August, 9, 2010
Vol. 16, No. 25
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Reunion Review

A good crowd at the Pasty Picnic.

One of my favorite parts of reunion week is when alums stop by to chat. That's just what Jerry Laurin '63 did last Monday. Like many alums, Jerry talked about working his way through Tech, including some duties with Julius Nachazel, like other alums had done (and discussed in the email bag).

Jerry fondly recalled Julius T. taking him to the local bank to vouch for his credit so he could get a car loan. Jerry also worked used the Naval Reserve to help pay the bills while a student.

At the Pasty Picnic, I talked with Glenn Nordbeck '55 and his wife, Joyce (above). They live in the Milwaukee area, so we discussed the Packers, Brewers, and other weighty topics (like music). Glenn is a retired civil engineer from Wisconsin Energy.

Actually the main discussion that evening was the Portage Lake Lift Bridge that was malfunctioning. It was going to be tested again that night, so some were in a hurry to eat cross it before then, if they were going north on the peninsula.

bodiJohn Bodi '50 and his son, Jim (left), were enjoying their pasties as Jim '80 recalled riding his bike in from Oskar Bay and being just a little late (twenty minutes) for his final. No, he wasn't allowed to take it. Lesson learned.

Adam Wahner '00 and his wife, Sheri, were in town for their first reunion, after having attended a couple of Carnivals in the past. They had enjoyed the ME boat cruise, again, before the bridge was to be tested.

Mike Dibble '61 and Frank Shoffner '62 were seen with pasties in tow. Mike's developed an exciting new technology that is profiled here.

At the Golden M Pinning Ceremony, between laughs, I caught up with hockey coach Danny Farrell '60, and we swapped hockey stories from the 1970s. Ken Larm '50 was there, too, and he was heading to the Pavement, Design, Construction and Materials Open House at Dillman Hall, which was Civil-Geo when he was a student.

Finally, Dick Smart '60 was back for the first time since he graduated and on his way to lunch when we talked about the campus ("now it's elegant"), retirement ("winter in Florida, summers in St. Joseph" downstate). He was stopping in Engadine on the way home to visit friends. He also was going to work on his granddaughter to attend Tech "since she plays soccer, and you have a team now!"

I also made my way to the Lambda Chi's thirtieth reunion at the house on College Avenue, where a new volleyball court was being installed. There was a lot of dirt being moved via bulldozer, and by Sunday morning they had something Olympic-sized! I was also able to put a few names with faces: Jamie Holden '86, Steve Porritt '82 (whose uncle, Jack, ran the Memorial Union for years), Greg Carlson '86/'90, and Kevin Ackerman '86.

The highlight, though, was meeting our former national executive secretary George Spacyk, who had the alumni enthralled with stories from the fraternity's past. It was beyond cool.

I also spied a lot of vehicles at the Sig Rho house in Chassell, and ADAs were seen in large numbers in downtown Houghton (on their way to the B&B for pickled eggs?).

We also toured the new Residential Apartment Building and were ready to rent an apartment! The views of the Keweenaw Waterway are incredible.

My last event was the first MBA Association golf outing at the PLGC (and we could hear the Theta Taus in full swing). Our team didn't win, but we had a great time and donated a few dollars (and lost balls) to the cause. The entire event was planned and run by the grad students, and they did a great job. We are already talking about next year.

Dennis '92, '09


Got a reunion story or just a memory from your Tech days? 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

Alumni Reunion: Golden Years, Great Memories

"Anybody here still use a slide rule?" That refrain meant the Class of 1960 was back in town, some for the first time in a half-century, and they were being honored at the Golden M pinning ceremony. President Glenn Mroz ’74,’77 and Alumni Association President Mark Mitchell ’77 handed out the pins and enjoyed the stories and shout-outs along with the rest of the nice-sized crowd in the Memorial Union. The alums approached the front, and their spouses clicked their cameras as their significant others ambled, jogged and/or waved to the crowd. More

GLRC: Investment in the State, Nation and World's Freshwater Resources

Glenn Mroz, the president of Michigan Tech, was vacationing on his boat in Lake Superior a couple summers ago when he heard his phone ring. He was tempted not to answer the call, he told the crowd today at the Michigan Tech waterfront. But he did, and that's one reason they were all gathered there to mark the groundbreaking of the Great Lakes Research Center. More

Biology Alumnus Puts Education to Work over the Gulf

Oil, oil, everywhere. But where, exactly, is that? A slick of oil on a shimmery sea is no tar ball on a beach, and before you can clean it up, you have to find it. Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Hemme has been peering out of MH-60 helicopters and C-130 transport aircraft for weeks, armed with GPS, camera and clipboard, searching for oil floating on the Gulf of Mexico. More

Tech a "Best in the Midwest"; Among Best 373 Colleges Again

Michigan Tech garnered “Best in the Midwest” honors as it was again included among Princeton Review’s The Best 373 Colleges, 2011 Edition. Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are profiled in the book, according to the Princeton Review. Michigan Tech was among the 152 Midwest schools honored. More

Prof Helps Mighty Mac Gain National Recognition

When the Mackinac Bridge is officially designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark on Aug. 12, no one will be happier than Michigan Technological University’s Tess Ahlborn. “It joined Michigan’s two peninsulas together. It opened up another trade route with Canada. It truly advanced the civil engineering profession,” she says. “And, it’s the Mighty Mac!” More

Alumni Around the World

Alumni Reunion: "Fore!"

groupThe MBA Association Golf Event was great. MBA student Brett Waterson-Rosso gives instructions under the watchful eye of Tom Merz, associate dean of the School of Business and Economics.

Seventeen two-person teams teed off at the first MBAA Golf Scramble Saturday at the Alumni Reunion. The event, run by the students, was held under perfect weather as the teams enjoyed the challenge of Portage Lake Golf Course. Plans are underway for next year's event, as are plans for the rest of the Alumni Reunion, which filled the campus and communities with laughter and memories from "back in the day."

Fill in the Blanks

varsity singersRemember the Guess Who? Other acts? Email me.

Hockey Golf Reunion 2005

Golf at the Hockey Reunion in 2005? I know two of these guys, but not all. It's clickable. Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

Black and White Skate to 4-4 Tie in Alumni Hockey Game


Click on the photo for a larger view of hockey alums.

Peter Rouleau (2005-08) scored twice for the Black Team in the final three minutes to earn a tie with the White Team in the 2010 Michigan Tech alumni hockey game. The Black Team jumped out to an early lead with a pair of early goals by John Hartman (2001-05) and Randy McKay (1984-88). Current Huskies assistant coach Pat Mikesch (1992-96) broke up the Black shutout after his shot got by Cam Ellsworth (2001-05) with just under two minutes remaining in the period. More

Around the Keweenaw

Bridge Testing Successful After Lengthy Tie-Up

Stuck up: The view of the problem last week.

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge went up and down without pause as engineers tested it Thursday night. "They performed some tests after 6 p.m. Thursday, and the bridge seemed to operate fine," said Andy Sikkema, transportation engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation Ishpeming Transportation Service Center. More

Baraga Legion Post Sues WUPHD

The American Legion post in Baraga that was barred from serving food and drinks after violating a state smoking ban sued the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department Friday, claiming the smoking ban violates the Constitution. The Foucalt-Funke American Legion Post 444 continued to allow smoking after a statewide ban enacted in May. On July 20, the Health Department ordered the post to stop serving food and drinks. Both the state smoking ban and the Health Department's order should be declared unconstitutional, the post argues. More

Downtown Houghton Merchants Join Forces

A lot of things came out of the downtown Streetscape Project last summer, and one of the items that looks to be most memorable from the project is the Downtown Merchants Association. The association was formed prior to last summer's construction because of a fear of what would happen. "People were worried about," Armando's/The Douglass House Owner Robert Megowen in a previous interview. "The economy was bad to begin with, then closing of the street, we were scared." More

From the Email Bag

Milt and the Singers

varsity singers

That photo reminds me of some of the best times ever! I joined the "Singers" in the winter of 1979 as their sound tech. (no one ever accused me of having a public singing voice). I think this picture was taken before I joined, since I don't recognize a few of the faces. I do recognize the three ladies in the center of the front row, though. Left to right they are Sue Arsenault, Jennifer Minck, and Jewell Jackson.

Our sound equipment in those days was pretty primitive, and there wasn't a budget for much that was new. What I wouldn't have given for a modern digital mixer!

Jon Erwood, '80


I was in Varsity Singers for Doc Olsson’s first year, 1976-77. I could tell he was going to do quite well w/ the group and was glad to see he stayed for a real long time.

Griff Coxey S > E > C; Class of 1977


That’s Doc at the piano! and several members of what was then known as Varsity Singers. A Jazz choir. Names are evading me right now, but I believe it’s Lari Rasumsen in profile on the far left and the woman directly behind Doc’s head I believe is Jewell something or other the guy to the right of her with the very cool BeeGee’s style shirt is probably Steve Bell who played bass guitar with the group. I’m guessing 1977 or 1978??? Wow! What a shock to see this group that I had so many great times with. I’m bringing my daughter up for her Freshman year in less than a month! Time sure does fly!

Beki Franchock


Dennis – I was in the Jazz Singers, a later version of the “Varsity Singers” from 1986-91 and met my wife (Theo) of 19 years singing there. I met some great people and did some great music during those years. Milt really put together some amazing groups and did some very good work – I miss working with him to this day. Some of the highlights might have been tours of lower Michigan and Wisconsin as well as the Mexico City tour with the Chamber Chorus (1990?).

BTW – great shot of Milt in his early years, it’s amazing how we change. I stopped and saw Milt and Trudy last time I was in the Keweenaw and realized it had been over 20 years since I’d first met him.

John Uhrie
Class of ‘91 and ‘96


Hi Dennis,
Although I was not in the Varsity Singers when Milt Olsson was the director, I was in the original group that started in the fall of 1970 with John Clark as director. He led the group for two years before he moved on and Grover Wilkins came to campus and became the director. I believe Milt succeeded Grover. My four years as a Varsity Singer were very special and we had a blast representing the University as we performed throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. I still keep in touch with several of my fellow Singers.

Thanks for the memories.


Golf for a Cause

Ray Scultz was a great friend of Michigan Tech's, and his son, Jeff, is holding a fundraiser, info here on the attached flyer.

"Just detach bottom portion and return to the address provided along with your/team payment. I need 72 participants to close the course for the event, so please send your information as soon as possible to reserve your spot - deadline is August 13, 2010 to get your information and payment into me.

Please forward this on to all of your friends, family, and co-workers that were interested in participating.

Thank you for your urgent attention."


Twin Lakes Memories

Hi. I liked reading about your memories out there.....

We are one of the families making memories out there now. I am the second generation and my kids love it too!

Andrea Longhini

Land of Sky Blue Waters

Hi Dennis,
Thoroughly enjoy the Alumni Newsletter. In the current issue, Dan Nancarrow is correct: "The Land of the Sky Blue Waters" does indeed refer to northern Minnesota and the Hamm's Brewery was in St. Paul, MN. If you Google Hamm's Brewery, you will see that the brewery is now called MillerCoors and it still brews beer under the Hamm's Beer label. If I remember correctly, we could get Hamm's in Houghton when I was there.

Rick Noyes '59

Women in the Residence Hall

women in dorm
The history picture of two women in "the coed dorm" in 1966, 67, 68 seems to comment that this dorm is now McNair Hall. I'm confused, I thought the coed dorm at that time was Wadsworth Hall and McNair existed elsewhere?

Eric Hough '67

Eric: Coed Hall was the original name of McNair Hall. There was another McNair Hall for academic use elsewhere. Women might have been living in Wads previously. DHH, Wads, and McNair have been joined by the new Residential Apartment Building, which is behind McNair and is gorgeous.

Think Snow

My son sent me this link, and 1. It's too good to be true, and 2. I want one.



Youth Programs

Hi Dennis,
I wholeheartedly agree with Diane (Bier) Holmes about the SYP Bicycling Biology and Geology. I believe I attended in summer 1974. I think my tent-mate was a girl named Marty. I remember eating green cattails--boiled and rolled in butter and salt, they DO taste like corn on the cob. That year I also attended an art class of some sort. I was at SYP again in 1975 for med tech, as well as in the Women in Engineering program. I probably have Instamatic Kodacolor snapshots somewhere from those long-ago but well-remembered days!

Ellen (Eskola) Kehoe ‘80'

Ellen: Our kids enjoyed their Explorations, too. Computers, rockets, electronics, etc.

Ford's Old Woodies

Ford bought large forests in the UP and harvested the trees for the wooden bodies. Many were made in Kingsford, Michigan next to Iron Mountain. As a side line business the scrap wood was made into briquettes and eventually became a large source of revenue. Even after the car body factory was closed the production of Kingsford Charcoal briquettes continued and the business was eventually sold and moved to Tennessee. The model saw mill village that Ford had built was donated to Michigan Tech forestry program. Photo here.

Bob Brown

Bob: Reminds me of the Beach Boys (see licence plate below)!

Featured Alumni Benefits

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

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Class Rings
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University Images Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

Job Opportunities

On Campus

SFHI Faculty Positions in Energy and Health

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, College of Science and Arts, Humanities

Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Research Scientist/Engineer I, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus