Mickus Family Store, South Range, Michigan
Mickus Family Store, South Range, Michigan

Albert and Rosella (Lenci) Mickus, a couple with local roots, have given the School of Business and Economics $450,000 through an estate gift.

"The Mickus family's generosity will help us support and educate tomorrow's business leaders for an entrepreneurial business environment that is continually changing," says Dean Darrell Radson. "It will be used to achieve our programmatic innovations, enhance our technology infrastructure, and expand our ability to educate the business leaders of tomorrow."

Albert Mickus was born in South Range, Michigan, and died in 2008. Rosella Mickus was born in Hubbell, Michigan, and died in 2009.

As a student at Jeffers High School, Albert Mickus worked in his father's grocery stores in South Range and Pequaming. He enrolled at Michigan Tech in 1942, volunteered for the war, served in the marines in World War II, and returned to Tech on the GI Bill®.

Halfway through his schooling, Albert was in a debilitating motorcycle accident. It took him two years to walk again, but, during his recovery, a nurse who cared for him became the woman of his dreams–Rosella.

Albert and Rosella Mickus
Albert and Rosella Mickus

Albert Mickus went on to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1949 and a bachelor's degree in business (called business engineering administration at the time) in 1950. He also earned a master's degree in business administration at the University of Michigan.

Albert spent his career at the Kohler Company of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and retired in 1990 as executive director of distribution for the US and Canada.

Rosella Mickus graduated from the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Hancock, Michigan, in 1945. She served in the US Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II and worked in Ypsilanti, Michigan, hospitals while Albert was attending graduate school. After their son Michael was born, she became a homemaker.

Michael, who also is an alumnus, says his parents attributed much of their success to his father's education at Michigan Tech.

"He aspired to be a pleasant and helpful person," says Michael Mickus. "He took care of his family. After their needs were met, he took care of his alma mater. He always appreciated Michigan Tech."

Michael Mickus earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1974 and a bachelor's degree in business engineering administration in 1975. He resides in Hubbell.

The gift resulted from a charitable gift annuity that the Mickus family established with the Michigan Tech Fund in 2003. As a result of this estate gift, Albert and Rosella Mickus are members of the University's McNair Society and Hotchkiss Society.

"Their leadership gift is a wonderful example of how people can provide for their family and Michigan Tech at the same time," said Eric Halonen, director of major gifts and gift planning.

"We are grateful for Al and Rosella's support."

GI Bill ® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.