Category Archives: Alumni

What You Said in August about Tech…..

From “What Was Your First Day Like…” in the Alumni Blogs

“I arrived on campus in September 1965 after driving 360 miles, on my motorcycle, from my home town in the Lower Peninsula. It rained most of the way and I was soaked to the skin. My parents arrived about an hour later with my stuff and we stayed overnight at one of the local motels. The next day I was able to move into my dorm, Douglas Houghton Hall. There was a housing shortage that year, due to a lot of last minute applications to the university in an attempt to avoid the draft (I immediately enrolled in Army ROTC) and so for the first couple of weeks I was stuck living in what was normally a one-person room with TWO other people. It was a mess, you could barely stand-up (you almost had to take turns getting dressed). After attrition started to have its affect, I was moved to a normal two-person room up on the 3rd floor of the dorm (DHH).

Anyway, it was a big adjustment for me since I came from a very small town (there were only 30 in my high school class) and not only did I have to adjust to the rigors of my classes, I was also experiencing a bit of culture shock, suddenly being thrown together with people from around the globe. I quickly learned that a college education went well beyond just what you were exposed to in the classrooms, but also having to make new friends with individuals from places which for me had previously only been names on a map somewhere. Looking back on it now, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” -John B.

“Moved into a Wadsworth Friday. Saturday 8:30a.m. Intro to Chemical Engineering – slide rule class.” -Paul G.

“My first day at MTU, and my first real trip to the UP from Oakland County MI, I met my 2 roommates – One from Munising MI, and one from Iron Mountain MI. My roommate from Iron Mountain MI had such a strong UP accent I thought he was a foreign exchange student!!! haha!!! We all became great buddies, and forged a bond, and experiences that made me who I am today.” Ernest K.

“Fall 1972. No one to help move in, had to find my room on my own. Placement tests for chemistry. Car registration. Only two suitcases. Group went to a bar, but I was still 17. Pre printed computerized schedules. Had to negotiate in a hectic ROTC building at booths for changes. Meeting roomate for first time. Orienation lectures in Sherman Gym. Walking assembly line through Admin Bldg to get the administrative details taken care of, including writing a check for tuition and room and board. Figuring out what books I needed and buying them. Then came the first classes with a full lecture and homework assignments the first day. It was a hectic first three days that I still remember.” -Bruce K.

From “Reunion Recap” in the Alumni Blogs

“My 50th anniversary of graduation & my first MTU reunion, my wife & I sure enjoyed ourselves. The MTU staff & the Alumni House did an outstanding job of planning events, presentations & meals and it was appreciated by all; I saw nothing but smiles & heard nothing but positive comments. If you’ve never attended a reunion at Tech all I can say is go, it’s a fun event & it’s great seeing old friends & classmates. I’ll be back & this time I won’t wait 50 years!” -Tom H.

“At the ripe old age of 91 I probably would probably not recognize anyone nor would they
recognize me! I lead a fairly active life in North Carolina – still driving a car with a license
renewed for five years.
My family adore the pasties I make for them when they visit me.”  -Barbara H.

From “What You Said in July about Tech” in the Alumni Blogs

“The first full day was the Monday of Orientation Week and I was disoriented, nervous, maybe even scared, definitely overwhelmed. But I got over it. The trip to the bookstore was shocking and navigating the Wadsworth cafeteria was a challenge. Got over those too.” -Gregory W.

From “Mobile Escape Room” on Facebook

The Forestry Alums who work wildland fire will have no issue getting through your escape room.” -Matt O.

From “See How Many Bucket List Items You Can Check Off” on Facebook

34. And nearly half didn’t exist when I graduated in ’82. 🙂” Dan H.


Michigan Tech Fall Color Timeline

One of the many Michigan Tech icons is the environment, more specifically, our wonderful color-filled fall season.

Within this blog we’ll be creating a visual timeline of the Houghton area’s color change, with help from the Michigan Tech Webcams.

Check back here every Monday to see updates.  Click on any image for full size.

 

               College Avenue                               Mid-Campus                                      Mont Ripley


                                                                   Monday, August 26th

 

 

 

 

                                                                    Monday, September 2nd

 

 

 

 

                                                                    Monday, September 9th

 

 

 

 

                                                                   Monday, September 16th


Favorite Michigan Tech Memorabilia

Throughout Michigan Tech’s history, there have been a great number of unique items representing the University and its culture. Below are some of our favorites!

Send us your favorites to be showcased on Social Media at alumni@mtu.edu or @mtualumni on Facebook.

Beanie

Bell

Belt Buckle

Coaster

 Punch Card

Growler/Jug

Dining Hall Food Tray

Glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Memorabilia Submissions


I still use my HP 15C…..36 years later” -Scott L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the Carhartts !!” -William D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation announcement” -Cathy P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Varsity Awards Banquet” -Cathy P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Javier P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All my WMTU shirts and bumper stickers.” -Joe A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homecoming button. 1971” -Cathy P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duffel bag from our days on the cheer team/stunt squad. Still serves me well 20 years later!” -Kelly G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some nifty artwork” -Frank G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commencement program 1972” -Cathy P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receipt for application fee from 1967” -Cathy P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Erickson did someone say “pink MUB mug”?” -Joe A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old logo hockey puck” -Jacob G.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation announcement” Cathy P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autographed Calendar from the glory days” -Richard D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old sticker I have at work!” -Paul P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tomorrow Needs Tech: A Podcast with President Koubek

Welcome to Tomorrow Needs Tech, a series of podcasts with President Koubek and prominent Michigan Tech alumni, discussing topics like computing, leadership, industry, and diversity.

Listen below, or you can also find Tomorrow Needs Tech on the following platforms: SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

 


 

Podcast 1: Tomorrow Needs Computing

Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek sits down with alumnus Dave House ’65 to talk about Michigan Tech’s future as a leader in computing and technology.


What You Said in July about Tech……

From “What are some of your favorite Keweenaw Camping Spots” on Facebook

Silver Mountain and walking from Wads downtown for stress relief at shoots & ladders” -Ericka H.

We used to rent canoes from Wads and camp on a rough 2 track on Lake Fannie Hooe. Never saw another person unless we canoed by the fort.” -Joe N.

Camping on the White City beach near Jacobsville” -Kirk O.

Camped on Rock House Point several times. (Off limits now, I think.) Also Keystone Bay was great camping, and I think it’s been off limits since the fire out there 10 years ago or more.” -Christopher H.

“McLain State Park for camping, the Breakers at McLain for beaches” -Kayla G.

5-Mile Point, where we’d swim and have bonfires in the 80’s and where I proposed to my wife in ‘95 😀…which is now private property with lakeshore houses and “No Trespassing” signs” -Pete M.

“Back side of the Great Sand Bay Dunes” -John C.

From “Here’s a quick tour of campus” on Facebook

I got 2 years until I come for the reunion…. Probably a visit next year for good measure.” -Richard L.

I love you and I miss you MTU” -Monica W.

“Things have changed in 60 years. For the better.” -Richard M.

From “Any memories from this Michigan Tech historical building? Hubbell Hall.”

Learned Something new today about campus!” -Denise L.

That building was still in use when I attended MTU in 1966…….Bill P. MTU alumni, BS Math, 1966.” -Bill P.

“That’s where I was on the day President Kennedy was shot. Classes were dismissed and we all went back to the dorms (DHH for me) to listen to the radio broadcast.” -Wayne T.

“My math major home 60-64. Fisher Hall was under construction my senior year and opened for classes the Fall after I graduated.” -Andrew P.
“Was the Administration Building when I began at Tech. Registrar on first floor and library in basement. Still have this building on my Balfour class ring.” -John D.
Took a number of math classes in the building in the mid 1950s – mostly pleasant memories.” -Patrick D.
Historical old building but open central wood stairs fire trap. Remember the coils of rope near top story windows” -Dick W.
I was going to tell the story of the rope fire escapes but you beat me to it. As a frosh the window well was my assigned seat until enough dropped out to get a real desk. Was most happy to not have to be the one to kick the window out if necessary. Back in the day as they say…..
Class of ’64.
” -Bud P.
I graduated BS Met Eng in 68. We were promised that, because of its historical significance, it would never be torn down. Bloody shame.” -Bob S.
From “Dave Chamino passed away on July 5th” on Facebook
Dr. Chimino was a good prof. His teaching style was excellent. The tests were very tough, even though he swore he didn’t intentionally put answers on the multiple choice that were results of miscalculation. I learned a lot from him.” -Tim B.
Great professor, one of the many at Michigan Tech. I remember Dr Chimino, the Physics class I took was what we called “Physics for Majors”. I was not a Physics major, but Dr Chimino was the one who taught me we have no room for error in the “major” class, of course because every answer I would get was a choice on the sheet (he would calculate wrong answers based on typical errors in the calculations, making you think the answer was right). Funny thing, when I went on to teach at MSU and in industry, I did the same thing, and people hated it. 😂😂😂. RIP Dr Chimino.” -Mark T.
His syllabus always started out with us behind. He was great.” -Sarah W.
Sad Day for a superb Professor.” -Robert M.
He could draw a perfect circle on the blackboard. Consistently.” -Ken H.
“The famous perfect circle AND every possible wrong calculation on a test being one of the possible multiple choice answers.” -Gary M.
If asked how he drew perfect circles he would reply “Maintain a constant radius”” -Ed E.
From “The 2019 Alumni Awards are Here” on Facebook
I can’t wait to get there for my 10 year reunion in 2021!!” -Richard L.
From “Are you ready to take on our Mobile Escape Room” on Facebook
The Forestry Alums who work wildland fire will have no issue getting through your escape room.” -Matt O.
From “What are your favorite Keweenaw camping spots” on Instagram
“The hidden ones you can only really explain by taking someone there” -wherin_the_world_is_erin on Instagram
“Beta Gris hands down” -dogsma02gkk on Instagram
From “Exploring the Keweenaw” in the Alumni Blogs
“There is certainly no shortage of memorable and adventurous places in the MTU area. Several of my Forestry program friends and I (Bill R., Bill T. and Lee G. – all ’64) made a point of visiting many of them. My favorites, however, were those which brought a combination of adventure, exploration and solitude. I think of places quiet and isolated, and places once occupied by a past generation, and now abandoned. To stand there in 1960-64, as the sun was setting, was to imagine those past times and life events. I recall particularly Red Ridge and Freda, the Cliff mine, and Keystone Bay at the tip of the Keweenaw. In more recent years I have re-visited some of these sites with family. While still intriguing, I’ll probably never recapture the nostalgia of some 55 years ago.” -Ted R.
From “Remembering Professor David Chamino” in the Alumni Blogs
“His physics demonstrations were THE COOLEST and for a visual learner like me, permanently ingrained the lessons in my brain.” -David P.
“Dave Chimino was a definite inspiration to me. In my own career as a physics professor, Electomagnetic Fields was always my favorite course to teach, but I could never draw those perfect circles. I did use a lot of colored chalk though.” -Robert L.
“Dr. Chimino was the very best instructor I had while a student from 1968-1972. He made physics come alive for me, and took it from a dry, calculation-driven world into a place where I eventually developed a true sense of wonderment. I will never forget when he was drawing a complex system of circular motion, and laughter broke out in Fisher 135. He turned and said, “What, did I make a mistake?” And the answer from someone in the front row was “No, it’s just those perfect circles! How do you do that?” Dr. C answered, without hesitation, “Well, I just keep R constant.” Perfect!” -Michael A.
“Once when asked how he drew those perfect circles, his reply was “Keep a constant radius.” His demonstration with the spinning bicycle wheel and a stool with a swivel seat is also memorable.” -Gregory S.
“Dave Chimino was a personal friend as well as a mentor. We worked together on his idea of video taped lectures as I had a background in broadcast video when I came to Tech. One summer many years later, when Dave had an internship at Lawrence Livermore Labratories, we met and toured their nuclear fusion project. Dave’s reaction? “That’s what I call mega-buck physics”.
R.I.P. my friend.” -Jon W.

“Professor Chimino had that magic gift of teaching, on often difficult to understand principles, to hard-headed physics students like me such that we actually learned the stuff. Yes, he could draw well on the chalk board, and that helped, but he also had that rare ability to explain, even show us, what the “things,” or abstract physics ideas, in his lectures, were all about. We actually learned, thanks to him.And, thanks to Professor Chimino, and a few others like him, a lot of us physics types made it and, perhaps, even helped move the science forward a mm or two. Only time will tell. But what is for sure, is that no one was ever better at lecturing Physics than Professor Dave Chimino.” -C. John U.

“The spinning bicycle wheel was great. We laughed about it for weeks, but we got the message. I also remember him writing on the board with one hand while he erased with the other. Better be quick at taking notes!” -Dave S.

“I thought of Prof. Chimino often during my career as his Electrical Measurements course was very much like what my early job tasks were like in the nuclear power field. The lab for that course was two credits and was the hardest two credits I ever earned but the lessons were life long. I was also lucky enough to take his general astronomy class. At that time he was in the planning stage of his observatory. People like him made Tech the special place it is.” -Tom M.

“Prof. Chimino had the knack of turning an equation into a tangible reality, which made it enormously easier for students to grasp the principle embedded in the equation. I’m sure that ping pong balls and strobe lights were never used so effectively in a physics class anywhere else. While I am saddened to hear of his passing, his presence still looms large; in a very beneficial way.” -Paul M.

“Dave was my adviser 1958 -1962, and gave us an oral final exam in Electricity and Magnetism, which I think he had a photographic memory, because when asked a question during our problem solving lab, replied “go to page 207, and in the middle of the page…….”. This petrified most of us with an oral final pending, No BS gonna happen.” -Sam L.

“My wife and I both enjoyed a pretty spectacular time in Tech History when we had the one two punch of Chimino for Physics, and Berry for Chemistry. Sadly, both have now passed. While Berry made us all quiver with fear, Chimino’s class was a blast- he always had demo’s- Block sliding down planes, the spinning bicycle wheel, perfect circles, and other oddities that kept our attention and made us remember the concepts. And I remember quivering with fear after waiting in Fisher Hall to see the posting of the exam grades. Ten questions 100 points. And every possible answer you could come up with if you took the wrong direction in your thinking. For instance, the square root of the answer, or the negative, or whatever mistake you were most likely to make. His lessons will always occupy a smiling part of my brain.” -Steve A.

“Professor Chimino would often draw circles and other curved surfaces in his optics classes. What was really amazing is he would draw a seemingly perfect circle freehand in one motion, then he would check it using a compass.

One of his best projects was undergraduate physics lab in the basement of Fisher Hall.” -Ned E.

“I had Dr. Chimino for an optics class. He made learning fun and yes the perfect circles were scary cool. RIP” -Reid S.
“Taking PH204 and PH205 from Professor Chimino was one of the best experiences I had in my early career at Tech (next to ME223). The ability to draw a perfect circle free-hand was, as others have noted, absolutely legendary. As was the vaporizing screwdriver / capacitor demo. But he was much more than a great lecturer with interesting presentations. He had a reputation of being a ‘tough’ instructor but a very equitable one as well. And a dry sense of humor. I remember an exam where he stood watching me use my LEFT hand to do right hand rule vector cross product directions. I realized what I was doing about the same time I realized he was watching me – with a huge grin. I’m sure he was thinking ‘I got another one of those MEs’!!! He’ll be sorely missed…” -Gary H.
“Of course the circles and bike wheel. But he was the one who ‘calibrated’ me to prepare for Tech when on day one he said, “Hope you remember your lessons, we start in Chapter 3.” He will be missed. Hope you are circling the stars!” -Paul S.
“Two memories that pop into my head from time to time: (1) 8 am lecture, middle of the winter, bleary eyed and sitting in the Fisher lecture hall. All of a sudden music comes blaring over the loud speakers (don’t remember exactly what, but that it had a catchy acoustic bass line). Just as suddenly the music stops and Chimino walks in like nothing happened and starts his lecture. (2) discussion about F=ma and units, he pulls out a metric kilogram weight to illustrate inertial mass and then without the slightest change in expression hoists a concrete cinder block out of nowhere to illustrate the imperial slug.” -Dave R.
“40 years later and I still remember those perfect circles! Excellent professor. I REALLY learned Physics and it was enjoyable.” -Stephen K.
“An appreciation of physics is at the core of every engineering student’s tasks. Many thanks to Dr. Chimino and happy memories of his guidance.” -Al C.

What was your first day like?

Students are preparing to move back on campus for the start of the fall semester. Comment below and tell us the story of your first day at Michigan Tech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lode Articles (Courtesy of Michigan Tech University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections)

           

 


Reunion Recap & Photo Gallery – 2019

Alumni Reunion By the Numbers

Total attendees at Reunion 2019
Events available to alumni packed into three days during Reunion 2019 (plus 18 departmental open houses)
From Florida to Washington and California to Connecticut, alumni traveled from 31 different states to attend Reunion 2019 (plus two other countries)
Decades of class years represented by alumni at Reunion 2019 including two representatives from the class of 1949!

 


Alumni Reunion Photos

Alumni Kickoff — 185 Attendees

Tech Talks — 141 attendees

 

 

ME-EM Ranger Tour — 69 Attendees

     

Pasty Dinner — 185 Attendees

 

 

President’s Breakfast — 198 attendees

Husky Hustle 5K Run/Walk for Scholarships — 70 Attendees

  

Canoeing the Sturgeon River — 22 Attendees

Research Vessell Agassiz Boat Tour — 86 Attendees

 

Stuff a Husky!

Continue reading


Remembering Professor David Chimino

Former physics professor and Michigan Tech alumnus, David Chimino, passed away on July 5, 2019. Professor Chimino graduated from Michigan Tech in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics and served as faculty in the Department of Physics for 42 years, teaching physics and astronomy.

During his tenure, Dave received the Distinguished Teaching Award and was appointed the rank of Presidential Professor for his outstanding teaching. As stated by former college dean and provost, Max Seel, “Dave’s endearing claim to fame was that he could draw perfect circles on the chalkboard in physics class. Everyone who went through his introductory physics lectures remembers.”

Sue Hill had an undergraduate class with him and said, “Dave was friends with his students. He always had time to talk to us.”

Professor Chimino built a private optical observatory in Atlantic Mine, named Amjoch after his parents. He was active in community outreach sharing his Cosmic Journey science lectures and after retiring as faculty, mentored Michigan Tech students pursuing their high school teaching certification in science and math. Dave will be remembered for his spirit of generosity and kindness.

What memories do you have of Professor Chimino?


What You Said in June about Tech……

From “Flowers are blooming here in Houghton” on Facebook

“I miss the long UP summer days! It stays light so late.” -Sarah W.

“The spring snow lol!” -Eric H.

“Spring…. I always liked that day.” -Andrew W.
“Great lift Bridge. I remember blasting the new road entrances to the bridge on the Houghton side and the old concrete swing bridge structures circa 1961” Robert M.
I was beginning to wonder if UP was skipping spring and summer altogether this year” Denise L. 
“The main thing I miss about Houghton in the Spring, is that it meant the end of the school year was in sight. And I’d go back to Detroit to make money in the summer. To come back in September and start it ALL OVER again…” Courtney F.
“The peace and quiet!” Kathy G.
“I miss the bitterly Nort cold winds, blowing horizontal snow, and the 30 or more below zero straight temperatures going for an 8 o’clock In the Hubble Hall…. shows my age. This was never da Tech dat down for enyting Ya but, ya den, er Ok just kidding. 🗜” Dennis J. 
” look at that!! It probably snowed later in the afternoon 🙈” -Adwait B. 
From “The Ranger is out to Isle Royale this morning” on Facebook
” Went mid Sept 1984, for 4 days. Took the smaller boat from Copper Harbor, got seasick going to Rock Harbor. We about had the island to ourselves. Virtually no bugs. Beautiful. Great memories” -Steven B. 
“I have taken so many to the Island. Flown out, Ranger out, maybe time for a kayak before I get to old!” -Jan B.
From “Take a quick walk with us through campus” on Facebook
“Thanks! A lot has changed since I arrived 50 years ago, but the only time it looked like this was the first week of classes, so it made me a little nervous? Covered in snow with students leaning into the wind carrying toot bags and sporting slap sticks would look more familiar!” -Joann P.
“I was there over 55 years ago and the ROTC bldg doesn’t look any different.” -Robert B.
“Thanks a lot for this walk, i had been here 2 years ago, it was a very magnificent stay in ECE an Wadsworth Hall❤” -Kaouther B.
“It has been 20 years since I’ve seen the place.” Bill S.
From “SpaceX successfully launched “Falcon Heavy” on Facebook
“How awesome to hear the narrator mention Michigan Tech student’s project that got released a few minutes into the video!” -Connie J.
“It was actually today at 2:30am EDT. My son, Peter ‘16, was part of the team invited down to attend the launch. He’s now a Satellite Systems Engineer with Northrop Grumman. I was up at 2:25am to watch it live. It was amazing!” Ann K.
“Being a Controls Engineer, It still floors me that they can land a pencil on it’s end like that!! Just amazing.” -Tony W.
From “A Brief History of the Tech Trails” on the Alumni Blogs
” I did use the Tech Trails during my time at Tech, but I don’t remember them being called anything other than the “trails by the ice arena.” They were not developed, marked, or even level. They were ruts running through the woods. I was in Air Force ROTC, but the Army ROTC offered PE class called “ranger training” or “cobra training.” Almost all the Army cadets participated, only a few Air force cadets did. I was one of them. In the fall, we learned to rappel first on campus in the ROTC building and then Hungarian Falls. The Army cadre were the instructors. I also remember one of them going down the side of the ME-EM building I believe. During the winter we learned to cross country ski and snowshoe using Army equipment that doesn’t look, weigh, or operate like todays cross country skis and snow shoes. The skis were large and weighed a ton, they looked like they were made during World War II. The snow shoes were not much better. We did all our cross country skiing in the area of Today’s Tech Trails. These trails were rough, extremely hilly, not wide at all. The only saving grace was cross country skiing was not popular at that time. We rarely ran into anyone. We would be skiing all day on Saturday or a week day afternoon and only see one person or no one. It was just us cadets using the old logging trails and I believe an old power right-of-way. I only can remember one “bridge” across a stream bed. We didn’t do much skiing per say, it was work and very tiring back in the day. I remember one area that was straight, somewhat level and we could actually ski, the rest of the trails were work!!” -Ed E.
“Used to ski and dirt bike on the trails in the 70’s.” -Paul C.
“I went to Tech from 74 to 78, and bought my cross country skis during summer break specifically because of the trails. Learned all about waxing my new bonna skis. None of my buddies skied so I was learning on my own. The trails were a challenge for sure. Pretty narrow and up and down. I remember how quiet and beautiful it was with all the powder snow. I also took a phys ed class in orienteering put on by the ROTC, which took place in the woods the trails were in.” -Scott P.
“My Tech years were 68-72. I remember carrying my canvas book bag into what later became the trails to find a quiet place to study. In those years I didn’t need to go very far in.” -Rick H.

“Took up cross country skiing and probably skied 3 times a week. No lights back then, but you could easily ski the trail on a moonlit night if you were familiar with the trail.I remember often being the first person on the trail (not many even skied my first 2 years) after snow. So first time around I was breaking trail. My memory might be off, but it seems like my freshman year we had a record 390″ in the Copper Country.” -Kieth R.

“I attended Tech from 1952 to 1956, which was before “Tech Trails” existed. There was a decent trail in that area, but I was usually the only user. My routine was to go to classes from 8 to 10 AM three days a week, then wax my skis for the day’s conditions and drive to the start of the trail. I would run 2 laps around the course, then be back to the campus in time for a quick lunch and shower followed by a 1 PM class. Many mornings the branches of the brush would be coated with long ice crystals, which were absolutely beautiful in the morning sun. Although I had never even seen a pair of cross-country skis before I arrived at Tech, over the years I was able to become sufficiently proficient to take second place in a meet at Duluth with the university there, and finished third in the 1956 National Cross-Country Championship at Ishpeming (while most of the better competitors were out west competing for an olympic berth.)” -Steve L.

“I loved cycling Copper Countries roads in Fall and Spring (’75-’77), but once the snow flew, the bike was put away and the XC skis came out. A quick circuit around the trails after class and before dinner in Coed dining hall refreshed me before hitting the books in the evening. Trails then were ungroomed. A misstep off two-track created by skiers and you were likely to be waist deep in powder. Now that I’m in Boston area where winters are unpredictable — rain changing to snow or snow changing to rain — I miss the days of being able to walk up the hill, step into 3-pin bindings, and enjoy the quiet beauty of snow-covered woods.” -Mike S.

“I attended Mich Tech from 76 to 82. What I remember about the area was a large block of woods cleared for the SDC in 79, and much of the woods East of the SDC having a lot of large mature Northern Red Oak. Only a few trails went through the woods. In 1980, much of the commentary on campus centered on what a white elephant the SDC was. ( It really didn’t start to be heavily used until late 1981. Most of us preferred to use the familiar, old gym – which is now an arts center ! )” -Gene B.

“I finished there in 1980. I don’t remember any trails. I do remember that I wouldn’t have had any time for recreation. Those professors kept me quite busy. However, I did not have to walk 5 miles to Campus uphill in both directions in a snowstorm. (Just uphill in one direction with an occasional snow storm)” -Dan
“Used to grouse hunt back there in the mid 60’s. There was a cemetery back there that we’d go beyond & we found pretty good Pat cover. We’d also jump a rabbit once on a while. Only way we had to cook was with an electric coffee pot! We’d fill half full, drop in the spice pellet from a package of Lipton Chicken Soup then insert the cleaned bird or rabbit & cook until the “coffee ready” light came on. It was actually pretty good.” -Tom H.
“I attended ’75 to ’79 and like Mike S. (one of many XC skiers on 4th floor East Coed who got me interested in the sport) loved to zip up the hill several times a week and get a quick XC ski in before dinner at Coed Hall. I remarked often how nice it was to know there would be snow and so you could plan to go any day or time and have a good experience, unlike West MI where snow was plentiful but unpredictable. Many good stories shared over dinner about people’s experiences skiing that day. I also ran XC for Tech and we spent many hours running those trails as a team and on our own. There is nothing like running forested trails and Tech’s were some of the best . . . except the day I landed wrong and broke my ankle on a training run. Lastly, ROTC also used the trails to teach an ‘Orienteering’ class as part of the PE program. It was close to the best class I ever took. Four courses every week, four two-hour time slots during the day. I think it was on Thursdays. A great day was being able to run all four courses because I had no classes on Thursday that quarter. Loved those trails.” -George B.
“We hunted ruffed G. there in 1960-61, no trails. also snowshoe up from married housing, was great for some one with out a car. My new wife learned to snowshoe there, all forester’s wives need to know how to use snowshoes”-Bob P.
“I ran Cross Country for MTU ’72 -’75 Joe C. and John H. taught me to Nordic Ski during the winter of ’72-’73. I was racing in two weeks. Most of my workout training was on the trails behind the ice arena and tennis courts. I was staying with Bill “Axle” A. in West Houghton and would enter on the trail south side of Houghton.” -Steven B.

“I went to Tech from Spring ‘73 thru Spring ‘76 living up in married housing with my wife Karen. My first experience with the Tech trails was on a dirt bike prompted by a friend John S. We spent many a days riding the trails along with another friend in our building, Dale T. One memorable experience was when the three of us were riding the trail when John lead us up a challenging hill off the trail. Dale made it up about 3/4 of the way when he bounced off a fallen tree and went down. He quickly jumped up and started doing what looked like an Indian rain dance. What had happened was he kicked up a nest of bees that were now taking their revenge out on him. He had to abandon his motorcycle there and we got him back home to treat the many stings. So John being a scuba diver either he or Dale went back out to fetch the bike in full scuba gear. I went along keeping my distance and will never forget that day.

I took up x-country skiing the winter of 74/75 when we had about 370” of snow. That year another couple living in our building, Glenn and Gale Mroz, who along with Dale and Liz T. and Karen and myself would go out skiing on the trails on the weekends. By our return from Christmas break the snow was deep enough that it was easy to build a snow ramp that let us step over the 4’ fence that suppurated us from the cemetery behind our apartment. So it was clip on the skis out the back door and head into the woods. On one of those days it was Gale Mroz who when going down a down hill run that curved to the right with a drop off on the left marked by short post, caught the tip of her left ski on one of those post and snapped the front of the ski off. That was a fun trip back on a ski and a half. So those are some of my memories of the Tech ski trails.” -Len E.

“Cross Country alum, ’95-’00 on the “old” trails before the current version was built. We ran for Gary N. Lot’s of intervals. Hairpin and Ks on the old railroad grade. ROTC put in some small wood-chipped loops where the stadium is now in ’97 or ’98 I think. Very hard to run fast in fresh, loose chips. 🙂 The GLIAC CC meet has been held on the trails twice. In 2000, starting on one of the softballs fields adjacent to the trails. And in 2013 using the current stadium. I believe Tech hosted that meet in 1994 also, but on the golf course.” -Ryan T.

“Back in the late 1960’s Tech had a motorcycle club and we used to ride the trails after classes and held an off-road enduro event and a motocross event there in 1969 & 1970. After class it was a good way to burn off some extra energy and frustration as at that time Tech had about 28 Toots to 1 Tootet” -Anthony C.
“I graduated in 1979 and used the Tech trails a lot to Nordic ski to school in the winter as I was living up on Volin Place and had good access to the trails” Doug R.
“Brought my graduation gift a too big for me Schwinn High Plains up in 93 and realized it wasn’t going to cut it for Mtn Biking the Tech trails. Bought 2 GT’s from Cross Country Sports in Calumet over the next 4 years. Got the opportunity to bring my son up two years ago with my vintage 96 GT Zaskar to ride the trails. Big change over when I last rode them in 98. He arrives Monday morning to participate in the Summer Mtn Bike Camp! (We got flooded out last year!)” -Scott W.
“I learned to mountain bike on the Tech Trails, ’97-’03, before the current flow trail phenomenon. At that time they were classic mountain bike trails – tough, rough, technical climbs, downhills without bermed corners, logs that weren’t logs, not carved into jumps. I credit my technical skills with riding on the tech trails 6 days a week. We used to grind through at least one drivetrain (chain, rains, cassettes and rim brakes) a season because the mud was prevalent and super abrasive. There was no formal map, you learned from friends and by exploring. Having those trails 10 minutes (and quite the climb) from campus was perfect for a quick after class lap session.” -Nick Chope
“I went to Tech 90-94. I used the trails for skiing and mountain biking. Love the trails. Don’t remember lights. I remember just finding my way around and by the end of 4 years knew them very well. Couldn’t believe the system available to me so close to where I lived. Spoiled!” -Jen
“I took a phy ed course in orienteering in Fall ’80, and we ran these trails with a map and compass looking for punch stations. I tried to keep up with a guy who was on the Nordic ski team who knew all the trails.” -Glenn B.
“Hiking, skiing, snowshoeing. That’s where I went to get away, get some peace and alone time. Saved my sanity (I think? Mebbe not…). It was so beautiful in winter. 1970’s.” -Dave B.
“I went to Tech 70 to 75. In 72 I discovered skiing and have been doing it ever since. I miss how close those trails are compared to here. However, you can’t beat the season here–I skied from the week before Thanksgiving to June 5th this year!” -John G.

Exploring the Keweenaw

A tradition amongst Michigan Tech students is experiencing the beauty provided by the UP, and it’s lovely Keweenaw Peninsula.

Whether you’re a hiker, skier, mountain biker, or just like the beach, the Copper Country has an outdoor activity and location for you. Below are some of our favorites. Tell us yours in the comments below!

 

                                  Freda                                               Snowshoeing the Frozen Lakes                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 Hungarian Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            Local Scenes                                                          Isle Royale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              Mouth of the Gratiot River                                    Eagle Harbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         Lake Medora                                                   Douglas Houghton Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   

                        Brockway Mountain                                                   Prince’s Point