Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA) Inducts 20th Class of Leaders

PCA Group Photo 2018Michigan Tech’s Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA) honors some of Tech’s most successful women alumnae and recognizes them for their personal and professional achievements.

In September, 13 new members were inducted into the Council. They are:

What you said…in September about Tech!

From the Inbox

“I recently visited the 40-acre site near Gratiot Lake where a classmate and I viewed the area where we planted red pine seedlings with a planting machine in 1958. The seedlings we planted then were three logs high and measured about 10 inches diameter breast high.” -Larry Golin ’58 Forestry

Husky Connections

“I’m starting a new job thanks to a connection with a fellow MTU alum who works there. Totally random connection too, she saw me wearing a Michigan Tech hoodie waiting for lunch at a food truck and said hi. She was working for another mining consulting firm at the time and we stayed in touch ever since. That is one of the best parts of my degree from Tech is the instant connection you have with other alums.” Walt ’08

From Facebook

Kaet“Funny story: This weekend I was at a Ski Patrol meeting and during that meeting we did a bit of training. My training partner, from Minnesota, turned out to be, likely (since there were only two at the time and he looked familiar), my statistics prof from Tech!!! Such a small world. For alumni reading, it was Peter Wollan. I was at Tech from 88-92. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I hardly attended his class. It was part of my “Thematic” 9 credits. Not a clue what the other 6 credits were.” – Kaet ’92


Comments from a Facebook post about the passing of former Tech President Ray Smith

“Wonderful man and leader. Had the pleasure of getting to know him while I was at Tech from ’65 to ’69. RIP. – John D.

“Dr. Smith along with Prof. Joe Kirkish helped us get Tech’s first educational FM station on-the-air; WGGL-FM.” – Stan S.

“I was at Tech 1973-1977. I remember the administration building referred to as Fort Smith.” – Kenneth H.

“Have his autograph on my diploma.” – Ellie C.

“RIP Great Man, President Raymond L. Smith.” – Genny Z.

Comments from a Facebook post about 906 Day

“I graduated in 2014 and moved to the East Coast afterwards. I still keep my 906 phone number and I am proud of it. Reminds me of good old days back at Tech.” – Jasem B.

Comments from a post about the Tech Wives cookbook

“I met my husband at Tech… although while in school (late ’90s) we were all about the $0.99 Whopper Wednesday! I do use a B&B recipe variation to make my pickled eggs.” – Stacey K.

“I’m not sure when the Michigan Tech Wives Club ended. It was for wives of MTU students. I think early 80s.” – Cynthia H.

Comments from a Facebook post about relocating wolves to Isle Royale

“Though I fundamentally disagree with the decision, it will be interesting. The case for wolves in Yellowstone and ISRO are vastly different, and it feels to me like the park has gone out of its way to ensure an allure for visitors and continued research, for a “playing god” philosophy that is inherently in opposition to the core values of the NPS. Still, interesting!” – Darren T.

Keweenaw Day (K-Day): A Fine Tradition

By Allison Neely | University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

While the start of fall semester at Michigan Tech heralds the beginning of a new adventure for new and returning students, it also brings back many fond memories for our alumni. For some, it’s memories of moving into the dorms or buying textbooks; for others, it’s their first class on campus and meeting their advisors for the first. However, most would agree that it was the student activities outside the classroom that they remember the most. Whether it was their first Tech football game or homecoming activities, if you’ve been a student at Tech since the early 1950s, you remember the fun and excitement of K-Day.

K-Day, short for Keweenaw Day, has been a favorite annual tradition of Michigan Tech students since 1951. The first Keweenaw Day was established as a way to bring the campus community together. In response to a growing student body at the then Michigan College of Mining and Technology (MCMT), faculty member, Dr. Charles San Clemente, suggested to the Faculty Association in the spring of 1951 that the college consider a campus community-wide picnic to bring students, faculty, and staff together before the rush of mid semester.

The November 1951 edition of the MCMT Alumni News reported on the success of the first Keweenaw Day celebration held on October 9 held at the picturesque Fort Wilkins State Park. Over 1,000 members of the campus community and their guests attended the event, marking “the beginning of a fine tradition.” The sounding of the campus siren (sometimes referred to as the Engineer’s Whistle) at 11 a.m. marked the end of classes for the day and the beginning of Keweenaw Day festivities. Buses and vans shuttled people up the coast to take in the scenic vistas of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Upon arriving at Fort Wilkins, K-Day-goers were treated to a picnic lunch and a variety of activities, including games, sightseeing trips to the lakeshore and up Brockway Mountain, small game hunting, and fishing. A highlight of the day was the faculty-student baseball game, pictured here. While the game was all in fun, there are rumors that the students won. After the games and tours were ending, K-day culminated in a sing-along around the campfire.

In its 67 years a Tech tradition, K-Day has seen some changes, but at its core, the main themes of festivities, food, and friendship have remained the same. The event was moved to McLain’s State Park in 1976 to shorten the driving time from campus and reduce the road congestion that plagued the event in its early years. Picnicking and fun activities have always been central to K-Day, but additions over the years has kept K-Day a favorite among students. Inflatable games, live music, contests and informational booths; as well as demonstrations featuring medieval fighting, Bonzai bikes, and exploding gummy bears. The student organization fair has also been a great way for new students to learn about campus activities and organizations.

Generous financial and moral support from the College administration and the Student Organization helped to support the event in the early years before the Memorial Union Board took over responsibility in 1967 and Inter-Fraternity Council in 1976. Today, K-Day is sponsored by Fraternity & Sorority Life and Student Activities and still a much-beloved campus event.

As Michigan Tech welcomes a new class of Huskies to campus and another day of K-Day, take a trip down memory lane and share your own K-Day stories!

What you said…about Tech!

Here’s a few comments from Tech’s Alumni Network and Michigan Tech Parent Facebook groups

Friends and fellow MTU grads, BMS has a number of very good opportunities for staff and leadership positions. I have found BMS to be a positive, engaging company with a great mission. Is it time for you to consider a career in Syracuse, NY? I hope you do! BTW, before I joined, several people warned me about the amount of snow they get in Syracuse.  I tried not to laugh…

Back to school time again…so I’d thought I would share this example of when you are a Freshman and walk into MEEM 4220 instead of ENG 1101 somehow.
Still remember that feeling of buying the special paper (isometric dot paper) for the ENG classes and feeling like I had finally made it (get to do “real” design stuff!!)

Assistance needed. I’m a 2016 Army ROTC grad stationed in Hawaii. I ran into a 2006 Airforce grad, and only got his first name, “Scott.” He paid for my breakfast and left. Would anyone know who this is?

paversSo excited to finally see our paver by the clock tower!!!  My son just sent us this photo. On our way up this weekend to see in person! So proud to be a Tech mom and wife.




From the Tech inbox

Moving into McNair (then named Co-ed Hall) in the fall of 1968, the east wing was only finished on the top two floors and the elevators weren’t working yet.  My room was on the top floor so we had to schlep everything up the six flights of stairs. And, even though it was late September, it was warm so the heat in those stairwells was quite oppressive. -Kerry Irons  ’72; ’73

There was something magical about Houghton and Dad’s years there that were absolutely transforming. Incidentally, Dad is being buried in his Michigan Tech sweatshirt! -From the daughter of Evans Foertmeyer, Class of 1945 on the death of her father.

Celebrate with President Mroz and Mrs. Gail Mroz

President Glenn Mroz and Mrs. Gail Mroz
President Glenn Mroz and Mrs. Gail Mroz

On June 30, 2018, Glenn D. Mroz will step down as Michigan Technological University’s ninth president and return to the faculty. Additionally, Gail Mroz will retire from her position as stewardship officer in the Department of Advancement and Alumni Engagement. All alumni are invited to celebrate President and Mrs. Mroz’s transitions.

A celebratory reception will be held Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 4-6 p.m., with remarks at 4:30 p.m., in the Rozsa Center lobby on the Michigan Tech campus. Nothing would please Glenn and Gail more than to celebrate their transition with you over hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

In anticipation of the festivities, the University is collecting personal messages and memories that will be shared with Glenn and Gail at the reception. Those with best wishes, fond memories (including photographs), and notes of appreciation are encouraged to send them to by May 18, 2018.

Please RSVP by phone (906-487-2200) or email by May 23, 2018.

A block of hotel rooms has been reserved. Those interested are encouraged to contact Joan Tapani (906-487-2200 or for more information.

Why Did You Choose to Attend Michigan Tech?

I grew up in northern Wisconsin and knew I wanted to be an engineer so it came down to either Michigan Tech or the University of Wisconsin. The first time I saw the UW campus was a week after the Armstrong brothers blew up the Army Math Center on the campus in 1970. Seeing all the destruction convinced me Tech was my choice.

Bob Bomier ’75

Scholarship and location. I applied to a few colleges but my top two choices were Michigan Tech and University of Miami. Worlds apart. But Tech offered me a great scholarship and I already was a Yooper so the snow was just a normal part of life. It didn’t hurt that the girl/guy ratio was 4 to 1 in 1977, but when most of the year is cold and snowy, it is hard to tell under a parka, boots, scarves, and mittens who was who. I have wonderful memories of my time at Tech. Very happy with my choice.

Yvette Klooster, Class of 1981

I financed most of my college expenses and chose MTU because it was a respectable Engineering University and I was blessed with a significant 4 year scholarship. Being an outdoorsman, I also liked the challenges of snow and cold. My number one choice was Notre Dame University School of Civil Engineering, but decided it was not affordable. Don’t regret my decision and still root for both schools. Earned a MBA at CMU, but not as memorable as my undergraduate experiences at Tech.

Jim Kubiak, BSCE ’68

I was raised in that Tech snow. I was one of the “Local Macki’s” that frequented the back of the cafeteria in the basement of the Union Building. I wanted to go into computers since in grade school. Unfortunately, Tech did not offer such a degree in the early 1960s nor did a lot of major universities, including the University of Michigan. I settled for a Math degree at Tech and went on to learn almost all computer stuff on the job or a course now and then.

If you disregarded the 1-credit course using the Bendix G-15 digital computer that used paper tape input and a rotating drum main memory and the souped-up analog computer course, there were no computers at Tech. In fact, in my long career at technical labs and businesses, I NEVER EVER saw another analog computer.

I have accepted this lack of computing resources because Tech and a BS in Math was all that I could afford while living at home and paying my own way via a student job at Tech paying $1.25/hour. In fact, a less than $1,500 investment in tuition, fees and books turned out to be the very best investment that I ever made! Thank you Michigan Tech!

Jerry Davison BS Math ’66

Funny story… I was interested in MTU because of its good reputation, and I wanted to pursue engineering. I incorrectly thought it was near Houghton Lake. By the time I found out just how far away it was it was too late! Super happy that I went there anyway

Andrea Cole, BSEE ’90

As the 1967-68 school year rolled forward, I was faced with selecting the college I would attend after high school. I was interested in engineering—I was good at math and science, and my father, who worked in a factory, kept telling me engineers make all the money.

I really didn’t have much of an idea of what engineers actually did, though. It just seemed like the thing I was supposed to do.

I considered four schools: Rose (now Rose-Hulman in Indiana), Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan Tech. Rose and Northwestern were just too expensive, even if I got financial aid. When I went to college night at my high school, the recruiter from Michigan made it really clear he didn’t care one way or another if any of us wanted to go to Ann Arbor. They had plenty to choose from. But the Tech recruiter was engaged, enthusiastic, and tried hard to convince me that Tech was a great place.

I was also a hockey fan, and, as best you could from suburban Detroit, I looked for their scores in the newspaper. Plus, it was so far away and seemed like an adventure, and almost no one else from my high school was interested in Tech. All of those factors weighed positively for a kid who wanted to escape from where he grew up. The cincher was a generous academic scholarship offer from General Motors.

So, I enrolled at MTU in September of ’68. I didn’t finish in engineering—but instead graduated with what eventually became the STC degree. I later got an engineering degree at Wayne State in Detroit, and still later ended up in Ann Arbor after all, where I picked up my MBA.

Michael A. Anleitner ’72

I had a very good friend in Detroit whose father went to Tech and he planned on attending. I spent the summer before college with him in the Copper Country and knew I wanted to got to Tech, too. My father taught at Wayne University and both my older brothers went to Wayne so I was expected to go there to. It took some persuasion but my parents accepted my choice. I have been forever grateful. I had a great career at Bendix Automotive Brake Systems with 48 patents in the field and felt that Michigan Tech contributed to my success.

Don Johannesen ’56

Houghton was my hometown.

Myron H. Berry, PE ’82

I grew up in a small town in New York State and our school was pretty small, with grades 7-12 totaling about 450 people. We had 80 people in our graduating class. So I was looking for a school that was medium sized, thinking it would be less overwhelming. I also wanted a science related career and Michigan Tech had, with the exception of business, all science-based curricula. In addition, being from a pretty chilly hometown, I was fond of winter sports and loved the idea of cross country ski trails right up the hill or right outside my apartment. In short, MTU was a good fit for me in terms of size, curriculum, and amenities.

Amiee Modic (Larchar ’84)

As I was a U.P. resident with a four-year full ride engineering scholarship from M.J. Bacco Construction at IMHS commencement and having an interest in Civil Engineering at Iron Mountain Senior High, I really only considered Tech (MCM&T then) primarily due to its solid and respected civil engineering reputation. I was pleased when notified of my admission and headed to Houghton for the Fall Term, 1959. The Business School’s three term B.S. Eng. Admin. Degree Program for engineers brought me back to MTU in Fall, 1967. GO TECH HUSKIES!

Bruce L. Gall

B.S. Civil-1963

B.S. Engineering Administration-1968

A Proud Alum

It started with my father attending from 1950-1954. My father, Robert (“John”) is a Civil grad who worked for many years in Michigan road building. You can see how the roads deteriorated since he retired if you come to Detroit now!

He was attracted by the Forestry program and taught me how to hunt as he was an avid outdoorsman.

I grew up near Detroit and was into cars. I was always taking things apart or making projects.  So of course my inclination was mechanical engineering. However, what really sold me was attending SYP. I think I attended 3 summers and lived in DHH or in tents while hiking Isle Royale, canoeing the nearby lakes, or orienteering around Ford Forestry Center in Alberta.

I was the only HS grad from my large HS class that year that attended MTU, but the two roommates from P-town were the best!

Of course you have to like SNOW to attend da Tech. That’s why 1978-79 was my favorite year! It snowed for a straight month and 27” over one night!

What’s not to like at MTU!  “And when we’re gone from here, all our friends will be drinkin’ all the beer!”

Brian R Johnson, BSME 1982

I spent my freshman year of college at the Calumet Campus of Purdue University in Hammond, Indiana. It was an altogether pleasant experience.

What was most satisfying about that year (1953-54) was the fact that, at long last, I was finally embarked on my journey to become a forester. I had made the decision to become a forester at about age 12. Now, I had an official letter from the Dean welcoming me to the Purdue School of Forestry. I didn’t give it much thought, I just assumed I would finish college down on Purdue’s main campus at West Lafayette, Indiana.

Spring arrived, and as usually happened, I began to think about and make plans for my summer trips with family to Upper Michigan and Cloverleaf Lake. I decided I’d do some serious exploring on my own that year, and in preparation I sent away to the Michigan Tourism Council for any maps they could provide of the area just west of the town of Watersmeet.

What I received was not the few folded maps I had expected, but a rather large, glossy magazine bearing the title “The Lure Book – The Lure of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.” It was standard tourist fare, full of pictures of grinning city folk holding up stringers of fish and ads for resorts with names like “Svenson’s Wilderness Retreat.” I was disappointed the State of Michigan would think I was just another one of “them” (i.e., tourist), so I tossed the magazine aside.

I picked it up a few days later and casually flipped through the pages. An ad caught my eye. It was a simple, quarter-page, single color ad that bore a replica of the Great Seal of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton, Michigan.

“Wow,” I thought. “There’s actually a college in the UP!” Somewhat intrigued by the novelty of it, I scanned the listing of degree programs offered. Down the list I went – Mining Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Forestry, Medical Technology………. Wait a minute, what was that? Forestry?

At that instant, a blinding flash of inspiration descended from the heavens, accompanied by a full-throated clap of thunder. The gods had spoken. If there was a college in my beloved UP, and that college offered a degree in forestry, there was no doubt where I would be spending the next three years. Michigan Tech, here I come!

That decision turned out to be one of the best of my entire life.

The UP felt like home from day one. I even got to spend the entire summer between my junior and senior years living in Seney working on a timber cruising project. The Forestry program led by Gene Hesterberg et al prepared me well for a successful 33-year career in the Douglas-fir forests of Oregon.

Ron Sadler, Forestry – Class of ’57

First of all, thank you for continuing to send me the Michigan Tech Newsletter. I really enjoy reading it.

I graduated from Michigan Tech with BSc in Chemistry in 1993. I came to Michigan Tech in 1991. I completed my BSc for only two years because I obtained transfer credits from my 4 year Diploma study (Industrial Chemistry) at one of Malaysia’s Universities.

Staying in Houghton and downtown Hancock for two years, I gained a wonderful experience especially facing the weather. It was so cold, snowing throughout the year which is different from my country (Malaysia) which is hot and humid all the year. I also had a chance to travel to other places such as Detroit, Wisconsin, Duluth, etc during the quarter break.

During my study, American students were very friendly. I still remember when I was doing the Lab work/assignment/projects in a team of American classmates. They helped me a lot and I really enjoyed studying and working with them. I was the only international student during that time.

Since I entered directly into the third year of the BSc program, most of the subjects were very tough. However, I successfully managed to go through it with the help of the lecturers (Drs , Assoc Profs and Profs) and through discussion with my classmates as well as self study.

After I graduated, I returned to Malaysia with BSc in Chemistry and my working career had moved forward. I joined a multinational Oil & Gas Company, and several other giant companies as Chemist, Lab Manager and am now working with Oleochemical company as Section Head.

Thank you very much Michigan Tech, which has made my life very successful.

Mohd Kamal Mansor ’93

Thank you for keeping us informed of all things Michigan “Tech-ian.”

Sometimes we fail to remember those who keep us in touch with our training roots.

I do appreciate your work in this manner.

Mike Clauson

’80, ’81, ’82 and ’19 …  still a student and still learning.

More Slide Rule Stories!

In the mid-to-late 50s, the slide rule was the calculator of choice at Tech. Although a small computer found its way into the Math Department at the end of the decade, slide rules were the computer used by “Toots” and carried in a leather case clipped to your belt all day. Except when in one of Dr. McMillan’s math courses, at which time your slide rule was safely hidden in the bottom of your book bag. Math, you see, is a precise science and no estimating contraption was permitted in the good Doctor’s classes within his vision range. But, even when using 5 or 7 place log/trig tables for high accuracy calculations, the slide rule was a quick way to get an “approximate” answer to check your result. Unfortunately for the Doctor’s math classes, slide rule answer checking could only be used for homework.

My slide rule is made of bamboo – a exceptionally stable wood, very smooth sliding and a lot more elegant than the metal versions. I still have mine and after 60 years, I think I can operate most of the functions.

Pete Rankin ’59EE

I used a slide rule my freshman year at Tech. Sometime early in the fall quarter (1974) of my sophomore year I bought an HP 45. The price had recently dropped about $100 and it was only $325 or so. We were married that summer and my wife commented the day I purchased the calculator was the first night we didn’t go to bed together. I stayed up late with the calculator!

John R. Wiltse BSEE ’77

Yes indeed. Last time I laid eyes on it – sitting comfortably in the storage garage at my Portage Entry summer residence south of Chassell, alongside A Dana’s Handbook of Mineralogy and my old hand lens from Kiril Spiroff’s mineralogy class.

Dan Koss ’59

When I started at Michigan Tech in the fall of 1964 I had a Pickett metal slide rule with 33 scales and was a yellow-green color, taunted to be better to view than the white bamboo type. This slide rule was a gift from an aunt. No, I do not have it nor do I have my old book bag. Like all other engineering students at the time I had to take chemistry from Doc. Barry. His favorite way of arranging his multiple choice (guess) answers would be something like this:

  1. A) 0.167
  2. B) 1.67
  3. C) 16.7
  4. D) 17.3

Accordingly, you had to be efficient at scientific notation and moving the decimal point around, which I wasn’t. He should have been taken behind the woodshed and flogged. But he was a full professor and I was just a poor slob “student.”

Larry Joy

BSEE May ’77 (should have been ’68)