Month: October 2019

Football Stadium Named for Kearly Family

The first family of Michigan Tech football now has its name on the Huskies’ home football facility. At a dedication prior to the Sept. 28 Homecoming game, Tech renamed the gridiron “Sherman Field at Kearly Stadium” in honor of Ted and Tom Kearly.

Pictured (l-r): Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret, Patty Kearly, Helen Kearly (seated), Tom Kearly, Ted Kearly, President Rick Koubek.

The father and son are arguably the two most-successful coaches in program history. Ted served as Tech’s football coach from 1969-72 and held a 29-7 record. Tom was at Tech from 2000-16 including the last 11 years as head coach, where he put together a 70-44 mark.

Sherman Field has been the home for Michigan Tech football since 1981. Ted Kearly was Michigan Tech’s Athletic Director when it was opened. And over the last two decades, the Kearlys have been instrumental in the facility’s upgrades. Ted Kearly gave the lead gift that allowed for the installation of synthetic turf in 2007. Both men have been played a huge role in new stadium seating that was installed in 2017 and plans for additional seating and a new press box coming soon.

The renaming of Sherman Field made us curious as to the history of Michigan Tech’s football field.

According to records, the Huskies played at the original Sherman Field which was on lower campus next to Sherman Gym (now the location of the Rozsa Center). In the late 1970s, Hubbell Field (just west of the Student Ice Arena) served as the home gridiron.

This 1977 map of campus shows the location of the original Sherman Field and Hubbell Field, both of which were used prior to the move to the current location in 1981.

Share your memories of where you watched the Huskies play.


Remembering Beloved Tech Professors

Former physics professor and Michigan Tech alum, Donald Daavettila, passed away on July 31, 2019.

Don Daavettila graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics and a Master’s in Nuclear Physics. Following stints at Argonne National Lab and the Enrico Fermi reactor, Daavettila was hired to develop a nuclear physics program at Tech. He served as faculty in the Department of Physics for 40 years.

During his tenure, Daavettila received the State of Michigan Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991 and Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994. He was a well-known figure in many Husky athletic programs, especially as timing official for home hockey games, and was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Following his retirement in 2000, he continued to teach in physics and serve as Tech’s radiation safety officer.

Daavettila was the faculty advisor to student and fraternal organizations, volunteered for Tech’s centennial fundraising, and was honored by the Alumni Association with their Outstanding Service Award in 2005. As stated by Ravi Pandey, physics chair, Daavettila and his wife supported Michigan Tech in many aspects. He will be remembered for his cheerful and generous spirit.

Longtime Michigan Tech Social Sciences professor emeritus, Willie Melton III, passed on July 24, 2019.

Willie Melton grew up in Chicago graduated from Tilden Technological High School. As an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Illinois), his interests focused on sociology, family, social attitudes, and social identity. Here he also met his later wife, Gloria Brown. Following the completion of his bachelor’s in 1969, he began his masters, and later transferred to Washington State University, where he and his wife began their doctoral studies. He earned his PhD in 1976.

Melton taught for over 30 years (from 1976 until 2009) and retired as Professor Emeritus in Social Sciences. He served on graduate committees within social sciences, humanities, and forestry.

His research topics included marital stability, family economic and emotional stress, and the relationship between social values and attitudes on public issues.  A Fulbright scholarship supported his travels and studies of modernization and technology in India during the 1980s and the East-West Center in Hawaii later provided cultural exchange opportunities in Hong Kong and southern China.

Over the past 40 years, Willie served on community boards of the Copper Country Sheltered Workshop (later Vocational Strategies), Dial Help, Copper Country Habitat for Humanity, and the Keweenaw Family Resource Center (and “Treehouse”), among others.

Former physics professor and Michigan Tech alumnus, Phillip Parks, passed away on September 17, 2019.

Following an impressive high school football career, Phillip Parks attended Michigan Tech on a football scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Master’s in Nuclear Physics. He also attended in additional graduate work at the Kansas State University.

After graduating, Parks worked at NASA for five years before returning to Michigan Tech as faculty in the Department of Physics from 1962-1997.

Following his retirement, he and his wife traveled and enjoyed the company of family.

Throughout his career, Parks published a number of articles in professional journals, conducted US military research, and contributed in writing a book that prepared engineers for their professional exam.

Parks also served as a zone leader for the Parks Society, and was a member of the Sons of the Union of the Civil War where served as an officer for several terms. He was also active in the Christian faith, contributing to Michigan Tech’s InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as a student, and later spent years as a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and a youth leader.

What are your memories of Professors Daavettila, Melton, or Parks? Leave them in the comments below.

Sources: Physics Department at Michigan Tech, Keweenaw Report Obituaries


What You Said About Tech in September…

“Who else is ready for Winter Carnival?! This year’s logo is dino-mite!” on Facebook

This actually looks more like a Reunion theme….😊” -Susan U.

This is a great theme and an awesome logo!” – Brian W.

If I was in the area, I would be. Fantastic idea, though. In my neck of the woods, we anticipate hurricanes. Hmmm… this time around, Dorian…” -Cynthia L.

It’s only 104 degrees today here in Dallas……hard to think about snow.” -Will P.

That’s a sick theme” -Christopher H.

I seriously hope that this is not implying humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time…..uuggghh” -Michelle M.

“Looks like I have to go to WC this year” Nick H.

From “Today is both K-Day and 906 Day (Sept. 6)! What are your memories of K-Day?” on Facebook

remember waiting to hear the whistle blow and being grateful for a “long weekend”.” Brian W.

A lot of fun and love McLain State park..” – David C.

My favorite k-day memory is being onstage with Sponge. What a day!” -Rayna E.

K-Day was a whole lot of fun for us, a way to prepare for all the work and stress that was gonna pile up “real soon”. The older you get (57 now for me), the more you appreciate those days long ago. The kids there today are in the middle of some of the best days of their lives (and won’t realize it until they are old like me). Life is good. ” -Mike T.

Mid-70s, K-Day was mostly just a day off. We waded across the mouth of the Montreal, climbed Mt. Bohemia fire tower, found an abandoned skip and rode it across the Presque Isle river, explored Redridge, etc. Usually ended with a burger at Luigis or at Schmidt’s Corners or one of the many Yooper bars. Best memories ever, with folks who remain my best friends. Thank you, Tech. ” -Betsy A.

Doing the alligator at McLain! 🎶🐊🎶🐊🎶” -Margaret L.

I remember that Lake Superior was VERY cold. I also remember diving into a giant pile/mound of can koozies that were being given out by the MTSF.”  -Bridgitte R.

K Day is a family tradition. My Dad, my Brother, Myself, both of my Daughters and my son-in-law have all experience K-day. It used to be quite the party at McClain Stat Park! -Gary J.

My favorite memory is the year ADA’s had a button making machine. We had quite the selection of magazines to choose from for creative art.” -Natalie A.

K-Day was a highlight of the year. Warm fall day, beer, more beer, friends old and new… I remember those days Doug! It was a great time!” -Scott L.

I went to a few K-days at McLain but have few memories of them…strange.” -Mike M

Sig Rho ruled K-Day in the 80’s….what a blast!” -Doug L.

In the early 70s, K-Day really WAS Keweenaw Day — we went up to Fort Wilkins and had a blast.” -Candy G.

Guinness world record lap sit at McLain fall of 1980, since been beat” -Pete J.

From “We’ve been gathering some of our favorite Tech memorabilia for display in the Alumni Blogs!”  on Facebook

I miss the big pink “MUB” mugs from the mid 90’s. 😂” -Mike E.

Ooh! And maybe at least a picture of the EERC tree. It ran for student government one year I went there.” -Rayna E.

Bowling shoes from the MUB bowling alley!” -Rayna E.

Please tell me someone has a no drinking Carni sign as memorabilia” -Yolanda H.

A little late to the game, but my refillable Campus Cafe mug, 1991-1992 (freshman year)

In 1985 I was a freshman in DHH. Our hall was “Esquire”, middle of the 3rd floor. Our RA held a vote to change the name to “Bloom County”, and I drew up a new logo for the hall. I painted over the “Esquire” sign with the new mural from the drawing below, and our RA had t-shirts and hoodies printed. I think I have a couple of pictures of the mural somewhere.

“I believe the name lasted maybe 3 years before it was changed again and the mural was painted over.” -Joe A.

“Wish I still had the rock sample, shoulder bag that was used as a book bag. Most everybody carried one” -Louis C.

Recruiting poster from the early 70’s.” -Herman M.

Campus ID card with stickers to show you were registered for that quarter.” -Robert L.

NO! NO! Not punchcards! The nightmare returns!Unisuck 1110.” -Courtney F.

One year, I want to say it was maybe 98, they got the bright idea to put up anti-drinking posters but the background was a close up of a glass of beer and the tiny black print was barely visible so it really just looked like an “enjoy this delicious, frosty beverage” ad. I might still have one somewhere. ” -Danielle B.

Oooooh those punch card days….70’s in Fisher Hall then EERC…..some baaaad memories. Talk about frustrating!!!” -Mark Z.

From “Check out Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster”

A fellow died suddenly and found himself at the Pearly Gates. St Peter welcomed him but apologized and said he had to run a few quick errands and would be back in a while. While he was waiting, the man noticed Beelzebub off to the side casting souls down into the fiery pit. Every once in a while he would put one to the side in a stack. Curious, the man went over and asked Satan why he was stacking some souls off to the side. Satan replied, those are Yoopers. They’re too cold and wet to burn.” -Darrell J.

From Cover Photo Update on Facebook

Looks a lot different from when I was last there in 1984!” -Wendy W.

How do you get down to the Metallurgy building from main campus, without driving or falling down a hill?” -Courtney F.

From “Favorite Tech Memorabilia” in the Alumni Blogs

“I know a guy who has an old sheet metal “Unload Here” sign from Mt. Ripley, hanging proudly in his bathroom.” -Carl C.

“Definitely the Book Bag!” -William W.