September 7, 2010
Vol. 17, No. 1
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Year One

Something else new to freshmen: women's soccer!

As hard as it is to remember much from that first year at Tech, it is still possible to pull fragments from the gray matter. Regardless of what we all might be able to remember, however, old first-year experiences pale in comparison to those of today's Tech students.

Orientation is one week long now and full of great ways to transition to campus life. One of the best ideas is the Reading as Inquiry program, which has all the new students read a book before coming to Houghton. This year, they read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and he's coming to campus, too.

That's just the precursor to Year One, of course. The Lode did an article last week with tips for freshmen, which included many things I should have done more frequently: go to class, do more extracurricular's, at least talk to the Career Center (I'm paraphrasing here), get enough rest (what can I say?).

Somehow we all survived that first year, and most of this newest crop will survive, too, since they are very well prepared coming into Tech.

There will probably be some trial-and-error, however. It reminds me of an old song, in which a grandfather says, "Poor old grandson, there's nothing I can say. You'll have to find out just like me, and that's the hardest way!"

Good luck to the Class of 2014.

Dennis '92, '09


Can you recall any first year stories to share it through the 125th anniversary website or the Alumni Association Facebook page? Send them in! You can send me your memories, too.

At Tech

Death of the “Doughnut”: How Quaggas Are Casting a Pall on the Lake Michigan Fishery

Something has been eating Charlie Kerfoot’s doughnut, and all fingers point to a European mollusk about the size of a fat lima bean. No one knew about the doughnut in southern Lake Michigan, much less the mollusk, until Michigan Technological University biologist W. Charles Kerfoot and his research team first saw it in 1998. More

MTRI Maps Spread of Invasive Reed in Great Lakes Basin

grad student
Phragmites australis is an uncommon term for an increasingly common sight in the wetlands and along the beaches of the Great Lakes. It’s the scientific name for the common reed, a fast-growing perennial wetland grass. An immigrant from Europe, it’s an exotic species that has a reputation for taking over any wetland real estate it visits. More

Celebrating O Week: Learning What Tech is Like

O week
It's called O-Week, but O stands for Orientation--definitely not Ordinary. All last week, new students attended information sessions geared toward their college success. With topics like online safety, student health and athletics being covered, new students are able to quickly learn all about what life at Tech is like. More

Grant Will Improve Broadband Service at Tech, Throughout the UP

Federal stimulus funding to Merit Network, a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities, will bring more and better broadband Internet service to Michigan Technological University and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Broadband is a telecommunication network that uses a wide band of frequencies to transmit information. In other words, it provides more lanes on the information highway. More

Alumni Around the World

While in Houghton . . .

Paul GoodePaul Goode '50 at Tech.

Paul Goode stopped by our offices last week and said he splits time between Ogden Valley, Utah, and Vero Beach, Florida. The retiree spent his career in aviation fuel cell parts and worked in sales with his father for awhile. Paul got his degree in physics and fondly recalled faculty member Jerry Service, who worked in, and got Paul access to Oak Ridge and Los Alamos Laboratories.

Paul also recalled going to classes six mornings a week with Saturday afternoons off!

Fill in the Blanks

varsity singersRemember the "beaches" on campus? Email me.

CC and the Trails

Did you run cross country in 2006? Or did you just enjoy the Tech Trails? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

Night was Right for History

The weather held off and Michigan Tech made it a truly historic day winning the first soccer game in school history 2-0 over Concordia St. Paul in front of a crowd of 1,380 fans Thursday (Sept. 2) at Sherman Field. “We started a little slow with all the excitement and nerves, but the girls were able to calm down and focus and play our game,” said head coach Michelle Jacob, who recorded her first career win at Michigan Tech. Tech started connecting passes throughout the first half but would have to wait until near the end for the historic first goal. More

Volleyball Gets in Win Column with 3-0 Score vs. Glenville State

The Michigan Tech volleyball team picked up its first win of 2010 with a sweep of Glenville State this morning at Ferris State. The Huskies won in three sets by scores of 25-17, 25-14 and 25-17 to improve to 1-2 overall. Tech dominated the match by hitting .323 as a team compared to .031 for the Pioneers. The Huskies also served up 12 aces including three from Tessa Mauer. More

CC Team Gets a Taste of Victory at Home

On a day that was more fitting for a swim meet than a cross country race Michigan Tech freshman Deedra Irwin still gave the home crowd something to cheer about. The Pulaski, Wis., native finished the five-kilometer course in a school record time of 19:13, an improvement of over 28 seconds from the previous record set by Kristina Owen in 2006. Irwin narrowly missed the course record by three seconds set by Stephanie Howe of Northern Michigan, a former all-American in cross country, in 2005. More

What’s Happening This Week

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM
Women’s Soccer hosts Northern Michigan, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 10, 2010
Women’s Tennis at Ohio Dominican, 3 p.m.
Women’s Soccer hosts Ohio Dominican, 7 p.m.
Volleyball vs. Saginaw Valley State, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010
Cross Country at Laker Invitational (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
Women’s Tennis at Ashland, 10 a.m.
Football at Lake Erie, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)
Volleyball at Grand Valley State, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010
Women’s Tennis at Lake Erie, 10 a.m.
Women’s Soccer hosts Minnesota Duluth, 1 p.m.
Volleyball at Ferris State, 2 p.m.

Last Week’s Results

Women’s Soccer (1-0, 0-0 GLIAC)
9/2 — at Michigan Tech 2, Concordia-St. Paul 0

Volleyball (1-3, 0-0 GLIAC)
9/3 — St. Cloud State 3, Michigan Tech 2
9/3 — Mercyhurst 3, Michigan Tech 2
9/4 — Michigan Tech 3, Glenville State 0
9/4 — Minnesota State Mankato 3, Michigan Tech 0

Cross Country
9/3 — Women 1st of 4 teams, Men tied for 1st of 4 teams at UP Collegiate Opener

Top News of the Week

The Michigan Tech football team will open its 2010 season Saturday (Sept. 11) at GLIAC newcomer Lake Erie in Painesville, Ohio. The game is the first of 10 regular season contests on the Huskies schedule. All of them are conference games. Kickoff for Saturday is set for 1 p.m.

Around the Keweenaw

Chassell to Houghton Trail Could Close to Wheeled-Motorized Use

The Chassell to Houghton rail corridor will no longer be open for wheeled-motorized use, pending a vote of approval from the state's Natural Resources Commission. The vote is on the NRC's October agenda, and if passed will go into effect on Oct. 8. "Snowmobiles will still be allowed," said Ron Yesney, the Western Upper Peninsula recreation specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. "It's not a designated snowmobile trail, but they can still use it. That came as a recommendation of the advisory committee." More

Preserving History

hoistThe mission of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association is to preserve and interpret the activities of the mine, and three grants totaling $11,500 recently received by the organization should help with that mission. Glenda Bierman, QMHA manager, said this was the second time the board of directors applied for the Heritage Grants. Last year, the organization received $1,000 to begin the process of displaying panels of photographs to tell the story of the Quincy Mine. More

Cameras Have Friends, Foes: Opinions Vary on Downtown Surveillance

A look at the letter to the editor section of The Daily Mining Gazette lately shows overwhelming opposition to the new cameras installed in downtown Houghton. Concerned citizens have sworn off the downtown area as a viable business option and complained that the government is going too far into the private lives of Copper Country residents. More

From the Email Bag

The Union

Back in the mid fifties the Union Bldg was much different. As I remember the main or middle floor was mostly a lounge and study area for commuter students and between class naps. There was not any book store as I remember but there was a desk inside the front door that sold various odds and ends. The lower level had a large sitting area but the snack bar was quite small and offered a limited menu. Seems like there was some sort of faculty lounge on the third floor and the ballroom was smaller. Getting hard to remember things that long ago.

Larry Watson 51 & 58.


I remember the "Union Building" very well. As a Local Maki I was part of the group that took over the back of the cafeteria where we stopped between classes and for lunch - our lunch buckets lined the back shelf and nobody disturbed them. Of course, there were a few card games at selected tables from time to time.

The Union had perfect tables for writing out and consulting with others on problems for our classes. If you didn't finish it before the next class, all you had to do was circle it and write "Save" and
the very accommodating cleaning ladies would skip that part when wiping the table off.

Besides the book store (and pool tables and bowling alley) which was convenient for more blue books or notebooks or whatever, the Union had one room on the main floor (the Wead Room?) where there were couches, tables and a code of silence that made either a great place to study or, if so inclined, taking a nap. We didn't have the great library facilities that exist at Tech these days. The only down side to using the room was that it seemed like the temperature was always about 80 or more degrees which made it hard to not take the nap option. Since I stayed at Tech all day until several of my family who worked there left for home, I spent all of my spare time in this room
during the first quarter. This resulted in an almost perfect grade point (not many followed) and the ability to go to bed by 10:30 (that didn't last).

We didn't call it the MUB, but it sure was a great resource for the locals who had no room to retreat to after classes. Heck, some of us even bought a cup of that terrible greenish coffee or some fries
there from time to time.

Jerry Davison '66 Math


I just about lived at the Union in the late 50's. There was always too much commotion in the girl's houses for me to study. Also, we took all of our meals in the cafeteria downstairs. There was a snack bar next to the cafeteria. At 6 PM the back section of the snack bar was packed with students watching Yogi Bear cartoons.

To the right of the main entrance was a huge lounge which was also packed with students, especially local students, between classes, ( where do they go now?) and the rest of the time with a handful studying or sleeping until the next class. Beyond the lounge was the Weed Room strictly for studying.

During the holiday season the Tech Wives painted big winter/Christmas scenes on every one of the big windows.

The bookstore was just a counter where you ordered your text books to be retrieved from the stacks behind.

Many of the dances were held in the ballroom upstairs.

Gail Richter '61


I started at Tech in 1965. I remember the union building and especially the snack bar. I used to get a hamburger now and then and if you requested a "fresh one" they would cook a burger for you rather than giving you one that had been on the warm grill for who knows how long.

That bookstore was also located there. I remember paying $25 for a Post "Versalog" slide rule in 1965. I still have it and the hardback instruction manual.

Bill Haire


Good Afternoon Dennis:

The picture brings back lots of memories. Living in Wadsworth Hall 1956-59 we had our meals in the cafeteria. It made for a cold walk many mornings. The snack bar, especially the rear portion was a collection point for the local students that commuted to the campus each day.

I had the opportunity to serve on the Memorial Union Board 1958-1960, serving as president in 1959-60. During this time we gave the fraternities and sororities the opportunity to hang their paddles in the snack bar. We also had the sign put over the door" Thru These Doors The Best Damm Engineers Pass". Of course it disappeared a few times.

The rental units were used when interviews were held during Winter quarter for job placement. The Snow Ball was held in the Ballroom on the second floor. There was a study room on the second floor called the " Weed Room" in honor of the Weed Family. During my Junior year I helped with student orientation along with many others. We called for a meeting in the Weed Room. Two or three individuals did not show up. When we found them and questioned them about their absence, they said we do not smoke.

Enjoyed seeing the remodeled building during the recent reunion. Sorry we were not able to get up with Tom Hruby. The facilities are outstanding and appear to be well used by the students and staff. Enjoyed are stay, only wish it was not a 1375 mile drive back to Houghton from North Carolina.

Allan D. Pedersen
Class 1960


I attended Tech from fall of 1966 through June 1970 so I do remember the Union photo.

I am working for Hixson, an Architectural /engineering firm in Cincinnati and reside in Lawrenceburg, IN now.

Take care and God Bless,

Duane Meyer


As a freshman in 1957 the union was Wadsworth hall's dining room. This arrangement probably ended in 1959? when Wadsworth hall was expanded and had a dining hall of it's own. The union also had a number of rooms to rent on a nightly basis. During recruiting season the various companies rented the rooms and conducted job interviews of 15 min. or 30 min. You signed up for these interviews in the ballroom. This was the social meeting place where the freshmen first met and where the snowball was held, at least for a few years, if i remember right. The job interview function continued until at least 1963 when i interviewed with about 125 companies (Ii spent too much time at the scott tending bar) ended up with 6 job offers for my trouble. The delt sigs always built their snow statue on the west end in front of the union.(They were located at 218 Blanche street at the time). There was also a barbershop and bowling alley on the lower level together with a snack bar and one of the only t.v.s on campus. Hockey night in Canada was one of the more popular programs as Port Arthur and Fort William were a straight shot, t.v.signal wise.

Hope this is what you want. Anyone living in wadswoth hall at the time spent alot of time at the union.

The bookstore was also on the lower level tucked into the far east corner, probably about 750 to 1000 sq.ft. operation.

Kent Werger


Remember the "rubber room" that was in the union (circa late '70s). It might be neat to have some pictures. It was rather interesting. I suspect if they had used the right plastic, they could have cleaned the furniture much easier. I wonder how long it lasted?

Mike Anderson (77-82)


Hi Dennis,
The picture of the MUB entrance in the latest newsletter looks like I remember it in the late '50's. I was there '56 to '59. I remember thinking in 2009 when I was there that it didn't look right. Also, I was witness to the downtown fire which was in '59. I was living on Montezuma at the time. The bar at the west end of the block was owned by a man who was the hockey coach for the minor league hockey team in Green Bay, WI, called the Green Bay Bobcats. Since I was from Green Bay, I often got free tickets to the games. Lots of fond memories, Dennis.

Rick Noyes, '59


Remember it well. The bookstore was just to the right of the main doors. Attended a coffee house concert in the basement by Jim Croce and his wife. They called themselves the Croces and toured the country in a beat up brown VW they nicknamed the Raisin.

Greg Switek

Post Script: An expensive text book in 1968 was $20, but it could probably be used for all three quarters.


Oh yeah! I remember the Union. Went there many a time, often in the evening to take a break from studies at the library. I believe the bookstore was in there? I also remember small groups of students standing around that entrance when protests over the Vietnam war were going on.

Joseph Moore
BSME, 1973

Moving into Wads

wads move-in Dennis,
My father and his fishing buddy drove me up to Tech in 1960 from Joliet, Illinois. After dropping me off, they continued north to do fishing. I didn't see him again until Christmas. I guess we didn't have helicopter parents in those days.

Steve Pribish
Class of '64

New Justice Center

I am glad to see that Houghton County is finally getting a new jail. I can testify that a new jail is much needed after having spent a night in the old jail in 1968. I was arrested for giving the finger to one of Houghton's fineness while hitchhiking back to campus. I had to share a cell with five another prisoners. Also being held in jail that night was the axe murder from Lake Linden (I think).

Art Craig, '69
New Mexico State Police Crime Lab, Retired

Rerouting US 41

I'm dismayed by the plans of the City of Houghton to try and reroute US-41 through the downtown area. When I came to Houghton in 1982, downtown was a thriving commercial center. Storefronts were occupied by businesses like Central Foods, Commercial Systems, Weber's, Superior Music, Togos, Newberrys, and many, many more. Through some crazy decisions, the shops were connected, overpasses were built, and slowly downtown faded. That plan worked so well that the overpasses have now been demolished less than 30 years later, not because of disrepair but because they were obsolete.

Today's downtown is a poor shadow of its former self. It would be easy to blame the coming of Wal-Mart for this (and it certainly played a role), but the thriving commercial strip is now sad and forlorn, with many of its businesses now out on M-26, out of the reach of students without cars. How choking off traffic will improve this situation is counter-intuitive at best, and discredited public planning of the worst kind.

Before the City of Houghton runs off in this direction, I suggest that they look at 3 examples where taking traffic off major streets killed a previously thriving commercial area. In Pittsburgh, PA in the 1960s, the city completely destroyed the thriving commercial area of East Liberty by building a traffic loop around the commercial area and destroying all of the businesses. Only recently has traffic been restored, and the area is slowly coming back. Also in the 1960s, the City of Pontiac, MI built Wide Track Drive as a bypass around its downtown. It too choked off business, further complicated by turning Saginaw Street into a parking lot. That city has never really recovered.

More recently, the City of Chicago, under Mayor Jayne Burne, closed State Street through the Loop and turned it into a pedestrian mall, limiting traffic only to buses. That, too, cut off business even in a congested area like that. The mall has been removed, and State Street is once again open to ordinary traffic.

This "rerouting" thing has been tried and discredited in numerous cities. What makes the City of Houghton think that it is any different? I'm afraid that if this plan goes through, downtown Houghton will be indistinguishable from downtown Calumet.

Jamie Holden

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech Group Insurance

liberty mutual
Liberty Mutual and the Alumni Association
As a Michigan Tech graduate, you qualify for a special group rate on your auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual. For a free, no-obligation quote, contact your Liberty Mutual Representative today!

Eastern  Michigan: Renee Kurowski (989.832.4865)
Western Michigan & the UP: Chris Napolillo (800-865-1870 ext. 56821)
 Outside of Michigan: Call 1-800-981-2372 or visit the Liberty Mutual website –


Liberty Mutual provides funds to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association as part of this collaboration. Agreements like this help support a wide range of programs and services for alumni and students.

More Alumni Benefits & Services information

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Job Opportunities

On Campus

SFHI Faculty Positions in Energy and Health

Laboratory Supervisor, Biological Sciences

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Tenure Track

Marketing Manager, Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Senior Associate for Financial Aid, Financial Aid

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus