April 25, 2011
Vol. 17, No. 18
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MTSF Continues to Serve

Jess Thoresen
MTSF member Jess Thoresen (left) hands out a Survival Kit to Eric Simmons for Finals Week.

There are many great student organizations on campus, and the Michigan Tech Student Foundation is a prime example.

Following their motto "Students Helping Students," this group performs many activities throughout the year, including giving out a little scholarship cash!

"We give out scholarships for leadership, service, and for a graduating senior with the highest GPA," said Jess Thoresen, a junior in biological sciences who will become the president of MTSF next year.

Thoresen talked about the individual scholarship nominations.

"It's a very humbling experience, reading about the nominees who make a difference on campus," she said. "You read these letters from faculty and staff, and sometimes community members, depending on the scholarship, and it's really hard to choose."

The group also wants to start a new scholarship.

"We want to raise money for incoming students," she said. "We'll be selling roses at commencement to kick it off, and we'll be looking for help from alumni, too. We want to raise $14,000."

Laura Leboeuf, a graduating chem engg from Marquette, was most pleased about how the organization had grown during her tenure as president.

"We are much stronger now, and we can do things like cultural philanthropy," she says. "We can do things like begin that scholarship for first-year students. It's a nice completion of a circle: the graduating seniors, the alumni, helping the freshmen."

They'd also like to do a scholarship for a student org that doesn't get funding from USG.

"Maybe they could send someone to attend a leadership conference or another trip that will make a difference," Thoresen said.

Outside of funding worthy causes, the group also runs the oozeball tournament for Spring Fling and found an ingenious way to set it up: a portable pit. The pit was a Senior Design project, too.

"We put it in the parking lot at Wads, and this year it froze when we were taking it off," Thoresen said. "They got it done, so we brought the facilities guys donuts and t-shirts because it was really hard. They loved the shirts; they were bright orange, perfect for hunting."

They also run Project ABC (A Birthday Cake), so the students' birthdays can be commemorated, thanks to mom and dad. They do Survival Kits, too, which they were packing this week. Food for studying for finals is also sent via mom and dad, and I can attest to the popularity of this gift: our students loved getting them (last one, as my son is graduating this semester!).

Meanwhile, Leboeuf is off to Dow Corning this June to begin her career and create the future, just another MTSF success story.

Dennis '92, '09


I could have done another snowfall total (six inches of slush this week), but I refuse. I'm a golfer in denial.

At Tech

Norman Augustine to Address Michigan Tech Graduates:
Video Streaming on the Web Available

Norm Augustine
Norman Augustine, a leader in both business and government and a powerful advocate for science and engineering education, will address the graduates at Michigan Tech’s Spring Commencement, on Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. He will address the importance of STEM education in the nation's economic recovery.

In a new feature, a web video stream will be available. Augustine's speech will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m.

The University will honor the achievements of nearly 1,000 graduates, including 753 students receiving undergraduate degrees, 156 master's degree recipients and 48 PhD graduates. More

Tech’s Chem-E-Car Qualifies for the Nationals

ChemE Car Team
The Michigan Technological University Chem-E-Car team took a silver at the regional competition, held April 8-9. Their second-place finish qualifies them to compete in the national contest, to be held Aug. 16-21 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. More

Michigan Tech Responds to Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami

Japan Tsunami
Imagine living on the other side of the planet from your home country. Now imagine that your country has just been devastated by one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, and all you can do is watch, frantically following news updates, hoping that all the people you left behind are still alive. This was the reality facing Michigan Tech student Motoyuki Kidokoro and faculty member Kazuya Tajiri following the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck off the coast of northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.


Alumni Around the World

HuskyLink: Celebrating Four Years of Creating Connections

Since its launch in February 2007, HuskyLink has registered over 14,600 members and has attracted over 109,000 unique visits from 142 countries around the world. HuskyLink's exclusive alumni features complement Michigan Tech’s presence on today’s mainstream social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

HuskyLink is the only resource where you can access the entire Michigan Tech alumni family through its versatile online directory, which averages over 50,000 hits per year. Alumni and students can network with others by searching standard directory fields, or class year, major, and employer.

Other unique features include our professional mentoring program, which allows students to connect with alumni for career guidance.

To celebrate the success of HuskyLink and its new makeover, new and current members have an opportunity to win some exciting prizes.

Simply enter the drawing by:

* Updating Your Information
* Submitting a Class Note
* Using the Directory (Send Member an Email)
* note: only one entry per action for max of three entries per member

Prizes include:

* 1st - New Husky Themed iPad
* 2nd - Reunion 2011 Ticket Package and Lodging for Two
* 3rd - $200 Campus Store Gift Card
* 4th - $100 Campus Store Gift Card
* 5th - $50 Campus Store Gift Card

So checkout HuskyLink today and explore your network.

Fill in the Blanks


An extended shout-out from our archivist:

I'm on the hunt for information and photographs of airplanes which may have been owned by Michigan Tech. I'm working with two researchers who have sketchy information about two planes they believe the institution owned and operated.

The first reference is to a Corvair 440 that Tech may have owned in the 1950s and 1960s. Seems as if some recall a photo of Tech hockey coach John MacInnes in the door.

The second reference is to a DC-3 with a more tragic lineage. The plane, bearing tail # N-51071, had been owned by General Motors Corporation and was donated by them to Michigan Tech in 1967. It was used by the school until 1970 when they sold it to Sellstrom Mfg. of Canada, and eventually was purchased by a charter aircraft company in Indiana. Sadly, this plane crashed on December 13, 1977, resulting in the deaths of all passengers, including most members of the University of Evansville men's basketball team who were returning from a road game.

In addition to the planes themselves, I'd be interested as to the specific airport/airstrip location(s) used by these aircraft and what sort of hangars were used for storage. I'm also wondering if a plane might have had some use in any aeronautical engineering coursework or research.

Just so we don't get off on too many tangents, I don't need any information on commercial airlines servicing the Copper Country. There have been some great conversations in the Tech Alum about the Blue Goose, but my current interest is in planes that Michigan Tech may have owned.

I'd appreciate any information folks might have. Send them to me at enordber@mtu.edu

Erik Nordberg, Michigan Tech Archives.

Or, you can email Dennis, too, with any harrowing tales of flying in an out of CMX.

HPV 2005

hpvHuman Powered Vehicle team look familiar? It's clickable. Email me.
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Tech Sports

Black Beats White 3-0 in Football Spring Game

spring football Several hundred fans came out to a snowy Sherman Field for Michigan Tech football's annual spring intrasquad game Saturday, April 16. The Black Team defeated the White Team 3-0 in a defensive struggle in the elements. "We had to make a decision on whether to play this game because of the weather, and I'm glad we did," said head coach Tom Kearly. "I'd like to thank the support staff for helping us get the game in and the fans for coming out. The players really enjoyed it." More

Four Men's Tennis Players Earn All-GLIAC Honors

Four Michigan Tech men's tennis players were honored by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference yesterday as the league announced its 2011 All-GLIAC teams. Luka Stupar (Belgrade, Serbia) earned All-GLIAC First Team honors. Anders Sandholm (Duluth, Minn./East) and Doug Yossida (Suzano, Brazil) gained All-GLIAC Second Team recognition. Chris Verhulst (Grand Rapids, Mich./Ottawa Hills) was named All-GLIAC Honorable Mention. More

Around the Keweenaw

Plans for Proposed Justice Center Discussed

Another proposal for a new Houghton County jail and district court was presented to Houghton County commissioners Thursday at the county building. During a special meeting, Joseph Mrak, senior vice president of RQAW Consulting Engineers & Architects of Indianapolis, Ind., gave commissioners Scott Ala, Tim Palosarri and Chairman Ed Jenich, and Controller Eric Forsberg an overview of a preliminary plan for a jail and district court complex. More

Board looks at Lodge Funding

The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners believes it has a handle on the finances at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and is asking the public to give its new financial system a chance. At the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners Wednesday evening in Eagle River, the board discussed fund transfers between the county's general fund and the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. More

Rowing and Skiing in Place

Terry Smythe is used to the teams she manages finishing high in the Concept2 Rowing Challenge, and although the team this year didn't finish as high, she's still satisfied. Smythe and Sarah Fuhrmann, who own UCanRow2, a company which trains people to be instructors for the Concept2 rowing machines, managed a team of 68 rowers, who finished fifth in the nation in the health club category, with more than 8.8 million meters rowed. There were 152 teams taking part in the competition, which started March 15 and ended April 15. More

From the Email Bag

The Flood of 1978

I certainly remember the flood of 1978. I was back in school after a long hiatus to get a degree, saw the cars floating behind Fort Smith, flooding due to a six inch drain covered with leaves. Went inside, could see the underside of floating cars, and also the cars that didn't float, still parked in their spots.

Myron Henry Berry '82

Note: Kudos go to Larry Weinreis '81 for sending the Lode clippings along to me. Such memorabilia is always welcome.


I was working in the administration building in 1978 where I watched the flood develop from the safety of the second floor. As the rain poured, streams of water came rushing down the hill, across US-41 and into the small parking lot well below street level. The small parking lot drain quickly clogged and the water level rose rapidly. The cars started to float around the parking lot, bumping into each other. The city had a big project that summer to redo the storm drains and many streets had been dug up but not yet repaved. In addition to car and building damage, the rain washed out most of these downhill diggings leaving large ditches in the middle of the streets.

Great newsletter,

Ken Williams
Class of ’75 & ‘85


Yes, I remember the flood. When visiting MTU with my son (a sophomore in HS) a couple weeks ago, it was 45 out, snow was melting everywhere, and I chose to park on the street on the North side of the building, rather than risk being flooded in this visitor’s lot on the South!

Photo credit are to fellow Sig Eps: Barry Felton and Reidar Hahn. Sig Eps back then had a number of photographers, and had several members on the Lode staff. So their work, and fellow Sig Eps showed up in print quite frequently.

After being away for about 30 years, I was struck by how everything was familiar, yet it was all different. Food service in Wadsworth was no longer assembly line style, and had many choices. A nice curved maple banister led from the street to the cafeteria level. The floor had been opened up to let light into the basement. The laundry equipment was in each dorm hall rather in the basement.

The XC ski trails were longer and criss-crossed through the woods, and were wide enough for both skate-skiing and traditional. I remember several hills with sharp corners, and strategically placed trees that encouraged you to keep your balance.

There were new buildings and revamped buildings, and renamed buildings too.

And there were even a couple professors from way back when…

Keith Winegar (’81)

Professor Vandette, Continued

Just want to reinforce Ron Hughes’ kudos to Professor (I think – he was very young then) Vandette. I never liked history classes until I took one from him in about ’60-‘61. As Ron said, he made history real, and I have enjoyed history ever since.

Denis Hayner ‘61

Denis: We never forget the great ones.


I read with great interest Ron Hughes’ Reminiscences of Ed Vandette’s history classes. I took the whole three quarter World History series in 1966/67 as part of my Humanities requirement. After doing miserably on my first quiz, Ed took me aside and asked if I didn’t want to drop the class so as not to hurt my GPA. I told him that I was more interested in his stories than in grades. He was a superb storyteller. His classes were probably the only ones at Tech I never fell asleep in.

Professor Vandette is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery just off of MacInnes Drive and is a US Navy veteran of WWII. I know this because he lies just around the corner from John and Mary Jacobson, my father-in-law and mother-in law.

Best Regards,
Darrell Joque, ‘68

Biology Professors Retiring

We have three legendary professors retiring this year.

Ron Gratz, Bob Keen and Eunice Carlson are all ending their teaching careers, with a total of more than 100 years of service. I am sure there are quite a few alums who remember them.

Their party is on Tuesday the 26th. Anyone who wants to send a well wish to their professors can send either to biology@mtu.edu, to their respective emails or the newsletter blog which I will check for messages.

A Visit and Some Family Ties

Hi Dennis,
Recently, my wife Randi and I were visited, right here in Raton, NM. by your own Karla Korpela Aho from the Office of Development. While we had dinner, and for the better part of two hours, we talked about anything and everything Michigan Tech. When Karla learned about my families history she asked if I had sent it to Dennis. I said no, but I certainly enjoyed reading about other families in the Alumni Newsletter. I promised Karla I would send the following:

George E. Ross 1893 grandfather chemistry (?) ( I regret that we never discussed his school experience. His father, James Ross, lived in Laurium after he fought with the 23rd MIchigan infantry during the civil war.)

Eldana W. Whitman ‘27 father mining ( My father was from Detroit and was sold on our school when a Tech representative spoke at a high school assembly. My mother, Jean Ross, was from Hancock.)

Ronald E. Anderson ‘’52 brother-in-law electrical ( Ron was from Rochester, Minnesota, and was on the GI Bill. He married my sister Margaret and they lived in Lower Woodmar).

James and George Ross, and Eldana Whitman, are buried in Hancock’s Lakeview Cemetery.

Finally, I would encourage anyone who has the chance to visit with someone from the Office of Development, Michigan Tech, to do so. It was a very rewarding experience for us.

George Whitman ‘60 mining

Connecting with 60s grads

Hi Dennis,
Thanks for the newsletters. I was a Tech coed in the good old days -- Jan. '66 - June '69 -- wondered about an alumni list and being able to contact friends from my era. I am not on Facebook or other social networking sites. Just like to send personal emails. Thanks.

Lauren Monsen, (non-grad of MTU, '70)

Note: I told Lauren about HuskyLink: www.huskylink.mtu.edu

Our Overseas Alums Get Promoted!

Hi Dennis,
Since you've been having so much correspondence with Casey lately, I thought it would be good to mention that he and a few other Tech alumni have been selected for promotion to Captain. Their names are below:

Casey Luskin
Robert Putnam
Steven Shiel

Please join me in congratulating them!

JD Hill

Kudos to our Huskies in harm's way!

Old Time Pix and Thanks

Really enjoyed the old time pictures. Thanks!!
Bob (Anderson) 1958-62 and I are both Houghton High grads of 1955. We get up every July for about 4 days. Love it!!! Bob really enjoys the sport sections as he played football! Thanks!!!

Nancy Anderson


Here they are again:


The Old Dee Graduation Debate Rages On

Hi Dennis,
I have emailed you before, stating that the last graduation at Dee was 1971, with Eric Hoffer as commencement speaker. But I see in this issue that Ron Hughes says “ I graduated in June 1973 and the commencement ceremony was held at Dee Stadium and yes they had Plexiglas.”

So I must be wrong, because Ron obviously would know WHEN he graduated and I assume his memory would not fail him to know WHERE he graduated. So I think this still leaves open the question of which was the last graduation ceremony at The Dee.

Gretchen Ehman Paupore ‘71

Unusual Alumni Meetings

Your article this month reminded me of a couple of unusual alumni meetings that I’ve had over the years.

The first being on a plane from Honolulu to Sydney, Australia (1986) – I woke up after (too) many hours on a PanAm flight and looked at the tall older gentleman stretching his legs in the aisle and after a second (or third) look, realized that it was MTU Pres., Ray Smith. I had been the class president in 1979, so had the opportunity to know him quite well. I got up and went and talked to him and when we landed a short time later for a layover in Auckland, NZ, my husband and I and Pres. Smith and his lovely wife, Bea strolled around the airport chatting about MTU and our times there.

The second encounter was in Fairbanks, AK as I was walking out of a hotel and the guy going out the other door had on an MTU sweatshirt. As I looked up to ask if he knew someone that had attended, etc., I realized it was Jerry Philo, whom I’d known quite well when I attended Tech, as he was a Phi Tau and I a DZ and the two groups did a number of things together.

I’ve had many other encounters with alums and students that I’ve run into even though I live in CA – Post office, grocery stores, wineries!!

It truly is a small world!!!

Nancy Lefler
Lefler Engineering, Inc.

Nancy: All the more reason to wear that Michigan Tech apparel!

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