May 10, 2016, Vol. 22, No. 18

Pomp, Circumstance, and a President’s-eye View of Spring Commencement

Commencement n GLENN standing

Congratulating grads for more than 20 years—as Michigan Tech president since 2004—and the Big Day never gets old. Glenn Mroz gets personal, sharing the excitement of The Big Day.

The alarm clock is set for 5:30 a.m., but I’ve been awake for hours. The excitement of the previous evening’s reception spent with graduates, their families, faculty, and staff lasted through the night as one student after another talked about what’s next and where’s next. But today is even bigger.

7 a.m. – In the car, heading to the Rozsa Center for the Army and Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony.

7:30 a.m. – Cadets who were just kids a couple years ago make an absolute commitment, taking a pledge first given by General George Washington. Many of us remember others, standing in those same spots, who took that pledge and made that ultimate sacrifice. The day has hardly begun and it’s already emotional.

9 a.m. – Time for a quick breakfast followed by donning academic garb, and photos with speakers, award winners, trustees, family, and friends. A quick peek into the MacInnes Ice Arena shows the seats already two-thirds full—wow—1.5 hours before the processional!

10:15 a.m. – Everyone in line. Orders given to silence cell phones—but tweet your heart out.

10:30 a.m. – The University Marshal raises the mace high. Pomp and Circumstance begins, and close to 1,000 soon-to-be-grads follow the marshal onto the floor of the ‘Mac’ with family and friends on their feet in the stands. Nobody can sit at this point. It’s just too big a day.
Seven graduating seniors harmonize on The Star-Spangled Banner, a cappella. Are these really the kids we helped move into the dorm as first-year students? That seems like yesterday. The student speaker is followed by the director of the Peace Corps as commencement speaker, an award to an amazing alumnus, hooding of PhD’s and Master’s candidates.

11:15 a.m. – The ROTC grads are called on to the platform to repeat their oath in front of their fellow graduates and all assembled. The words “so help me God” are still hanging in the air when more than 5,000 people—everyone—regardless of national origin, are on their feet cheering. This is not the cynical America you see or hear about in the media—it’s Michigan Tech. It’s respect!

11:25 a.m. – The students receiving Bachelor of Science or Arts degrees proceed across the stage, smiling, excited, high-fiving. A member of ‘Animal Control’ (aka Blizzard T. Husky, our mascot) keeps up the tradition of revealing his identity at commencement—with paws on and a tail sticking out the back of his gown. Spirit!

1 p.m. – The room is warm and the stands are still packed. It’s the big day. The students are welcomed into the Alumni Association, now some 70,000 strong in every state and every continent—yes some work in Antarctica. All the family and friends have been introduced, thanked, and are on their feet. Only the grads are seated.

1:15 p.m. – The tough part—saying goodbye—but doing it right. Making it count. Thanking the students for choosing to come to Michigan Tech, telling the students they taught us a lot! That they gave so much to enhance our community, our lives. It’s the last chance to let them know how we feel about them. Emotions are high. “As you make your mark in the world, know that we are proud of you, we have confidence in you, and we wish you the best always.” The ovation is beginning and I have to shout to be heard. “WOULD THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2016 PLEASE RISE AND ACCEPT OUR THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS ON A JOB WELL DONE!”

Everyone is on their feet—the roar is deafening. Hugs all around, hats in the air, give way to the students returning for the reserved singing of the Alma Mater. When the students hit the final note, the drum section of the Husky Pep Band fills the air and our not-so-reserved band appears from seemingly everywhere. FIGHT SONG! One last time…for a while. One last salute to the Class of ’16.

Because it’s a very big day.

TechAlum congratulates the 691 undergraduates, 192 Master’s, and 51 PhDs joining the ranks of Michigan Tech alumni!

At Tech


Robinsons Continue Philanthropy to SBE

Ed Robinson graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1966. It’s been 50 years since he left campus, but the culture of philanthropy he fostered in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) will resonate far into the future.

 For more than 30 years Robinson and his wife Betty have generously given to the SBE. Last . . . [ Full Story ]


Michigan Tech ChemE Car Places Second in Regional Competition

The competition was hosted by Miami University of Ohio on April 16.  Seventeen universities participated.

The competition is designed to engage college students in designing and constructing a car powered by a chemical energy source that will safely carry a specified load over a given distance and stop. 

At rear, from left: Robert Dupont, . . . [ Full Story ]


Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Hails Graduates, Passes Budget

At the meeting, the Board approved two new degree programs, a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a PhD in Applied Physics.

The MS in Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary program involving faculty from the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering and from the School of Technology. The program is expected to broaden . . . [ Full Story ]


Four Generations and Counting

When Alyssa Smith, graduated from Michigan Technological University with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering in December 2015, she did more than receive a diploma. She wrote the latest chapter in a family history that began nearly 90 years ago.

Smith is the latest member of her family to attend Michigan Tech, an odyssey spanning . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Around the World

Alumni 5k 201508080025

Alumni Reunion Sneak Peek

Alumni Reunion is just around the corner, August 4-6. In addition to fan favorites like the pasty picnic, Tech Talks, and hearty breakfasts, we’re offering some fun new activities for you and your family:

- 5k run/walk sponsored by the Keweenaw Alumni and Friends Chapter

- Stuff-a-Husky: DIY plush toys
- Pasty-making demonstration . . . [ Full Story ]


Mini Reunion

Natalie Graiver (2006) and Scott Heckel (1983) completed the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon in Canton, Ohio April 24, 2016.

It was the third half marathon they have competed in together after meeting at the Cleveland Fall Classic Half Marathon November 23, 2014.

Each ran the Santa Hustle Half Marathon at . . . [ Full Story ]

Alumni Profile

Debasis Datta ’94


Debasis Datta graduated with a PhD in Physics from Michigan Technological University in 1994. Prior to joining Michigan Tech, he received his master’s in physics from Indian Institute of Technology. His research work at Tech resulted in ten publications in American Physical Review. Following the completion of his postdoctoral work, he started his career in . . . [ Full Story ]

Tech Sports

Track meet

Track Teams Have Strong Showings at GLIAC Championships

May 06, 2016

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Tech track and field teams wrapped up competition at the GLIAC Championships today (May 6) at Top Taggart Field on the campus of Ferris State University.

Both the men’s and women’s teams produced several impressive

. . . [ Full Story ]

Yumuang Selected to All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team

Michigan Tech men’s tennis senior Built Yumuang (Bangkok, Thailand) has been named to the All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team, it was announced today (May 1) by the league.

Yumuang compiled a 5-4 GLIAC record while playing at the No. 3 singles position for the Huskies this spring. Additionally, Yumuang notched a 4-5 in GLIAC matches at . . . [ Full Story ]

Fill in the Blanks

Bridge aerial

A Bridge in Time

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge has been undergoing some maintenance recently, leading to some backups and delays. Looks like that was the case in the photo below. Anyone know when this picture was taken? (The cars will likely get you close.) Do you have a story or good memory about the iconic structure?

. . . [ Full Story ]

From the Email Bag

From the Email Bag

I remember Dr. Inveiss very well.  Although I was an EE, we had Thermodynamics on our list of required courses.  He had a water saturation chart which showed a curve following a 100 percent saturation condition under different temperatures and pressures.  He pointed out that on one side of the line would be fog as . . . [ Full Story ]

Featured Alumni Benefits

Huskylink Email

Michigan Tech Alumni Email Service

Take advantage of a “” email service (powered by Google) provided by Michigan Tech’s Information Technology Services.

Sign up for your alumni email account today through the HuskyLink online community If you are not already a member, visit for details on how to join.

Once you have set up your “” email account, you can access your email on the web from anywhere by visiting

Students are welcome to continue using their “” email account after graduation.

Around the Keweenaw

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On Campus

Miss the great Keweenaw lifestyle? If you’re looking for a way to get back to this awesome corner of the world, check out these positions available right here at Michigan Tech.

View a listing of our on-campus career opportunities.