tell me whether or not I’ve made this up or whether it’s just another one of those unique Tech memories. I was at Tech in the early 60’s. While there I seem to remember watching a Wisconsin High School state championship basketball game on TV, either in the Union or Wadsworth. The game was fantastic and went into, I believe, 4 overtimes and then, kabam!, the TV channel switched over to Bonanza, leaving all of us watching the game on the brink. If I remember correctly, we only got 4 channels and they were received at Tech via cable. The rumor was that operator of the local control center was a huge fan of Bonanza, which was why Bonanza was shown on the three of the four channels at its regular hour, regardless.

Did I make this up or did it really happen? Does anyone else out there remember? And who won?

Joe Wood

SYP Memories

Hi Dennis,
MTU’s Summer youth program was one of the best summer experiences. I was in the first summer it was held, back in the early seventies. I attended “Bicycling Biology & Geology of the Keweenaw. Of course, back then we did not have sturdy mountain bikes, but fragile ten speed racers. More than a few bikes suffered major ‘injuries’ on the back roads. I remember it was 15 guys and five girls (my intro to Tech boy/girl ratio). We camped in farmers’ fields, waded into Lake Superior to fill our canteen with drinking water, and ate a lot of freeze dried foods cooked over little camp stoves.

Diane (Bier ) Holmes Class of 81

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