April 8, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16

The Golden Age of Concerts

Alan Parsons Live Project with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.

Another bonus of living here is all the talent that comes through town: famous lecturers, comedians, acting troupes, and especially musicians  have graced the stages at Tech. Through extensive research in the Keweenawan and elsewhere, I’ve discovered a golden age of rock, folk, and jazz concerts at Tech.

We  still get good acts, and an annual spring event called Keweenawsomefest brings in folks from across the Midwest.

But, the years from 1968 to 1977 brought some legendary musicians to Tech: the Smothers Brothers, John Denver, Jim and Ingrid Croce, Bob Seger System, Linda Ronstadt (a little tipsy on stage?), Neil Diamond, Chubby Checker, Ides of March, Guess Who, Styx, Grass Roots, Ian and Sylvia, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (just saw them a couple years ago), Maynard Ferguson (played here a few times), Cactus and the Amboy Dukes (w/Ted Nugent, Alpha Kappa Psi put it on), Muddy Waters (I heard he played later in Wads basement.), Deodato (saw this), Mary Travers, and Woody Herman.

Some lesser-known artists also performed. Some were brought back frequently, like Josh White, and some only once (from what I could tell): the Buffalo Chipkickers, the Dukes of Dixieland, the People Tree, Zap, Natchez Trace, the New Colony Six, Mason Proffit, Scott Richard Case, Jim Schwall Band, and Oliver (“Jean”).

Later, Arlo Guthrie played here a couple of times, and he’s coming back this summer. His dad, Woody, wrote a song about the Italian Hall disaster in Calumet, “The 1913 Massacre.”

A huge treat was when the Alan Parsons Live Project played with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, with Milt Olsson directing. Milt’s son, PJ, is lead singer for Alan Parsons.

Also more recently, Flogging Molly, Electric Six, and They Might Be Giants (who were really good). Brad Paisley played during the first year of the Rozsa Center.

But, we have gaps to fill: much of the 1980s and 1990s seem void of music. That can’t be true, as there had to be concerts on and off campus. Can you recall any of note? I’d love to hear about what you heard (and saw).

Dennis ’92 ’09

Snowfall Totals
Did I mention I bought new golf clubs? Last time I did that? Our pipes froze.

Keweenaw County numbers.
Keweenaw Research Center  totals.

At Tech


Alumni Power at the Straits of Mackinac

It’s a Michigan Tech electrical engineer’s dream: Connect the two Michigan peninsulas’ power grids using the latest technology in a massive project, the first of its kind. And Tech alumni are playing huge roles in it all. A high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) device is being installed near St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula to control increased . . . [ Full Story ]


APMP: Champs Times Two

An Applied Portfolio Management Program team from Michigan Tech has won two global investment competitions. The Gold Team won the value category in the Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum IV, hosted by Quinnipiac University in New York City. They also won the 14th Annual Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) competition in the same category with . . . [ Full Story ]


Researchers Look Under the Ice

Guy Meadows loves winter.  It gives the director of Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) in the cold, snowy Upper Peninsula a chance to do something few others can:  study the Great Lakes under a cover of ice. “Our arctic-like environment provides a wonderful opportunity to make the GLRC a true year-round research facility,” Meadows . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World


Alumni Pavers Deadline is Approaching

Orders are rolling in for the Alumni Way pavers that will be placed on campus to highlight the new husky statue. No doubt, this project will be an impressive addition to the campus mall, and the many alumni and friends who have already purchased their pavers are looking forward to visiting campus and seeing their . . . [ Full Story ]

Cape Coral

Florida Alumni Events

Alumni and friends in Orlando, The Villages, Tampa, and Cape Coral, Florida, joined President Glenn Mroz ‘74/’77, Gail Mroz ‘86, Director of Stewardship and Development Events and Brenda Rudiger, Executive Director of Alumni Relations for a variety of events the week of March 24-28.

Many thanks to our special luncheon hosts Dan ‘60 and Jolayne . . . [ Full Story ]


Mascot Callout

We are still researching the different  mascot costumes worn over the years. We are in dire need of stories and photos. We are trying to develop a good history of mascots before Blizzard, especially. Also, we are interested in husky dog mascots. If you ever wore the Husky costume, had a dog who was a mascot, . . . [ Full Story ]

thank you

Thank You to Our Alumni Volunteers!

It is volunteer appreciation week. Many thanks to all of our amazing alumni and friends who donate their time and talents as chapter leaders, mentors, recruiters, presenters, and volunteers!


Marquette Alumni Chapter

Do you live in or near Marquette, MI? Come check out what is happening with the new Marquette Alumni Chapter during a casual gathering on May 8, 6-9 p.m. at The Ore Dock Brewing Company.  Meet your Chapter Leaders Erica McCone’00, Rod Lizak ‘89, and Kristin Beck ‘02 and hear about some of the exciting . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Four School Records Fall in Wisconsin Sunday

The Michigan Tech track and field teams competed at the Rex Foster Invitational on the campus of UW-Whitewater on Sunday (Apr. 6). The Huskies broke four school records and the men placed third while the women were sixth. ”I’m pretty pleased with how we opened the season,” Tech coach Joe Haggenmiller said. “Everybody really appreciated the . . . [ Full Story ]


Kilpela Breaks 10K School Record

Jonathan Kilpela broke Michigan Tech’s record in the 10-kilometer by over 20 seconds at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival on Friday (Apr. 4). The senior from Atlantic Mine, Mich., finished in 31:11.94 to break the previous record of 31:32.77 held by Brian Stetter from the 2010 season. He finished 26th in his heat which . . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks

From the Email Bag


The Troupe: a Married Couple!

I recognize the people in your photo of The Troupe. That’s me (Josh Hamilton) in the front with Katrina Hamilton (formerly Warsinski). In the back, from left to right, are Adam Sommerfield, Stephen Bosio (who was a student at Finlandia), and Mike Mott. The one way on the right, that you can’t see the . . . [ Full Story ]

Frank Townsend, right, and Nawaf Blaisi.

Alumni Meet in Florida

Hi Dennis,
Yesterday, I made a presentation at an environmental engineering graduate seminar. In my introduction, I always insist that they mention my undergraduate degree is from MTU. Following my presentation, a student came up and announced he also is a MTU graduate. Small world! He and I both shared an uncommon Tech experience . . . [ Full Story ]

dorothy ruohonen

Alum Business Receives Honor

Michigan Celebrates Small Business announced its slate of 2014 award winners. BridgeGuard Inc, of Hancock  was honored as one of 50 to watch. The firm is owned and managed by Michigan Tech alumna Dorothy Ruohonen (Mech Design Eng Tech ’85) and her husband Jay (SBE ’84).


south range

Forestry Summer Campers Save a Life

During Forestry summer camp of 1970 my roommate and I plus our two partners were attempting to finish a final land/timber mapping project south of South Range. It was a great July Yoop day as it was pouring rain and very cold. Around lunchtime all four of us were drenched to the bone. . . . [ Full Story ]

James Cagney

Let’s Dance (Goes with Our Music Theme)

Thanks to Frank Shoffner ’62 for this one:

Let’s all look at this one again-it just plain makes your toes tap and your heart smile. When this video opens, it appears it will be a ballet (It isn’t.) Continue watching, as many dancers from over the years appear in this video. What a treat to watch! Whoever put this . . . [ Full Story ]

Engaged-at-Carnival Club Grows

Hello Dennis,
I saw Dan and Kaylee’s story from the latest TechAlum Newsletter, and my fiancee and I are proud to be fellow members of the “Engaged at Carnival” club. I popped the question to my fiancee/soon-to-be wife while exploring the Champion Mill ruins in Freda during Carnival 2013, not more than a few . . . [ Full Story ]


More on the Copper Country Limited

Dear Dennis,
The emails on the railroad into Houghton brought back some good memories of my handful of train rides there. I went from Peoria on the Rock Island Line to Chicago and then transferred to the Milwaukee Road, which went the rest of the way to Houghton. At that time it was also known . . . [ Full Story ]


Cool Game Here

Hi Dennis,
My dad, Larry Lankton, spent 30+ years at MTU researching, writing, and teaching Copper Country history. For the past year and a half, I have been designing a board game called Copper Country, largely inspired by my dad’s work. I’m developing the game with fellow Yooper Scott Diehl (whose parents were both professors in . . . [ Full Story ]

homecoming 1983

More on Homecoming ’83 and More

Thanks for the article on artist, Tony Orrico’s visit to Michigan Tech and Finlandia. I went to high school with the two professors (Anne Beffel, MTU and Carrie Flaspohler, Finlandia) who collaborated on this project. As an MTU grad and current MTU parent, it is exciting to see this kind of art available . . . [ Full Story ]

downtown houghton

More on Tony’s

Hi Dennis;
I have many memories of time spent in Tony’s. One of my favorites was on Halloween 1970. A classmate and I, both living on Douglas Heights, took our 4 yr. old sons on a bar tour downtown for “trick or treats”. Tony’s was the last stop on the way home. They bartender . . . [ Full Story ]

EERC construction

New EERC Going Up

Hello !
Got my MS Ch. August 1973. Going through some pix, I ran across an oldie-but-goodie that I’d like to share. Look at the attached image. Don’t know; maybe you can use it somehow.

Ron Sindric

This is great Ron. What building did it replace?

Featured Alumni Benefits


Michigan Tech Alumni Group Insurance Programs

As a Michigan Tech graduate, you qualify for a special group rate on many of your personal insurance needs.

These partner companies provide funds to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association as part of this collaboration. Agreements like this help support a wide range of programs and services for alumni and students.

Around the Keweenaw

Job Opportunities