September 6, 2011
Vol. 18, No.1
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Alum Chapter Rocks West Michigan

The next wave of the best and brightest: incoming students at their send-off in July, courtesy of the West Michigan Alumni Chapter.

We’ve got great alumni chapters across the nation and around the globe. We feature events, formal and informal, at these different locales in the Alumni Around the World section of which you are probably aware. I had a chance to chat with one leader, Kevin Grzelak '89 of the West Michigan chapter, recently. To say they are successful is understating it quite a bit.

Kevin’s been involved in the Grand Rapids area since 1997, when "a small group of alumni were holding events here and there, collecting some money for tickets and food, and then we began to make a profit,” he says.

They started socking away the extra funds and eventually established an endowed scholarship beginning in 2001 which is now approaching $40,000. They target incoming Tech students from GR and the local counties, and, as they hold more events, they add to the funds. (Some alums just donate directly into the scholarship fund.)

A typical year for this group entails events such as an annual, formal spring dinner, new student send-off, minor league baseball game, Grand Valley football and basketball, minor league hockey games at GR and Muskegon, a gathering at Marie Catrib’s restaurant (which she opens for alums only on a Sunday), a golf outing, and a K-Day event (this year targeting newer alums and HuskyLink registration).

And, as if that’s not enough, they do a couple of charter-fishing raffles to entice donations, one offered by Andersen Charters on Lake Michigan; one offered by Jireh Charters on Saginaw Bay.

“We’ve got a great group of folks helping out,” Kevin says. “There’s ten or twelve of us, so we can divvy up the work. And Chas Thompson ’91 and Jim Schwerin ’87 of Schmoz Brewery help, too, donating beer to some of the events.

They sound like a fun bunch to be around, and whatever is in the water (or beer) down there, it’s working.


Attention engineering alums!

The Michigan Tech Magazine editor wants to hear from engineering alumni about your biggest engineering challenges and how you solved them. Send your stories to me!


The Colorologist Returns

"Turn, turn, turn," he says.

Great song. Great verse.

"I mean the seasons, spots of color around already."

I saw that.

"Sherman Field should already be great for the home football opener on the 10th."

We have a great defense, and defense wins.

"So does Mother Nature. She's undefeated."

Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Tech Trails Now One of Nation's Top Six Cross Country Ski Courses

Thanks to recent improvements, the Tech Trails now qualify for national and international cross country ski races, one of only six such systems in the nation, according to the team that did all the hard work. “The competition portion has been brought up to Olympic and international standards, a process called homologation,” says Jim Schmierer, forester and instructor. . . More

How to Get Hired, Stay Hired, and Win in Corporate America

The Michigan Tech campus community is invited to an interactive presentation given by Erin Zimmer, adjunct professor at Northwood University, former Michigan Tech recruiter and employee for Dow Corning Corporation, and Michigan Tech alum. The talk takes place Thursday, September 15, at 6:30 p.m. in MUB Ballroom B.

Erin will provide useful, no-nonsense tips from her recruiting and professional experiences. Topics will include:

  • Approaching and speaking to recruiters at the career fair
  • Obtaining an interview
  • Interviewing advice
  • Sample questions

Erin will also provide a roadmap for students to use to excel in their first job and throughout their career. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

The PCA have some great prizes for students who attend.

HP product give-aways
Student attendees may participate in a drawing* to win one of the following HP products:

  • HP EliteBook 8560w Mobile Workstation
    Rugged system includes: i7-2820QM, 2.30GHz (Turbo up to 3.40GHz) processor, Certified to run premier engineering apps, High-performance NVIDA graphics, 15.6” display, back-lit/spill-resistant keyboard, 8GB, 320GB 7200RPM, 3 yr warranty
  • HP 50g Graphing Calculator
  • 3 additional HP Calculators (1 technical and 2 financial models)
  • * Must be present to win.

A dessert social will follow at 7:30 pm. Students will have the opportunity to speak with Erin and other members of the Michigan Tech Presidential Council of Alumnae who will be on campus for their annual meeting.

Can We Bring the Grayling Back to Michigan?

Marty and Jerry
Overfishing and destruction of its habitat have driven the Arctic grayling from its native Upper Michigan waters. But the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is partnering with Michigan Tech biologists Nancy Auer and Casey Huckins, looking into the possibility of bringing them back. More

Ford and Michigan Tech Team Up to Imagine a Better Bus System

Do you ever ride the bus in Houghton and Hancock? Would you, if it were more convenient? Soon it may be. Michigan Tech Enterprise students have received a Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grant to study the existing mass transit system in Houghton and Hancock and develop a model that would be more sustainable economically, environmentally and socially. More

Alumni Around the World

MTSF and Alumni Association Welcome New Students and Parents

To kick off Orientation Week, the Michigan Tech Student Foundation (MTSF) and the Michigan Tech Alumni Association once again provided our first year students Husky t-shirts with a listing of the dates for “Tech Traditions” such as K-Day, Homecoming, Broomball, Winter Carnival and MSTF’s Spring Fling’s Oozeball mud volleyball tournament. The students then gathered on the Sherman Field turf with Blizzard T. Husky for a class photo (left).

The Michigan Tech Alumni Association hosted a social at the Keweenaw Brewing Company for the families of our first year students on Sunday, August 22 after the Welcome Ceremony and incoming class photo. After an action packed weekend of activities including residence hall move-in and orientation sessions, parents, grandparents, and siblings enjoyed the opportunity to relax and mingle with President Mroz, members of the University’s executive team, Keweenaw Chapter alumni, and Student Affairs staff.

Fill in the Blanks


Were you in this group of fine arts students with Milt Olsson in 2006? It's clickable. Email me.

Peoples' Park

Move-in Day 2005From the Archives: "Peoples' Park in Houghton was the concept of Fr. McGee of St. Al's Church. Built by MTU students, the park was the result of a four-day strike which occurred in connection with the Cambodian Invasion and subsequent slayings of students at Kent State and Jackson State. The park was built as a peaceful expression of Tech students' outrage over the above mentioned incidents."
Remember it? Email me.
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Tech Sports

Football Huskies Top Winona State in Opener

Michigan Tech dominated all facets of a 23-6 victory at Winona State in both teams' football season opener tonight at Verizon Wireless Stadium. The Huskies had possession of the football for 40 minutes and held the Warriors to 186 total yards in moving to 1-0 on the season. More

Soccer Drops Crookston, 3-0; Opens Season with Two Wins

Sophomore MaryBeth Spoehr posted her first shutout of the season and the sixth of her career as the Michigan Tech soccer team defeated Minnesota, Crookston 3-0 Sunday (Sept. 4) at Sherman Field. The Huskies posted a 14-2 advantage in shots in the first half but had to wait until the 43rd minute to get on the scoreboard. More

Volleyball Earns First Win of the Season


The Michigan Tech volleyball team scored its first win of the season after defeating Franklin Pierce, 3-2, Friday (Sept. 2) at the Saint Joseph Tournament. Michigan Tech dropped the first two sets of the match (21-25, 23-25) despite finishing with a better attack percentage in each match. The Huskies hit .154 to the Raven’s .143 in the first match. The Huskies also dominated the second match hitting .306 to .162. More

Conner Preparing for Red Wings Preseason Camp

Former Michigan Tech hockey standout Chris Conner (2002-06) is exactly where he wants to be. The 139-game National Hockey League veteran is home in Michigan preparing for preseason camp with the Detroit Red Wings, the team he idolized growing up in Westland, Mich. "It's a dream come true to be able to put on a Red Wings jersey," said Conner. "Hopefully I can go into camp and turn some heads." More

Sports Wrap-Up

What’s Happening This Week

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Women’s Soccer hosts Northern Michigan, 7 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011
Fall Sports Luncheon, 12 noon (Grant Hockey Ed Center)

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
Women’s Tennis hosts Ohio Dominican, 1 p.m.

Women’s Soccer at Ohio Dominican, 3 p.m.
Cross Country at Northland Invitational, 4 p.m.
Volleyball hosts Ferris State, 7 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
Women’s Tennis hosts Lake Erie, 10 a.m.
Football hosts Lake Erie, 1 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)
Volleyball hosts Saginaw Valley State, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011
Women’s Tennis hosts Ashland, 10 a.m.
Women’s Volleyball hosts Grand Valley State, 3 p.m. (Live Radio, Mix 93.5 FM)

All times Eastern • Home events in bold.

Last Week’s Results

Football (1-0, 0-0 GLIAC)
9/3 — Michigan Tech 23, at Winona State 6

Women’s Soccer (2-0-0, 0-0-0 GLIAC)
9/3 — at Michigan Tech 3, Bemidji State 2
9/4 — at Michigan Tech 3, Minnesota Crookston 0

Volleyball (2-3, 0-0 GLIAC)
All matches at Renssalaer, Ind.
9/1 — at St. Joseph’s 3, Michigan Tech 0
9/2 — Michigan Tech 3, Franklin Pierce 2
9/2 — Indiana (Pa.) 3, Michigan Tech 1
9/3 — Michigan Tech 3, Notre Dame College 0
9/3 — Cedarville 3, Michigan Tech 2

Cross Country
9/2 — Michigan Tech women 1st of 4 teams; men 1st of 3 teams at U.P. Opener

Top News of the Week

Fall Sports Luncheon
Michigan Tech will host the first of three fall sports luncheons on Thursday at noon in the Begg Conference Room of the Grant Hockey Educational Center. Football coach Tom Kearly will be the featured speaker at the event. A complimentary light lunch will be provided, and the fall sports luncheon is open to the public.

Volleyball Opens Home Season Friday
The Michigan Tech volleyball team will host Ferris State Friday (Sept. 9) for both its home and conference opener. Tech will also host Saginaw Valley State Saturday (Sept. 10) and Grand Valley State Sunday (Sept. 11). The Huskies posted a 2-3 record at the Saint Joseph’s Tournament over the weekend. Senior libero Kenzie Tonn earned all-tournament honors for the Huskies.

Cross Country Sweeps Home Meet
The Michigan Tech cross country teams swept the UP Opener at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center Friday (Sept. 2). Freshman Jani Lane won the first race of his collegiate career covering the five-kilometer course in 16:38. Sophomore Deedra Irwin won the women’s race for the second straight year in a time of 19:49 over the five-kilometer course.

Around the Keweenaw

Visitors Bureau Unveils New Website

The Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau has a new website, which organization members think is a vast improvement over its predecessor. Dianne Peterson, KCVB vice president, said the new website, which was created by the Marketing Department in Houghton, has been online about two months. The need for revamping of the old website, which was created about two years ago, Peterson said, was to make it easier to use, and it seems to be working. More

Portage Health Expands University Center

Portage Health and Michigan Tech officials think the expansion of the hospital's University Center location in Houghton will benefit not only those institutions, but the community, also. During a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, members of the hospital and university spoke about the $4.3 million expansion, which will more than double the current square footage to 14,950. More

CC Schools Excel in State Ranking

A large number of Copper Country schools ranked higher than other schools in the state per the Michigan top-to-bottom rankings released by the state of Michigan this week. Houghton-Portage Township Schools and Hancock Public Schools reigned supreme, achieving ranks in the 95th percentile for Houghton High School and in the 93rd percentile for Hancock Middle School. More

From the Email Bag

Pajama Parade

The photo of the students wearing pajamas is probably from a frosh week pajama parade. i had been under the impression that fall of 1957 (class of '61) was the last one because it got out of hand as there was a record number of freshmen 600+, up to that time. there appears to have been a pajama parade in the fall of '58 but then frosh week seems to turn into freshman orientation. the pajama parade consisted of the freshmen wearing pajamas (over substantial cold weather clothing) and the pot. the pot was a knit woolen chook of black and gold with a large black MT on the front. at the time there were two meanings for the MT.

paradeit was capped off with a black ball of yarn. oh, to have my old pot back. i bet the bookstore could do a good business if they recreated the pot. the picture appears to have the students wearing a pot with a white ball so this may before 1957. the pajama parade of '57 became quite rowdy. the parade went from campus into houghton and then hancock. traffic came to a halt when the bridge became filled with pajama wearing students who just stopped. the 1958 Keweenawan has a couple of pages of good pictures of the parade. the lead photo is of al ackerman and a freshman girl who i don't recognize. the class of '61 just was in houghton for the 50th and the pajama parade and other frosh week activities were remembered with amusement. the panty raid on smith house was the topic of a number of conversations.

kent werger'61


Hi Dennis,
We had a good time at the reunion this year. It’s too bad that more of the women didn’t or couldn’t come. I’m sure that you would have had more hair raising stories. Smile

paradeWe’ve had a busy time since we got home. The next day the computer died, the following day the TV died, the antenna man finally came to replace our dead rotator and the driveway sealers finally came who were supposed to come while we were gone and company came for several days. Meanwhile....I’ve been engrossed with trying to learn how to do stuff in Windows 7 etc. etc. We had the provider tech out here for one problem which he didn’t have an answer for, but I finally found a work around.

Anyway.... I scanned a couple of pages from the 1958 Keweenawan of the pajama parade. In the one full page picture is Kathy Ryan in her new fashion “baby doll” pajamas which she and Judy Kelly wore and seemed to cause a near riot by themselves. There are pictures on the bridge, and you can see where there was one girl who did not look like a willing participant. I think she was “picked up” in Hancock. There’s also a picture of the queen’s court, Left to right is Mary Barnard, Judy Carlson (who sat next to Kathy Kilponen at the pinning) and Kathy Ryan.

paradeGerald Jahn was also there. He & I had gone to school together in Saginaw since Kindergarten. Someplace I have a photo of us in our cap & gowns in front of Hubble Hall. We should have gotten another one at the reunion. Oh, well.

Gail Richter ‘61

Gail: I made them clickable, so alums can enjoy the "riot."


The last - and final - Pajama Parade, so far as I know, was in the Fall of '57. The pajama-clad freshmen paraded across the old bridge to Hancock - the present bridge was still a year or two away.

Something happened, and there was a "riot" on the bridge. The doughty "Pasty" and his Houghton Police compatriots may have arrested a few of the "toots" - I don't remember now.

Anyway, the Mining Gazette the next day headlined the "riot," complete with photographs. I believe that then-president Van Pelt deep-sixed the Pajama Parade, forever, at that point.

F.H. "Frank" Shoffner

Those First Days at Tech

Move-in Day 2005
Back in 1947 things were kind of hectic at Tech with the large number of vets coming back and no where near enough space for everyone. The year before Tech moved into old fort Brady at the Soo and called it the Sault Branch. I had been accepted and planned on arriving in Houghton for the fall term in 47 but was notified two days before leaving that I should report to the Sault Branch. Somehow the administration made it all work and we made it through two years at "Sault Tech" before ever seeing Houghton. Not sure how long the Sault branch stayed open but it then became Lake Superior State.

Larry Watson 51

Larry: I knew Sault Tech, after the fact. We lived in the Sault for a year in the late 1970s, when it was already Lake State.


Dear Dennis,
A few memories from that first day on campus, fall of 1964. My dad was a Tech grad (EE-42) and I was determined to follow in his footsteps. We were living in Niagara, WI at the time (Dad worked for Kimberly Clark as the engineering manager) so the drive was brief, whether through Koski's Corner or Amasa (I think is was 141 through Amasa, Covington, etc.) but we took both routes over the next four years, depending on where the snow was coming from.

Arrived at Wadsworth Hall, looking for 410 west Wadsworth, but parked by the east entrance by mistake. Back in 1964, Wads worth was reportedly the largest dorm in the US and it took quite awhile to discover the we were in the wrong wing and had to drag all my worldly possessions to the other end of the building. Arrived first. My roommate was a pre-assigned kid from Chicago, who got the upper bunk and flunked out after the first term (chemistry did him in). As an aside, being retired, I'm currently working on the new animal shelter in Iron Mountain and have had the pleasure of working with Myron Berry Jr., Doc Berry's son, one of our consulting engineers and as equally interesting and intelligent as his dad.

The folks quickly said goodbye and I found my way to the Union where I sampled my first hamburger and felt completely independent and on my own. Back in the dorm, I visited the bathroom and bumped into Dick Gasperini, a friend I had met four years earlier, while attending the national Boy Scout jamboree in Colorado Springs in 1960. Hadn't seen him in four years but recognized him immediately. Got to know some of his buddies from Iron River including Darryl Zini, who became my roommate my sophomore year. Dick and I are still in contact after all these years. He's in Cupertino, CA and I'm still in Niagara, WI but the four years at Tech together formed a bond that still exists today. I get back to Houghton quite often but will always remember that first day at Tech, the fall of 1964,

Mike Werner, 1968 - EE


Looking through your pictures of move-in weekend still makes me miss returning to Tech in the fall! After 2 years of being a Resident Assistant in DHH and 2 years of being an OTL, move-in weekend and orientation week bring back fond memories. Best of luck to everyone as they start the new school year!

Lauren (Bendes) Warren
Civil Engineering '07

We Appreciate the Thought

Love the newsletter! Thank you.

Jill Henschel Caruso

Alums Are Everywhere, continued

MTU grads can be found in many places. Here is a picture of me beside an oil well casing for the Federika well in the Chaco region of N-W Paraguay. I graduated from Mining Engineering in 1971. Thought this might be of interest.

Best regards.

James Wade, CEO
Quincy Oil & Gas Corporation

The Old Computer in Hubbell Hall

Hi Dennis!
I remember at the Class of 1960 gathering last year that someone said that the computer that Dr. McMillan had that worked with tubes must have taken up a whole room. No, as I remember it took up only one side of a hallway off to the left in Hubbell Hall, the old red sandstone building across from the Union. Probably on the first floor.

Anna Hradel '60

Alums: Does anyone else recall this?

Hubbell Hall and Sperr Hall, the End

hubbell hall

sperr hall

My last image of Hubbell Hall was not quite as memorable (but then I guess that depends on your point of view) as was Bill Saul’s, as you can see from the attached photo (left). This was taken in September 1968 as they were starting to clear the site for what eventually would become the ME-EM building.

Note that I too had classes in Hubbell Hall my Freshman year, 1965-66. Until they built the new Chemical Engineering building that was where most of the laboratories were. I remember doing experiments in qualitative analysis in one of the upper-floor labs, but I don’t recall any chinks in the mortar.

I have a picture of Sperr Hall being demolished as well (left) taken in September, 1970. BTW, the large building seen in the background was the old ‘Engineering’ building where most of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering classes were held. I don’t recall if that building even had a name. All I know is that it was torn down well after I left ‘da Tech’ in 1971. I assume that the EE’s pretty much had the run of the place after the ME-EM people moved into their new building the fall of 71.

John R. Baker, ‘71

John: Great, as usual!

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