Alumni Reunion: Golden Years, Great Memories

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor

"Anybody here still use a slide rule?"

That refrain meant the Class of 1960 was back in town, some for the first time in a half-century, and they were being honored at the Golden M pinning ceremony.

President Glenn Mroz ’74,’77 and Alumni Association President Mark Mitchell ’77 handed out the pins and enjoyed the stories and shout-outs along with the rest of the nice-sized crowd in the Memorial Union.

The alums approached the front, and their spouses clicked their cameras as their significant others ambled, jogged and/or waved to the crowd.

"He played a little hockey, too!" someone shouted to Dan Farrell, 1960 alumnus and assistant hockey coach under the legendary John MacInnes. "Johnny Mac" was also fondly recalled.

Mroz revealed fun facts from fifty years back.

Bob Carlson '60 was the national bowling champ. No one could recall the commencement speaker. The Portage Lake Lift Bridge was just built (and its current problems caused a few ripples of laughter).

"A dress code was created for Douglass Houghton Hall," Mroz stated.

"And I bought my first pair of blue jeans to protest!" an alum offered. "And the administration backed down later," he emphasized.

Some alumni of the Tech Sault branch were in attendance.

Tales of Frosh Week came next.

Ted Grezlak recalled, fifty-four years ago, a pickup football game, at a Huskies night game, that turned into a huge pile-on. "Anyone remember people pulling guys off, so we didn’t suffocate?"

Joe Wickley remembered, as a local high school student, a run-in with the “Toots (Tech Out of Towners)." "They marched in a parade in Hancock, and we knew they were coming over to steal our girls, so we mixed it up and ended up in jail. But, next year, I was marching right along with them!"

Anna Hradel represented the few, the proud, the women.

"Anyone still have your freshmen 'MT' hats?" she asked. "We didn’t know they [upper classmen] would pronounce it 'empty.'"

The women couldn't wear pants, except on Fridays, and then the men routinely wouldn't open doors for them since they were "dressed like men."

The curfew for the Tech women was 10:15 p.m., and the enrollment numbers weren't much: 21 in Smith House, 21 living at home.

"That's about one percent," said Mroz. "But they did have a record snowfall that year," he laughed.

Some mentioned that they still had their old army-style book bags.

And they recalled the nightmares of picking classes, which were cards on the wall in the registrar's office, just after someone beat them to it. They'd have to start their whole schedule over.

"No computers then!"

Another recalled machine shop with teacher Jacobsen and his "ayustable yaws" on the lathes.

A road trip to follow the hockey Huskies to the playoffs in Boston was remembered, with a couple of entrepreneurial students making a little extra spending cash selling sandwiches and beverages at a tidy profit.

The Quonset huts for married housing were less than fondly recalled. "We had holes in the walls and ice in our closet."

Snow removal came in the shape of a noisy, old, diesel D4 bulldozer that was fired up at 4:15 a.m. every morning.

One laughed at "school closings of today's Tech," and remembered fighting through snowbanks for an 8 a.m. class and seeing his professor standing outside. "He entered the building, only after I broke the trail!"

In a new tradition, alums Ron Harma and Norb Verville read off the names of their deceased classmates. The moment was touching.

But, beforehand, Norb asked, “What happens if I read someone's name, and he's here?"

Contract Dates and Pay Dates Out of Sync for Faculty; Pay Backed Up One Week

submitted by Human Resources

Michigan Tech is addressing a disconnect between faculty contracts and payroll dates for academic year 2010-11. The two do not coincide, according to Anita Quinn, director of Human Resources. Therefore, some faculty will be paid a week in advance.

Faculty contract dates for 2010-11 are August 16, 2010, through May 6, 2011. Payroll start and end dates are August 8, 2010, and April 30, 2011. This year, according to University policy, Labor Day falls on September 6, and fall semester classes begin on August 30.

This circumstance means the contract dates begin in the middle of a biweekly pay cycle.

To accommodate faculty who have elected to have their salary paid evenly over 26 biweekly pays, the on-payroll date will be backed up one week, resulting in faculty being paid one week in advance and ending one week earlier at the end of spring semester 2011.

Faculty earning summer salary the week of August 16, 2010, will have that amount added to their biweekly pay on August 27, which could result in three weeks of pay.

Faculty who have elected 19 pays will receive their last check on May 6, 2011, which will fulfill the contractual amount due for 2010-11.

Faculty who elected 26 pays for the 2010-11 year will receive their last check on August 12, 2011.

The same situation occurred last year. The University will continue to work on a resolution for matching contract and pay dates in the future. If you have any questions or concerns contact Payroll Services at 487-2130.

Lake Superior Buoy Deployed

Michigan Tech has launched a new buoy in Lake Superior. The first of two coastal monitoring buoys, it will collect data on weather; surface and subsurface water temperature; wind speed and direction; wave height, period and direction; and air temperature.

The buoy contains technologies developed by Dr. Guy Meadows, of the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory at the University of Michigan (UM). Michigan Tech researchers, from both the Research Institute (MTRI) and campus, will collaborate with UM on adding new environmental sensors. The data collected will be part of Tech's Great Lakes Research Center, which is now under construction. Robert Shuchman, codirector of MTRI, and W. Charles Kerfoot, professor of biological sciences, are principal investigators on the project. Chair Sarah Green (Chemisry) is a co-PI.

The buoy, which was towed in July to a site approximately two miles northeast of the Keweenaw Waterway's North Entry, is part of the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), a project involving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and six universities, including, besides Michigan Tech and UM, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Ohio State University, and the State University of New York.

Michigan Tech recently received a one-year grant of $205,000 from the Great Lakes National Program Office of the Environmental Protection Agency to develop the project.

The data collected are transmitted to Tech and to NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), a forecasting system that is accessible by anyone via the Internet.

The coastal monitoring program will be a counterpart to a deep-water buoy program that collects data in open waters far from the shoreline.

For further information on the new buoy, please visit

National Night Out Will Repeat

Michigan Tech's first National Night Out was described by organizers as "a huge success," and plans are already being made for next year's event.

Daniell Heights residents took part in the nationwide event, which was hosted by Public Safety and Police Services and Housing and Residential Life, on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Approximately 150 participants spent the evening with their local emergency responders. Personnel from the Michigan Tech Police, Houghton Fire Department and Mercy Ambulance gave a close-up look at a police car, fire truck and ambulance, answered questions, and distributed free items.

The festivities included a hot-dog barbecue, music, games for the kids and face painting. The highlight of the night was a visit from Blizzard T Husky and McGruff the Crime Dog.

National Night Out is a crime and drug prevention program sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. Law enforcement agencies across the country host the events on the same date to promote crime prevention and community involvement with emergency first-responders.

For more information about the planning for next year, contact Deputy Chief Brian Cadwell (487-2216 or ), or Heather Simpson (487-2730 or .)

Institutional Diversity Moves

Institutional Diversity, currently located in the Alumni House, will move to the eighth floor of the Citizens Bank building in Hancock, beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Due to the relocation, the staff (Chris Anderson, Carol Argentati and Beverly Auel) will not have phone or email access from 2 p.m. today until 8 a.m., Friday, Aug. 13.

If you have an urgent need to reach this office during the move, contact Karen Wade at 487-2920 and leave a message.

An open house for the campus community will be announced.

Healthy Tip of the Week

brought to you by HuskyPAW
Be realistic. Make small changes over time in what you eat and the level of physical activity you do. Small steps often work better than giant leaps.

New Funding

Assistant Professor Rodney Chimner (SFRES) has received $15,000 from the US Department of Interior, National Park Service, for a nine-month project, "Assess Vernal Pools of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore by Determining Distribution, Abundance, and Ecological Significance."

Professor Andrew Storer (SFRES) has received $35,000 from the Michigan Department of Agriculture for a nine-month project, "2010 Purple Trap Deployment and Support of Dendrochronology for the Houghton County SLAM Site."

In the News

The Cedar Springs Post, near Grand Rapids, Mich., did a feature story on Michigan Tech student Tom Maynard, who graduated from Cedar Springs High School and worked with Youth Programs' "Mind Trekkers" at the national Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia last week.