Michigan Tech Magazine Winter 2010-11

Alumni Association Notes

Celebrating Traditions

I'm thrilled to be your new Alumni Association president and look forward to meeting many of you over the next couple years at some of the engaging events our organization hosts around the world. Our Board of Directors and new officers, along with our staff, serve you with pride and are always available to take your suggestions and address your concerns.

There are many exciting things happening on campus, including some that are highlighted in this issue, such as the new women's soccer team, the new apartment building, various research projects, and our association's move back to the Alumni House.

As we look at the calendar and the rapidly approaching holiday season, it's a good time to reflect upon the things that are important to each of us. Hopefully, Michigan Tech is one of those for you; it certainly is for me. Our world-class university is now engaged in a capital fundraising campaign, Generations of Discovery. As the many generations of our Tech family consider the value of their Michigan Tech experience, it is important to highlight that a strong tradition of giving back is part of our shared culture. As a 68,000-member organization, every gift counts—whether of time, talent, or treasure.

As a proud Yooper by birth and Husky by choice, I now reside in Southern California with my wife, Tanya. We hold dear our connection to Michigan Tech and the beautiful surrounding area and truly appreciate the various ways modern technology allows us to stay in touch.

Our new association mission is "Celebrating Traditions. Creating Connections," and we play a significant role in keeping the entire Tech community connected with tools such as HuskyLink, Facebook, and LinkedIn, along with numerous events. I hope you take advantage of these opportunities to reconnect with the campus community and your fellow alumni. You might even run into a long-lost friend.

I invite each of you to visit our newly renovated Alumni House, have a cup of coffee, and say hello.

Alumni Association Returns to its Old Home

The Alumni House, majestic in its day, handsome yet, is once again the home of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association, which moved into the building in September.

The brick structure was built in 1916, given to the University in 1961, and housed the association from 1980 to 1997. "Now we're back home," says Paul Ninefeldt '96, president of the Board of Directors.

The remodeled building is envisioned as "a warm and welcoming place" for alumni to stop by and reconnect, says Ninefeldt. It features a spacious and cozy area to swap tales, look at old yearbooks and memorabilia, take photos, and reminisce. "Basically," Ninefeldt says, "we want alumni to visit us and share their stories." Besides the main room, there will be a kitchenette, a large monitor with Internet access, as well as a conference room in the basement.

Since 1997, Alumni Relations has been housed in the Meese Center, off the main campus. "It'll be beneficial to be handy," Ninefeldt says. "We'll be visible and inviting."

The full-time staff of Alumni Relations numbers six; they will occupy all of the first floor; on part of the second floor there is an office for the Michigan Tech Student Foundation and an office for use by visiting alumni.

"We are excited about the opportunity to host more student activities in the House," says Ninefeldt. "This will allow students to become aware early on of the importance and value of networking with alumni. We want to cultivate that kind of communication all the while they're in school. We consider them alumni long before the graduate." Now that they're nearer the students, Alumni Relations will also get involved in other student activities, such as offering free coffee and bagels during exam week and participating in the orientation week scavenger hunt.

The Alumni Association Board of Directors provided the funding for the renovations. "There was no hesitation to lend their support for this project," says Brenda Rudiger, director of alumni relations. "They gave us sound direction and for that, we are grateful."