Category: Alumni

A Message to Our Alumni and Friends

Greetings Fellow Huskies: 

The past several months have brought out the best in Michigan Tech. I am quite proud of our faculty and staff for the time and energy they’ve devoted to creating a safe return-to-campus plan. I am equally inspired by our students and how they have embraced new expectations and operating procedures on campus.

2020 has been a year of change and a transformative period in Michigan Tech’s history. We’ve learned that we can adapt to changing work environments and expectations as a result of COVID-19. We also better appreciate the difficulties in trying to replicate the Michigan Tech experience remotely, and we remain committed to providing the very best Michigan Tech experience possible for our students, in spite of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.  

I would like to thank the many alumni who have reaffirmed their commitment to the University through philanthropy. We are grateful to those who donated to the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund, the Graduate Student Emergency Fund, and many other scholarships and programs. Alumni support gives us the impetus to press forward. Together, we continue our work in advancing MTU as a premier national university positioned to lead the nation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

While it may seem like COVID-19 has been all-consuming, I am pleased to share a few other campus updates. NASA has slated Michigan Tech’s second student-built satellite for a March 2021 deployment from the International Space Station (ISS). Stratus, named for its cloud-imaging mission, will be carried to the space station, 200 miles above Earth, in a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket. The Tech Forward initiatives are entering their second year and making great progress. Thanks to the hard work of our faculty and researchers, external sponsored funding increased 7 percent this past year. Prospective student tours have resumed with appropriate safety protocols in place. Our four Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion finalists visited campus this past week. And, 14 new faculty members joined our campus community this fall. 

Thank you again for your support of Michigan Tech. We look forward to the next time we can gather with our alumni and friends, be it at the Alumni Reunion, the Great Lakes Invitational, or one of the many other alumni events planned in the future.

Sincerely, 

Rick Koubek
President 


Pivot To Change

A message from President Koubek regarding the future of Michigan Tech  

At the alumni reunion this year, I heard two recurring themes as our alumni reminisced about their time spent on campus. First were the stories about particular faculty members who went the proverbial “extra mile” to help in a time of need. And there were many. Followed by stories about the special Tech traditions that built community and forged lifelong friendships. Traditions like K-Day, the Parade of Nations and Winter Carnival.  Events like hockey playoffs, football games and bocce ball tournaments. Activities like Mt. Ripley ski runs, broomball showdowns, and countless late night study sessions.

Traditions help describe who we are as an institution. A grounded, hardworking community with grit, like no other.  Therefore, when we begin talking about change, it is critical that university leaders have a deep appreciation and respect for the culture of the institution.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Today, Michigan Tech finds itself at an important crossroads. We know technology is rapidly changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. We know our world will be very different in 30 years. So, rather than reacting to these disruptive forces, why not define them?  

Over the coming months, the campus community will engage in a series of conversations to discuss how Michigan Tech will thrive in this new state of constant change. Faculty will debate pedagogy that best prepares our students to grow with change. And, our researchers will define a responsive research agenda designed to meet the incipient needs of our future society.

When we get to the other side of these conversations, we will have a plan that defines the next era of education at Michigan Tech, with lessons for higher education in general. A plan, grounded in tradition, that challenges us to break old routines and pushes us to engineer, explore, innovate and lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

At Michigan Tech, we will not miss the future.  We will create the future.

Tech forward.