Four Generation Michigan Tech Legacy Family

“Ryan told me when he was five years old he was going to Michigan Tech,” said Jim Cote ‘62, Ryan’s grandfather. He was right.

Jim ’62, Ryan ’22, and Rob ’85 Cote.

Ryan Cote walked across the stage at Michigan Tech’s Spring Commencement on Saturday (April 30) having earned a Bachelor of Science in Scientific and Technical Communication with a minor in cybersecurity. In doing so, he added to the family legacy and became a fourth-generation Tech graduate. 

“Michigan Tech’s a place I’ve always been interested in,” said Ryan. “I came up for Summer Youth Programs, and fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere.”

Jim ‘62 and Ryan ‘22 graduated 60 years apart. The other members of the four generation legacy are Ryan’s father, Rob Cote ‘85 (Scientific and Technical Communication) and his great-grandfather Robert DeGhetto ‘49 (Mechanical Engineering).

As for his future, Ryan has a job lined up with a small tech firm in lower Michigan, where he will do technical writing and cybersecurity work.

Tell us about your family legacy at Michigan Tech! Comment below.

8 responses to “Four Generation Michigan Tech Legacy Family

  1. My Dad Ellis C. (Bud) Helge graduated with a BS in Mining Engineering in 1952. Bud was President of the student chapter of AIME at Tech. While I was growing up on the Iron Range of Minnesota and Michigan Dad would take me to campus for football and hockey games. I never had a doubt I would go to MTU. Got there in 1972 hoping to be a Chemical Engineer, but Differential Equations got in my way so I graduated with a BS in Forestry in 1976. Served 4-years in the US Army as an MTU Army ROTC grad. Completed my 40-year career in industrial technical sales with Nalco Water in 2020. Both our daughters decided that their passion was music so MTU was not a good fit. They are both successful as professional classical musicians today. Looking forward to the MTU Football 100 year celebration in October!

  2. The Rellis family is currently working on the third generation attending MTU. Daniel Rellis Jr graduated in 1969 & 1970 with degrees in Chemistry and Business. My son Dan graduated in 1995 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Dan’s son Cooper just finished his freshman year majoring in Computer Science.

  3. My dad, Virgil A. Brunson, graduated from Tech in 1934. He was surprised when I entered Tech in 1964, as he had never suggested that I should do that. I was far from the exceptional student that he was, but somehow made it through before I got drafted. While my young son said he wanted to go to Tech and become an engineer, as he matured he decided to go into ministry, and graduated from Columbia International University, and then Dallas Theological Seminary. There is a family legacy though, as when I approached retirement I also went to DTS for my Masters. My son, like my dad, was a better student than I was, and he started DTS after I did and graduated a year before me!

  4. Both my mother (Betty Fentz Mueller, Business) and father (David C Mueller, BSEE) graduated from Tech in 1970. My sister (Heather (Mueller) Christenson – BS Env 1997) and I (BSME 1993) both graduated as 2nd generation Tech grads. My daughter (Hunter Malinowski) is a 3rd yr double majoring in CS and Psychology as a 3rd generation.

  5. We are a Tech family. My grandfather, George H. Banks, attended Tech in the 1890’s with some classes in the old fire hall on Montezuma(birth place of MTU). He was fresh from helping the Corps of Engineers survey the Missouri River tract. He became superintendent of the Keewenaw Waterway, straightening the outlet of Portage Lake on the south entry. My mother and dad both graduated from Tech in the 30’s. I attended Tech, graduating in 1968. My son, Mike, after 22 years in the Marine Corps, returned to graduate in Forestry. Including extended family, we have almost 30 graduates of MTU with someone from every generation since my grandfather , George Banks.

  6. Given it’s reputation and great surroundings, I enrolled at Michigan Tech in 1960 and graduated with a degree in Forestry in 1964, followed by a career with the Michigan DNR. My daughter Jayne, after checking out the “Women in Engineering” week, decided to attend as well, and graduated with a degree in computer science in 1988, and a job at IBM. While at Tech, however, she met the Nitz brothers. She later married Mark. His older brother Kurt had been the first of his family to attend Tech, and Peter would follow afterwards. All three obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering. Kurt also found a wife at Tech. He married Kris, who degreed in Electrical Engineering. Kurt and Kris had a son, Calvin, who majored in Materials Engineering at Tech. Jayne and Mark’s firstborn and my grandson, Matthew, obtained a degree in the same field as his Nitz family dad and uncles, Chemical Engineering. A few years’ later, Matthew’s twin sisters, my granddaughters, enrolled at Tech. In 2019 Laura received her degree in Chemical Engineering, and Michelle in Environmental Engineering. And oh yes, in 2021 Michelle married Tech graduate Lewis Marshall, Materials Engineering. Yes, there are several great grandchildren now waiting in the wings. Time will tell.

  7. We have 13 members of our Bunge/Keithly family who have attended or are currently attending MTU: my uncle, my husband and I, 6 of our brothers and sisters-in-law, two nephews, and currently our daughter-in-law (working on her on-line Masters) and one son (working on his Masters while doing research)! Go Huskies!

  8. Dad (Chester Schmalz, ChemEng ’42) regaled me with stories about his Tech adventures then “guided” me to Houghton, where I received an excellent education (Physics, EE ’74), had fun playing the carillon (and tuba, in the band), also made many life-long friends. MTU informed and motivated my life and work, first as a physician, then (after retirement) as a computer scientist and faculty member at University of Florida. My cousin recently graduated from MTU, and we hope other family members will follow. I am very grateful for the knowledge and many opportunities that my Michigan Tech education provided, and wish the best of all good things for our Alma Mater.

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