December 5, 2011
Vol. 18, No. 8
HuskyLink HuskyLink LinkedIn LinkedIn
Learn More

Where's Winter?

elevator pitch crowd
It's not like the "good" old days. Downtown Houghton in the late 1950s and what is now the Lunch Bag Restaurant across the street. Note the two-way traffic on Shelden Avenue.

We haven't exactly been overwhelmed by snow this winter. No harrowing Thanksgiving break journeys home or back. No temperatures to make snow at Mont Ripley. No nasty snowbanks to climb over.

Not yet.

At the risk of jinxing the rest of winter, it's been pretty lame around Tech.

We can all recall those days when it took all of your courage just to get to class. In my greatest bit of winter luck, I missed 1978-79, when we broke all the records (380 inches). I remember phoning home and being told "It just won't stop snowing!" Some 50 straight days!

I'm sure you've got your own winter stories you would like to share. And, while you're at it, the snowfall contest is back (see below). The prizes are great! Take a shot at guessing how many inches we are going to have for the season.

But please, for the sake of my back and my snowblower, don't say "390."

Dennis '92, '09

P.S. We got enough Saturday to push around the yard, and we heard the first snowmobiles of the season. See, the jinx worked!

At Tech

Michigan Tech's Job Placement Rate Jumps to 94.6 Percent

Battle of Brains
As Michigan Governor Rick Snyder takes the podium at Delta College on Thursday, Dec. 1, to talk about the need for more highly skilled workers to meet Michigan employers’ needs, Michigan Technological University reports that its job placement rate has risen to an astonishing 94.6 percent. More

Affordable Solar: It's Closer Than You Think

solar panels
It's time to stop thinking of solar energy as a boutique source of power, says Joshua Pearce. Sure, solar only generates about 1 percent of the electricity in the US. But that will change in a few years, says Pearce, an associate professor of electrical engineering and materials science at Michigan Technological University. The ultimate in renewable energy is about to go mainstream. More

Helping Iraq: One Project at a Time

inner core
War is hell. That is true today in Afghanistan and Iraq. But an organization in Iraq, led by an alumnus in the Army, seeks to help Iraqis rebuild their nation. The Iraqi Hope Foundation is a nonprofit "dedicated to the stability and prosperity of Iraq through investment in private, small and mid-size business and entrepreneurs," according to its mission. "Myself, other veterans, and Iraqi expats and citizens began this work in 2008," says Maj. Don Makay '99, who is still serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. More

Alumni Around the World

KAC Hockey Get-together

On Saturday, the Keweenaw Alumni Chapter along with Alumni Relations hosted eighty hockey fans in their 2nd annual skybox event in the 1885 and Presidential suites.

Great crowd-alumni, friends, community, staff. $20 included skybox seating, pizza, beverages.

We had a visit from Blizzard Husky, all enjoyed themselves and suggested we do this a couple times a year.

Our Copper Country Snowfall Contest is Back!

snowy campus

Predict the total amount of snow to fall in the Keweenaw this winter for a chance to win a stay at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit.

Last winter, more than one thousand alumni and friends responded with guesses ranging from a low of 100 inches to a high of 385!

Ron Streib, a 1969 Metallurgical Engineering alumnus, prediction of 178.3 inches was the closest to the Keweenaw Research Center snowfall record of 178.5 for the season. Ron and his wife, Shirley, stopped into the Alumni House this fall to let us know how much they enjoyed their stay at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and the assortment of Michigan Tech winter gear.

Enter your snowfall prediction for the 2011-12 season at

Remember Tech at the End of the Year!

As we approach the end of the 2011 calendar year, we want to take a moment to remind our alumni and friends that there is still time to make an annual contribution in support of Michigan Tech – and receive a 2011 tax deduction on your federal tax return (if you itemize.)

*Of special note to Michigan residents: The Michigan Tax Credit for charitable contributions will be eliminated beginning January 1, 2012, so if you want to take advantage of this credit on your state tax return you must make your gift in 2011. Currently, state income tax credits carry these maximum amounts for Michigan residents:

• $100 for an individual filing singly (for a $200 donation)
• $200 for a married couple filing jointly (for a $400 donation)

You can phone the Michigan Tech Fund at 906-487-2310 or toll-free at 877-386-3688 to make your gift with a credit card. You also have the option of making a credit card gift via Michigan Tech’s secure online gift page by going to These online gifts can be made up until 11:55 (EST) on December 31.

The Michigan Tech Fund offices will be closed on December 26, 27 and 29, but will be open on Wednesday, December 28 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Friday, December 30 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (EST).

Fill in the Blanks


The caption, from 1976: "The AMOCO tanker Illinois moved through the Portage Channel Wednesday with ultimate destination Superior, Wis. It had discharged some of its cargo in Dollar Bay and because of stormy weather on Lake Superior spent the night at Lily Pond. The path it cut through the channel can be seen with the Ranger III and Isle Royale Queen seen anchored at the National Park Headquarters site. This morning with temperature at 0 degrees, and a all night snowfall, the tanker's trail was obliterated." Remember days like these? Email me.

Phi Tau House

phi Tau House


In December 2005, there was a house-lighting competition among the Greeks. Remember? Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Haidar Explodes For 30 Against Northern Michigan

Junior Ali Haidar scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Michigan Tech men’s basketball team to a 77-54 win over rival Northern Michigan in the GLIAC opener Saturday (Dec. 3). Haidar shot 11-of-19 from the floor and was 8-of-12 from the free throw line.More

No. 4 UMD Knocks Off Huskies Again with 5-3 Score

No 20 Michigan Tech and No. 4 Minnesota Duluth were knotted at three-all with eight minutes to go before the visiting Bulldogs reeled off two goals in 46 seconds to claim a series sweep of the hockey Huskies at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. More

Huskies Win Thanks to 3-Pointers

women's basketball
The No. 8 Michigan Tech women’s basketball team made a season-high 13 3-point baskets in a 72-49 win over rival Northern Michigan to open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday (Dec. 3). The Huskies (5-1, 1-0 GLIAC) made more 3-point baskets (13) than 2-point baskets (12). More

Recent Results | Complete Schedule

Around the Keweenaw

Daily Mining Gazette | WLUC TV-6 | Marquette Mining Journal

From the Email Bag

Ore Boats (not Oar Boats) Continued . . .

Enjoyed the latest e-mail issue of the Tech Alum Newsletter. Funny how it can trigger memories from well over 35 years ago.

On your story about the SS Buckeye and the follow up comment/question on all the freighters in Portage Canal. I am guessing you are referring to the morning after the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. I was a student at the time, and it was nearly surreal to wake up the next morning and see the lake and the canal area literally packed with ore freighters. Normally It was quite unusual for them to pass through, other than an occasional ship.

Just to demonstrate how old I must be getting, this was pre-Internet / instant news time...... and no one in town had even heard about the loss of a freighter....but one look towards the canal and you just knew something big had happened.

Steve Roth 1976


Hey! How 'bout this!

Another feature brought to you by

Frank Shoffner

Frank: This is a great link! Get out your Know Your Ships book!


I remember leaving the H&T house one night in the fall of 72 on my nightly trip to watch Johnny Carson down at Mike’s bar and seeing what looked like carnival lights out on the canal. Those were the lights of the freighters - quite a sight. They were all gone in the morning without any fanfare

Dean Goldbeck ‘73


As a student, I loved the outdoors of the Keweenaw. I had a habit of driving to Mt. Bohemia to hike up to the fire tower. I even did this after dark on a couple occasions. One November night, when we (I had a date with me) reached the top, we were delighted to see 3 ore boats “hiding” in Bête Grise harbor, with their running lights all on. It was a blustery night, so we figured they were waiting out the rough Lake Superior storm. It was quite picturesque, looking down on the harbor and the boats from the top of the mountain.

The next morning we heard the news of the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking…

Dave Plumeau....


Hi Dennis,
The story about the Buckeye getting stuck took me back about 60 years to 1951-52 or thereabouts. There was a storm on Lake Superior and a freighter, the Amazon, came through the waterway headed for the lily pad. My DHH roommate, Larry Puls, and I decided to go to the lily pond and watch them tie up. We were standing there when the Amazon, a rust bucket if there ever was one, came in. The deckhands called to us and asked if we would give them a hand securing the boat. Of course we were glad to assist so they passed us some lines and we looped them over .... whatever the lily pad had to put them over. Can't remember now if they had pilings, cleats, bollards or what. Fortunately it doesn't matter. Anyway, we were then invited to come aboard and tour the boat which we were, of course, delighted to do. They gave us some hot chocolate in the galley and asked if we'd like to joint them for the rest of their trip. It sounded like fun, but finals were coming up, not to mention plenty of classes every day, so we politely declined. I still think of that old crate from time to time and sort of wish I had been able to accept their offer.

Don Wacker '52


Another ore boat story from my time at Tech:

During my summer surveying field school the survey crew I belonged to decided to get finished early on the level loop we had to perform at Mont Ripley. We loaded up quickly and raced over to Ripley determined to finish by noon. As we crossed the bridge we heard the distinctive whistle of an ore boat and turned to see vessel approaching the bridge. We had no more cleared the main span when the gates dropped stranding the rest of the class on the south side of the bridge. Luckily the TA was already onsite so we could actually start our work. We unpacked the car listening to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. The DJ put on the song after recognizing the boat passing through as the Arthur M. Anderson; the boat that was following the Edmund Fitzgerald the day she sank.

We finished as hoped by noon and other than setting up once over a black fly infested puddle things went well. The rest of the class were delayed by at least two hours as the Anderson plodded through and suffered a little for their lack of hast – minutes after we packed up the sky let loose and they had to finished in a downpour.

Peter Schierloh, BS Civil & Environmental Engineering, 1996


What a disappointment to see a picture of a regular old ore boat when I was expecting to see a whole host of galley slaves on deck rowing that monster through the Portage Canal. Now THAT would have been a picture to grab our attention!

Great newsletter, as usual. Happy Thanksgiving and keep up the good work!

Lou Best ‘70

Lou: You've been named an honorary editor! At least "oar" and "ore" rhyme! Our only oar boats are the Michigan Tech Crew's!

Old Photos of the Area

old photo



Here are some old pictures from Houghton and the area.

John Baker

John: Great stuff, especially the old Houghton High School, pictured in white, here.


More on the Long-running Photo Mystery

queen candidates
Hi Dennis,
Your newsletter is great and brings back many memories. This past issue Bill Coon identified Kathy Bourdage as one of the Mystery Queen Candidates, and he would know. I pulled out my Tech year books, and found a picture of the 1968 Military Ball candidates, and Kathy was one. Standing next to her in the year book picture is Laura Hein who looks remarkably like the first woman in your mystery picture. Concerning the question about the Chemical Sciences and Engineering building, it was completed in 1968 and we held classes in the building for the first time in the fall of 1968.

John Kade Chem E 1969



The 1968 Homecoming Court shown in my 1969 Keweenawan does not match the ladies in your mystery photo. Also, none of the 1968 names match any of the guesses that have been submitted so far. Hopefully, someone who has access to the Keweenawans of 1967 and 1968 can resolve the mystery by looking at the Homecoming photos and see which one matches the ladies in your photo. I'm guessing it will be the 1967 Homecoming Court because the new Chem Bio Building in Fall of 1966 would have looked much more like an active construction site than your photo shows.

John Northrup, '72


A little light to shed on the disputed "Queen Candidates" photo date.

There is no question that Koenig Hall (the old building in the background) was demolished in the summer of 1968. It was a pile of rubble when I arrived as a freshman in September, 1968 and the upper classmen were complaining about how it had been an architectural treasure that should not have been demolished. Construction of ME-EM started the next spring I believe. My freshman chemistry recitation and labs were in what we called "Chem-Met" in the fall of 1968 so the claim that the building was not there in 1969 is wrong. That puts the photo at spring, 1968 at the latest. If they are Homecoming Queen candidates, that puts the photo date in the fall of 1967 or earlier.

Kerry Irons, '72

Kerry: I think that's old Hubbell Hall in the background.


The Chemical Sciences and Engineering was built in 1969. The original campus building was destroyed and replaced by the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 1971.

The picture must have been taken in 1968 or sooner.

Bob Drake


Hi Dennis
I think the first young lady is one of the Hines sisters from Houghton. There was Laura & Marilyn I think and this one I believe is Marilyn. She could have been at MTU as I think she graduated from Houghton High in 1966.

Pat Baril class of 1974.

Paulson Wine up for Auction: Tech Will Benefit, Continued . . .

Dennis, I have a bottle of Pat's Refrigerator White 1987 signed by him!
Roger Somero '72


Hi Dennis,
I’d like to bid $82 for the vintage 1982 cabernet. I believe Bob Carnahan was one of my professors in the School of Business, and a very skilled instructor. Thanks!

Tom Arbuckle ‘75

YES! Expo 2006

YES Expo
I Volunteered at the EXPO for GM exhibit.

I was part of the EXPO, in 2007 and 2008 when I was with working at GM.

Thank you
Patrick McGee, ME- 2007


Hi Dennis,
I was Tech's lead organizer of YES! Expo which ran from 2004-08. 2006 was the third year that Michigan Tech hosted the event and the 2nd year at Ford Field. Nearly 15,000 middle and high school students attended this STEM awareness event each year. There were nearly 100 corporate and university exhibitors showcasing science, engineering, and technology. Bill Nye, the Science Guy was our featured speaker. It was a real thrill to meet a national celebrity like Bill. Its also interesting to note that at YES! Expo 2007, former Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick was our guest. He was a very dynamic speaker and connected well with the student audience. Of course at that time, we had no idea of how numerous scandals and accusations of corruption would plague him over the next several years. Thanks for posting the photo.

Pete Cattelino '74


In the last newsletter you were asking about the expo at Ford field in 2006. I was there in 2005 and helped out. Got a Tech shirt for the troubles. It is interesting to see what the students do.

Chris Hill


I started writing you this email and only after I was finished did I realize that I wasn't apart of the YES Expo in 2006 at Ford Field but was at the event in 2005 at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Michigan Tech sent a group of student ambassadors down to the event, we wore shirts that said "Ask me about Michigan Tech!" It was a lot of fun talking to perspective students and parents about what made Michigan Tech so great. Too bad that was the year our Huskies couldn't pull out the win later that weekend against GVSU.

Keep up the great work!
Lauren (Bendes) Warren '07

Lauren: Thanks for the nice note. I think the Bash was in '04.

Small World . . .

My wife, my new Tech alumnae daughter Mary and I were traveling in Idaho this past summer. We stopped to visit Shoshone Falls outside of Twin Falls, Idaho.

When we return to our truck, we noticed a vehicle with not only Michigan plates but personalized MTU Alpha Kappa Psi plates. What are the chances of that happening? Unfortunately we had to get on the road so we couldn't wait around to meet the owners of the vehicle.

Harold Kennedy '72

truck and van

Women in the Winter

Can you make the pictures in your newsletter heading clickable?
I think I might now some of the girls standing in front of the Welcome to Michigan Tech campus sign but I'd like to get a closer look at the photo.

Thanks and love the newsletter.

David Stone

David: Thanks for the note. I enlarged it as much as possible (it's not a good print). It is dated 1983, and there was this info from the womenarchives: "I think the one in the white jacket is my sorority sister Karen Schneider (now Karen Brodine). -- Cynthia Protas Hodges, Alpha Delta Alpha, MTU BSME 1987 MSME 1989"

Featured Alumni Benefits

GradMed Short-term Health Insurance

GradMed® short-term health insurance is a valuable benefit provided by the Alumni Association.  An ideal product for new graduates and alumni in between jobs, with GradMed you can choose a coverage period and deductible that meets your needs, protecting you from the expenses associated with an accident or illness.  Coverage can begin as early as the day after receipt of your application.

Call 1-800-922-1245  or apply online

The Alumni Insurance Program 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.

Michigan Tech Gear

Show your Michigan Tech Pride!
Official Class Rings
Diploma Frames
Michigan Tech License Plates
Michigan Tech Collector Blanket
University Images—Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative: Positions in Water and Transportation

Head Volleyball Coach, Athletic Department

Telecommunications Engineer II (PIT Level 4), Telecommunications

Apply using new online system at

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Keweenaw opportunities:

Other employment opportunities: Check out the Linked in group exclusively for Michigan Tech Alumni.

Also, visit the Career Tools webpage for more options.