March 20, 2018, Vol. 24, No. 14

Legacies at Tech

In the December 16, 2014, edition, you asked: “Did you send a legacy student to Tech, or were you one yourself? Tell us your story.” So here is my story.

I had two legacy students graduate from Michigan Tech as well as a son and daughter in law.

My daughter didn’t want anything to do with Michigan Tech. She had her heart set on Loyola of Chicago. Loyola was quite expensive so I counseled my daughter to attend Tech her freshman year and get a lot of prerequisites out of the way. She attended Tech and toward the end of her freshman year she learned about the study abroad program. She spent her sophomore year in the south of France in Aix en Provence. When she returned she met a biochem PhD candidate from Provence and dated and then married him. She went on to get her bachelor’s and then her masters degrees from Michigan Tech; he got his PhD before going on to Michigan State where he did post doc work and she got her PhD. They later moved back to Houghton and she worked as an instructor at Michigan Tech before moving to California, where she is currently pursuing her second PhD at the University of California Davis.

My youngest son was the opposite of my daughter in that he knew from a very young age that he wanted to be an electrical engineer and attend Michigan Tech. He did just that in four years and took a position as a patent examiner with the US Patent and Trademark Office. He married his high school sweetheart while attending Michigan Tech, and she is a Tech graduate as well. While in DC, his wife obtained a masters degree in library science. After working several years in the Patent Office, he was able to do his work from home as long as he lived within a fifty-mile radius of the office in Alexandria, Virginia. Subsequently his wife worked in several DC-area libraries. Legislation was then passed that a patent examiner could live anywhere in the country, so my son and daughter in law moved to Hancock where he works as a patent examiner and she is the lead archivist at the Van Pelt Library. She is also the granddaughter of long-time Tech professor and former president of Suomi College David T. Halkola.

Robert Hiltunen ‘82