October 4, 2010
Vol. 17, No. 3
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Generations at Tech

A toast to the next generations (left to right): George Butvilas, Michigan Tech Fund chair; Marty Richardson '79, Board of Control chair; Dave House '65, campaign chair; and President Glenn Mroz '74/'77 kick-off the Generations of Discovery campaign.

What a week! Homecoming events ran from Monday through Saturday and on Thursday, the University kicked off a $200 million fundraising initiative with the theme Generations of Discovery.

The campaign kickoff got me thinking about the discoveries in our household.

It really began with my parents and in-laws who put so much emphasis on education, especially higher ed. It was assumed we would go to college, and we did.

It wasn't cheap, easy, or always fun, but the experience was life-changing, transformative, enlightening.

Now, we see it in our children, who succeed in the classrooms and labs at Tech. It still isn't easy, but they are growing right before our eyes into better, more knowledgeable people, thanks to the experience.

At least another generation or two has smiled appreciatively or shed a tear of pride, as they have walked across the stage, whether or not they were actually in the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

And another generation is waiting in the wings: a couple of great nephews with Tech credentials. One's got automotive oil running in his veins; an ME major if ever there was one. His younger cousin is undecided, but I'm thinking finance. He can straighten out my portfolio when gets to Tech and joins his ancestors in the great awe of discovery.

Dennis '92, '09


You can share your generations stories through the 125th anniversary website or the Alumni Association Facebook page. You can send me your memories, too, of course.


The colorologist was spotted downtown, with fellow Twigs, reminiscing.

"Peak colors this weekend, like I called it, did you notice?"

It was hard to miss, I said. The hillsides of Houghton and Hancock were gorgeous.

"Maybe one more good weekend, too," he volunteered his opinion, again.

Planning a Harbor run? I asked.

"We already have our sights set on Brockway," he said, returning to his comrades and some tales from the woods and the classrooms.

At Tech

Michigan Tech Kicks Off $200 Million Capital Campaign

Michigan Tech is kicking off the public phase of a $200 million multi-year fund-raising campaign, President Glenn Mroz announced tonight. And appropriately enough on its 125th anniversary, Michigan Tech has already raised more than $125 million, he said, taking the University more than half way to its goal. More

Mechanical Engineering Alumni Endow Three Associate Professorships at Michigan Tech

Three faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics are recipients of new endowed associate professorships at Michigan Technological University. ME-EM alumni John Calder and Ron Starr and their wives, Joan Calder and Elaine Starr, endowed the professorships. Recognized with the endowed positions are Jeff Allen, L. Brad King and Jeff Naber, all associate professors of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics. They were honored at a ceremony today in the Student Success Center of the R. L. Smith ME-EM Building. More

Michigan Tech Names New Residential Apartment Building Hillside Place

Michigan Tech’s Board of Control voted at its regular meeting today to name the University’s new residential apartment building Hillside Place. The 192-bed student residence on the hill above McNair Hall opened this fall. “Hillside Place provides a distinctive name while keeping open the possibility of renaming it in the future if a donor were to come forward," explained Les Cook, vice president for student affairs. More

National Research Council Rates PhD Programs

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies today released a comparison of more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities across the nation, including Michigan Technological University. The assessment of graduate programs—seven years in the making—rated 12 PhD programs at Michigan Tech, giving highest marks to two in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science: forest molecular genetics and biotechnology and forest science. More

Alumni Around the World

Students Steal Our Cup

The Black Ice Team with the Alumni Cup.

In an upset of epic proportions, Black Ice, a (stacked) team of current students won (stole) the Alumni (our) Cup in the second annual Alumni Broomball Tournament before a crowd of more than 400 in the MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Saturday night.

Being good sports, the alumni team, the Moo Crew, was not going to consider legal action, allowing the students to keep their "prize."

An incredible turnout, both in teams and fan support, witnessed a great, new tradition in the Young Alumni Homecoming. The Black Ice team scored with less than a minute remaining in overtime, to win the trophy 1-0. More

Alum Stops By

Dave Elack

David Elack '60 stopped by our offices while in Houghton recently. His family was doing the Quincy Mine Tour, and he stopped to see the changed campus.

He recalled being an Explorer Scout and first visiting and falling in love with the Keweenaw.

Shifting degrees from ME and Geo, he ended up with two: engineering administration and civil engineering, After graduating, he had a nice career with the Arizona Department of Transportation, and he's done some time consulting, too.

David and I have swapped emails about electric railroads, which he worked on in Indiana, and he had a chance to talk with Pasi Lautala, assistant research professor in civil engineering, about the electric rails. Pasi also runs our Rail Transportation Program.

Scholarships Available to Career Changers

Michigan Tech alums who are interested in pursuing a career as a mathematics or science teacher in secondary schools are eligible for one-year fellowships, under a new Tech program funded by the National Science Foundation for the next 5 years. Anyone with a degree in engineering, science, or mathematics can apply for these $18,000 awards to study at Michigan Tech for one year. Recipients will take courses in teacher education that lead to student teaching and teacher certification in math or science. The deadline to apply for the spring 2011 semester is November 1 and for the 2011-12 academic year is March 1.

Further information and an application is available at the program website. Or interested individuals can contact the Michigan Tech Division of Teacher Education (Brad Baltensperger, chair 906-487-2425, or Judy Anderson, certification officer 906-487-3570).

Fill in the Blanks

Fisher 135Fond memories of Fisher 135? Email me.

(I took my ACT here. Ouch.)

Phi Tau Float

Homecoming 1968. Remember? Email me.
View more sports >

Tech Sports

Homecoming Football Delight: Tech Over Ohio Dominican 45-6

Homecoming 2010 was a success for the home team as Michigan Tech trumped Ohio Dominican 45-6 in front of 2,669 fans at Sherman Field today. The Huskies’ scored the game’s first 45 points before the second-string defensive unit gave up a late touchdown. The win was Tech’s fourth-straight to open the season and keeps the Huskies atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings. More

Tech Hockey Opens Season with 5-3 Win Over Nipissing

Michigan Tech skated to a 5-3 win over Nipissing in an exhibition game in front of nearly 3,000 fans at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena Saturday (Oct. 2). Four of the five Tech goals were scored by freshman. “I was impressed with our freshman,” said head coach Jamie Russell. “They are one of the most mature classes I have been involved with.” More

2010 Hall of Fame Class Enshrined

Michigan Tech inducted seven new members into its Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend. The official induction ceremony was Friday (Oct. 1) in the Memorial Union Ballroom, and the inductees were also introduced at both the football and hockey games Saturday (Oct. 2). Russ Becker (hockey, 1984-88), Dave Cvengros (basketball and tennis, 1958-62), Jim Kapp (football coach, 1969-80), Walter Kyes (football, 1957-59), Rhonda Pruitt Lockhart (volleyball, 1988-91), Jamie Ram (hockey, 1990-94) and Matt Trombley (basketball, 1991-95) were all on campus to accept their plaques and be recognized. More

Sports Summary

What’s Happening This Week

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010
Huskies Drive Time, 7:30-8 a.m. on WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM

Friday, Oct. 8, 2010
Women’s Tennis at Saginaw Valley State, 1 p.m.
Women’s Soccer hosts Tiffin, 7 p.m.
Volleyball at Ohio Dominican, 7 p.m.
Hockey at Northern Michigan, 7:35 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)

Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010
Women’s Tennis at Northwood, 10 a.m.
Football at Saginaw Valley State, 12 noon (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)
Volleyball at Tiffin, 1 p.m.
Hockey at Lake Superior State, 7:05 p.m. (Live Radio, WKMJ Mix 93.5 FM)

Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010
Women’s Soccer hosts Findlay, 12 noon

All times Eastern. • Home events in bold.

Last Week’s Results

Football (4-0, 4-0 GLIAC)
10/2 — at Michigan Tech 45, Ohio Dominican 6

Hockey (0-0, 0-0 WCHA)
10/2 — at Michigan Tech 5, Nipissing (Ont.) 3 (exhibition)

Women’s Soccer (5-5, 3-5 GLIAC)
10/1 — Michigan Tech 1, at Ashland 0
10/3 — Michigan Tech 1, at Lake Erie 0

Women’s Tennis (4-4, 4-4 GLIAC)
9/30 — at Michigan Tech 8, Tiffin 1
10/2 — at Michigan Tech 9, Findlay 0
10/3 — at Michigan Tech 5, Wayne State 4

Volleyball (2-10, 1-7 GLIAC)
10/1 — at Northern Michigan 3, Michigan Tech 1

Cross Country
Did not compete

More News of the Week

The Michigan Tech soccer team won each of the first two road games in program history by 1-0 scores over the weekend. Melanie Hoffman was the Huskies’ goal scorer in each game, giving her a team-leading four goals on the season. All four of those have been game-winning goals. Goalkeeper MaryBeth Spoehr added two shutouts as well to push her season total to four.

The Huskies defended their home courts with three wins in as many matches at Gates Tennis Center last week. Tech now sits at 4-4 overall and 4-4 in GLIAC play. Freshman Anna Hegyi owns a team-best 6-1 singles record. She won all three of her matches last week including a come-from-behind three set victory vs. Wayne State that helped Tech to a 5-4 team win.

Around the Keweenaw

Smelter Suffers Blow

Glenn Ekdahl and the rest of the Franklin Township Board of Trustees have been working for years to renovate the former Quincy Smelting Works site, so the fire which destroyed one building and damaged another, was hard to take. Ekdahl, the Franklin Township supervisor, said he received a call from one of the township trustees of the fire at about midnight Saturday. He went to the site as fire fighters were battling the blaze, and he was there about an hour and a half. More

Our Town: Copper Harbor

When a town is located just minutes from beautiful lakes, high-rising mountains, surrounded by forests as long as the eyes can see and has one of the Great Lakes lapping on its beaches, it's easy to see what its strengths are. "We always say that the terrain is our business," said Peg Kauppi, who sits on the Keweenaw County Economic Development Committee. "There are very few people that come here that aren't interested in the scenery, or the trails and the rest of us are here to survive by supporting the terrain." More

Bridge Street Barrier Nearing Completion

The new barrier on Bridge Street in Houghton is nearing completion. Work began about a week ago on the concrete retaining wall, which replaces a landscaped retaining wall with a guardrail which had been knocked out by a semi truck. The wall will be 3 feet above the road and a foot wide, said Kevin Holombo of Holombo Masonry in Houghton. More

From the Email Bag

Sig Rho Mine Hoist

Copper Falls
Regarding the Copper Falls Mine and the Sig Rhos, I remember it well --that's me on the left with my rear end to the camera. The mine was owned by Calumet and Hecla and was named The Copper Falls mine. And you are correct the hoist is still in Chassell along with some other "hardware" from the mine.

When you have time visit my website: <http://deltaforge.com/minehoist>
Along with more pictures I have included an historical account of the project (not all mine --much of the credits go to others).

You are free to use any of the pics that you would care to.

Charley Arnold

Charley: What a great website! Thanks.


Hi Dennis:
I recall this episode well, it was at the old Copper Cliffs mine site north of Kearsarge & Mohawk, recall the Sportsman Bar in Kearsarge as our favorite watering hole when we worked the project on weekends. Looking at the photo seems like Charlie Arnold bending over on the left and Don Osmus on the right, not sure who that is in the middle, may be Fred Ross, all on the 14th level of the old mine. Nonetheless it was an epic project, to remove an old 1856 mine hoist made in Marquette MI that had been there since the mid 1800’s and reinstall at the Sigma Rho house in Chassell, it still resides there to this day. The project was the brain child of Doc Joe Dobell (MCMT facility), Bobby “Speed “ Burns, Mining Engr extraordinaire and others in the house at the time. There has been plenty written about this idea, Bud Sweet probably knows more then anyone as to what transpired but it was great fun and consumed a winter getting it done. Thanks for the memory!

John Trotter


Dennis, I arrived from Detroit on a Greyhound bus. It was a 25 hour trip. This was September '58. Wadsworth hall was complete-rooms of course, cafeteria but not much else. We would take a study break about 9:00 or so and go to the student union for a coke or coffee. I think the union closed at 10:00 in those days. I seem to remember a cup of coffee was 15 cents.

I joined Sig Rho and was living in the house in Chassell when a number of the Sigs "dragged" a number of the pieces from the mine now in front of the house there. I believe a member of the mining or geology department was the key sponsor of the endeavor. It was probably the summer of '60 when this took place. I remember Jim Caylor was one of the Sigs. Jim passed away a few years ago. Most all of the photos were lost when the Chassell house burned.

Bill Cummings, ChE.


Has anyone assumed the position of Colorologist to ensure us Alumni know when the fall colors are approaching PEAK?

Rick Nelson.

Rick: He's still rambling around the Keweenaw. See my story above.

The Blue Skirt Waltz

If my memory is correct the Blue Skirt Waltz craze began in the early 50's. During one of the earliest tributes Tech was hosting a Canadian Team, when the crowd at Dee all rose to their feet they were confused and began lining up on the blue line. Most likely thought it was the national anthem of the Copper Country. They broke ranks when they realized the Huskies were continuing their shoot around.

Bob Carnahan '53

Engineer Song

You mean "The Engineer Song!" Here is a link to the majority of the verses we know exist (and are appropriate to post in public!!). Click on the "All Songs/Cheers/Taunts" link.


I have also included an MP3 from the Pep Band's Album, which is available for purchase at the MTU Bookstore, Amazon.com, or CD Baby:



----- Original Message -----
Is there any way for me to get the 100+ verses of the Tech Engineering song that started out...."my father was a minor on the Upper Malamute, ...."

Dan Schmidt, class of 1971

Physics Lab 2006

physics lab
Hey Dennis,
Yes that looks familiar, I am the guy in the red shirt standing in the background, a pretty fun lab in the basement of Fisher if I remember correctly.

Chance Weber

The Bridge

The item about the 1905 incident where a ship hit the Portage Lake Bridge was fascinating, if for no other reason than the comment about the damage preventing FOUR railroads from using the bridge as well as the city interurban. My how times have changed. When exactly was the last time a train crossed the bridge (I realize that the tracks were removed some years ago so I know it’s been awhile)? Also the comment about 60,000 residents being cut-off from the rest of the state (actually they were cut-off from the rest of the world ;-). I have to ask, how may people live North of the bridge now?

John: 36,000 in Houghton County, total. So, less than that (City of Houghton is around 7,000, I think).

Speaking of the Portage Lake Bridge, back in the late 60’s when I was at the ‘da Tech’ the local Civil Defense organization was quite active holding drills and testing the ‘air-raid’ siren several times a year. When I asked once what the big deal was I was reminded that the Portage Lake Bridge was considered to be a ‘prime target’ being that it was the only link with the rest of the Keweenaw Peninsula. It’s a wonder Homeland Security hasn’t added it to their list of anticipated terrorism targets, being that it’s STILL the only link with the rest of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

John R. Baker, ‘71


Regarding the bridge getting stuck over Alumni Reunion Weekend:

We were there because of a friend's 50th reunion when it was stuck open for 3 hours. Fortunately for us we were on the same side as our RV which was parked in the Hancock Municipal campground when it was stuck. I also picked up a copy of the Rhutabaga paper which had a picture of the the Mackinac bridge, supposedly purchased on Ebay, superimposed over the canal for an alternate bridge. That even got a mention at the Tech Talk about the bridge. We had to laugh at the late night TV newscast when the anchor said that it forced residents to take an "alternate route." Wonder what they had in mind? :-)

Gail Richter '61

Rocket Range in the Keweenaw

rocket site
When we were up there for the LXA reunion we took a drive out to the tip of the peninsula and came across this memorial stone. I looked it up on line and found the attached web site. The road to the site diminishes to basically an ORV trail by the last couple miles so it was a bit tight for the F-150! Not sure if you had ever heard this story or not. Some of the rockets launched out there were Nike’s that were over 20’ tall.


Phil Whaley


Jim Cote's story of mid-night antics during the many phases of construction on campus reminded me of my only traffic ticket, not that I have not deserved more. My roommate, Erik "Sparks" Sedenik needed a midnight run to the Cracker Barrel. His Studebaker, Fat Albert, was out of commission and he conned me for a ride. The new U.S. 41 was under construction and at that time traffic toward town was using the old highway that ran between the Union and relatively new Chemistry high rise. The new lanes were being used to come back from town.

When we got to the bottom of the hill on Upland Road, a front end loader blocked the path that would have enabled us to cross the highway and head straight for the Cracker Barrel. There was not a car in sight, it was less than half a block to get across both lanes of the new road, and Sparks encouraged me to travel the wrong way on the One Way. Just as we were turning off the road, a pair of headlights appeared where the new road rejoined the old near the bank. It was the Houghton Police, we could not talk our way out of the ticket, and that was the only other car we saw that night. The guys with the bulldozer really lucked out. Those things are not only slow, but they make a lot of noise.

Greg Switek

Thanks Are Appreciated

Actually, Dennis, the thanks should go to you. :) I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to lend a hand myself physically and financially as a MTU Alumni - a fact of which I am so proud! When I travel for work or pleasure, I ALWAYS have my "comfy" MTU sweatshirt or t-shirt for the actual travel days. I cannot tell you how many times people have come up to me and said, "Hey! I graduated from MTU too!" or my spouse did, or we have a child there now. I enjoy those experiences, and, INTENTIONALLY pack those shirts whenever I go on a trip. :)

Have a great day!

Tracy Jones


I love to read this newsletter especially the bygone days articles. I am a 1968-72 grad and am glad to comment or send input to articles or questions around that time period. Memory is getting dim but you have lit a small fire to help it stay alive.

H J (jim)Blevins

Editor's Note: Tracy: The alums make this thing happen. And glad to have you aboard, Jim. You never know what we dig up!

The Beaches, Revisited

Hi Dennis,
The emails about the Beaches in the newsletter remind me of the summer of 1956. I was at Tech for the summer session. My roommate and I spent many hours on the beach at McLain State Park doing our studying. One episode did not go well since I somehow picked up a case of poison ivy. Doctor's orders were to shower daily with Ivory soap. Since I was rooming in a private home without a shower, I had to go to Wadsworth to get my showers. That was somewhat of a drag. Overall, it was still an enjoyable summer.

Rick Noyes '59

Featured Alumni Benefits

Michigan Tech’s Cash Course

cash course
Being financially savvy in today's world is critical to your success. Your Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Financial Aid Office, provides CashCourse, an online financial literacy tool to assist you in making sound financial decisions.  Visit http://www.cashcourse.org/michigantech/


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

Show your Michigan Tech Pride with Tech Gear: http://www.mtu.edu/alumni/products/gear/

Job Opportunities

On Campus

SFHI Faculty Positions in Energy and Health

Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Philosophy, College of Science and Arts, Humanities

Research Engineer/Scientist I--Remote Sensing Analyst, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Ann Arbor

Assistant Research Scientist--Statistics Research Analyst, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Ann Arbor

Research Engineer/Scientist I--Transportation Research Analyst, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Ann Arbor

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus