13 Days Left Until 2019! Make Your Gift Today!

As we approach the end of the 2018 calendar year, we want to take a moment to remind our alumni and friends that there is still time to make an annual contribution in support of Michigan Tech.

You can phone the Michigan Tech Fund at 906-487-2310 or toll-free at 877-386-3688 to make your gift with a credit card. You also have the option of making a credit card gift via Michigan Tech’s secure online gift page. These online gifts can be made up until 11:55 p.m. (EST) on December 31 to ensure a 2018 contribution.

The Michigan Tech Fund offices will be closed on December 24 and 25, but will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) December 26, 27, and 28 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (EST) on December 31.

 


Your Summer Youth Program Experience: Nathalie Osborn ’93

Nathalie Osborn ’93

From tomboy attending the Women in Engineering Program (WIE) in the 80s, to presenting as a guest speaker for the 2018 WIE attendees, this energized leader, coach, director and co-author is sure leave a positive impact on everyone she meets. Here is her story.

We love hearing back from those who are alumni of both Michigan Tech and Summer Youth Programs. Whether you attended in 2012 or 1985, we want to hear from you! Please share your story with us!

Hometown: I grew up in Mount Pleasant, Michigan which is a university town. My dad was a college professor at Central Michigan University (CMU), so I was familiar with university life and my mom volunteered in schools but stayed at home.

Siblings: I am the oldest of three, with one brother and one sister.

Childhood Hobbies: We always went to CMU games, and my family was very active. We participated in cross country skiing, and I played softball and ran cross country. I also did enjoy reading a lot. In grade school, I always loved reading the biographies about people’s life and adventures, like Amelia Earhart and Teddy Roosevelt.  

Favorite subject in School: Math, because it always had right answers. I also liked science. My high school physics professor was one of my favorite teachers. My school also had a vocational training program, so I had the opportunity to take architectural drafting and electrical wiring. I really loved the style of learning by doing.

Role models: My grandfather and I were super close and I could talk to him about anything. He was hands-on and a techy person, and he taught me many things. I was a tomboy growing up and he embraced that and encouraged me to learn. Even at a young age I remember him telling me “I could be anything, have anything, or do anything I wanted.” He really was a great role model for me, and I am not sure I would have been as confident going into engineering without his support.

How did you learn about WIE and why did you attend: My father found out about the Women in Engineering Program and he knew I liked math and science so he  encouraged me to attend. I thought why not! I will say I didn’t know how far north it was going to be! I remember that it was a great summer. I went to the program but we also took time to explore the UP. I remember hiking, seeing waterfalls, and it was just a great chance to see the beauty of the UP.

What do you recall about your week at WIE? The whole experience, especially being on a college campus, staying in the dorms, and eating in the dining hall helped me to see what the college experience would be like. I remember being excited to get to know women from other schools with the same interests. It was such a fun and energetic environment and a chance to explore all engineering disciplines and learn in a hands-on way.

College: I attended a 2+2 engineering program with Michigan Tech and Central Michigan University for mechanical engineering. I went to CMU from 1990-92, maybe because the distance from home to Michigan Tech did scare me a bit. The 2+2 program was great. We had about 15-20 people in that program and most transferred to Michigan Tech after the first few years. We took all the pre-engineering courses together so we became close. I recall heading up to Michigan Tech with three others from the program piled into a car, to check out campus.

Once I did get to Michigan Tech and I started classes, I remember wishing I would have come up here for all four years! My favorite memory at Michigan Tech was winter carnival. I remember that one group had a life size search and rescue scene, with an ambulance and all! The atmosphere of that carnival, all the people engineering statues together, building and have fun. I love how this school embraces winter.

What are some milestones or great moments in your career you’d like to share? My first job was at Automotive Perception and a few other Michigan Tech grads were working there too. It was a job where we traveled the country and went into auto plants and installed laser cameras and windshields on cars. What I think is unique about this job is that I am still friends with a lot of the people I worked with and it overall was a unique experience. I also worked with Ford and helped with the hydrogen fuel cell in a car they were unleashing at an auto show in 2001. Then, I went into the energy industry and worked on the California Solar Initiative with the California Public Utilities Commission to help launch that program. It was a huge project and I feel grateful to have been a part of it. I am currently the Director of Smart Grid Initiatives at NextEnery Center, a nonprofit in Detroit.

Michigan Tech did a great job preparing me to be an adaptable and versatile engineer. I went into mechanical engineering but have been able to have flexibility in my roles through that field.  

You are the co-author of a book. What is it about and what was that experience like? I am the co-author of “Ignite Your Leadership: Proven Tools for Leaders to Energize Teams, Fuel Momentum, and Accelerate Results.” I always thought it would be fun to write a book and wrote a chapter for this book. In the book, I use engineering terms to showcase how I  power myself, the “kW” of leadership – know who you are, what you want, and why you want it. I was also shocked and humbled that the book made the bestseller list in US and Canada.

You came back to Michigan Tech as a guest speaker during the 2018 WIE etiquette dinner. What was that experience like? I really loved it and welcome the opportunity again. It was amazing to come full circle and talk to a group of young women who are learning about engineering programs.  They are in a great place with so many paths in front of them. I enjoyed crafting a message talking to them about how an engineering degree is great to get, but even if you don’t pursue that path, you can power your life however you want.  I am very fortunate for all the opportunities I have had in life both based off choices and encouragement from others.


A Look Back at Tech’s Residence Halls (or Dorms)

What makes the college experience special? For some, it’s getting to dive deeply into studying what matters to them. For others, it’s the friends made over late-night study sessions, midnight adventures, or even more colorful escapades not to be described here. It’s forming a broomball team, setting off the fire alarm with burnt popcorn, pranking a buddy. Whatever it might be that sets college apart, the odds are good that the residence halls had a hand in it.

So many memories are formed in college dorms, and student housing at Michigan Tech is no exception. Over the years, a variety of residence halls have offered Huskies a place to sleep, study, and socialize on campus. Let’s take a look at three long-running dorms still serving students today: Douglass Houghton Hall, Wadsworth Hall, and McNair Hall.

Douglass Houghton Hall (DHH)

Douglass Houghton Hall in its earlier years.

Douglass Houghton Hall, more commonly known these days as DHH, is the oldest residence hall at Michigan Tech. From day one, DHH stood out: it was the first building constructed as a dorm at the college and provided brand-new accommodations for some 204 male students when it opened in 1939. The following June, the hall received a formal dedication as Douglass Houghton Hall in a speech given by A.E. Petermann, the chairman of Tech’s Board of Control. This name, Petermann told his listeners, would remind the students that Houghton had made the most of his youth, achieving considerable success as a geologist, physician, and investor before drowning in Lake Superior at the age of 36.

 

In an article published in 1941, the Daily Mining Gazette sang the praises of DHH in rhapsodic terms to alumni arriving for that year’s reunion. The building was “of Tudor-othic style, and constructed of red brick, with stone trim, copper roof, and metal casement windows,” as well as solid local oak. Alumni and their guests would “appreciate particularly the lounge facilities,” of which there were two. “Mellow paneling, a large fireplace, davenports, reading-chairs, and a piano make each lounge a pleasant and homelike gathering place,” wrote the Gazette reporter. An infirmary, laundry, “student valet room,” kitchen, and dining room rounded out the offerings of DHH. Another article, this one in the campus paper, likewise noted that students could be buzzed to the hallway telephones; the luxury of room lines had not yet reached the dorm. From rooms facing the front of the building, lucky residents could look out at “a beautiful, tree-shadowed lawn,” in the words of the Gazette, and know that they were “but a stone’s throw from the college athletic field, and only a five-minute walk from the westernmost of the college buildings.” Best of all, students in the new dorm were not subject to a curfew, unlike their contemporaries at other colleges.

Of course, the relatively light supervision that DHH students enjoyed in those days was not always used wisely and well. In 1957, a pair of residents decided to transform their room into a chemistry lab, but their experiment ended with a minor explosion. Fortunately, the two were not seriously injured. On another occasion, a resident advisor asked a student to explain what had damaged a single globe light in his room. “A sonic boom,” the young man replied. The RA almost dismissed the incident on the basis of the student’s chutzpah. Then, of course, there was the time in 1951 that a group of students guided freshman Guenther Frankenstein’s massive Jeep up the stairs of DHH and parked it in front of Room 151. Fifty years later, Frankenstein recalled that the administration “wasn’t too happy regarding the event” and that the dean “wanted to expell [sic] me for good” but ultimately settled for a lengthy period of probation.

Students driving the Jeep up the DHH stairs. Guenther Frankenstein, the car’s owner, is shown at right, helping to steer it in the right direction.

It cost the college $350,000 to build and furnish Douglass Houghton Hall. Unfortunately, despite the Gazette’s glowing reviews, the building quickly ran into issues. Insulation had to be added and the roof repaired within a year. Space also soon became a problem: in 1942, DHH housed 20 percent more students than it was designed to hold. World War II delayed construction of a new addition, which eventually opened in 1948. Some further renovations occurred in 1966, 1969, and 1991. Through it all, DHH has been a little historical gem in a campus looking to the future.

 

 

 

 

Wadsworth Hall

An earlier incarnation of Wadsworth Hall, featuring the athletic fields and Sherman Gym.

Wadsworth Hall is the longest dorm on campus, spanning more than a quarter mile on US-41. Ever since it first opened in the fall of 1955, “Wads” has attracted interest for its statistics. Writing about the dorm following a 1958 expansion, the Gazette noted that its construction required the removal of 100,000 cubic yards of excavated material, included 750 tons of reinforcing steel, and paid out $1.6 million in wages to the local community. Also remarkable was how dramatically the new residence hall expanded on-campus living: 70% more students could be accommodated in college housing.

Demand for dorm space at Tech was so high in 1955 that the first 356 residents moved in before their rooms were painted. Wads featured “ultra-modern living” in double rooms, each of which, the university boasted, featured a picture window, huge desk lights, and expansive closets with sliding doors. Common spaces also became a point of pride, including a sizable lounge and “a recreation room almost as large,” a ping-pong room, and a laundry room with all the trimmings. On the ground floor, Tech students needing medical care could visit the infirmary, which featured “five completely-equipped hospital rooms.” The Michigan College of Mining and Technology alumni magazine made a point to note that one of the rooms was “separated from the rest to serve the coeds.” The construction of the new Wadsworth infirmary relieved another building on campus, the Smith house, of its medical role, freeing up that building as residential space for women enrolling at Tech.

All of these amenities were housed in what is now just the eastern wing of the residence hall; the other portion, which included more student rooms and a dining hall, opened in 1958. Herman Gundlach, who had been the contractor on the second phase, submitted the successful bid for the final 200-bed expansion in 1965. Like historic DHH, Wads has also received its tune-ups over the years. The most ambitious of these took place in 2004, while students remained in residence. Remodeled shower stalls provided more privacy, and kitchens and lounges were extensively renovated. New carpeting and furniture moved into dorm rooms, replacing the much-applauded closets from the 1950s and building in lofts that students had come to love. Finally, the large dining hall received a “bright and modern look,” with “restaurant-style seating” replacing the “long, brown, institutional tables reminiscent of ‘Cool Hand Luke.’”

Residents of Wads before the renovation might recall one memorable way that their dorm-mates showcased their creativity in the building’s corridors. Beyond choosing imaginative names for their halls–which continues to this day–residents would paint murals in audacious style in celebration of their theme. The art coming out of the 1971 Winter Carnival was a good example: medieval scenes lined the hall that year, including an impressive painting of knights on horseback riding toward a castle. Who said that engineers couldn’t be artists?

Medieval paintings in the corridors of Wadsworth Hall, 1971

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McNair Hall

If you attended Tech in the 1960s through the 1980s, it might still seem odd to hear Co-Ed Hall referred to as McNair. Tech broke ground on the new dorm, which has since been renamed in honor of former college president Frederick Walter McNair, in December 1965. McNair as we know it, however, almost didn’t happen at all. In the early 1960s, with enrollment of students and especially of female students (“co-eds”) steadily increasing, the college found itself facing a housing crunch. It needed on-campus rooms for women, so administrators set aside a number of spaces in Wads. That provided only a temporary remedy to the problem, as students asking for campus housing continued to enroll. Tech went to the drawing board and came up with a plan to build a new residence hall for sixty women. After that had been completed, three more dorms would be built, including one with a “meals services division.” In the end, Tech scrapped these plans in favor of a more compact, two-phase residence hall complex.

A model of Co-Ed Hall before construction

Each section of Co-Ed Hall was designed to house 300 students. A dining facility seating all 600 would connect the two. Contractor Herman Gundlach once again took on the job, starting with the construction of “a heated tent like structure composed of scaffold rings and Vis-Queen, which enabled crews to work in relative comfort despite the severity of Northern Michigan winters.” Gradually, scaffolding gave way to masonry, and in just ten months the first phase of Co-Ed Hall was open for occupancy. Phase I–called West McNair today–stood three stories high and, like its neighbor Wads, featured a large lounge, a sizable recreation room, and an apartment for a counselor-in-residence. As in DHH, the university took pride in offering each floor of double rooms “telephone service in the corridors.” Construction on Phase II, described as a “high rise type dormitory building,” began in 1966 and wrapped up the following year. “Suite-type rooms,” noted one advertisement at the time, “with connecting baths and some single rooms are being considered.” Between the two–both physically and chronologically–was placed the cafeteria, which offered not only a dining area but another lounge, post office, telephone switchboard, and office space. Mercifully for students fighting a Copper Country winter, the plans called for enclosed corridors to take residents from each wing of Co-Ed Hall to the dining room.

What stands out for former residents, whether they called their home Co-Ed Hall or McNair? Many would point to the scenic views. While there’s no such thing as poor scenery in the Copper Country, this dorm enjoyed more than most a beautiful vista, perched as it is on what students call McNair Hill. With its expansive walls of windows, the dining hall invites students to enjoy their meals with a little Keweenaw flavor, whether ablaze in fall colors or gently cloaked in winter snow.

Construction photographs of the eastern part of Co-Ed Hall (East McNair)

 


What you said…in November about Tech!

From Facebook:

“I do believe a Taco Bell 100M dash was a thing in the early 90s” – Susan C.

“I remember walking downtown late at night with the snow softly falling with no other noise or sounds.  It was perfection” -Chris Z.

“In 1959 got my BS in Chem Eng.  Back then none of that existed (new eclectic diners, boutiques).  Still, best years ever! Greetings from Caracas” -Enzio M.

“Downhill skiing during a 1984 snowstorm: On Pewabic St., starting from Houghton High School to a stop directly in front of the Hallmark Store (and one of Houghton’s finest walking the beat) on Sheldon: skeptical policeman– “Evening boys, how long do you expect to be skiing this evening?” Us– “Oh hello officer, it seems we’ve just finished up’.” -Bill S.

“(I remember) Watching the Northern Lights from the roof of our garage, with everyone in the neighborhood clapping and cheering like it was fireworks.”  -Becky S.

“Still go to the Ambassador, Downtowner, Dog House regularly. After I graduated from SBEA, raised my daughters who both graduated from Tech and one son-in-law. They moved away but love coming home for Winter Carnival and Ambo pizza!”  – Gary J.

“In all seriousness though, the beauty of a fresh snowfall in the UP can not be beat. I loved every second of the winter up there (even the sometimes -40 wind chills)” -Eric S.

“The winter of 78-79”  -Melodie H.

“Well when I was at Tech in the early 70s we drove to Marquette for fast food. I did love the pasties at the Kaleva Cafe. My roommate made really great pasties too”  -Carol B.

“Pasties. Had to drive to Marquette for McDonald’s. No such thing as Starbucks in the 70s. –Steve B.

Taco Bell after last call at any of the Houghton/Hancock drinking establishments. Drive thru was open until 4 am… and we would be back at Tech for an early round of golf by 6 am. Summer ’93 and ’94. Great times. –EJ L.

 



Pasties, Taco Bell, Starbucks: Where did you travel for food as a student?

woman making pasties
Preparing a batch of mouth-watering pasties. Undated photograph from the Harold Putnam Collection (MS-050) in the Michigan Tech Archives.

If there’s something you take seriously in college, it’s food. Whether it’s driving to Marquette to get some Buffalo Wild Wings or strategically planning a day around which presentations or campus orgs are offering free meals, you don’t get between a college student and food. At Michigan Tech, sometimes that meal takes on a special local flavor. You’ve seen them around town; you’ve eaten them at your desk, on the beach, or maybe even in the dining halls. How much do you really know, though, about the famous pasty?

A good old song from the English region of Cornwall proclaims, “There’s something about a pasty that is fine, fine, fine!” Huskies and friends know the truth of those words. The delicious dish nourishes the body and warms the spirit with its blend of meat, potatoes, and rutabaga, all nestled inside a flaky crust. It’s the kind of meal that gets you ready for a day of cross-country skiing on the Tech Trails or a hike up Mount Baldy. Nothing is quite like the smell of a pasty baking; nothing tastes quite like that first bite. But how did a meal synonymous with Cornwall become a staple of the Upper Peninsula?

Let’s take a quick peek back into history to answer that question. Cornwall’s long track record with copper and tin mining led the rest of Great Britain to remark wryly, “Wherever you find a hole in the ground, you’ll find a Cornishman at the bottom of it.” Life in the mines of England often meant low wages and back-breaking labor, but it also cultivated a skill and knowledge of the work that made the Cornish miners a gold standard. When Michigan’s copper mines–the very ones whose ruins now lie in Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties–were first being opened for industry, their founders looked to Cornwall for able laborers, and the people of Cornwall, whose mines were tapering off, looked to Michigan for a new hope. One scholarly article on the history of the pasty noted that twenty Cornishmen were already at work in the Copper Country in 1844, just one year after industrial mining began here. With them came their favorite workday meal, which was subsequently adopted en masse by colleagues of all backgrounds.

One of many variations on the pasty recipe held at the Michigan Tech Archives.

We don’t know for certain who invented this tasty pocket of joy, which has seen considerable changes over the years, but we do understand why it was so appealing to the men who worked in the mines and the women who prepared their dinners each day. The pasty’s hearty fillings can be prepared in a large batch and energize a person for a day of hard work; the meal can be held in the hand and eaten without utensils; and it’s easy, relatively speaking, for a miner to reheat a pasty over his candle far underground. By the time the mines of Michigan closed, the pasty had become a staple that the Copper Country was determined to keep. Nowadays, you’ll find them around the local lunch table, sold at community fundraisers, eaten at picnics by the shores of Lake Superior, or on parade at places like Calumet’s annual Pasty Fest.

Let’s raise a pasty toast to the Cornish who brought us a meal worth celebrating!

people eating pasties
Alfred Nicholls and his family show the joy of pasties at the Central Mine Reunion, undated.

What food brings you back to your college days? Was a special meal in particular that you drove to Marquette (or further!) to enjoy? Who makes the best pasties in the UP? And, do you like ketchup or gravy with your pasty?

 

 


What you said…in October about Tech!

From Facebook

Just curious—my grandmother Sylvia Combellack used to feed boys from Tech. She lived in the red house on the corner of Houghton Avenue and Garnet. She cooked for boys from 1945-1986. I was wondering if anyone had a family member eat there. –Debbie

“I went there 84-85. Awesome home cooked meals! Great couple.” –Scott Z. 

Yes, I ate there.” –Dennis L. 

Yes I did. 80 through 83. Great food. Turkey meal and steak meal once a quarter. She told us a story about some foreign students who told her they didn’t like her soup because it was too rich. She said what soup, we had gravy. –Frank L.

I tried my hand at a vegan pasty. Does anyone remember Funky’s Karma Cafe or Conscious Stomach at MTU? Anyone remember Marie’s Deli in Houghton? It was where I first tasted hummus and falafel. Marie remembered all of us MTU grads when we visited her Grand Rapids restaurant. Her son is writing a cookbook and is looking for photos of her days in Houghton if you have any to share. –Cynthia H.

I remember meeting her during orientation at Tech. A group of us from my high school class were walking across the bridge and we met Marie. She stopped and talked to us for about 10 minutes and then told us to come to her deli. We did go and I went with other groups of friends off and on but she always remembered who I was and when we met. Marie’s Deli had the best food! –Anne C.

“Of course!” –Mary H.

“The hummus and Turkish coffee! I doubt I have any pictures and if I did they’re in a shoe box somewhere!” –Stacey K.

“I don’t have any pictures but I remember her deli fondly. I lived above the Lode and had many delicious cheesecakes over the years! I would totally recognize her if I saw her in person. She left a huge impression in my years at Tech.” –Dino F.

“Went on my first real date with Mike Simon at Marie’s, and 27 years later we still remember her and our meals at her restaurant fondly. Her son was sometimes there with her, such a cute little guy! Wish I had thought to take a photo at the time. –Beth S.



Ray Smith Memories

In 1976 four “almost” geophysicists decided that we should attend the SEG(Society of Exploration Geophysics) convention in Houston….but like most Tech Grads, we had NO money!

So the rest of them sent ME to Ray Smiths office to ask him to pay for our way.

He was a great negotiator….and he did end up giving all of us enough grant money to fly from Chicago to Houston and back and for us to share the cheapest hotel rooms we could get.  Lloyal Bacon, our Geophysical Advisor, also went to the convention, and made sure all of us met all the oil companies that were there… to tell them that we were graduating as well as to make sure that we all were taken out to dinner every night….

We traveled to Chicago in the winter in the back of a non-heated camper pickup….I told Ray all of this a few years back at a Husky Hockey Game and thanked him as it launched all of our Oil Careers!!  He remembered me and we had a good laugh. Ray Smith was very influential on my career success, which continues to this day!! Ray Smith…RIP…and thanks!

Patricia Henderson ‘77

Consulting Geophysicist

________

I graduated from Tech in 1961 before Ray Smith became President. I was able to follow his presidency for many years.

His son, Martin, was a graduate of Michigan Tech and both he and I were on the faculty of the Univ. of Idaho.  The image is when Ray and his wife visited us c. 1995. Shown in the photo are: left to right: Alison Sturgul (my wife), Ray’s granddaughter, his son Martin, Ray and his wife.

Prof John R Sturgul ’61

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

The University of Adelaide, Australia

 

________

Friends –

President Ray told us to ALWAYS put you name tag on your right shoulder so when meeting someone they have a clear view of your name when shaking hands!

This is from 1960, it has always stuck with me, and has served well through the years.

Thank you –

Dick Walrath ‘64

________

My wife’s parents, Holly and Gerald Caspary (Prof. of Civil Engineering and 1st Dean of MTU’s School of Technology) had a cottage on Half Moon Beach next to Ray and Bea Smith’s summer home. During many summers, Ray taught Holly, my wife Dona, and my daughter Cecily how to water ski. I fondly recall watching Ray ski with 5-yr old Cecily on his shoulders. We will miss his brilliance and humor.

Tom Gould (’63 & ’64)

________

I was a transfer student to Michigan Tech’s Metallurgical Engineering Dept. in 1962. My first day on campus I met with Dr. Ray Smith in his office. Needless to say I was a bit nervous meeting the department head expecting him to quiz me on my academic knowledge. Instead he was very welcoming and right away I knew I had made the right decision coming to Tech.

Years later at the 25th anniversary since graduating, I met Dr. Smith once again at a dinner. He immediately knew me and related a couple stories from my time at Tech. He was a wonderful instructor, mentor and human being. I’m sure he will be missed by friends and family.

Terry Hardie BS Eng’g ’64; MS Bus Admin. ‘67

________

My wife and I were fortunate to attend Ray’s 100th birthday party.  We had reacquainted with him a few years earlier here in Arizona and had kept in touch. I marveled at the array of books on display that he had authored on subjects far removed from his academic field. Ray was a brilliant man, and I was truly privileged to know him.

Jim Cote. BSEE 1962

________

Ray was a remarkable combination of using his creative side with his logical side.  He approached me one day with a beautiful bust of an elderly lighthouse keeper & wondered if I could photograph it for him.  It was a snap. It was so realistic, all I had to do was find the most appropriate lighting & angle, and there it was.

Sometime later, he gave me an impressive book of original essays and poems by him, including poetic comments with regard to the keeper – and on the cover of the book was my photograph! That gesture of thanks remains with me yet, and each time I leaf through the book again I’m impressed with the perceptive, sensitive person hidden within him.

Some time later, he decided he wanted to surprise his son who had a summer job working underground in one of the remaining mines still in operation.  He picked me up around 6pm, said he’d just had breakfast with his son, said goodbye to him, then headed up to the mineshaft with a handful of us – me with my camera.  We had the thrill of being dropped to the 27th stope into the strange world of strange noises and even stranger lighting. Ray found his son in busy occupation, tapped him on the shoulder, & when  the fellow turned in shocked surprise, I luckily captured the moment – the surprised son and the chuckling father. Ray was like that, possessed an amazingly human touch in so much of what he did.

I learned that he also water-skied barefoot and was able to prove it one day at his place on Half Moon Bay. Like a trouper, he got behind a motorboat wearing skis, then at top speed let them fall off and took a series of what I’d consider death defying twists & turns for about 10 minutes before returning with that  characteristic mix of smug satisfaction and pure nonchalance. I have photos to prove it.

Joe Kirkish

________

Les,

Remembering Tech’s President Ray Smith–It was the middle sixties and the era of James Bond and his famous Aston Martin DB5.  Tech gets a new president, Ray Smith, and he is driving an Aston Martin!  That gave me an inspirational lift to keep keep pushing forward through the winter gloom to finish that Tech degree so I could aspire someday to get a car like that.

Al Stevens 1966

________

Dr. Smith was my graduate school advisor in 1963 and 64. He was the best professor and leader I have had the pleasure of knowing. He was a busy man transitioning from advisor and  department head to Univ. President, but always had time to help me thru Grad school.

When I entered Tech in 1960, I attended a seminar hosted by Dr. Smith. He was recruiting for the Metallurgical Engineering school and  I joined the program after hearing his discussion about what kind of career one might expect in that discipline.

He was right on target. I left Tech with a BS and MS in metallurgical Engineering and had a very successful career ending up in middle management for IBM.

I will always be thankful for his help and  guidance and consider it an honor to have known him.

Regards:

Mel Gardner (63)

________

As a freshman in 1968, I remember the last line from President Smith’s welcoming speech. He apparently loved his car and he told us that, when we see him driving around campus, it is not an “Austin” Martin. It is an “Aston” Martin!

Jim Accetta ‘73

________

Dr Smith officiated at my graduation in 1979, Ray Meese gave me my diploma. I am so proud to have in the presence of these 2 men, MTU is one of the highlights of my life, Dr Smith was a HUGE influence on this University.

My deepest condolence to his family, he was a great influence at MTU and thank them for their support of the system.

RIP Dr Smith

Hilary Dussing ‘79

________

I was there from ’73 to ’76.  He was a constant presence on the campus at that time.  We always referred to him as Yukon Ray for some unknown reason.  This was a time of building and positive image of the university, and a lot of it was attributed to his hard work and promotion at the time.  A class act, and sorry to hear of his passing.

Mike Brandt ‘76, 356 WWH.

________

I am saddened to hear of the passing of former MTU President Raymond Smith, who was President when I was an undergraduate at MTU from 1975-1980.  I remember he was always visible at various sporting events and other functions.

Linda M. Hensel (Wieczorek) Geol. Eng., Go To Consulting LLC

Go Huskies!

________

Ray was an icon in the business and educational arena. He was a strong believer in the principles of life while being a dynamic and natural leader. Ray was appointed to our Board of Directors while I was an officer of Lake Shore Inc during the 1980’s. He was always inquisitive and looking for solutions thereby actively and effectively participating in the Company’s success and development. A great person who was loved and respected by all those that knew him.

Bruce R. Clark 1969 BSME

________

When I was the manager of the combined computer center after we moved to the Ad building I was riding up in the elevator with Ray when we stopped at the first floor and a student got on with us. After the doors closed Ray turned to the student and said “so, why did you call this meeting”? The student turned ash white and looked like he was going to die. Ray had a great sense of humor and we often talked about aviation, both being pilots.

Jon Wenger

________

Ray Smith was my Metallurgical Engineering instructor the first year I spent at the Houghton Campus.  I was impressed with his dog sledding stories at the university of Alaska as well as his teaching abilities, of course, but mostly, I was impressed with the fact that he knew me and every one else in our class and made it a point to know all 40 of us by the end of our first week.  He eventually became my graduate school Advisor as well, which offered even more opportunities to learn from him. Yes, he was a great President, but that was after I graduated.

George M. Goodrich

Class of ’63 & ’65

________

I have a couple memories of Dr. Smith from my days at Tech.  The first involves his installation ceremony, which was a grand affair held along with a banquet in the Wadsworth Hall dining hall.  I was manager of the student employees at the time as was responsible for setting up the room and organizing the student staff involved with serving the food and clearing and washing the dishes.  The event was on a Friday. The high muckity muck organizers wanted to have only one entre to keep it simple, and they wanted it to be roast beef. The complication was that at that time, Roman Catholics were not allowed to eat meat on Fridays.  A call to the Bishop in Marquette resulted in a “dispensation” from the rule for those attending the ceremony, and it all went off without a hitch.

My other memory involved Dr. Smith’s approach to decision-making.  In 1966-ish the Auditor General of Michigan recommended changing our method for allocating funds to student activities such as The Lode, the yearbook and many others.  Dr. Smith could easily have just ordered the change. He didn’t. He recognized that the change might be controversial, and that broader input might result in more commitment to the change and a smoother implementation process.  Thus, he created a blue-ribbon committee comprised of the Comptroller and other administrators, and student leaders of which I was one.

After much info gathering and discussions with affected parties, we agreed with the change, and we had a plan for implementing it that was broadly satisfactory.

While attending the Alumni Reunion in 2007 I was able to chat with Dr. Smith and told him how his approach was a lesson for me that I used many times over the years to good effect.  He was very pleased to receive this feedback; and I was pleased to be able to tell him, for seldom do we get or make the opportunity to do so.

Don Ingersoll  ‘67

________

Thanks for the opportunity to express my appreciation for the influence Dr. Dr. Smith had on my career.

Dr. Smith was one of the three most influential people in my life.  As a 17 year old 1959 graduate of Republic High School, 5th in a class of 16, my older brother Kenny, a graduate of Tech, convinced me to apply for admission, and to study metallurgy.  Dr. Smith had just become Head of the Department. During the Fall term of my sophomore year, I took my first metallurgy class, taught by Dr. Smith. It was a course in extractive metallurgy, which I didn’t find very interesting and wasn’t doing well.  On an early exam, he wrote a note, “Come to my office, you should be doing better than this”. I went to his office not knowing what to expect. He said that based on my high school records, I should be doing better. It impressed me that he would even consider teaching a sophomore level course, let alone review high school records of sophomores.  I told him the class wasn’t very interesting and if this is what metallurgy is all about, I would consider transferring into nuclear engineering. He said do me a favor, hang in there for two more terms, and if you still want to transfer, I’ll personally walk with you to the nuclear department and help you transfer. That inspired me to work much harder, and eventually earned an A grade, and then took my first class in physical metallurgy, and was hooked.

After graduation, he selected me as one of five students to stay on as a graduate student in the M.S. program (Tech had not yet offered a PhD).  I eventually earned a PhD in Metallurgy at the University of Illinois, and after graduation I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, responsible for developing a Materials Science degree program.  I met Dr. Smith several times in Arizona over the years and appreciate those memories.

I know my life would have taken a much different turn without his advice and his sincere interest in the success of his students.  

Les Hendrickson

Lester E. Hendrickson, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Fulton College of Engineering

Arizona State University

Tempe Arizona

________

Two strong memories: Ray was straightforward. Of Michigan Technological University he said, we will be Michigan Tech. For me in Humanities,  I understood him to say that the Humanities program would be one suited to Michigan Tech, unique in the state, recognizable in the nation.  That was direction enough.

And a three or four day retreat,  Department Heads, Deans, Ray and Dean Stebbins, at a lake in Canada. Work in the morning, fishing in late afternoon or after dark. He led us one afternoon by boat to a second lake,  a sort of portage across sandbars and through reeds between the two lakes, too shallow for our boats to cross. Ray was the first one out of a boat into the water to drag a boat across a bar. The season was late fall, Canada, the water cold and colder.

Someone else will remember better than I do the story of Ray opening a state appropriations hearing by doing magic tricks — the only way to manage a proposed appropriation.

The last time I saw Ray was a Saturday  morning, 1999 or 2000. I was in my office doing some work. Ray came in. He’d come over from Metallurgy. Seeing who was up to what. A rare treat. A remarkable man.

Bill Powers


Tech Forward: A Campus Conversation with Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Innovators and entrepreneurs from across the country will gather at Michigan Tech to share their views about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and discuss how they think it will change our work, communities, organizations, and economy. They also will share how they best believe Michigan Tech can prepare graduates to lead and be successful in this era.

A panel discussion with these leaders will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 16 at the Rozsa Center. This is the fourth conversation in the Tech Forward series as innovators and entrepreneurs come to campus to share their insights on the disruptive forces driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Innovation is rapidly changing the world around us. As such, the university must be cognizant of the disruptive forces that will revolutionize how we educate students and then plan accordingly.” said Rick Koubek, President. “As we map out the future of Michigan Tech, we are honored to host such an esteemed panel of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders to help inform and guide us through this process.”

The speakers are Michigan Tech alumni who are part of the 14 Floors program, which focuses on fostering entrepreneurism and high-tech innovation in the context of global culture and economy. Fourteen Floors is designed to be—an infinitely expandable structure analogous to the floors of a building, with something different happening on every floor, providing virtual suites of experiences for Huskies that connect them to innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors, and potential employers. The 14 Floors program also includes bi-annual visits to campus by alumni and week-long immersive student trips to places like Silicon Valley.

“Companies, people and communities all need dramatically different skills and capabilities to succeed in the 4.0 world,” says Jim Fish ’90, who is an innovation consultant, and technology evangelist with roles at Wayne State University, New Hammer LLC, Lemur, and Innovatrium. “The changes required are increasing and accelerating. The lifespan of a public company continues to shrink as 4.0 technology enables disruption at unprecedented speeds. At Michigan Tech, we’ve succeeded by changing; the Quincy Mine is an inspiring monument to our successful adaptation of the past–and we are now faced with another opportunity to embrace our best days that lie ahead.”

Dave House ’65, who worked at Intel for 23 years, retiring as a senior vice president and general manager, said the change we are seeing is happening globally, regionally, locally and personally.

“It will impact everyone,” he says. “Michigan, the UP, the Copper Country, Houghton, each family and each individual will feel this impact. There is no question that Michigan’s largest and most important industry—the automotive industry, is facing disruption—from Tesla, Google, Apple, Uber, etc. Those we see lead the change are rewarded; those who don’t are at serious risk. There is an opportunity for the city, county, and state in which we live. Michigan Tech needs to lead this change.”

David Shull ’15, an entrepreneur and Handshake university partnerships team lead, says technology will change everything from the nature of our work to how we move. “Self-driving cars will let students go to sleep in lower Michigan and wake up on Michigan Tech’s campus. The next generation of Tech students will never know the eight hour drive I loved to hate during my time there.”

“Automation, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are poised to challenge every industry and job function,” Shull says. “Michigan Tech, with its student talent and history in preparing students for industry, is uniquely positioned to define the model of how higher education prepares students for the industrial revolution we’re already in.”

Innovator and Entrepreneur Speakers for October 16 event

  • Jim Fish ’90 is an innovation consultant, and technology evangelist with roles at Wayne State Univ, New Hammer LLC, Lemur, and Innovatrium.
  • Paul Fulton ’84 is a visionary entrepreneur and CEO – currently leading Nwave, a smart-parking pioneer. Formerly with startups Zentri and Cloudsona, Fulton was also an executive who has worked at Cisco, HP, and 3Com.
  • Dave House ’65 worked at Intel for 23 years, retiring as a senior vice president and general manager, before leading Bay Networks, Nortel, and Allegro – then eventually becoming the chairman of the board for Brocade Communications.
  • Nicholas Lumsden ’02 is the vice president for product strategy and technology at Online Tech and focuses on hybrid cloud management products and services.
  • Kanwal Rekhi ’69 has a passion to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. He co-founded Inventus Capital Partners to build a leading Indo-US venture franchise.
  • John Rockwell ’79 is a venture capitalist and consultant and has served as the leader of five technology companies. He is currently CEO of Accelergy Corporation.
  • John Soyring ’76 ’06 worked for 36 years for IBM and was involved in business leadership for the company during that time. He currently is the owner of Sisukas Consulting LLC.

The 14 Floors Campus Visit is a mini-conference set of activities on Michigan Tech’s campus in the spring and fall semesters. The visit is comprised primarily of Michigan Tech alumni who have leadership positions in, and rich history with high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently led by Dave House ’65, the group spends nearly four days on campus helping lead discussions, mentor students and faculty, and participate in a variety of activities following 14 Floors’ two primary tracks; entrepreneurship and high-tech innovation. These activities include:

  • campus and community networking events
  • broad-topic discussions with centers and programs
  • focused, topical lectures to the campus community
  • entrepreneurial business plan pitch events
  • one-on-one sessions with campus leadership
  • undergraduate, capstone and enterprise project judging
    • advisory board meetings

The fall visit takes place October 16 to 18. Michigan Tech will host more than a dozen innovators and entrepreneurs from California’s Bay Area and southeast Michigan. Notable activities during their stay will be a Tech Forward discussion at 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 16 in the Rozsa where some of the group will share their insights on the disruptive forces driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The group also will be key to the Idea Pitch Competition at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 17 in M&M, Room U113. Students will have two minutes to pitch their favorite innovative and disruptive idea in an interactive community setting.