Category: Alumni

Emergency Fund Impact

Thanks to donations from alumni and friends, 280 students have been helped through emergency funds. More than $117,000 has been distributed to help students suffering financial hardship because of COVID-19. Support for any of these funds will have an immediate impact on our students!

Husky Emergency Assistance Fund | Give Now
76 undergraduate students received $27,648
38 graduate students received $14,278.28
11 employees received $5,289

Graduate Emergency Assistance Fund | Give Now
70 graduate students received $35,000 (thanks to a $100,000 lead donation from Chang Park)

Betty Chavis Fund
38 undergraduate students received $15,385 
4 graduate students received $2,343

International Fund
52 graduate students received $21,917 
2 undergraduate students received $745

Remembering Tom Hruby and Raymond Kauppila

Thomas F. Hruby, 93, a longtime Houghton resident, died on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at Gardenview Assisted Living and Memory Care. He was born July, 13, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio, a son of the late Alois and Lillian (Vevra) Hruby.

Tom was a WWII veteran of the United States Merchant Marines serving from 1944-46, completing numerous trans-Pacific voyages.

Following his discharge, Tom earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (Michigan Tech). His early post-college years were spent in Cleveland and Detroit as writer and editor for several industry publications.

Tom returned to Houghton and Michigan Tech in the late 1950’s-early 60’s and in his near 40 year tenure at the university held successively responsible positions in external and alumni relations.

Tom was a longtime and active member of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish of Hoighton, where he served as an usher and Eucharistic Minister for shut-ins. Tom was all about family. He volunteered for many of the parish’s special programs for communities of need in Houghton. He was very kind and generous to his church families in need, especially during the holidays often opening his home to folks. Although Tom wished to keep his donations to others anonymous, they were well appreciated.

Tom loved sailing on the blue waters and in the challenging winds of Lake Michigan, and reveled in the cross country skiing afforded by the Upper Peninsula’s long winters. Necessarily giving up sailing and skiing in his later years, he was a daily walker.

Tom is survived by his sister, Jane Hruby Hanlon and her husband Robert; as well as nine nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was also preceded in death by brothers, Louis and Joseph; and a sister, Mary Louise.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at St. Ignatious Loyola Parish in Houghton, with Fr. John Martignon as celebrant. Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home of Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

Raymond William Kauppila, 91, most recently of 1600 Mill Creek Court, Marquette, passed away on Sunday, June 14, 2020, while in the loving care of family and the Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice. He was formerly of 424 W. Ridge St., Marquette; and longtime Hancock resident.

Raymond was born in Iron Mountain, on February 17, 1929, son of the late Ida H. (Kuja) and Swan W. Kauppila.

Ray was a graduate of the Eben High School, Class of 1946. Ray Kauppila earned bachelor degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1951. He was first employed by Standard Oil in Whiting, Indiana, from 1951-1955 and then at Cliffs Dow in Marquette from 1955-1957. Ray then came to Tech as a teacher in 1957 and received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1960. He left Michigan Tech briefly to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1968.

Kauppila served Michigan Tech as a teacher and researcher from 1957 until his retirement in 1988, other than a brief stint with P & H Crane in Escanaba from 1979-1980. He came to Tech after working in the industry for several years, bringing to the design curriculum an invaluable background, steeped in the realities of industrial design, yet firmly based on a foundation of mathematical and engineering science. His inquiring mind and his uncompromising quest for excellence left its mark on a generation of design students in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Few were unaffected by his intensity in the classroom and his insights in the design laboratory.

While at Michigan Tech he served a stint as chief engineer at the Keweenaw Research Center and maintained strong ties with the mining industry through his pioneering work in roof bolting. He was instrumental in the implementation of what is now called the Computer Aided Engineering Laboratory, and was a lead designer of the BAJA automobiles at Tech. Ray was never one to rest and after “retirement” worked as a consulting engineer at U.P. Fabricating from 1997-2012 and had also taught at NMU from 1991-1992.

He was a member of the Independent Apostolic Lutheran Church in Negaunee. Ray served on the Board of Review in Hancock, was a board member at AMCAB and had served numerous other boards and provided engineering expertise for many organizations, along with being a patent holder and enjoyed machine design.

Raymond is survived by three daughters, Susan (Gregory) Bovid of Midland, Audrey (William) Johnson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kandace (Tim) Reckinger, of Hartland, Wisconsin; a son, Rick (Pam) Kauppila of Negaunee; two brothers, Rolland W. (Linda) Kauppila of Dayton, Ohio and Rodney W. (Barbara) Kauppila of Rudyard; nine grandchildren, Adam (Britta) Kauppila, Janel Kauppila, Christopher (Karen) Bovid, Nicholas (Kristen) Bovid, Stanley (Jami) Bovid, Elena Davis, Jennifer (Jonathan) Walter, Lauren (William) Crowder and Aaron Reckinger; 13 great-great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of brothers and sisters in faith.

Ray was preceded in death by his wife, whom shared 65 years of marriage with, Irene E. (Besonen) Kauppila on Sept 24, 2017, and a brother, Wallace S. Kauppila who died in his childhood.

Graveside funeral services will be held at the Trout Creek Cemetery at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, 2020 with Mike Peterson officiating.

Pallbearers will be Stan, Nick and Chris Bovid, Adam Kauppila., Aaron Reckinger and John Kauppila.

Ray’s obituary may also be viewed at where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.

In Memoriam

October 28, 2019 — May 31, 2020

ClassFull NameDegrees
1948Clinton A. PhalenBS Mechanical Engineering
1949Alan E. OlsenBS Chemical Engineering
1949Mary P. RyanBS General Science
1949Richard R. SmithBS Mining Engineering,
’50 BS Metallurgical Engineering,
’50 MS Mining Engineering
1949Robert W. WhitneyBS Business Engineering Admin,
BS Civil Engineering
1950Albert L. BammertBS Metallurgical Engineering
1950William F. BraunBS Mechanical Engineering
1950Edward A. ElavskyBS Electrical Engineering
1950Thomas W. Flemal P.E.BS Civil Engineering
1950Fred M. ShawBS Mechanical Engineering
1950Jack R. SiewertBS Civil Engineering
1951Dag J. EidnesBS Mechanical Engineering,
MS Mechanical Engineering
1951John J. MichelsBS Civil Engineering
1952Robert C. GilbertBS Civil Engineering
1952Roger J. KellyBS Chemical Engineering
1952Robert F. SeatonBS Civil Engineering
1953James L. BrowneBS Geological Engineering,
MS Geology
1953Peter J. Meyers JrBS Chemical Engineering
1953Carl V. RydenBS Mechanical Engineering
1953John David WatrousBS Metallurgical Engineering
1955Donald B. LeMayBS Mining Engineering
1955Bonaventure Frank Sager BS Electrical Engineering
1956David A. LeeBS Forestry
1956Donald M. PearsonBS Electrical Engineering
1956John A. Stewart JrBS Forestry
1957Richard T. DunnebackeBS Mechanical Engineering
1957Bernard W. HostropBS Civil Engineering
1957Walter Q. LukkarilaBS Mining Engineering
1957Larry G. NaultBS Chemical Engineering
1957John R. NorlinBS Forestry
1957Erling T. SundBS Electrical Engineering
1957Chester C. TyrrellBS Chemical Engineering
1957W Ronald VaananenBS Civil Engineering
1957James J. WidderBS Forestry
1958Dr. Robert W. AlperiBS Mechanical Engineering
1958Lawrence M. Cass JrBS Electrical Engineering,
BS Mechanical Engineering
1958Robert J. PerryBS Mining Engineering
1958William L. SwartzBS Mechanical Engineering
1959Paul C. EricksonBS Mechanical Engineering
1959Thomas G. KennedyBS Geological Engineering
1959Gordon C. NelsonBS Mechanical Engineering
1959Frank R. NivaBS Mechanical Engineering
1959James H. WainwrightBS Metallurgical Engineering
1960John S. DonaldsonBS Mining Engineering
1960Duane A. HertelBS Mechanical Engineering
1960Donald MaulBS Civil Engineering
1960Raymond R. TheilerBS Forestry
1961James P. FugereBS Electrical Engineering
1961Gary H. GayBS Mechanical Engineering
1961Thomas G. LydenBS Business Engineering Admin,
BS Mechanical Engineering
1961Dr. Nallapu N. ReddyBS Mining Engineering
1962Robert J. MeyersBS Business Administration
1962Dr. Anton J. PintarBS Chemical Engineering
1963John L. BaxandallBS Applied Physics
1963Albert H. CaronBS Forestry
1964James G. NichollsBS Mining Engineering
1964Roger R. WinesBS Business Administration
1965Fredrick C. HansenBS Civil Engineering
1965Zachary T. PhillipsBS Forestry
1965Garry W. SoorusBS Forestry
1966Thomas L. GoldsworthyBS Electrical Engineering
1966Robert B. ZimmermanBS Mechanical Engineering
1967Max O. CurtisBS Mechanical Engineering
1967Norman C. DavidsonBS Mining Engineering
1967Bruce M. NyquistBS Electrical Engineering
1968Thomas T. BarleyBS Mechanical Engineering
1968Alex D. BorkowskiBS Chemical Engineering
1968James A. DughieBS Forestry
1968Joel R. MisekBS Mechanical Engineering
1968James J. SchedgickBS Chemical Engineering,
MS Chemical Engineering
1969Carol D. CarterMS Mathematics
1969Anthony J. GromalaBS Electrical Engineering,
MS Business Administration
1969Larry P. WashburnBS Civil Engineering
1970Carl R. BentleyBA Liberal Arts
1970Ted A. BrzezinskiBS Mechanical Engineering
1970Dennis C. ByrneBS Mathematics
1970Jimmy A. FinleyBS Geology
1970James F. HansonBS Mechanical Engineering
1970William M. LathamBS Geological Engineering
1970David C. NixonBS Mechanical Engineering
1970Brian T. OshitaBS Business Administration
1970Dale R. SoumisBS Biological Sciences,
’77 BS Civil Engineering
1970Bruce A. WendtBS Civil Engineering
1970Ali H. ZarrinnalBS Civil Engineering
1971Jeffrey C. StrieterBS Chemistry
1972Suzanne L. AhoBS Mathematics
1972Mark E. HughesBS Business Administration
1972David W. WickstromAAS Electrical Engineering Technology
1973Patrick D. McCabeBS Business Administration
1973Alan W. MikkolaBS Business Administration
1973Charles H. Shaffer JrBS Biological Sciences
1976Thomas E. Audit, P.E.BS Mechanical Engineering
1976Sandra H. HollingsworthBA Liberal Arts
1976Robert E. Miles JrBS Medical Technology
1977Terry V. AndersonBS Business Administration
1977Nancy J. BowesBS Business Administration
1977Kevin A. TaylorBS Electrical Engineering
1978Mark J. VichichAAS Nursing Technology
1979Brian T. MelchioriBS Mechanical Engineering
1979Timothy A. SellBS Forestry
1980Jonathon P. PassinaultBS Civil Engineering
1981Brian J. Bueche P.E.BS Civil Engineering
1981Dr. Hussein M. ZbibBS Mechanical Engineering,
’83 MS Engineering Mechanics,
’87 PHD Engineering Mechanics
1982David P. RuschBS Civil Engineering
1982Barry A. SchubringBS Civil Engineering
1982Mark T. TownsendBS Mechanical Engineering
1983Alan L. BlackBS Electrical Engineering
1984Steven J. DeNikeBS Civil Engineering
1985Dale T. GracyalnyBS Mechanical Engineering
1990Gordon S. GildnerBS Chemical Engineering
1990Paula A. KeenanBS Scientific & Technical Communications
1993Barry J. Givens, PEBS Civil Engineering
1993Mary Janet ScholtenBA Scientific & Technical Communication,
’97 MS Rhetoric & Technical Communication
1994Jason M. CronkrightAAS Mechanical Design Engineering Technology,
’96 BS Engineering Technology
2004Travis J. WiedenhoeftBS Computer Science
2013Michael L. DollBS Mechanical Engineering Technology
2015Megan E. FarrishBS Mechanical Engineering
2015Julie R. MuraskeBS Biological Sciences
2016Alex D. GillBS Computer Science
2018Zachary R. PodkulBS Mechanical Engineering Technology

William Jennings Powers, July 31, 1930 – April 24, 2020

PENSACOLA, Fla. — William Powers died peacefully on April 24, 2020 in the comfort of his home in Pensacola, Fla. Born on July 31, 1930 in Davenport, Iowa; he was the son of the late LaVern and Orpha Powers. In 1950, he enlisted into the US Air Force and served honorably. He is survived by his wife, Sally Powers, his three children Mary Mach, William Powers and Matthew Powers (Merrily), and his grandchildren, Jason Powers, Karrie Hilts, Abra Mach and Morgan Mach.

Bill Powers arrived at Michigan Technological University in 1970 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he had been a member of the faculty in English and Director of Freshman-Sophomore English. He spent the next 30 years successively, as the Head of Humanities, the Dean of Sciences and Arts, then as Vice President of Academic Affairs, and at the last as Michigan Technological University’s first Provost.

He believed that university faculty can become administrators, but they also have a continuing faculty teaching responsibility. He taught a course each term and was published – becoming the co-author of one book, the author of chapters in three other books and roughly forty pieces, including papers, short fiction and poetry.

Graveside Funeral Rites will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 3 pm at Raleigh Memorial Park.

Condolences to the family at

Obituary and image courtesy of Mitchell Funeral Home at Raleigh Memorial Park.

What You Said About Tech in April…

From “Alumni Work to Fight COVID-19” on Alumni News

“The COVID19 Pandemic is challenging the healthcare facilities around the globe like never before. As the Chief Engineer for EWB-USA, Mike is leading a EWB / Rotary Team in Guatemala to improve the infrastructure of healthcare facilities so they are ready for the increased caseload. Work includes an increase water supply, water storage, hospital triage areas and expanded waiting rooms.” – Michael P.

“Bruce Rossman (’81 Scientific & Technical Communications) is lead media relations specialist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. He is part of the team working to share Spectrum Health’s efforts in the medical response to COVID-19 and educate the public regarding social distancing, best practices in slowing the spread of this disease, and Spectrum Health’s research initiatives.” – Bruce R.

“Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases such as the novel Coronavirus disease, COVID-19 and Ebola pose a significant threat to global society and test the public health community’s preparedness to rapidly respond to an outbreak with effective diagnostics and therapeutics. Recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies enable rapid generation of pathogen genome sequence data, within 24 hours of obtaining a sample in some instances. With this data, one can quickly evaluate the effectiveness of existing diagnostics and therapeutics using in silico approaches.” – Mychal I.

“Translational Genomics Research Institute (Darrin Lemmer ’98) in Flagstaff, Arizona developed a genomic test for COVID-19 and set up a clinical lab to test patient samples for all of Northern Arizona. In addition, TGen is sequencing positive samples from the entire state to be able to compare and analyze the SARS-CoV-2 genome to determine the source of introductions into Arizona as well as the presence and rate of community spread within the state.” – Darrin L.

“Glen Sachtleben (‘74 Forestry) is with FEMA in Atlanta working the FEMA Regional effort to support eight states and six tribes in the southeast U.S. fight against COVID19. Recently battled the Easter Sunday tornado outbreak at same time and ready to respond to hurricane season June-November in a COVID19 environment.” – Glen S.

From “Zoom Backgrounds” on Alumni News

“These are all fantastic! My coworkers will be treated to these on Zoom in the coming weeks. Thank you! – April W.

“Yay! I’ve been looking for a Zoom background.
The sunset lift bridge pic will work great.
Thanks.” – Julie B.

“Great idea and great execution. 🙂” – Eric L.

From “Vote for Former Husky Tony Esposito!” on Facebook

“He should be a shoe-in. No brainer.” – Aaron A.

“About time, eh?!” – Curtis H.

“Amen to that 🏒” – Stan S.

Giving Tuesday Now

Give Now

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity set to take place on May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The event will mobilize GivingTuesday’s global network of leaders, partners, communities and generous individuals.

How you can participate:

Make a gift to the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund (HEAF)
The HEAF has been established to help provide financial relief for the Michigan Tech campus community (students and employees) who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of crises (including COVID-19). Donate to the HEAF.

Support any area of campus
A gift to Michigan Tech or any specific area of campus will help us prepare students to create the future. Give now.

Donate food or resources to the Husky Food Access Network
The on-campus food pantry has helped hundreds of students in their time of need. Make a financial donation or email to coordinate a food donation during social distancing protocol.

Use your time or skills in the COVID-19 response
Michigan Tech alumni are putting their education and ingenuity to work to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. See what others are doing and add your story.

On the last GivingTuesday (December 3, 2019) the global giving day generated $2 billion in giving, just in the United States, and inspired millions of people worldwide to volunteer, perform countless acts of kindness, and donate their voices, time, money, and goods. The additional giving day planned for May 5, 2020 is being deployed in response to needs expressed by communities and leaders around the world.

Join the movement! Make a gift to Michigan Tech on Tuesday, May 5!

Zoom Backgrounds

In response to the widespread use of Zoom for virtual meetings during stay-at-home orders, here are images you can use as virtual backgrounds in Zoom. For instructions on how to set up a virtual background, see the instructions below.

To download images:
On a PC:
• Right click the image (before clicking the magnifying glass).
• Open image in a new tab.
• Go to the new tab and right click on the image.
• Select “save image as.”
On a Mac:
• Click the magnifying glass.
• Right click and select “save image as.”

To set an image as your virtual background in Zoom:
• Open
• Go to settings (on the home screen, click the gear icon in the upper right corner).
• Select Virtual Background from the left column.
• Click the + symbol to add new images.

Alumni Work to Fight COVID-19

Michigan Tech alumni are putting their education and ingenuity to work to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve heard of Huskies involved in many different aspects of the pandemic response: producing parts for ventilators, creating testing kits and making masks.

How are you or your company involved? Comment below.

Here is a sampling of the stories we’ve heard.

Testing being performed on Abbott’s ID NOW platform

Abbott (Lynne Fleischmann ‘95) in Abbott Park, Illinois, launched a molecular point-of-care test to detect COVID-19 in as few as five minutes. Read more.

Calumet Electronics (Meredith Ballard LaBeau ‘04 ‘08 ‘12 and others) in Calumet, Michigan, is filling orders for circuit boards for ventilators as quickly as possible. Read more.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Dr. David Frendewey ‘76) in Tarrytown, New York, is working on a treatment for COVID-19. Read more.

Alliance Beverage (Shawn Gary ‘80) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, teamed up with New Holland Brewing to produce 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. Read more.

Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis (Jeffrey Thompson ‘12 and Stephanie Stevens ‘13) in Boyne City, Michigan is making protective face shields. Read more. (Cedric Kennedy ‘16) is connecting 3D printing enthusiasts, sewing hobbyists and other DIYers to create and donate personal protective equipment to hospitals. Read more.

Ben Manning ’17 and Amanda Stenzelbarton ’14 ’16 in Athens, Georgia, turned their garage into a 3D printing facility to make masks and face shields for local first responders and hospitals. You can donate printing supplies to their cause through Amazon.