Michigan Tech Magazine Spring 2009

Alumni Association Notes

The Power of the Network

So we're sitting at home one night in late February. I had several days off so I asked Sharon what we should do. I knew there was a Michigan Tech Alumni Association pub night in Jacksonville, Florida, that week and wondered if we should make the 400-mile drive and check it out. Sharon said of course we should, so we set off in the morning and arrived in time to surprise Alumni Relations Director Brenda Rudiger, whom I accidentally forgot to inform that we would be coming.

To our delight there was an excellent turnout of Michigan Tech alums, and we had a wonderful time. The event was organized by Nicole Vestich ('07, Business) and her fiancé, Ben Biesterveld ('06, EE), who both live and work in the Jacksonville area. They did a great job of putting the event together, choosing a microbrewery/ bar and grill as the venue. They were assisted by the Michigan Tech Alumni Regional Network organized by Alumni Relations Associate Director Brent Burns.

An Alumni Network is a loosely associated group of Michigan Tech alumni. The network can be regional, as in Jacksonville, or based on a common affinity or corporate affiliation. The purpose is to connect alumni and facilitate events of a common interest such as pub nights, Tech gamewatches, athletic events, or picnics. Alumni Relations staff support the networks by helping to plan your event, including communicating with local alumni, online registration through HuskyLink, and generally making sure your event is a success. It worked in Jacksonville.

As it turns out, there are over a thousand Michigan Tech alumni living in Florida, and we are present in all fifty states. The Jacksonville event included people like Eric Peterson ('70, CE and Business) and his wife, Pat, who were instrumental in starting the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program, something Eric said was "one of the most gratifying experiences of my life." We also met Matt Lahti ('06, CE), who's from St. Augustine and told me, "Tech made me as a person." Matt's dad is Bruce Lahti ('71 Business), originally from Marquette, a former Tech hockey equipment manager, and now general manager of the nearby World Golf Hall of Fame (a great place to visit). There were Chris ('03 ME) and Elaine ('05 CE) Bien, who came despite the fact that Elaine had to be at her job site at 4:00 am for a bridge deck pour. And I met Mark Walter ('75 Bio Sci), whom we figured must have been one of my biology lab instructors back in the day, but neither of us could actually recall the other. Oh well.

The point is, it was fun, it was informative, it was Tech, and the Alumni Regional Network made it possible. Right here in the heart of Florida, 1,500 miles from the Keweenaw.

Mark Mitchell '77
Michigan Tech Alumni Association

Alumni Reunion Weekend August 6—8, 2009

This year’s featured classes are 1959, 1969, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1999, and the Golden Ms (those who graduated fifty-plus years ago). Also featured will be our women’s basketball alumnae.

Planning to attend Reunion? Request a 2009 Reunion Registration Package by calling 1-877-688-2586 or send us an email with your name, class year, and mailing address to alumni@mtu.edu. Registration packages will be available in June of 2009. You can also plan to register online after June 15.

Not able to attend Reunion? You can still reconnect with your classmates by visiting http://huskylink.mtu.edu/join to access HuskyLink, Michigan Tech’s online alumni community. You can use the HuskyLink online directory to track down your classmates and also share your favorite Tech memories by posting a Class Note. Don’t forget to include pictures!

Visit http://alumni.mtu.edu/reunion/2009 for details.

Show your pride!

The Michigan Tech Alumni Association offers a wide range of products and services to help you show your pride in your alma mater. For details visit www.alumni.mtu.edu/products or call 1-877-688-2586.