August 25, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 26

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

Open for business for another academic year!
Open for business for another academic year!

It’s a cloudy, drizzly, 50-degree day today, the first weekday on campus for almost all of our new students. This weekend was move-in day, and now there are clumps of students getting oriented. There are a lot of lanyards around.

I sort-of remember my first day at college. I got out of the car and was promptly ill. Not a promising start. It was a small college, and I remember how difficult it was for me to go to social event after social event. I’m actually quite introverted, even more so around people I don’t know. Stuff like that is exhausting.

But we also didn’t have the kind of orientation that our students get here. They get walked through each step so there aren’t any surprises. Our students know that there is a genuine wish for them to succeed from faculty, staff, and their fellow students.

I certainly didn’t get that in school. Maybe that’s why I transferred a couple of times.

I do envy them, though, our new students. The adventure they get to start now. I feel like, in my 30s, I would finally be ready to embrace everything I could in the college experience, something I wasn’t prepared to do as a terrified 17-year old.

The rest of our students will make their way back over the course of the next week. Town is filling up again. There’s more happening. Summer hours signs are coming down. Just about time to roll.


Kind of the converse of that, I had one of those great-idea-in-the-shower moments for Fill in the Blanks this time. Please check that out down below. I’ll share what my response to it would be next issue.

Up in the slideshow there is a collection of photos from our very own photographer Sarah Bird. It’s the stargazing one that rather blows me away. As if any of us needed another reminder of why we love being here.

But that photo, and ones like them, remind me to remind you about all of our social media outlets. We have a full staff of writers now, and everyone’s hard at work finding new ways to spread the word. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and probably more that I’m not even aware exist. Someone was trying to explain Yik Yak to me yesterday. That didn’t go well.

Sports is definitely off and rolling again, with an open practice for football happening tonight. It’s always nice to have big events like this happening again. We all seem to kind of wander off for the summer, and this is one of those places where it feels like campus reconnects.

From someone who went to another school the other day: “I’m an alumni.” No, no you’re not. You’re either an alumnus or an alumna. I had a classics professor who must twitch every time he hears Latin grammar being misused.

And finally, I’m very grateful that I have two courses to teach on campus this fall. I’ve been handed the keys to two sections of composition. It’s how I’m reminded of just what it is we do here at Tech and why it’s important. It would be easy to bury myself in my underground bunker of an office and just type away. But it’s more important to see it firsthand. Also, I’m hoping I can bribe convince someone to give me a literature class one of these semesters. It’s been a year or two since I’ve had to help someone fight through a Hawthorne novel or something.

Thanks for reading.

At Tech


Racing Toward a Dream

When Reagan May was 9 years old, she went to a bowling alley with her family in her native DePere Wis. What happened next changed the course of her life, and it had nothing to do with strikes and spares.

“Someone was there with a go-cart,” the fourth-year mechanical engineering student at Michigan Technological University says. “I . . . [ Full Story ]


Following the Fire: Preventing Floods and Erosion

California is on fire—again. About 130,000 acres have been scorched in more than 20 major fires actively burning in the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. But the flames are not the only danger.

Post-fire flooding and landslides can threaten lives, property and natural resources, which can include important municipal . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World


Making Heart Bypass Grafts Safer

The current standard in heart bypass surgery is to harvest veins from other parts of the body but this is not always an option for some patients. This project is focused on creating small diameter, off the shelf grafts in order to provide solutions for patients who are not eligible for the standard . . . [ Full Story ]

Two Alumni Lawyers Honored

Daniel H. Bliss ’83 mechanical engineering and Gerald E. McGlynn, III ’84 mechanical engineering are attorneys with Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC in Royal Oak, MI. They were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016.


West Michigan Fish Fry

On August 20th alumni, family and friends gathered for a fish fry at Schmohz Brewery. Capt. Ken Glupker ’73, operator of Jireh Charters, donated 75 lbs of walleye caught by himself and his wife Judy between charters. Vic Foerster ’74 helped out by deep-frying the french fries. Raffle tickets were sold for a day of . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Profile

Stasia and Richard Gray ’82, ’82


While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Michigan Tech, Dick Gray spent one summer as a roughneck on the north slope of Alaska. He must have liked it, because he spent most of his career in the oil and gas business, but not as a roughneck. After graduating from Michigan Tech with a BS in . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports


Tuesday Night Football Scrimmage Open to Public

Michigan Tech football will scrimmage under the lights of Sherman Field Tuesday (Aug. 25) at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to come watch. Admission is free.

Head coach Tom Kearly and his squad opened preseason practice on Aug. 13 in preparation for their Thursday, Sept. 3, opener vs. Wayne State at Sherman Field. The . . . [ Full Story ]


Tech’s Major Award Winners for 2014-15 Named

Aug 20, 2015

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech Athletics today announced its major award winners from the 2014-15 season. 

The Raymond L. Smith Award winners as the top senior student-athletes were Deedra Irwin, Tanner Kero and Ben Stelzer. The Terry Wilson Awards as the top freshmen

. . . [ Full Story ]

2015-16 Michigan Tech Hockey Season Opens in 50 Days

Aug 19, 2015

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech hockey team opens its 2015-16 schedule Oct. 9 – exactly 50 days from today – with the first of two exhibition contests against Laurentian University at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Michigan Tech’s 34-game

. . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Soccer Picked Fourth in GLIAC Preseason Poll

Michigan Tech women’s soccer enters the 2015 season picked to finish fourth in the GLIAC. The league announced its preseason poll today on its website, which includes previews and videos for each of 13 teams.

Tech is coming off its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago. The Huskies finished third in the GLIAC . . . [ Full Story ]


Tech Football Picked Fourth in GLIAC North

Michigan Tech was picked fourth in the North Division in the 2015 GLIAC Preseason Football Coaches’ Poll, which released today on the GLIAC Football website. Ferris State topped the North Division poll while Ohio Dominican headed the South Division results.

The Huskies garnered 32 points in the poll, trailing Ferris (49), Grand Valley State . . . [ Full Story ]


Huskies Signed Four to NLIs for Running, Skiing

Aug 19, 2015

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Tech cross country, Nordic skiing and track and field coach Joe Haggenmiller signed four athletes to National Letters of Intent during the offseason. Gaspard Cuenot (Le Cerneux-Pequignot, Switzerland), Brendan Klynstra (Ionia, Mich.), Reed Melicher (Eveleth, Minn.) and Matthew Pahl (Canton,

. . . [ Full Story ]

1963 and 1965 Football Reunions Set for Homecoming Weekend

Aug 17, 2015

HOUGHTON, Mich. — A reunion celebration for the 1963 and 1965 championship Michigan Tech football teams will take place during Homecoming 2015. Tech will welcome back many former Huskies for the Oct. 9-10 weekend and recognize them at half of the Homecoming contest.

. . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks


Only You Can Save the Day

An acquaintance of mine used to always make fun of adults who brought their gloves to a ballgame. “Yeah, because the manager is going to decide you should play the outfield,” he would quip. Of course, I liked to go to games early and sit in the outfield for batting practice. And a Raul Ibanez . . . [ Full Story ]

From the Email Bag

Comfort Food

Since you asked about comfort food, it was pizza and hot tea down at the Library Bar until the late hours. Then you would go outside at -40f and hear the crunching of the snow under your feet, echo off the buildings. So warm and so comfortable.

Jerry Widmar
BSME ‘84

Ah, and to think we
. . . [ Full Story ]


Tech Huskies Meet on Alaska Cruise

It was a random “open seating” dinner on the Holland America Zaandam, as my wife, Marvel, and I (Frank Townsend, BSCE ’62) followed the waiter to a table. As we introduced ourselves to fellow seated passengers, one replied; he was from Michigan and his degree was in Metallurgical Engineering. I immediately thought, Michigan, + Metallurgical Engineering . . . [ Full Story ]


100 Miles for One Cause

Note from Kevin: This is something that’s a bit new for us to be doing, but if you’ve got a cause and your story in some way connects to Tech, please feel free to pass it along. I can’t promise all of them will get printed, but I’ll do my best.

Hello. I . . . [ Full Story ]

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. Visit for details

·         Auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual.
·         Pet Health Insurance through ASPCA
·         Long Term Care Insurance – AlumniLTC®
·         Short-term health insurance - GradMed®
·         Travel Insurance through USI

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.

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