November 20, 2012
Vol. 19, No. 6
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We learned at an early age, a little "thanks" goes a long way.

Recently I found an old thank-you note buried in a drawer in my office. It was from a former student, long ago, who I helped get into graduate school. It took awhile, but I recalled him and could even remember some of the student orgs within which he was involved.

I admit to saving thank-you notes. We are fortunate to be able to help students on their way to their futures and work with others who do the same. The notes are a nice reminder of those instances.

It is also heartening to get "thanks" from fellow staffers, faculty, and alumni. We count our blessings here at Tech, when we get that email or phone call in appreciation.

Again recently, an alum and his wife were on campus and I helped him get to see Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret and Head Football Coach Tom Kearly, who were both gracious enough to make time for them. It clearly meant a great deal to them, as evidenced by a nice letter.

And, of course, this newsletter owes much of its content to alumni who continue to amaze me with their memories and teach me things about Tech I never knew.

Especially at this time of year, it's also appropriate to remember all those who helped us in our college days—our family and friends. And, as we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, it's a good time to give a nod to all those who have gone before us.

We know they would appreciate both the gesture and the meal.

Have a great holiday!

Dennis '92

P. S. I'd love to hear your Thanksgiving roadtrip stories, too! Does 1985 ring a bell?

At Tech

Governor Appoints 2 New Board of Control Members

Kennedy and Jacquart
Governor Rick Snyder has announced the appointments of Robert “Bob” Jacquart of Ironwood and Linda Kennedy of Troy to the Michigan Tech Board of Control. The eight-person board is the governing body of the University. "We are pleased to welcome Bob and Linda to Michigan Tech's Board of Control," said President Glenn Mroz. "They are talented and experienced leaders who are well equipped to help us achieve our mission and vision." More

Superior Ideas: A New Funding Tool for Michigan Tech Research

Superior Ideas
A new initiative—Superior Ideas—is a crowdfunding web site, where anyone can contribute any amount to help support research projects. Donations are tax-deductible, too. Two examples:

Measuring Infant Nutrition with Teardrops—Imagine if we could recognize nutritional deficiencies in infants and children before they cause serious medical damage. With only a single teardrop, we think it is possible to detect someone's vitamin levels in the same way blood plasma tests currently do, but through a quick—and completely painless—process. Teardrop link.

Developing Hi-Tech Super-Lenses—Metamaterials—artificial materials that exhibit physical properties not seen in nature—could make the magical a reality. In the future, with metamaterials, you could make objects levitate with a laser beam, make yourself vanish, or create a super-lens to turn your smartphone into a high-power microscope. Super-Lenses link.

Since Superior Ideas has launched:

  • 11,800 page views
  • 4,000 visits
  • Baby Tears research is still the most popular with 7.5%
  • 1,200 people reached through Facebook last week
  • Over $7,000 donated
  • 50 donors

Alums can can check out the entire site and contribute here. And don't forget to like them on Facebook and Twitter!

Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition

Elevator Pitch
At the Fourth Annual Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition at Michigan Technological University, more than 20 teams made their best pitches promoting ideas for new businesses, and the judges had some hard choices to make. The contest emulates an elevator ride with a potential investor, and this year featured sound effects, dramatic lighting and entertainment. More

Alumni Around the World

Colorado K-Day

Photos by Ellen Nelson '79.

From left, Matt ’84 and Leann ‘84 Nitschke, Roger ’62 and Helen Weidelman, James Halborg ‘63.

Since 1986 the Denver Alumni Chapter have hosted a Colorado K-Day in conjunction with the Michigan Tech Huskies playing the University of Denver Pioneers. The tradition continued on October 27, when more than 125 alumni and friends gathered to celebrate another exciting K-Day with a pasty dinner imported from the Upper Peninsula followed by the hockey game. Guests had a chance to share meet Head Coach Mel Pearson '81 and catch up with what is happening on campus with Brenda Rudiger, Exec. Director of Alumni Relations.

Coach Pearson gets a few pointers on the penalty kill.










Many thanks to long-serving Denver Alumni Chapter volunteers Dave '79 and Ellen '79 Nelson, Scott Nelson '10 and Megan Knudstrup '10.

Alums Gather in Grand Rapids

Griffins gameAlumni gathered for College Night with dollar beer and dollar dogs while watching the Grand Rapids Griffins win 5-3 against the Rockford IceHogs, their fourth victory in a row. In the alumni gathering before the game, Tom Hampton addressed prospective students who were invited to join the group. A raffle was held for MTU memorabilia. A special fundraising raffle was held for a hockey stick signed by the Michigan Tech hockey team; the winner was Mike DeJonge '65 (below).

Griffins game

#Giving Tuesday

The Michigan Tech Annual Fund invites all alumni and friends of the University to join them in celebrating #GivingTuesday™, on November 27, 2012.

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to add a new date to the national calendar that celebrates and encourages giving for important causes everywhere. The date for #GivingTuesday™ was chosen to coincide with the start of the annual holiday shopping season to demonstrate that holiday shopping can be about both giving – and – giving back. For more information go to

In this season of thanksgiving, we hope our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends find places of peace and reasons to celebrate. We encourage you to give back to Michigan Tech, support our community, and remember the reason for the season.

To make a gift to Michigan Tech just go to Thank you!

Join us for Spring Break in Malta!

Alumni and friends are invited to join Professor Mary Durfee and Michigan Tech students on a tour of Malta during Spring Break, March 10-16, 2013.

In the near geographic middle of the Mediterranean, Malta’s small scale makes it possible to see its whole history—natural, economic, political, and cultural. The tour includes visits to museums and ancient ruins and educational opportunities related to international law and environmental challenges.

If you are interested in learning more about the tour, please contact Alumni Relations or call 906-487-2400.

John Baker '71 Visits Houghton

John Baker
We had a nice visit with John Baker '71, who was on official business at Tech with Siemens. John was working with Mohan Rao (ME-EM) and a Senior Design and PACE capstone teams. He's also a mentor for PACE engineering design team as they prepare for an international competition.

John fondly recalled Dean of Students Harold Meese and some of the old and new buildings on campus back in the day. Beloved Hubbell Hall, he said, was in pretty bad shape.

We also discussed a shared love of travel and baseball, hence the Tiger Stadium image behind him.

Copper Country Snowfall Contest is Back!

Hubbell Hall

If you accurately predict the total amount of snow to fall in the Keweenaw this winter you could win a a stay in a campus guest room (located in the Memorial Union Building & Wadsworth Hall) and a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit.

According to the Keweenaw Research Center, a total of 132 inches of snow fell during the 2011-12 season last winter. There were 944 entries in the Second Annual Snowfall contest ranging from 73.8 to 400 inches. Scott Yager, a 2010 Electrical Engineering Tech alumnus earned the grand prize with his prediction of 131.5 inches.

Brian Baldwin, a 1989 Computer Science alumnus, was chosen from all entries to also win a Michigan Tech Winter Survival Kit as the Consolation Prize.

Check out the Snow Memories posted by alumni and friends:

Enter your snowfall prediction for this winter at

48th GLI Back to the Joe

The cancellation of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the Sirius XM Hockeytown Winter Festival means the 48th annual Great Lakes Invitational, which was scheduled to be played outdoors at Comerica Park, will be moved to Joe Louis Arena. Games will now be on Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 29-30.

Since its founding by Michigan Tech in 1965, the Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament has brought thousands of Michigan Tech Alumni, Husky fans,and friends together for one of the greatest traditions in college hockey.

The Detroit Chapter invites you to join fellow alumni and friends for the annual pregame party downstairs at the Joe in the Garden Room (outside Olympia Club). Get your Doghouse pickled eggs and raffle tickets for an autographed Husky or Red Wing jersey!

Saturday, December 29th
3:30 p.m. Michigan State University vs. Western Michigan University
7:00 p.m. University of Michigan vs. Michigan Tech

Sunday, December 30th
3:30 p.m. 3rd place game
7:00 p.m. Championship game

Help Us Recognize Outstanding Alumni and Friends

Know a great Michigan Tech alumnus/a or friend of the university? Here's a chance to help get them the recognition they deserve.

The Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2013 Alumni Awards:
• Outstanding Young Alumni
• Outstanding Service
• Distinguished Alumni
• Honorary Alumni
• Humanitarian

These awards are presented each August at the Alumni Reunion.

Please consider nominating deserving individuals for the 2013 Alumni Association awards program.

Award descriptions and nomination forms are available at or by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations, 906-487-2400 or The deadline to nominate is December 1.

Alumni Poll!


Thanksgiving Poll Results

Your Favorite Thanksgiving Memory

Big meal with family, 40 percent
The drive home or back, 15 percent
Lions football on TV, 15 percent
Snowfall, 6 percent
Time off from studying, 5 percent
Other football on TV, 3 percent
Beginning of holiday season, 3 percent
Parade(s), 3 percent
Dessert!, 1 percent
Black Friday shopping, 1 percent
Other, 9 percent

Some of your "Others": playing cards after the big meal, always a storm on the drive back, hit a deer!, Thanksgiving Drive of '85, Lions football at Tiger Stadium/Brigg's Stadium, spending time at the Library, stealing the Phi Tau turkey the day before Thanksgiving, sharing a beer with high school friends, turkey trot (5K race at 8 a.m.), deer hunting, making Thanksgiving dinner with squabs at the Newman House, a nap after dinner, Tech finals the week before: early exams and you had almost two weeks off, hitchhiking home, Lions football at the 'Dome, crossing the bridge in 1966 and living in car for 47 hours due to closed roads, and building a 9 foot snowman after dinner and then riding snowmobiles.

Fill in the Blanks

Rekhi Computer Lab


Were you hitting the lab in Rekhi Hall in 2005?

It is clickable.

Have any other Rekhi Hall tales?

Email me.


Fisher Hall in the Late 1960s?

Fisher Hall

It looks like the old highway still went through campus, past Fisher Hall, in this photo. Wasn't the road removed in the early 1970s?

It's clickable.

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Huskies Sweep Bemidji With 2-1 Overtime Victory

Blake Pietila scored with 30.2 seconds left in overtime to carry Michigan Tech to a 2-1 victory tonight and a series sweep at Bemidji State this weekend. Jujhar Khaira fed a pass to a wide-open Pietila in the slot who buried a shot into the upper right corner for the game winner. More

Women's Hoops Falls at Buzzer

women's basketball
Alyssa Kerhoff made a 3-pointer as time expired to lift Minn. Duluth to an 83-82 win over the Michigan Tech women's basketball team Saturday (Nov. 17). "We had to learn, unfortunately, the hard way that we can't give up 83 points in one game," said head coach Kim Cameron. "We can't give up that many points and win. It can't be a shoot out." More

Bulldogs Bite Men's Basketball 70-58

men's basketball
Ali Haidar was the only player to score in double figures for the Michigan Tech men's basketball team as they dropped a 70-58 non-conference decision at Minn. Duluth Saturday (Nov. 17). Haidar finished with a game-high 22 points shooting 8-of-16 from the field and made all five free throws. He also grabbed five rebounds. More

Sports Roundup |

Rookies Lead Huskies
Freshmen Jujhar Khaira and Alex Petan had four points apiece to pace the Michigan Tech hockey team in its sweep of Bemidji State last weekend. Khaira had a breakout game with two goals and an assist in Friday’s 5-4 triumph. Petan notched one goal and two assists in the Friday win. Both players assisted on Blake Pietila’s overtime game winner in a 2-1 victory Saturday.

Men's Hoops Tops No. 14 Southwest Minnesota on Road
Ali Haidar scored 32 points and Ben Stelzer added 22 to lift Michigan Tech to a 75-67 victory over No. 14-ranked Southwest Minnesota State last Thursday. The season opening win was followed up by a tough loss at Minnesota Duluth on Saturday by a 70-58 count. Tech will play its third straight opponent from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tuesday when Bemidji State comes to the SDC Gym.

Around the Keweenaw

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

From the Email Bag

Da Tech Is . . . Revisited

Da Tech Is . . .

Alumnus Bill Walters was nice enough to send along some Keweenawans, Winter Carnival Pictorials, and a real prize: a 1973 copy of Da Tech Is . . . by Denny and Cher LeSage. The booklet was published by the Bull Press. The cartoons ran in the Lode, as many of you know, and capture those times in hilarious fashion.

I'll drop a couple in TechAlum from time to time, as they are priceless! Thanks, Bill, and thanks Denny and Cher for the sense of humor and talent. It's clickable (love the sliderule).

Mom Made the Photo

Make a Difference Day
In the Make a Difference Day 2005 article I was surprised and happy to see a picture of my mother. Thank you for sharing this picture.

Judy Laitinen English
Class of 1963

Judy: Glad to be able to bring you that memory.

The 1965 Video, Revisited

Several issues ago there was video of a drive through Houghton , Hancock and the MTU campus.
I had taken one of these in 1966, and have lost it through the years. Is there a way I could get a copy since it was of the same time period. It would mean a lot to us.

Bob Piersma ‘66


Here's the link, Bob.



Thanks for the help.

Keep up the great work on the newsletter.

Bob Piersma ‘66

Thanks, Bob. Another video, a little more recent:

Jerry Philo Reappointed by Governor Snyder

Gerald F "Jerry" Philo '1980 ME, an associate and senior project manager with Harley Ellis Devereaux, was re-appointed 10/1/2012 to the Board of Mechanical Rules by Governor Rick Snyder. The four-year term will end 10/1/2016. The board makes recommendations for mechanical
code rules, issues mechanical contractor's licenses to qualified applicants and makes necessary orders, rules, and regulations. Philo will represent professional mechanical engineers. This appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Sandra J. Kent

That Soccer Team


It was a wonderful year!

Having people recognize their performance is encouragement that will lift us higher!

Thank You!

Charles Coan, Assistant Coach

Coach: Glad to help.

Tiger Hotel in Burke, Idaho

It has made the YouTube pics once again (and an old newspaper clipping, below).

This was where I spent one summer between my sophomore and junior year at Mich Tech (1951). I worked underground and stayed in the Tiger Hotel as did four other Tech guys, Louis Weisenberg, John Lowell Ruess, Bill Broman, Robert Miller. It was lead and zinc mining with a lot of silver as a by product. The Ore was smelted in the Bunker Hill and Sullivan smelter in Kellogg, Idaho.

The Tiger hotel was run by a man named Vipperman and his wife, who ran the kitchen. He was an avid chess player and would sit in the lobby area drumming up partners to beat.

Drove up there in 1998 with Peter Pinfold and it was pretty much as it looks in the latest video.

It was the Star Mine in 1951, (which was owned by Sunshine Mining) and you entered the Star through the old Hecla workings. I worked in a stope in the winze between 49-5100 feet. The Mich Tech mining group would do a summer mine trip each year. They came through the mine with J. Murray Riddell, head of Tech mining department, when I was there. They climbed down one of the raises in our area and were surprised to see a Tech guy.

Edward "Bud" Riley, was a friend I met there. He lived next to me in the Tiger Hotel. He was originally from Alabama and was a senior playing football at Idaho for Dixie Howell. He later became the football coach at Wallace HS where his son, Mike Riley, played before coming to the U of Alabama. Bud went on up in the college coaching ranks and later to the Canadian football league. He died just a few months ago. Son Mike is also a well-known coach who is now at Oregon State.

Newspaper clipping.

YouTube video.

Bob Brown

Bob: This is some great stuff, and it screams "engineering" (and history and mining and archaeology, and . . . )

Carolinas Connection Made

I saw an article in the 11-6-12 alumni newsletter about alumni club gatherings. There was a picture of a group from South Carolina and I was wondering if they have an Alumni Club and if so where it is based and who a contact person might be. My name is Alan J. Bovard Jr. a 1962 graduate and I live in Fort Mill, SC which is right on the border of North Carolina and a suburb of Charlotte. Also is there a club in the North Carolina area.

Jim Bovard

And Erin answered:

Hi Jim,
I hope you're doing well, thank you for the note and your interest in alumni chapters in the Carolinas! We do have chapters in both states, if you have any suggestions for alumni events in your area, feel free to contact the chapter leaders:

South Carolina- Michelle Foy (
North Carolina- Randy Down ( and Elizabeth Lulich (

Our event notifications are sent out based on geographic location. The hockey game watch in Charleston was organized a few days before the event, and event notices were sent to all alumni within a 60-mile radius. It looks like Fort Mill is about 200 miles away from Charleston, so that would be why you didn't receive the event notification in that instance.

Please let us know if you have any other questions we can help you with.

Best regards,

Erin (Jarvi) Thompson
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Alum Connects with Duluth Get-together

My wife Derry (Dickinson) and I are 1973 graduates of MTU. During the weekend of January 11 & 12, 2013 we will be visiting my sister in Hayward, Wisconsin. We all want to attend the MTU-Duluth game Saturday January 12. I would like information as to how to get 6 tickets for the game in the area where Tech fans will be sitting. I'd also like any information or a contact about anything the Duluth Alumni group might be arranging for Saturday night.
Tom O'Connor 1973

Note: The Alumni Relations folks connected Tom and Derry with an event on Saturday, January 12, before the Tech/UM-D game. You can get more info at

Alum's Company Makes Some Noise

I think you'll be interested in reading the latest Crain's Detroit Business edition published on line 1:47 PM Friday. Our little enterprise nanoMAG LLC, a subsidiary and spin out of Thixomat, took 2nd place in the Largest Business Plan Competition in the country last night bringing home $100K in seed capital. The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition now in it's 3rd year awards $1MM in prizes to the competitors numbering 320 this year. The accepted entrants went through rigorous presentations leading to screening down to 53 semi-finalists. Each of those then made 10 minute business plan pitches to a high level group of VC, Fund Mgrs., Angel Investors etc. numbering more than 60 from all over the country. The select ten finalist companies then made 5 minute pitches to a second group of judges. Steve LeBeau(MSE Alum) our president and CEO made the presentations and accepted the award with Ray Decker. They are to be congratulated for this benchmark achievement.

Bob Carnahan

More on the B&B

B&B pickled egg recipe


Is it true? Is the B&B really closing it's doors? What's the story? I can't imagine a trip to Houghton without a beer and egg from Ron - the hardest working bartender in the UP.

By the way, I can vouch for the B&B style recipe (not Bruce's) posted on the alumni page. I've made that recipe dozens of times, and it's spot on to the B&Bs.

Oh what a sad day...

Andy Henriksen, '96

Andy: Sad but true. I've attached another recipe here, and it links to a PDF.


Some Copper Mining Education

Hello Tech,
I read with fond memories the words about the piece of float copper (That is what it is called) that has "FLOATED" about the campus for many years, before and after 1966.

During my 4 years I had the very good fortune to secure an (intern) job with Calumet and Hecla mining. This job gave me access to actually enter the the Kingston mine.

Three points of my education your readers may find interesting.

1.0 Finding a very large piece of of essentially pure float copper in the mine was not a welcome occurrence. There was no way to get it out of the way!. It blocked the drift or mine face. It cannot be blown apart. Drill a hole in it, insert explosive, detonate it. Result, the hole is a little bit bigger. Float copper is near pure metal. It is very malleable.

It could only be cut up by very labor intensive chiseling of it into pieces small enough to move by hand.

2.0 Early mining separation technology left many of the small metallic copper pieces in the stamp sand. ( In the 60's the sand was being re-refined to recover much of this metal.)

3.0 In the 40's and 50's when the local roads (US 41) were being (re) paved, the material was made with stamp sand containing metallic copper chunks. After a few years of wear, the copper chunks were worn and polished by traffic. After a fall rain, the copper pieces would be washed clean. When the sun came out, the polished copper would shine with the intrinsic copper glow. --- The roads at Tech were "PAVED WITH GOLD"

4.0 I never had Joe K. as a professor, but I knew him well. He and many others made Tech what it was.

Dave Druif (1966)

Thanks, Dave. Again, I'm learning something new every time . . .

More on Joe Kirkish

Hi Dennis,
From 1958 to 1961 I was the technician for the Radio Production Center which was located in the building which housed the humanities and business administration departments. We produced several locally aired programs and it was also the center for some sound on film commercials for “Bunny Bread”. During this time Joe Kirkish produced a talk and music show which I think may have been called “Kaleidoscope”. We aired this program on WMPL. I suspect that it might have been a learning experience for both of us, but I know that it opened up horizons for me. It certainly was an enjoyable collaboration. I left Tech knowing that I had left a good friend behind.

Dave Funston 60/61

Snowball Fight Continued into the 1980s

The traditional snowball fight after the year’s first snow was in full force during my freshman year (1986).

Brian Cleven (M. S. ’97)

Thanks, Brian, now all we need is a photo!


There was definitely a snowball fight in 1973. That was my first year at Tech. I lived in Tappa Kegga Day (TKD) on the first floor of DHH. I remember clearly the rebel yells as one side would attack and then the other. There were several hundred people on both sides. 1973 was the year DHH went co-ed and the women, who had two houses on the second floor of DHH, fought valiantly for our dorm's honor. I had to cut my participation short because I had an evening algebra test at Fisher Hall with Tom Vichich. On the two minute walk from DHH to Fisher I turned to watch the action and caught a snowball right smack in the left eye. I can't remember how I did on the test, probably not well, but I do remember the difficulty I had taking the test with only one functioning eye.

Ken (Argo) Hafeli 1977

Featured Alumni Benefits

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Try some today! Visit online and place your order.

Michigan Tech Gear

Show your Michigan Tech Pride!

See how your every day purchases can help the Alumni Association support students and fellow alumni. Visit for more Alumni Benefits, Services and Discount program information.

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiatives in Water and Transportation

Other jobs on campus

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology, Tenure-track, School of Technology

Lecturer in Electrical Engineering Technology, Nontenure-track, School of Technology

Facilities Engineer, Facilities Management Administration

Associate Director, Employer Relations, Career Services

Apply using the new online system at

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

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

Also, visit the Career Tools web page for more options.