July 30, 2013
Vol. 19, No. 24
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Reunion Preview

fish guts
There's still time to come back to campus for Reunion this weekend. And you can check out a fish stomach!

I was recalling all the great times I've had at Alumni Reunion over the years. From the hilarious to the poignant, and everything in between, early August has meant super memories.

The Golden M Pinning Ceremonies (10:30 a.m. Friday this year) have delivered more than their share of hilarity. It's hard to believe some of the stories and the incredible memories the alumni present. The old faculty get a lot of respect and a few jabs!

The Pasty Picnic (4:00 p.m. Thursday) has allowed me to meet many new alums and see others from the past years. One great moment was getting a photo of former President Ray Smith with multiple-sport coach Verdie Cox. I can still hear them laughing at each other as only those two could. Verdie is gone now.

You can check out a pasty-making demo this year before the Pasty Picnic.

A newer tradition, the Tech Talks, has proven popular with always interesting topics. Kim Nowack '85 discussed her role as the chief engineer of the Mackinac Bridge. Rolf Peterson spoke on the wolves and moose of Isle Royale, too. Always fascinating. This year, Bill Sproule (10:00 a.m. Thursday) will discuss Copper Country street cars and Jason Carter (11:00 a.m. Thursday) will address sleep disorders.

Getting outdoors, we were able to try out mountain bikes on the Tech Trails one year, which was a lot of fun. This year, you can take a canoe trip (9:00 a.m. Saturday), learn to kayak or paddleboard (2:00 p.m. Saturday), or go on a waterfall tour (2:00 p.m. Saturday).

We were also fortunate to attend the Alumni Awards Dinner (6:30 p.m. Friday) a few years back. There, Ben Hall '05 was honored posthumously with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. He was killed in action in Afghanistan, and we knew Ben when he was a student. We got to meet his family, including his dad, John '75, and Ben's younger brother, Joe, was already planning on attending Tech.

Finally, the new Great Lakes Research Center has allowed for many fun family-oriented science explorations. This year, you can explore a trout stomach again (10:00 a.m. Friday, see above) and get a tour of this beautiful new facility.

We were all pitching for offices down there, but no luck!

Anyway, I hope to meet some of you over the weekend, and any weekend (or weekday) is a great time to come back to campus, even in winter.

A full rundown on this year's Reunion is here.

Dennis '92 '09

At Tech

Local Alumnus Engineers a Trip to Le Mans and a Career in Racing

Le Mans
His cell phone area code is still 906, reflecting his Upper Peninsula roots, but Rob Waara’s role as chief engine engineer with the SRT Viper racing team has taken him far afield, including to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That endurance race meant some incredible hours for the engineers prepping the two Vipers: 24 to 40 hours straight, just like the race. And he’s still busy. More

Community College Students Get an Inside Look at University

Rolando Bocanegra never pictured himself attending a four-year university. “There was always a fear factor when it came to thinking about a major college,” he said. As a current student at Grand Rapids Community College, “thinking bigger just made me feel overwhelmed.” That’s exactly the type of common stumbling block the Michigan College and University Partnership/Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MICUP/MI–LSAMP) helps community college students overcome. More

Geology Grad Student Helps Indonesians Understand Their Volcanoes

Nine thousand miles is a long way to go for research. But, if you are studying volcanoes, Indonesia is the place to be. For Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) student Jay Wellik, it became even more than a place to study volcanoes. It became home, as he worked in Java, mostly near the Raung volcano. More

Alumni Around the World


West MichiganThe Michigan Tech Admissions Office and the Michigan Tech Alumni Chapters from Chicago, Detroit, West Michigan, and the Twin Cities invited incoming students to come out for cookouts in their area to celebrate their upcoming years at the Houghton campus.

student send-off

Big thanks to our alumni volunteers and our Regional Admissions Managers—Tom Hampton (Southwest Lower Michigan), SherAaron Hurt (Southeastern Lower Michigan), Tara Brewer (Northern Illinois), Matt Norrod (Southeastern Lower Michigan), Ninette Carlson (Minnesota and Western Wisconsin) and Christine Grotzke (Illinois & Indiana)!

Lansing Wine Tasting

Lansing area alumni and friends gathered last week to enjoy a wine tasting at the Burgdorf’s Winery in Haslett. Attendees included alumni from 1972 to 2012. Many thanks to Lansing chapter leader Julie (Weyand) Kroll ’00 for organizing the event.

Chris Anderson Retirement Celebration Slated for August 3

Chris Anderson, special assistant to the president for institutional diversity, will be honored with a retirement celebration on Saturday, August 3. The event will be held at the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, downtown Houghton, and will feature a cocktail social and silent auction to benefit the Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund, in addition to the retirement dinner.

Chris' career at Tech began in 1980 as an instructor in biological sciences. From 1983 to 1989, she served as the director of the Summer Youth Programs; 1990 to 2007 as the executive director of the Educational Opportunity department, which also included the Summer Youth Programs; and from 2007 to today as the special assistant to the president for institutional diversity.

The social/auction begins at 5:30 p.m., with the dinner to follow at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $50 per person, with proceeds also going toward the scholarship fund. More information is available at www.huskylink.mtu.edu/chrisandersonretirement. To make a donation on behalf of Chris to the Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund, visit www.mtu.edu/giving or call 906-487-2310.

Class of 1953 Reunion Announcement and Challenge!

Bob Carnahan

Hoping for a stellar turnout. I'm aware of a handful of fellow alums planning to be in Houghton for our 60th class reunion in August. For our 50th we had a very respectable turnout enjoying attempts to identify one another and recalling the days gone by. Joe Gemignani took charge then of raising a successful class gift and this year I'm sure we'll rise to the challenge once again.

Earlier this year, the plan was announced to convert the campus corridor to a mall, beginning to end West to East, the Alumni Way. It's a splendid idea with a West End Gateway celebrating the history of the college and mining industry of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The plan includes benches that will bear plaques identifying the donor's and other significant elements. It's my hope that we will be able to place a bench and am appealing to our class to support this goal. Those unable to make it back to campus for the Reunion weekend can still participate by directing a donation to the Class Gift for Class of '53.

Go Huskies.

Bob Carnahan

The link for the Class of 1953 gift: https://www.banweb.mtu.edu/mtu/mtf/gift/give.xsql

Fill in the Blanks


2007 SYP on campus.

Recognize anyone?

Email me.


Sig Rho in 1976

Sig Rho
A classic Gazette caption:

Now much reduced because of the conclusion of the regular spring term, this group of Sigma Rho, Chassell men, were snapped under their sign which was erected to designate the longtime fraternity which started out in Houghton and moved to Chassell. Most of the personnel here have gone to their homes for the summer but two other men now are looking after the property. They are Tom Lawitzke and James Lee. Those in the picture, besides Dude, the dog, are Robert Sturk, Mick Jones, Dale Vertanen, Craig Cox, Tom Narva, Craig Crockett, Glenn Vangelderen, James Smith, James Hayden, Martie Rouse, Ken Kozak and Paul Decelle. The new fraternity house is much enjoyed by the students in that it has ample lake frontage, excellent water skiing, picturesque scenery and advantageous access to US-41

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Conner Rejoins Pittsburgh Penguins

Chris Conner
--Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Chris Conner to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero. Conner's contract is a two-way deal worth $550,000 at the NHL level. Conner, 29, re-joins the Pittsburgh organization for the second time, having first played with the team during the 2009-10 and '10-11 seasons. More

Colin Patterson to be Inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

Colin Patterson
Colin Patterson, who played hockey at Michigan Tech from 1964 to 1967 before a lengthy coaching career, will be inducted into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame later this week. The Kimberley, B.C., native will join two former NHL players Paul Kariya and Mark Recchi, former Vancouver Canucks head coach Marc Crawford, former player and coach Nancy Wilson and the 1994 and 1995 Kamloops Blazers teams who were Canadian Junior Hockey champions in the hall's class of 2013. More

Around the Keweenaw

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

From the Email Bag

"Terry Trailer Town"

terry trailer town
Hi Dennis,
Another interesting issue of TechAlum Newsletter.

Is that a photo of Terry Trailer Town and where was that trailer village located? Can't say. From the photo, it does not really look like the trailer park on the stamp sand flats east of campus but I could not say for sure even though we lived in that park for the two years that we were at the main campus after attending Soo Branch in our hometown.

Richard Kirkbride '67

another temp housing

Richard: Thanks for the note.

I found another example of temporary housing, left, and, this, from the Centennial book: They obtained funds "from the Federal Housing Authority. The first housing project was 50 units for married veterans and 120 for single vets."

So this was post-WWII, and I found another photo that said, "Old Upper Woodmar trailer court behind the football field." So, if this is the same as Terry Trailer Town, then we have it solved. (I don't have a photo that shows the trailers with the housing pictured here, but I'm assuming they were together.)

Early Sixties Action Recalled

Hello Dennis,
Nice note from Jeff Floria [regarding Alberta]. I was one of the guys he said he'd like to hear from. I've wondered where he wound up -- seems as if I heard he was in Ontario somewhere. I recall he was from Hastings, but I've been unable to locate him there. We settled in Eaton Rapids about 37 years ago and probably won't move again.

We did have fun that summer. I was one of the "musicians" he mentioned.

As I recall, the practice session of the bugle corps was a retaliation that Dr. Bourdo arranged in response to a few guys coming in late one night and making some noise. Bass drums and bugles outside the barracks at 8 am was a good payback.

Bill Botti '64

Looking for Names

Douglass House
This is a photo of the charter members of the Michigan Technological University Student Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). I believe it was taken in the mid-1970s. It looks like it was taken in the Library Bar in downtown Houghton. An aside, here, is the Library Bar still in existence? [Yes it is.]

Anyway, I have been able to identify 8 of the 15 folks in the photo. Some interesting people are in the photo. Standing, second from the left is Dr. Marty Jurgensen, then a professor of Soils in the Forestry Department, now a short-timer whose retirement party is happening on 3 Aug at the Houghton City Park, and sitting on the right side of the photo, third from the front (an unknown female) is our own Dr. Glenn Mroz, now President of MTU, then a Masters candidate in the Forestry Department.

If you could post this and ask our alumni for names, that would be great.

Oh, yes, yours truly (in the checkered flannel shirt with rolled up sleeves) is sitting in front of Dr. Jurgensen. Who, in my humble, unsolicited opinion, is one of the most gifted and unique teachers I have ever known.


George Teachman

George: Great photo! That is the Dog House, however. I've made it clickable so our alums might be able to help out.

Another Mystery Photo


Hi Dennis,
I was hoping that you could help me solve a 10+ year old mystery. Back sometime between 2001 and 2003, I was crossing US-41 going from Lot 10 to McNair Hall, and found a roll of film on the shoulder of the road. I got the roll of film developed, but didn't recognize any of the people in the photos. I was going through a box of old photos over the weekend and came across the stack of photos. Hopefully some of my fellow Alumni can identify the people and possibly who took them so that I can mail them to the rightful owner.

James R. Mason
BSME 2003

James: We made it clickable to help.

Three Generations of Huskies

3 generations
Always enjoy the newsletter, especially all the pictures from years gone by. Thought you might enjoy the attached photo of three generations of Huskies. On the right is my son Chris, '96. I'm on the left, and our beautiful granddaughter, Chloe (class of '33???), is center stage. Her shirt says "Huskie Princess" which is very appropriate because she is every inch the princess.

Larry Felhauer
Class of '69

Thanks Appreciated

Dear Dennis,

Another great newsletter!

It was wonderful seeing you at the Guts Frisbee Tournament on July 6th in Calumet.

I hear you have had some very warm days recently.

Take care!!!

Don Kolehmainen

Don: Thanks for the note and it was nice to meet you and the family up north. Frisbee tourney went well, and our weather is never the same for long: 40s last night!

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