Category: Alumni

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

Ignite Innovation in your Workplace

Visit the beautiful Copper Country in August and learn how to bring Innovation skill sets and mindsets to your organization by attending the inaugural Ignite Innovation workshop at Michigan Tech. By attending this experiential and highly interactive workshop you will

  • Identify the ignitors and extinguishers of innovation
  • Develop & practice the tools of innovation
  • Examine your own story of innovation
  • Apply the design thinking process to your team and envision how to grow and expand its innovation capabilities
  • Leave with a plan to ignite innovation within your own team/organization

Please complete the registration form to indicate your interest in attending. Space is limited, so apply early. Cost to attend this 2-1/2 day workshop is $1500. Your workshop facilitators have been trained in the design thinking process developed by Stanford’s and made famous by IDEO. Proceeds from the workshop will go to support student scholarships and travel.

Apply Now!

A Brief History of the Tech Trails

Map of Michigan Tech campus

Depending on when you were on campus, your memories of the Tech Trails may be much different than what they are today. Michigan Tech’s 540+ acres of forest just up the hill from the main campus mall has seen many different uses and iterations over the years.

Currently, the Tech Trails are one of the nation’s top Nordic skiing facilities. It has hosted numerous U.S. Ski Association (USSA) Cross Country National Championships in addition to regional college races in both skiing and cross country running.

Aerial view of Michigan Tech campusIn its past, we’ve heard stories about the Trails being used for dirt bikes, snowmobiles, camping, ROTC exercises, and even hunting.

Mike Abbott has a long history at Michigan Tech and was part of the group that developed the Trails. “When I started working here, the Trails were just a path in the woods. We used an old box spring pulled by a one-lung snow machine to groom snow for skiing.”

Michigan Tech Trails mapNow, the facility boasts nearly 40 kilometers of groomed trails (7K of lighted ski trails for early morning or evening skiing in the winter). In the winter, uses include skiing, snowshoeing, snow (fat tire) biking, and skijoring (skiing while being pulled by a dog). Running, biking and dog walking are popular uses in the summer. The use of the Trails for mountain biking continues to grow with two flow trails and a pump track available along with the 40K of regular trail. Other portions of the Tech Trails acreage are used for paintball in addition to the Tech Outdoor Adventure Program’s high ropes course.

A big reason why the Tech Trails have evolved into an outdoor recreation wonderland is former president Glenn Mroz.

Michigan Tech skierIn 2001, Mroz and several others devised a plan to develop the trails as a way to secure funding for the Michigan Tech varsity Nordic skiing program. The vision for the project also included the creation of a facility that would be a differentiator for the University and attract outdoor-loving students.

Mroz, who was then dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, proposed that revenue could be generated from timber harvesting to support the team and upgrade the Trails. Since 2002, the facility has gone through numerous upgrades: enlarging the stadium area and widening trails to host races, building bridges and stopping erosion issues, adding buildings to house equipment and provide space for ski waxing, and installing signage throughout the trail system.

So how did you use the Tech Trails? Leave your comment below.

What You Said in May about Tech…..


From  “Students Tap Into the Science of Brewing” on Facebook

Brewing is the perfect blend of art, science, engineering and magic!” -Jeff R.

“I wish they had this when i was there! All good though, i am in the brewery industry now!” -Ted M.


On “Houghton will be hitting 70 degrees today!” on Facebook

“Driving out to the beach by breakers and just watching the waves and sun!” -Denise L.

“1970 laying out in swimsuits and using Co-Ed Hall as a wind breaker.” -Suzanne B.

“Summer… Heading out to Hancock Beach with friends and the Pig Roast at Al’s Halfway” Greg S.

“18 inches of snow, on MAY 01, 1984 (MAY 01); summer — both summers of 1987 and 1988, in graduate school” -Todd H.

“Between my Freshman and Sophomore years, I visited in mid July and camped at McLain. I remember reading a book on the beach by natural light until about 11:00 at night!” -Brady L.

“My best spring memory is the snow of every morning in Houghton every day i get up i see the mixture of winter and spring blue sky, birds sing everywhere and a thin layer of snow cover the land what wonderful morning” -Kaouther B.

“Spring Fling Party at Theta Tau…at the old house” -Greg S.

“Sailing on Goldilocks in the Onigaming Yacht Club” -Jim M.

“I spent 2 summer semesters at MTU and the weather was unbelievably beautiful. Actually had a heat wave come through and had 2 big box fans going in my room in West McNair.” -Thomas S.

“I was in school 1980-1984, remember the happiness of snowmelt and enjoying the sun and doing bud burst check for Forestry. The first summer I got there beautiful weather, temps and my first introduction to the grand and cold Lake Superior “ Diane W.

“I did my civil engineering summer survey work in 1961. Houghton County has the biggest baddest Mosquitos and Black Flies in all of North America. As I revisit campus I point out the WMPL radio tower across Portage Lake and tell any who will listen that I once determined the bearing from a pin on the hill behind campus across to the base of that tower.” -Bud P.


From “Pep Band Truck Memories” on Facebook

“New parent here. So this is the pep band truck?! My son is so excited to play. He marched and played in pep 4 years in high school and cannot wait to joint the fun. And he does play a mean trumpet! Have to say!” -Julie M.

“No truck in my day (95-00). But we did take a bus to Milwaukee to play at an Admiral’s hockey game and played at the downtown mall.” -Chris R.

“Teaching the crowd the ORGY Chant (Teamwork) during Halloween, dressed as an angel. I think it was my Junior year. 2001/2002.” -Ward R.      

“Was part of the band when we got the first overalls. Concertmaster with Don Keranen. Lots of cowbell at hockey games at the Dee!” -Paul G.

“I remember Jake and I creating the “Bull Sheet” in an empty math class room. We used the Daily Bull, blew it up, then put it on a transparency. We were going to hand write the lettering, but then I thought the bull looked so good, it deserved better. So, got on MS Word and found a decent font, typed it up, and put it on a transparency slide too. I can’t remember if it was 2001 or 2002. I used the picture of the Bull to put it on a paper plate and on a stick, so make a “bull stick”.. The Bull Stick didn’t quite have the staying power as the Bull Sheet. I would take it to basketball games, hold it up, and yell “stare at it for hidden meaning”..” -Ward R.  

 “ Truck? We didn’t need no stinking truck in the 80’s. We had all possible color of overalls. I was one of the first to wear the black and gold, but we had Red/Which, Red/yellow/ White. Got to go to the playoffs once, And I’m pretty sure my band was one of the reasons we were banned from NMU stadium :-)” -Mary S.

“I was one of the leadership staff members who proposed getting a truck of our own years ago. Just based on how often we used it, especially with more road trips, and how much motorpool was charging us. Nice that they finally made it happen! Shame it was only after I left. Haha” -Matt B.

“ We didn’t have any truck nor wore black and yellow overalls when I played in the band 65 to 68. We played in the balcony in Dee Stadium. Never played at GLI but did go to Duluth two years. All male band at that time.” -John D.

“ My very first parade with the pep band. I don’t remember a lot, but I do remember the BA!s playing tag, walking through Burger King, and a small group of us ended up behind some of the crowd watching yelling, “how bout that pep band!” To get them to cheer, then turn and laugh.

“Overall, I knew this was the perfect, crazy, funny, witty group for me. I already had a leaning towards being that kind of a sports fan, but the pep band really allowed me to spread my proverbial wings having fun, and adding a lot of commentary during games, that I do hope was mostly funny and witty. I still act that way now. It usually is a hit with the crowd around me. Especially when I was living in New Orleans. Now, that’s a town that understands fun.” -Ward R.

“We had to hand carry our stuff (1977 – 1982), up hill in both directions, day and night, and in the snow (only from October to June)…” -Ken S.


From “Houghton will be hitting 70” on Instagram

Swimming at Bete Grise after a day of surveying summer camp”  -dogsma02gkk

“anything summer related our group did up there haha” -lol_epa_5.8

“Houghton Beach and surveying Mt Ripley during summer surveying” -mtuhusky4life

“Hitting the beach at Chutes and Ladders Park after spending the day locked in the lab.” -kittylatuszekart

“My wedding ❤️at the MUB Ballroom decorated with local summer wild flowers!” -mayramor24


From “Hey Huskies, Name these falls!” on Facebook

Memories with Jessica D. t and Natalie there. One summer in undergrad we made a bucket list to visit as many falls in the UP as possible together… We had an awesome time exploring” – Jennifer J.

“I believe this is Sturgeon River Gorge. ?? If so, I took my Orientation team there at the end of O-week one year. Purely thanks to the two students who were lifeguards wading downriver from me, it is the only water jump I have ever made.” -Meghan M.

“ Canyon falls. You need to go to the 33 foot drop to jump in!!!! hopefully there’s still a rope hanging there to get back up” -John V.

I was last there in November 2017. The spray was freezing on the rock walls. MTU 1977.” -Kenneth H.


From “Flowers are blooming here in Houghton!” on Facebook

“ I loved the spring but hated the black flies” -Denise E.

“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.

“I was beginning to wonder if UP was skipping spring and summer altogether this year” -Denise L.

“Spring…. I always liked that day.” -Andrew W.

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


From “The Ranger is out to Isle Royale” on Facebook

“I worked at the lodge the summer of 1975! Great hikes, cruising around the island and the Moose . After 42 years I am returning for a weekend long visit in a few weeks ! No snow I hope !” -Jan G.

“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 crewed on the Isle Royal Queen a couple times. Good times.” -Tony W.

“I enjoyed a fabulous week on the Island back in the summer of “77”.” -Kevin D.

“Hubby and I went there for our 25th wedding anniversary. Gorgeous weather, best memories.” -Chris P.

“We hgt took orange royal right after graduation, was awesome . Loved the loons in the morning!” -Dan

“Went there with the Mariner Senior Girl Scouts when I was a senior in high school in June 1961. Got sun poisoning while there. Who would have thought. Great memories.” -Irene W.

“I have taken so many to the Island. Flown out, Ranger out, maybe time for a kayak before I get to old!” -Jan B

“My introduction to the area was a Troop 13 Boy Scout Trip to Isle Royale in 1972 with Russ Ferguson and Mark Hawkins. A trip of a lifetime with lifelong friends. MTU Mechanical Engineering 1980.”  -Jeff S.

“Taking 45 min. to cook our pancakes one at a time on a 1 burner backpack stove, all of them peppered with black flies.” -Tom W.


On “When did you Become a Husky” blog post

I became a Husky when the other 5 members in my carpool from L’Anse transferred or flunked out and I had to find a place to live in Houghton and became involved in lots of activities at Tech outside the classroom.” -Robert L

“So glad to see continued numbers of engineers graduating again this year. I am from the class of 1980 and I was hired several times during my career because I was a graduate of MTU.” -Linda H.

“I became a Husky on that late September Saturday in 1967 (classes started the last week of September in the good old days) when a fellow Fraser High grad and myself arrived for the first time. The Wads RA came to us and said “come on we’re all going to see a movie” – I knew it was the place for me.” -Greg S.

“I was in 5th or 6th grade when the family drove into town on US 41 from Chassell on a camping vacation. We passed the sign which said “Welcome to the Michigan College of Mines and Technology”. I thought that was SOOOooo cool, and determined then and there that I wanted to go there for college. And, so I did. I became a Husky during my first quarter by absorbing Huskyism from the older students I was surrounded by. I believe God gave me the unique skills I have to be an engineer, and I’ve had the privilege of honing those at MTU, and using them through my 43 years (and counting) career in the mining industry.” -David P.

“I became a Husky in 1971, a few minutes after entering Doc Berry’s CH101 lecture. Four years later, I shared an elevator in the ChemMet Building with Doc Berry. I was flabbergasted when he still knew my name!” -Dave C.

“I became a Husky when I was in 5th grade when I decided to become a forester. I graduated in 71 with a degree in forest management. I went on to complete a 38 year career with the US Forest Service as a reforestation specialist and timber sale officer, in N. California. What a great time I had at Tech with G. Hesteburg, Hammer, and Johnson to name a few.” -Fred K.

“I guess I became a Husky in 1961 when my family moved to the top of Center St. in Hancock. My dad got a job teaching business law at Tech and that was that. I ran off to the Navy after HS and found out what I didn’t want to do so I came back and went to Da Tech when I found out what I really WANTED to do. I joined the Vet’s Club and started running around with this girl after I ran into her on the ice rink… 45+ years later the rest is history.” -Jeff B.

“I became a Husky for a few reasons: I grew up in Calumet; my oldest brother was in the MTU Class of 1972; and, several of my friends went to MTU.” -Daniel K.

“I grew up in L’anse, and always felt an attraction to Tech. But my time as a Husky started when i received my acceptance letter to Tech in September of 1987. I was the first in my high school class accepted to not just any college, but clearly the best college! Since then, i have two degrees from Tech, and have lived and worked all over the country.” -Andrew L.

“I became a Husky back in the early 60’s helping my Dad survey around the library as the road M26/US41 was re-routed to where it is today. I was 6. Growing up a little north of Tech, I was able to follow and attend hockey games at the Dee and Winter Carnival. It was an obvious choice to attend MTU, being the best value for the money and close to home. Education at MTU has provided me with an exceptional career and one that I continue to love.” -Michael P.

“I became a Husky in 1962 when they had National Champion Hockey teams (with Tony Esposito) playing at Dee. I went to MTU because it was and still is the best engineering school in Michigan. I liked the small campus. School size was 2700, slightly larger than Muskegon High School, 2100 for three grades. I have MS in Transportation Engineering from MSU but the campus is huge. At MTU I learned to drink beer, eat pasties and crude persona. Tough school but I made it in 4 years, barely.” -Randall T.

“Oh, yes I became a Husky in September 1967, I was involved it seams in everything, except Hockey….” -Frank T.

2018 Copper Country Flood, Then and Now

On June 17, 2018, multiple rounds of heavy rain fell across the western Upper Peninsula.  Areas in and around Houghton were inundated with seven-plus inches of rain, causing one death, numerous injuries and millions of dollars in damages.

Then-governor Rick Snyder declared a state of disaster for Houghton County. Several homes were destroyed and hundreds were damaged. Sinkholes and washouts damaged more than 150 roads in the area.

While much of the county’s infrastructure has been returned to normal operation, there are still cleanup and repair projects ongoing.  

Below is a look at some of the photos from the immediate aftermath of the storm and what it looks like approximately one year later.


(Left is May 2019, right is June 2018)


Agate Street










Old Mill Hill Rd.







Cole’s Creek Rd.










Canal Road









Sharon Avenue







Bridge St. (Lake Linden)








(Recent photos taken by Alumni Engagement. Past photos credited to Melissa Lubinski, Christopher Edwards, and Houghton County Road Commission)

Snow Totals from 2018-19; Contest Winner Announced

Snowfall Contest Winner

Congrats to Kailee K. on winning our snowfall contest for 2018-19.

Every Husky has a story about snow, and every year our snowfall contests give people a chance to put their extensive knowledge of snow to the test. This year, Kailee K., a class of 2020 medical lab sciences major, took home the prize in the annual contest with her guess of 192.25 inches. The snowfall measured at the KRC is our standard for the contests; their measurement for 2018-19 was 192.38 inches.

To get in on our monthly and annual snow contests in 2019-20, check out our snow page next fall.






Snowfall Totals

According to, the Houghton County snow record of 354.1 inches from the winter of 1978-79 has been surpassed. With 4.0 inches on April 30, the winter of 2018-19 made it to 357.2 inches. The new record was totaled by Steve Jurmu at Calumet (Tamarack location).

Late season snowfall—April 28, 29, and 30 and May 1, 8, 9, and 19—raised the total to 362.8 (we hope it’s a final total).

The top five snowfall amounts ever recorded in the Upper Peninsula according to
390.4” – 1978/79 – Keweenaw county (near Delaware)
384.0” – 1996/97 – Herman
367.4” – 1995/96 – Keweenaw county (near Delaware)
362.8” – 2018/19 – Tamarack location (near Calumet)
354.1” – 1978/79 – Houghton county airport

Snowfall measurement at Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center located next to Houghton County Airport for 2018-19 was 192.38 inches, although their website gives a disclaimer that their measurements aren’t accurate on days with wind because the snow gets blown off their board.

No matter how it was measured, 2018-19 was very snowy, especially February through May.

What are your snow memories? Comment below.



When did You Become a Husky?

The spring 2019 student commencement speaker was Monica Brechting. Like many Michigan Tech students, Monica is not the first in her family to come to Tech. In fact, when she received her BS in Mechanical Engineering this spring, she became the twelfth member of her family with a degree from Michigan Tech. Monica gives a particularly insightful glimpse into what it means to come to Tech and to face the challenges and triumphs that make someone a Husky. Her speech can be found here, and there is a transcript below with highlights that may resonate with other Huskies. Please feel free to comment and tell us things that made you a Husky.

Thank you, President Koubek, it is a true honor to be able to speak to all of you today, my class, my friends, and my family.

Monica Brechting '19What made you a Husky?
Did you become a Husky when you got your acceptance letter?
Perhaps a Husky was made by attending University Welcome,
or by not reading the assigned O-week book.
Did you become a Husky during your first meal in the dining hall—
Or during your first K-day, when you signed up for 15 student orgs and joined none of them?
Was it when you shook Dean Gorman’s hand?
The first time you experienced the Huskies Pep Band?

Oh! Perhaps you really belong the first time you have to wait over 5 minutes to sign into a campus computer,
or by complaining about global issues.
Maybe you became a Husky the first time you slept through class.
Was it the first time you ditched homework to play video games? You know, maybe we were all made into Huskies during that hour-long power outage in the dorms freshman year, when we all poked our heads out of our rooms to complain about our lost work.

Is it when you heard the British Dr. Paul Charlesworth say “al-u-min-ium” the first time?
The first time you realized you actually have to study if you want to do well here?
The first time you visited a professor’s office hours or asked for an extension?

Maybe a Husky was made when you saw your first snowfall on campus.
This is Houghton, so maybe you belong when you can say words like Pann-u-kakk-u and Sauna.
Or when you have your first pasty and realize they really do taste better with gravy instead of ketchup—a hill I am personally willing to die on.
Is it when you heard your first unironic Yooper ‘hey’ in the wild?
Or was it the Sisu that brought us together when the area was damaged by the Father’s Day flood?

The first time you climbed the hill to the SDC or St. Al’s… maybe a Husky was made when Father Ben or Father Dustin handed you a hotdog during Senior Walk.
Or the first time you fell on the ice coming down the McNair hill?
Going to Fall camp, snowshoeing…
Maybe it hit when you walked in the Parade of Nations,
or when you sat in on your first “American Sports 101” class
or during course registration—when you saw your classes fill up two days before your registration time.

Maybe a Husky was made during your first Winter Carnival,
when you came back for second semester and saw the first forms going up.
The first time you heard someone say “You’re a Husky after all!”
The first time you used #tenacity as a code word for alcoholism,
or playing your first broomball game.
Maybe it was the first time you were woken up by the snowplows – and being able to tell what type of plow it was because of the sound it made.

Are Huskies made during late nights in the library,
During your first all-nighter before an exam?
Or maybe it was moving off campus.
When you had your first serious thoughts of dropping out?
That mid-college crisis, and the first time you stopped to ask yourself, “Why am I even here??”
When you switched your major,
Or during that call to your mom, when you tell her you just really want to take a victory lap and stay for a fifth year.

Speaking of calls to your mother, I’d like to take a moment and say thank you from the bottom of my heart to my parents and siblings for supporting me and not disowning me for calling each one of you every single day. You’re the reason I can be here today.

Did you become a Husky during your first hockey game?
Or when you watched the football team win the Miner’s Cup from Northern for the first time, or the second time, or maybe the third time, or even the fourth time… You know, this was actually the ninth year in a row that they won the cup.

Did you become a Husky by turning 21, going to pitchers, stopping by the club for karaoke?
Or maybe shoveling your car out when you’re already running late for class?

Was it when Dean Gorman told you to wear a hat?
Your first snow day, your second snow day, your THIRD SNOW DAY?
Going snowboarding during those snow days.
Maybe you became a Husky when you made your first friend, or when you fell in love.
Or when you visited Breakers or Prince’s Point, or the northern lights, or the stargazing, or the bonfires.

Was it when you received the Order of the Engineer—when you realized that this is where your education brought you?
Maybe you are really becoming a Husky right here and right now—when you put on your cap and gown, sit in these chairs, and get your empty diploma cover.
Besides, what can be more quintessential “Husky” than graduating on NATIONAL STAR WARS DAY?

Maybe it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will be when you tell a coworker you went to MTU and they say “Oh yeah that’s the one that’s way up there.”
When you look around your office and realize half your team called in because there was a “Snowmageddon,” with a whole two inches of snow on the road.

Are average people forged into Huskies through all of these experiences we share? Or maybe we were just born “crazy smart.” Maybe the world has been calling for us to be Huskies since birth, just waiting for us to howl back.
Congratulations, Class of 2019, and May the Fourth be with you.

– Monica Brechting ’19

Please share anything that you think made you a Husky.

From Military Balls to Ooozeball: Curing Cabin Fever at Michigan Tech

By Allison Neely | University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

Spring is definitely in the air at Michigan Tech! Papers have been turned in, classes have ended (at least for the spring), and another class of crazy smart Michigan Tech students have graduated.

A group dressed in military attire pose for a photo. A woman wearing a corsage stands in the middle of the group.
The 1968 Military Ball

While spring in the U.P. tends to be snowier, cooler, and briefer than other places, students at Michigan Tech know how to embrace these fledgling days of spring. For students, cabin fever quickly sets in following Winter Carnival, but before you know it our hearty Michigan Tech students can be seen rocking flip flops and shorts long before the snow fully recedes from campus. A slew of outdoor activities, campus-wide entertainment, and events each year helps get students through to the end of the academic year.
Even in its early years, Tech students enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities and events to beat the winter blues. One of the historically popular spring events on campus was the annual Military Ball. Sponsored by the Army and Air Force ROTC units, the dance was the second largest of the academic year and the biggest of the spring term. Typically each year had a theme with coordinated decor along with a noted live band. For instance, the 1962 annual dance was themed “Stairway to the Stars,” which included an entrance made to resemble a winding stairway and the cafeteria was fitted out with an “astronomical design with a fountain in the middle.” Much like the Winter Carnival celebrations, the Military Ball featured a Queen coronation with the ROTC groups sponsoring candidates and a judging committee made up ROTC members or cadets.

Students playing oozeball in front of Wadsworth Hall in Spring of 2000
Students playing Oozeball in front of Wadsworth Hall in Spring of 2000. Image courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives.

Spring in recent decades saw the addition of Greek Week festivities, which featured a wide variety of social activities. While the week-long celebration was a beloved campus event among the Greeks, its events were largely geared towards students involved in fraternities and sororities on campus and less of a community-wide spring celebration.

Later, Tech saw the incorporation of a more inclusive spring carnival called the Tech Carney. The Carney featured a traditional Flea Market, a balsa wood airplane contest, bike race, frisbee and yoyo contests, and a big party with a band. By the early 1980s the Tech Carney had morphed into a larger campus-wide outdoor celebration called Spring Fling. Hard to believe now, but Spring Fling at Michigan Tech has its origins in 1980. Originally called Spring Bash, the event included four live bands, a lobster bake, and frisbee show; along with Bocce Club and Volleyball Club tournaments and canoe races. Once again, the event was revised in the late 80s as Ventures Day before becoming what we know today as Spring Fling.

Officially started in the spring of 1990, Spring Fling was hosted by the Memorial Union Board (MUB) and held on the Friday of the 13th week of the spring semester. In its first year, approximately 50 organizations participated in the end-of-the-year carnival, which featured food and demonstration booths, activities like fencing, folk dancing, races, ultimate frisbee, and repelling. Tech Tea Time provided a sneak peek ahead of the festivities and in its second year featured refreshments (pizza and pop), a review of previous year’s highlights, and performances from the Michigan Tech Student Foundation, Alternatives Unlimited, and The Troupe.

Students playing oozeball on the lawn in front of Walker Hall.
Oozeball in front of Walker in 1999. Image courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives.

Among Spring Fling traditions has been the selection of a Spring Fling King, which began with the 1992 event. Eight finalists were selected to compete for the title of Spring Fling King, duking it out in the form of a talent competition. Winners received a crown, plaques or cash prizes. In past years Spring Fling has included special entertainment sponsored by the Student Entertainment Board. Performances have included local bands, a Tech Idol competition a la American Idol, as well as headliners such as Verve Pipe, which played during the 1995 Fling.
Likely the most popular event in the past has been the Oozeball Tournament. Our Flashback Friday photo features the 1999 Oozeball Tournament, a crazy mud volleyball tournament played in six inches of mud. According to an article written about Oozeball in 2001 here are the top 3 reasons why you would play:

  1. You like playing volleyball in weird conditions
  2. Mud baths are good for your skin
  3. You haven’t played in mud much since you were five and you kind of miss it
Two students covered in mud after an oozeball game.
The aftermath. Courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives.

As you can imagine, the weather doesn’t always cooperate for Spring Fling, but that’s also a long-standing tradition at Tech. In 2010, high winds and mild snow interrupted students’ merriment, forcing organizers to postpone the motorcycle show and in 2013 Tech sadly had to cancel Spring Fling altogether due to bad weather. You might be wondering about the Oozeball Tournament and weather conditions. According to our sources, the Oozeball Tournament usually was held unless the mud froze. Hearty Huskies have been know to dive into the chilly mud bath even after the tournament ended.

Spring festivities have been a staple at Tech for generations. Whether it’s dancing, lounging in a hammock, or diving headfirst into a mud bath, Tech students from all generations have made the most of springtime in the Copper Country. Here’s to another great spring and many, many more to come!