It’s been a great couple of weeks here in Houghton, one day even getting up into the 60s. The parking ban is still in effect—you probably remember it well—but the sidewalks are getting closer to clear. The snow that’s remaining is hiding in the shade or in big glaciers next to driveways.
As I’m writing this, it’s only a few hours until the 2015 baseball season kicks off. Everyone starts with the same number of wins and losses. And it means we’re that much closer to the weather where you don’t even think about needing a jacket when bounding out the front door. That should happen by July.
For me, a lot of this last week was working on materials for Commencement. It’s hard to believe it’s here again already, but in less than a month, about a thousand new alumni will join our ranks. I met with the student speaker, Kyle Yarusso, a week ago. A nice guy, quick, and clearly going places. That’s so many of these graduates. There’s so much they get to do. Think of all of the first days and introductions that are about to happen. The new apartments and offices. The routes to work in cities familiar and strange. The new hangouts. Think of the possibilities.
Looking at this graduating class, the next incoming class is already taking shape. Excited high school students—debating whether or not to bring a car to campus, figuring out roommates, studying the campus map to try to remember where the heck they need to go—will be out on internships and accepting job offers before we know it. In between, they’re going to learn a lot.
There have been robins sighted in town, too. Nice to have them back. The last of the long bridge closures was last week, and the balance chains and support cables are all back in place. Granted, there’s still many months of construction yet to come, but the peregrine falcons—who live on a box atop the bridge—have seen fit to come back.
The hockey season came to an end, with a trip to the NCAAs and a heartbreaking overtime loss. I’d say the Huskies acquitted themselves very well. And even when we fell down, there wasn’t any quit. Now some of the players are looking ahead to careers, as pros and as professionals. A clean slate.
Mont Ripley has snow on it, though there are bare spots. Now it’s a sun-facing reminder of the season we just got out of, the melt rushing down to the mostly frozen canal. There’s some open water, just like the big lake. It was a cold one, though. It’ll take time.
I expect, in the next week or two, for the umbrellas to come out at the John Rovano Plaza, outside the Van Pelt and Opie Library. They’ll gust in the wind, flipping up a bit as the tall trees between the library and Rekhi Hall sway. We can order hot drinks out of habit instead of necessity. Maybe get a new usual.
It’s about that time again, the time when we all have no record, when anyone can do anything. When it’s all about promise. That’s true for the incoming student, the soon-to-be professional, and any of us who open the windows on a sunny morning and see hours stretched out across the horizon.
There’s a lot to do. A lot of stories to make, memories and traditions to forge, and just plain things for us to see and do before we huddle up again next winter. I can’t wait to hear about as many of those moments as possible.
Mark Wilcox has joined our team as our new news writer. He joins us after years in newspapers, radio, and television. Between Mark and Allison Mills—our science and technology writer, and the unceasing work of Jenn Donovan—our news and PR director—we’ve got a lot of campus coverage up and running. I can, for the most part, stay out of their way and let the real journalists do the news.
We’re also hard at work to bring you the next Michigan Tech Magazine. I can’t wait for you to see it. I think just about all of the writing is in, and now it’s time for the design and photography magic. I’ll give you a heads-up when I know those are going in the mail.
Finally, don’t forget that Alumni Reunion isn’t all that far away. If you can make it town, we’d love to see you. There’s always a great deal going on, and it’s a good time to say hello to old friends and make some new ones. Our doors are always open to you. Really.
Thanks for reading.