Archives—May 2019

Snow Totals from 2018-19; Contest Winner Announced

Snowfall Contest Winner

Congrats to Kailee K. on winning our snowfall contest for 2018-19.

Every Husky has a story about snow, and every year our snowfall contests give people a chance to put their extensive knowledge of snow to the test. This year, Kailee K., a class of 2020 medical lab sciences major, took home the prize in the annual contest with her guess of 192.25 inches. The snowfall measured at the KRC is our standard for the contests; their measurement for 2018-19 was 192.38 inches.

To get in on our monthly and annual snow contests in 2019-20, check out our snow page next fall.

 

 

 

 

 

Snowfall Totals

According to FunInTheUP.com, the Houghton County snow record of 354.1 inches from the winter of 1978-79 has been surpassed. With 4.0 inches on April 30, the winter of 2018-19 made it to 357.2 inches. The new record was totaled by Steve Jurmu at Calumet (Tamarack location).

Late season snowfall—April 28, 29, and 30 and May 1, 8, 9, and 19—raised the total to 362.8 (we hope it’s a final total).

The top five snowfall amounts ever recorded in the Upper Peninsula according to FunIntheUP.com:
390.4” – 1978/79 – Keweenaw county (near Delaware)
384.0” – 1996/97 – Herman
367.4” – 1995/96 – Keweenaw county (near Delaware)
362.8” – 2018/19 – Tamarack location (near Calumet)
354.1” – 1978/79 – Houghton county airport

Snowfall measurement at Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center located next to Houghton County Airport for 2018-19 was 192.38 inches, although their website gives a disclaimer that their measurements aren’t accurate on days with wind because the snow gets blown off their board.

No matter how it was measured, 2018-19 was very snowy, especially February through May.

What are your snow memories? Comment below.

 

 


When did You Become a Husky?

The spring 2019 student commencement speaker was Monica Brechting. Like many Michigan Tech students, Monica is not the first in her family to come to Tech. In fact, when she received her BS in Mechanical Engineering this spring, she became the twelfth member of her family with a degree from Michigan Tech. Monica gives a particularly insightful glimpse into what it means to come to Tech and to face the challenges and triumphs that make someone a Husky. Her speech can be found here, and there is a transcript below with highlights that may resonate with other Huskies. Please feel free to comment and tell us things that made you a Husky.

Thank you, President Koubek, it is a true honor to be able to speak to all of you today, my class, my friends, and my family.

Monica Brechting '19What made you a Husky?
Did you become a Husky when you got your acceptance letter?
Perhaps a Husky was made by attending University Welcome,
or by not reading the assigned O-week book.
Did you become a Husky during your first meal in the dining hall—
Or during your first K-day, when you signed up for 15 student orgs and joined none of them?
Was it when you shook Dean Gorman’s hand?
The first time you experienced the Huskies Pep Band?

Oh! Perhaps you really belong the first time you have to wait over 5 minutes to sign into a campus computer,
or by complaining about global issues.
Maybe you became a Husky the first time you slept through class.
Was it the first time you ditched homework to play video games? You know, maybe we were all made into Huskies during that hour-long power outage in the dorms freshman year, when we all poked our heads out of our rooms to complain about our lost work.

Is it when you heard the British Dr. Paul Charlesworth say “al-u-min-ium” the first time?
The first time you realized you actually have to study if you want to do well here?
The first time you visited a professor’s office hours or asked for an extension?

Maybe a Husky was made when you saw your first snowfall on campus.
This is Houghton, so maybe you belong when you can say words like Pann-u-kakk-u and Sauna.
Or when you have your first pasty and realize they really do taste better with gravy instead of ketchup—a hill I am personally willing to die on.
Is it when you heard your first unironic Yooper ‘hey’ in the wild?
Or was it the Sisu that brought us together when the area was damaged by the Father’s Day flood?

The first time you climbed the hill to the SDC or St. Al’s… maybe a Husky was made when Father Ben or Father Dustin handed you a hotdog during Senior Walk.
Or the first time you fell on the ice coming down the McNair hill?
Going to Fall camp, snowshoeing…
Maybe it hit when you walked in the Parade of Nations,
or when you sat in on your first “American Sports 101” class
or during course registration—when you saw your classes fill up two days before your registration time.

Maybe a Husky was made during your first Winter Carnival,
when you came back for second semester and saw the first forms going up.
The first time you heard someone say “You’re a Husky after all!”
The first time you used #tenacity as a code word for alcoholism,
or playing your first broomball game.
Maybe it was the first time you were woken up by the snowplows – and being able to tell what type of plow it was because of the sound it made.

Are Huskies made during late nights in the library,
During your first all-nighter before an exam?
Or maybe it was moving off campus.
When you had your first serious thoughts of dropping out?
That mid-college crisis, and the first time you stopped to ask yourself, “Why am I even here??”
When you switched your major,
Or during that call to your mom, when you tell her you just really want to take a victory lap and stay for a fifth year.

Speaking of calls to your mother, I’d like to take a moment and say thank you from the bottom of my heart to my parents and siblings for supporting me and not disowning me for calling each one of you every single day. You’re the reason I can be here today.

Did you become a Husky during your first hockey game?
Or when you watched the football team win the Miner’s Cup from Northern for the first time, or the second time, or maybe the third time, or even the fourth time… You know, this was actually the ninth year in a row that they won the cup.

Did you become a Husky by turning 21, going to pitchers, stopping by the club for karaoke?
Or maybe shoveling your car out when you’re already running late for class?

Was it when Dean Gorman told you to wear a hat?
Your first snow day, your second snow day, your THIRD SNOW DAY?
Going snowboarding during those snow days.
Maybe you became a Husky when you made your first friend, or when you fell in love.
Or when you visited Breakers or Prince’s Point, or the northern lights, or the stargazing, or the bonfires.

Was it when you received the Order of the Engineer—when you realized that this is where your education brought you?
Maybe you are really becoming a Husky right here and right now—when you put on your cap and gown, sit in these chairs, and get your empty diploma cover.
Besides, what can be more quintessential “Husky” than graduating on NATIONAL STAR WARS DAY?

Maybe it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will be when you tell a coworker you went to MTU and they say “Oh yeah that’s the one that’s way up there.”
When you look around your office and realize half your team called in because there was a “Snowmageddon,” with a whole two inches of snow on the road.

Are average people forged into Huskies through all of these experiences we share? Or maybe we were just born “crazy smart.” Maybe the world has been calling for us to be Huskies since birth, just waiting for us to howl back.
Congratulations, Class of 2019, and May the Fourth be with you.

– Monica Brechting ’19

Please share anything that you think made you a Husky.


From Military Balls to Ooozeball: Curing Cabin Fever at Michigan Tech

By Allison Neely | University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

Spring is definitely in the air at Michigan Tech! Papers have been turned in, classes have ended (at least for the spring), and another class of crazy smart Michigan Tech students have graduated.

A group dressed in military attire pose for a photo. A woman wearing a corsage stands in the middle of the group.
The 1968 Military Ball

While spring in the U.P. tends to be snowier, cooler, and briefer than other places, students at Michigan Tech know how to embrace these fledgling days of spring. For students, cabin fever quickly sets in following Winter Carnival, but before you know it our hearty Michigan Tech students can be seen rocking flip flops and shorts long before the snow fully recedes from campus. A slew of outdoor activities, campus-wide entertainment, and events each year helps get students through to the end of the academic year.
Even in its early years, Tech students enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities and events to beat the winter blues. One of the historically popular spring events on campus was the annual Military Ball. Sponsored by the Army and Air Force ROTC units, the dance was the second largest of the academic year and the biggest of the spring term. Typically each year had a theme with coordinated decor along with a noted live band. For instance, the 1962 annual dance was themed “Stairway to the Stars,” which included an entrance made to resemble a winding stairway and the cafeteria was fitted out with an “astronomical design with a fountain in the middle.” Much like the Winter Carnival celebrations, the Military Ball featured a Queen coronation with the ROTC groups sponsoring candidates and a judging committee made up ROTC members or cadets.

Students playing oozeball in front of Wadsworth Hall in Spring of 2000
Students playing Oozeball in front of Wadsworth Hall in Spring of 2000. Image courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives.

Spring in recent decades saw the addition of Greek Week festivities, which featured a wide variety of social activities. While the week-long celebration was a beloved campus event among the Greeks, its events were largely geared towards students involved in fraternities and sororities on campus and less of a community-wide spring celebration.

Later, Tech saw the incorporation of a more inclusive spring carnival called the Tech Carney. The Carney featured a traditional Flea Market, a balsa wood airplane contest, bike race, frisbee and yoyo contests, and a big party with a band. By the early 1980s the Tech Carney had morphed into a larger campus-wide outdoor celebration called Spring Fling. Hard to believe now, but Spring Fling at Michigan Tech has its origins in 1980. Originally called Spring Bash, the event included four live bands, a lobster bake, and frisbee show; along with Bocce Club and Volleyball Club tournaments and canoe races. Once again, the event was revised in the late 80s as Ventures Day before becoming what we know today as Spring Fling.

Officially started in the spring of 1990, Spring Fling was hosted by the Memorial Union Board (MUB) and held on the Friday of the 13th week of the spring semester. In its first year, approximately 50 organizations participated in the end-of-the-year carnival, which featured food and demonstration booths, activities like fencing, folk dancing, races, ultimate frisbee, and repelling. Tech Tea Time provided a sneak peek ahead of the festivities and in its second year featured refreshments (pizza and pop), a review of previous year’s highlights, and performances from the Michigan Tech Student Foundation, Alternatives Unlimited, and The Troupe.

Students playing oozeball on the lawn in front of Walker Hall.
Oozeball in front of Walker in 1999. Image courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives.

Among Spring Fling traditions has been the selection of a Spring Fling King, which began with the 1992 event. Eight finalists were selected to compete for the title of Spring Fling King, duking it out in the form of a talent competition. Winners received a crown, plaques or cash prizes. In past years Spring Fling has included special entertainment sponsored by the Student Entertainment Board. Performances have included local bands, a Tech Idol competition a la American Idol, as well as headliners such as Verve Pipe, which played during the 1995 Fling.
Likely the most popular event in the past has been the Oozeball Tournament. Our Flashback Friday photo features the 1999 Oozeball Tournament, a crazy mud volleyball tournament played in six inches of mud. According to an article written about Oozeball in 2001 here are the top 3 reasons why you would play:

  1. You like playing volleyball in weird conditions
  2. Mud baths are good for your skin
  3. You haven’t played in mud much since you were five and you kind of miss it
Two students covered in mud after an oozeball game.
The aftermath. Courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives.

As you can imagine, the weather doesn’t always cooperate for Spring Fling, but that’s also a long-standing tradition at Tech. In 2010, high winds and mild snow interrupted students’ merriment, forcing organizers to postpone the motorcycle show and in 2013 Tech sadly had to cancel Spring Fling altogether due to bad weather. You might be wondering about the Oozeball Tournament and weather conditions. According to our sources, the Oozeball Tournament usually was held unless the mud froze. Hearty Huskies have been know to dive into the chilly mud bath even after the tournament ended.

Spring festivities have been a staple at Tech for generations. Whether it’s dancing, lounging in a hammock, or diving headfirst into a mud bath, Tech students from all generations have made the most of springtime in the Copper Country. Here’s to another great spring and many, many more to come!


Commencement by the Numbers—Spring 2019

Commencement ceremonies took place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4, in the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in the Student Development Complex. Here’s a look at Michigan Tech’s class of 2019.

1,194 – Total degrees awarded
835 – Bachelor’s degrees awarded
296 – Master’s degrees awarded
63 – Doctor of Philosophy degrees awarded

735 – College of Engineering graduates
295 – College of Sciences and Arts graduates
71 – School of Business and Economics graduates
51 – School of Technology graduates
42 – School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences graduates


What you said in April about Tech

 

About Spring Commencement 2019

Kind of a blur, really, but walking across the stage and shaking hands with the University President (who I knew casually) was awesome.” -Jim A

“the best part was having No finals and being able to party and have fun all week while my undergrad roommates were studying their butts off.” -Griff C

 

From “April is for Fools”.

I recall when one guy in Coed Hall went downstate for the weekend, we unscrewed the tiny little screws on all of his TDK cassette tapes and put the actual tape into differently labeled cases. So, when he returned and popped in a tape labeled “The Doors”, he might have gotten “The Smiths”, instead. He was furious and just started scribbling the real contents over the fake contents. This was 1983, I think.” -Carl C

“A few classics: covering every single thing in someone’s dorm room (while he’s away) in aluminum foil. Also, removing every single item, including furniture & fixtures, from someone’s dorm room while he was down at dinner. Witnessed both, as an innocent bystander, of course.” -Tom P

“It was November of 1971. We were juniors and decided not to make the long trip home for Thanksgiving in favor of a long weekend of jollity. One of the gang, Duane, had a reel-to-reel tape recorder and a collection of reels of music. His, and our, favorite was the Moody Blues “Days of Future Past.” To prank Duane we chipped in a bought a reel of blank tape and used it to spider-web his room on East Coed Hall 5th floor. We did a masterful job of it. Then we spun Days of Future Past onto the newly empty spool and suspended Duane’s now-empty labelled spool from the web to complete the prank. Duane entered his room later to discover and fell for the prank. We spilled the beans but he still stormed out only to return later that night and turned the prank on us by un-webbing the tape back onto a spool to use for more music. And we all helped. I know this is true because I am among the guilty party!”  Richard H.

“A friend of mine was a CS student, and she had written a program on punch cards that played solitaire. The playing cards were represented by a 52-card data deck located after the program deck and denoted by an ink stripe along one edge. She would wait in line at the card reader and when it was her turn she would cut the deck (isolating the data deck), shuffle those cards and return them to the rest of the deck, while remarking something like “Well maybe NOW it’ll run!” to the horror of the onlookers. Circa 1977.” -Todd J.

“It was 1971. We were Juniors in East Coed Hall 5th floor. Our freshman friend, whom we called “The Falcon” made a point each night to call his girlfriend in the Lower Peninsula. Dorm rooms in those years had a Touch-Tone wall phone and AT&T offered Nickle-a-minute long distance beginning 10 PM each night. That was so popular that it was difficult to get a dial tone between 10 and 11 PM. Being engineering students, we had already found a solution for annoying phone calls. A simple internal adjustment to the phone bell caused it to be silenced when set for minimum ringer volume and we used it as an on-off switch for incoming calls. We had snuck into The Falcon’s room and made sure his ringer was off. The plan was to call his number one minute before 10 PM. He would not hear the bell and when he picked up the phone for his call he would simply be answering our call. But we knew we couldn’t keep silent while he was frustratingly waiting for a dial tone. So we unscrewed the handset and removed the microphone from our phone. We could laugh as we listened to him hanging up, picking up again, cussing at the phone lines. It was great fun! We kept him going for 45 minutes until he managed to disconnect and pick up before we could re-dial.

The next day at supper I casually quoted one of his frustrations to spill the beans. He knew he’d been had and we all had a good laugh together. The Falcon knew he was truly one of the gang.” -Richard H.

“it was 1972, our gang’s senior year. We had an apartment in a big house across town at the bottom of 6th Street. The landlord lived below and there were three apartments on the second and third floor. The gang had gotten smaller over the four years and those remaining were together in those apartments. We helped with a junior hockey team sponsored by Crown Bakery with most of the team living in the neighborhood so we knew we’d have callers for Halloween. The guys across the hall had homemade Caramel Apples for the kids. That went over great. At the end of the evening there was one Caramel Apple left over. My buddies decided I merited the treat. But I knew them well. This could be a prank… I bit into the treat with care and found it overloaded with thick caramel. Not bad. The second bite proved my suspicions as I discovered the Caramel Tomato. I think it was I who laughed the hardest as I scrapped off the caramel to eat and discarded the tomato. Those were good days.”  -Richard H.

“My friends filled my dorm room in West Coed Hall (now McNair Hall) with newspaper, wall-to-wall & floor-to-ceiling while on was on a job interview one weekend. I was the RA and so I lived alone and left my keys with my friend to feed my Piranha. When I came back that Sunday I was followed to my room where I could barely open the door. We had tons of fun borrowing through the wadded up paper.

Later that night we had filled a dozen trash bags along with several cylindrical bags used by the trash compactor. When then took two trash bags and one cylindrical bag and staked it waist high on the 50-foot snowman, which was built for a snowman contest, and was in front of the frat house next to Wadsworth Hall. It remained there until mid morning. We also hung one in the courtyard of West Coed until the dorm Manager called me to have it removed.“ -Mark M.

“In the fall of 1973 when the Bogue Boys were first getting started, we lived in a house on Hubbell Street. When one of our roommates, Max, went home downstate for the weekend, we “borrowed” his car to use it in the Homecoming Hobo parade. Took the back seat out and placed it in the trunk and marked up the black car with white shoe polish. Of course we had to leave the car as it had been “reconditioned” it so Max could appreciate the handiwork when he returned.” Rick W.

 

From “What you Said in March”

“Never north of the Bridge until my parents brought me up from Detroit for my freshman year, 1966. Back then all the frosh came up a week before classes started for Orientation. I loved it! Five years later I left with a degree and a wife (one of the few coeds). I think the ratio was about 22:1 at that time. We’re still Yoopers!” -John B.