Spring semester is over, but winter rules are still in effect! Here’s a glimpse back to the first tee at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Golf Course in the 1930s. Did you have a favorite place to hit the links in the Copper Country? Let us know in the comments.
Dr. Laszlo Valentyik, 87, a resident of Houghton passed away Friday, October 28, 2022.
He was born on September 13, 1935, in Budapest, Hungary, son of Laszlo and Erzsebet Valentyik.
Laszlo grew up in Budapest during World War II and the post-war years, and enjoyed academics, sports, and working on cars/trucks and all things mechanical. He was especially interested in table tennis and achieved the title as Hungarian National Table Tennis Champion.
Laszlo escaped from Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and immigrated to the United Kingdom.
He graduated with a Doctorate in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University and worked as an engineer for the UK government. In 1967 Dr. Valentyik accepted a position with Michigan Technological University (MTU) as a professor in the Mining Engineering Department teaching and conducting research.
In 1981 he collaborated and shared receipt of the Neil Rice award at MTU for the research publication, “Production and Evaluation of Lignite Pellets”.
In 1982 Dr. Valentyik married Louise Helene Fortin, from Quebec, Canada. They lived in Houghton and were active members of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church. In March of 2007, Helene preceded Laszlo in death following a battle with breast cancer.
Laszlo was perpetually optimistic, friendly, and immensely enjoyed connecting with people in his community. He loved gardening, winemaking, fixing vehicles, traveling and staying physically active. His intense desire for continual learning was evident in every aspect of his life. Including learning several languages such as French, German, English, Russian, and completing multiple educational certificates beyond his PhD.
He is survived by his two children Terez Valentyik (Ted) Grady and Peter Valentyik; grandchildren Ryan, Jonathan, and Sarah Grady.
Laszlo’s family plans to gather for an informal remembrance in the Alumnae Room A in the Memorial Union on the campus of MTU on Saturday, May 20th at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to stop by to share a story or memory of Laszlo with immediate family.
To view Laszlo’s obituary or to send condolences please visit memorialchapel.net.
The Memorial Chapel Funeral & Cremation Service – Hancock Chapel has assisted the family with arrangements.
Dr. Sung Mook Lee, a respected scientist, devoted father, and esteemed former member of the Houghton community, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2023, in Santa Ana, California. He was 90 years old.
Born on March 2nd, 1933, in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Lee came to the United States after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Yonsei University. He continued his studies at The Ohio State University, earning a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in 1961.
Dr. Lee began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at Denison University in Ohio before joining Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, Michigan, in 1965. He made significant contributions to the University, ultimately serving as the Director of the Keweenaw Research Center in 1976 and later as Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School in 1991.
Following his retirement from MTU in 2000, Dr. Lee remained active in the academic community, serving as a Visiting Scientist for the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University until 2011. He was also a proud member of the Army Science Board (ASB) during two separate stints, from 1991 to 1998 and again starting in 2008.
Dr. Lee was a dedicated public servant, providing invaluable advice on advanced science and engineering education and research to governments worldwide, including Korea, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia, as well as multiple US state governments, boards, and professional societies.
His love for adventure and discovery led him to Antarctica, where he studied the physics-based structure of snow and Antarctic ice. He served on the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, the International Aviation Snow Symposium, and other professional councils. His outstanding work earned him the Antarctica Service Medal of the US Navy in 1987 and the Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service, US Army Antarctic Service Medal of the United States in 1997.
Dr. Lee was a loving father to his three children, Peter, Patty, and Janet, who have all built successful careers in science, engineering, and law. He was a dedicated husband to Chungmi Kim and always remembered his first wife, Incha Lee, the mother of his children. Dr. Lee also leaves behind his brother, Yung Mook, and sister, In Mook, and six grandchildren.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Lee had a passion for classical music and cherished attending live performances of symphony orchestras and grand operas.
Many people around the world will remember Dr. Sung Mook Lee as an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to serving others, advancing scientific knowledge, and enriching the lives of those around him. His unwavering commitment to excellence and his warm, generous spirit will be dearly missed.
The family requests that In lieu of flowers, a donation to Crush Rett Syndrome will help lead to a cure for one of Dr. Lee’s grandchildren, who suffers from Rett Syndrome. Donations can be mailed to Crush Rett Syndrome, 602 E. Rawhide Ave., Gilbert, AZ or online at mightycause. com/donate/Crush-Rett- Syndrome.
In late April, we celebrated the success of nearly a thousand graduates at our 2023 Spring Commencement exercises. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and have every confidence that their future endeavors will reflect well on Michigan Tech.
Today, I would like to call attention to the alumni, faculty, and staff who undoubtedly contribute to the success of our graduates by providing just a few examples of the transformative work happening here on campus.
This past year,
- Michigan Tech’s Army ROTC program and the University were unanimously selected to receive the MacArthur Award for the 2021-22 academic year. Earning the MacArthur Award means we are the No. 1 overall ROTC program and institution among the 42 universities in our Midwest Region.
- Our men’s cross country team had their best finish in the history of the program, placing 10th at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships.
- Our men’s hockey head coach, Joe Shawhan, was named the CCHA Coach of the Year, and our Nordic ski team head coach, Tom Monahan Smith, was named CCSA Men’s Coach of the Year and shared the award for CCSA Women’s Coach of the Year.
- President Joe Biden announced a US Department of Energy grant of $8.3 million in funding for Michigan Tech to help developing technology to recycle batteries in his remarks in Bay City, Michigan.
- Our fall 2022 incoming first-year student class was the second-largest in University history and the most academically proficient on record as measured by high school GPA and SAT.
- The fall 2022 Career Fair was the largest in MTU’s history.
- Our research expenditures are up by about 8 percent over 2022’s all-time historic high.
- And finally, last year the Michigan Tech Fund recorded its second-largest fundraising total in University history.
Behind each of these accomplishments are the men and women who drive Michigan Tech forward. They are dedicated, smart, hardworking, and passionate about our students’ success. Thank you for being part of this community and thank you for your continued support.
I hope to see you at Alumni Reunion in August.
January 1 – March 31, 2023
|1946||George C. Tackels P.E.||BS Civil Engineering|
|1947||Robert C. Hendrickson||BS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1947||Leland G. Rodgers Jr||BS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1948||Clinton A. Phalen||’48 BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1949||Anthony B. Bartoszek||BS Forestry|
|1949||Samuel W. Cota||BS Electrical Engineering|
|1949||James B. Vittone||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1950||Marvin V. Lefens||BS Civil Engineering|
|1950||Robert M. Swanson||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1950||Paul T. Watts||BS Chemical Engineering|
|1951||Fransis J. Siller||BS Civil Engineering|
|1952||Jack P. Johnson||BS Civil Engineering|
|1953||Charles D. Anderson||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1953||Victor M. Castro||BS Civil Engineering|
|1953||John F. Pohlman||BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1953||Wallace G. Renn||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1954||William O. Drummond||BS Civil Engineering|
|1954||Elmer F. Werhane||BS Forestry|
|1955||William S. Burke||BS Mining Engineering|
|1955||John M. Smuk||BS Chemical Engineering|
|1955||Daniel L. Stember||BS Civil Engineering|
|1956||Arthur S. Hamman||BS Forestry|
|1956||George T. Matthews||BS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1956||Thomas R. Valentine Sr P.E.||’56 BS Civil Engineering|
|1957||Harlan B. Niles||BS Geological Engineering|
|1957||Jack F. Shefchik||BS Civil Engineering|
|1958||Paul A. Erickson||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1958||Ulyses S. St Arnold||BS Forestry|
|1959||Robert G. Langlois||BS Civil Engineering|
|1959||Wilfred J. Phillips||BS Electrical Engineering|
|1960||Thomas R. Forsch||’60 BS Chemical Engineering|
|1960||Alvin J. Gebeau, Jr.||’60 BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1960||Ronald O. Harma||BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Metallurgical Engineering, MS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1960||Thomas W. Schmucker||BS Mining Engineering|
|1961||Richard P. Baker||BS Civil Engineering|
|1961||Col. James L. Baushke Ret.||BS Civil Engineering|
|1961||Merton F. Dibble P.E.||BS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1961||Dr. Robley H. Morrison III||BS Mathematics|
|1961||Walter W. Tacke P.E.||BS Civil Engineering|
|1962||Anthony F. Raimondo||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1962||Carl G. Schwenk||’62 BS Geological Engineering, ’65 BS Geophysical Engineering|
|1962||Kerry S Shoemaker||BS Chemical Engineering|
|1963||John M. Gogin||BS Forestry|
|1963||Jon H. MacLeod P.E.||BS Applied Physics|
|1963||Julio C. Raphel||BS Electrical Engineering|
|1963||Darryl K. Tubbs||BS Geological Engineering|
|1964||James E. Belmore||’64 BS Business Administration|
|1964||Ronald J. Gerlock||BS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1964||Ronald O. Kay||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1965||James A. Niemi||BS Civil Engineering|
|1965||Dr. Joseph L. Roti Roti||BS Physics|
|1966||Paavo K. Alasimi||’66 BS Chemistry|
|1966||Daniel D. Astleford||BS Electrical Engineering|
|1967||William H Webb||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1968||Mark J. Arnold||BS Business Administration|
|1968||Alan D. Bockrath||BS Business Administration|
|1969||L. James Barnard||’69 BS Metallurgical Engineering|
|1969||Timothy D. Burtrum||BS Electrical Engineering, MS Business Administration|
|1969||Leon J. Draxler||BS Mathematics|
|1969||William J. Gobert P.E.||BS Business Engineering Admin, BS Civil Engineering|
|1970||Ted A. Brzezinski||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1971||Joseph Mark Krcmarik||BS Civil Engineering|
|1971||Terry M. Lane||BS Forestry|
|1972||Rodney J. Klingenberg||BS Electrical Engineering|
|1973||Ross H. Jury||’73 BS Business Administration|
|1973||Scott J. McKeough||BS Electrical Engineering|
|1973||Kenneth G. Van Kley PE||BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1974||Robert W. Duncan III||BS Business Administration|
|1974||Murli L. Hinduja||BS Chemical Engineering|
|1975||Kathleen L. Parker||’75 BA Liberal Arts|
|1975||Gerald J. Ryszka||’75 BS Forestry|
|1976||James N. Lehman||’76 BS Civil Engineering|
|1977||Richard W. Dobie||’77 MS Biological Sciences|
|1977||Zoe Ann R. Vicory||’77 AAS Nursing Technology|
|1978||Steven R. Vanden Brink||’78 BS Civil Engineering|
|1979||Phillip J. Hendrickson||’79 BS Mining Engineering|
|1980||David T. Windmuller||’80 BS Mechanical Engineering|
|1981||Gilbert A. Brown||’81 BS Forestry|
|1983||Kathryn R. Rautio||’83 AAS Mechanical Design Eng Tech|
|1984||Kevin P. Erickson||’84 BS Electrical Engineering|
|1984||Geoffry C. Kotila||’84 BS Business Administration|
|1985||Susan A. Gillespie||’85 BA Liberal Arts with History Opt|
|1985||Keith E. Moyle||’85 BS Electrical Engineering|
|1991||Sharon I. Joles||’91 BS Chemistry, ’95 MS Chemistry|
|1992||Jeffrey J. Morse||’92 BS Forestry|
|1993||Douglas W. Stage||’93 BS Chemical Engineering|
|1994||James T. Green||’94 AAS Forest Technology, ’96 BS Forestry|
|1997||Matthew E. McPherson||’97 BS Mechanical Engineering|
|2007||Jill M. Recla||’07 BS Bioinformatics|
The weather is warming up, which means t-shirts, shorts, and of course, volleyball in the mud! As winter comes to a close and we welcome spring, the common campus spaces and the local trails, beaches, and woods offer much outdoor fun. What was your favorite spring activity on campus? Perhaps you recognize someone in this picture, Spring Fling circa 2000.
To say Dan Green ’83 is passionate about connecting with Michigan Tech students and sharing his experiences is an understatement. He volunteers in numerous ways, sharing his story and experience to help the next generation of Huskies succeed.
“I know all this stuff, and I didn’t want it to go to waste when I retired,” said Green. “It’s so energizing to be able to share with current students to help them understand better what to expect after graduation.”
The reconnection to Tech all started two years ago for Green, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1983. Dean Johnson, dean of the College of Business, was working with volunteers Jenny Johnson and Scott Pattullo ’81 in looking for alumni willing to share how they had used their degree.
“Two weeks later, I was on campus guest lecturing in a classroom,” said Green. “On the way home, I was asking why we weren’t doing more of this.”
Green’s experience comes from a career in the banking and financial technology industries. He worked the first half of his career at credit unions, specializing in mortgage banking. While working for Boeing Employees Credit Union, Green was involved in a startup called Prime Alliance, a FinTech specializing in mortgages.
“BECU was building this software for themselves, but after showing it to other credit unions, a company was formed. After acquisitions and by the time I left, it was a $100 million business.”
He credits former professors Jim Gale, Tom Merz, Terry Munson, and others with being influential in his education. An econometrics class was a light bulb moment as it tied all the pieces together on “how to pull important pieces of information from a pile of numbers.”
Green believes there is a lot of untapped potential with the Time and Talent program. “I had been gone from Tech for 40 years before Jenny contacted me. I got to thinking that there have to be a lot of us with a lot to offer—not necessarily in terms of money, which is important, but in terms of human capital. Experience. Time.”
Green has found it easy to form connections with students because of the shared Michigan Tech experiences—the remote location and traditions. “You kind of can’t help but have things in common,” he said.
Green met his wife, Jane Mooney ’83 at Michigan Tech. Her experience with Summer Youth Programs as a child led to her attending Tech as a student. The Greens have committed to volunteering for a full week during SYP each summer.
“It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year,” he says.
The goal moving forward is to expand Time and Talent to develop alumni and student connections across all departments.
Jennifer Lucas (Jung) ’09, Tech’s Assistant Vice President of Alumni Engagement, lauds the work of Green and Johnson. She encourages others to get others involved.
“It is our mission in the Office of Alumni Engagement to provide meaningful programs for our alumni to connect with each other and the University, and the Time and Talent initiative that Dan is championing is a perfect example of that. It’s a pleasure for our team to offer opportunities to our amazing alumni who are willing to share their wisdom directly with current students to come back to campus for a guest lecture. We are so lucky to have Dan working side by side with us on this, and are very grateful to him and to Jenny for the effort they put in!
“We look forward to growing this initiative by enabling more alumni to join our Time and Talent roster, and being able to match them with the right classes and student groups on campus.”
More information, visit: mtu.edu/alumni/volunteer/time-talent.
While there is still plenty of snow on the ground, our flashback image reminds us that the spring melt is coming! Pictured here is the Redridge Steel Dam during a flood stage on Easter Sunday 1941. The pressure of the water was so great that the gates of the spillway began to collapse one by one until there were none left out of the six that were holding water back. The mighty waters of the Keweenaw’s waterfalls are sure to be at peak flow later this semester. Did you have a favorite place to go chasing waterfalls in your days at Tech? Share in the comments.
Alumni and friends in the West Michigan area have been enjoying a variety of events, from bowling to holiday parties to cheering on the hockey team! If you’d like to follow along with what is happening in the West Michigan area, check out the West Michigan alumni Facebook page.
Bowling at Clique Lanes — September 28, 2022
Alumni enjoyed an evening of bowling at Clique Lanes, Grand Rapids. We rented the second floor with eight lanes for a two-hour bowling session. The attendance of nine bowlers was well below the expected capacity of 32 people, so there was ample space for everyone. We even had a 3-year-old in the group who used a ramp to launch his ball. Emma Zawisza ’12 organized the event.
Jim Crouch ’90 preparing to bowl.
3-year-old boy used a ramp to release the ball.
Holiday Party at The Mitten — December 1, 2022
To kick off the Holiday Season, a pizza and pub night was held at The Mitten Brewery in Grand Rapids. This event drew 40 people. Various gourmet pizzas, chicken wings, and delicious breadsticks gave everyone all they could eat. The Mitten Brewing Company was founded in November 2012 by lifelong friends Chris Andrus and Max Trierweiler and is located in historic Engine House No. 9. They offer a good variety of different styles of beer, so they have something for everyone’s tastes.
Michigan Tech’s Office of Alumni Engagement worked with alum host Emma Zawisza ’12 to organize the event, which also featured a drawing for door prizes with items courtesy of the Office of Alumni Engagement. One of the winners of a Husky blanket was Ron Vriesman ’78 from Spring Lake.
Michigan Tech vs. Ferris Hockey Pregame Social — January 21, 2023
About 68 people attended a pregame social at Cranker’s Brewery in Big Rapids. Coach Joe Shawhan was able to attend, mingled with alumni, and gave a game update prior to heading off to the pregame meetings and warm-ups. In front of a packed house, the nationally #14 ranked Michigan Tech Huskies tied Ferris State University Bulldogs 3-3 in an overtime game. The Bulldogs won a shootout victory following the tie.
Husky Hockey Game Watch — January 28, 2023
The game between Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan was live-streamed at Schmohz Brewing Co. The watch party went well (and we got the win 4-1 after an 0-3 loss on Friday)! Anticipated attendance was down slightly because of the weather (we got about 4″ of snow and the roads were a little sloppy) but everyone had a good time. We plan to do more events like this in the future.
Thanks to all the Michigan Tech alumni and friends who participated in the third annual Alumni “Snow” Statue Contest. Congratulations to our winners!
Multi-Day Snow Statue – Winner
Title: Mammoth Mug from Minnesota: In the Land of Ice and Snow, Nothing is Better Than Hot Cocoa
Participants: Pamela ’09 & Tyler ’11 Fincher
Two Michigan Tech alumni Pamela (2009) and Tyler (2011) unearthed a mammoth mug of hot chocolate in their backyard after a Minneapolis blizzard. Likely left behind by Paul Bunyan himself after carving the Mississippi River. Hot chocolate has long been a staple comfort food for the Fincher family during the long winter months especially now after finding Paul’s long-lost recipe. The statue was found during excavations for a bobsledding course that wraps around the mug. After a long day of sledding, Pamela and Tyler’s sons refresh themselves with a hot cup of cocoa.
The statue pays homage to Summit house (5th floor East McNair) where Tyler learned the art of snow sculpting. Of course, the copper lettering is in honor of the Keweenaw. Hidden in the statue is ancient wisdom for those who thirst.
Multi-Day Snow Statue – Runner Up
Title: Cup of Global Warming Soup
Participants: Susan Conradson ’94 and Erica Conradson
The statue started during the Christmas blizzard when we made two stacks of snow (4′ and 5′ high) with the intention of making a large mug of coffee and doughnut. Then came the warm-up… and rain. The statue turned into a small cup of coffee and half of a donut. And then came more warmth and rain… and the doughnut turned into the handle of what we titled “A Cup of Global Warming Soup”. Then came even more rain… and the statue is gone. The statue should be labeled “perseverance” which relates to the Michigan Tech experience. We are just going for participation points!
24-Hour Snow Statue – Winner
Title: Snowman Encampment: Sugar Cookies and Toasted ‘Mallows for the Snowman’s Soul
Participants: Ben Thompson ’09, Aspen Thompson, Drew Vettel ’05, Maeda Vettel, Jackson Vettel
Another statue was built while on a friend vacation to the heart of enemy territory, Marquette. We spent a morning playing in the snow with the kiddos, including sledding down the hill and building a small statue of winter treats that warm our hearts. There is a platter of sugar cookies, a hot cocoa mug, and a snowman bravely using his own arm to roast a marshmallow over ice logs and sculpted snow flames. A snow brick wall protects him from the Lake Superior gales.
24-Hour Snow Statue – Runner Up
Title: Welcome to McDonalds’
Participants: Emily McDonald ’12, Carl Baker ’84, and future Huskies Elliott (3) and Margie (1) McDonald
This year’s theme was an easy one for our family since we are the McDonalds! We wanted to bring to life a classic menu item from the fast food chain of our namesake. Our favorite part of building this statue was making the three pickles that can be seen on the front and the right side.
Other Material “Snow” Statue – Winner
Title: Pasties, Pickled Eggs, & Pints, Providing Energy for Many a Frigid Tech Night!
Participants: Steven Williams ’86, Lisa Williams ’88, Becca Williams ’22, Libby Williams ’22
Our statue pays tribute to three Michigan Tech and Upper Peninsula staples that have sustained many a Tech student throughout the brutal Houghton winters – Pasties, Pickled Eggs, and Pints. Being highly consumable, they perfectly fit this year’s theme of “Tasty Foods for Wintry Moods”. This statue is constructed in Cadillac, MI out of alternative materials. Desiring to limit waste, the statue is made completely of food products, ice, snow, and birdseed. Served on a large ice platter, the bird seed-filled pasties have been baked golden brown, the pickled eggs were molded from suet cakes, and the specially constructed ice pints are filled with sunflower seed “KBC Widowmaker Black”, topped with a snowy head. Once documented, the statue will become a tasty offering for our feathered and furry friends!
Other Material “Snow” Statue – Runner Up
Title: The Caterpillar Became Even More Full from the Food He Ate at Carnival!
Participants: Kathryn Stone ’19 and Derek Stone ’19
The inspiration for this statue comes from the OG food lover – the Very Hungry Caterpillar from Eric Carle’s classic children’s book of the same name. For most of the book, the caterpillar is in pursuit of food, until the last page when he finally meets his fill. Winter Carnival is always filled with delicious food traditions from student organizations, so we imagined all of the food this character would indulge in if he decided to visit Houghton.
Our caterpillar is eating his way across campus at Winter Carnival All-Nighter! He starts with hot chocolate (and mini marshmallows) at the IRHC Cocoa Shack. He also enjoys all-you-can-eat pancakes with Air Force ROTC, hot dogs from His House Ministries, chili from USG, GSG, and the Office of Alumni Engagement, and fried Oreos from the Pep Band. Of course, his trip to the UP is not complete without a pickled egg and a pasty!
Since snow is difficult to come by in Alabama, this statue is made from modeling clay.
In this glimpse back, we see researchers from the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) hard at work on infrared testing on February 21, 1980. The KRC is a multidisciplinary outfit that is active across a broad spectrum of vehicle development. Originally established by the United States Army for deep snow mobility testing, the KRC has been involved in commercial, industrial, and military vehicle applications for over 60 years. Did you have any involvement with the center or its activities while you were a student? Share your story!