This past weekend was Preview Day at Michigan Tech and I had the good fortune of being able to welcome new students and their guests to Tech. My comments centered on our values and focused on the possibilities that students will have as a Husky.
We see these possibilities come to life every day not only here on campus but in the world that extends beyond Michigan Tech. Two weeks ago was spring break and while many of our students headed home for a home-cooked meal or to perhaps get 7-8 weeks of laundry done, others headed out on other ventures carrying forth the Tech name. The Center for Pre-College Outreach sent fifty of our students to Houston via bus to do a Mind Trekkers event at San Jacinto College where they introduced kids to math, engineering and science through high intensity hands on learning and activities, at a two-day science and engineering festival. They reached about 6,000 students over the two days.
Another group of students headed out with the Outdoor Adventure Program to Orange Beach Alabama where they snorkeled in the Gulf of Mexico, go-karted, kayaked, hiked, went spelunking and caught some sun at the beach. A second group from OAP headed west to the Yosemite Valley in California. Basecamp was in Yosemite but they spent the week hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing and being as one with nature in the majestic shadows of the park.
While these students were out seeking adventure another group headed downstate to Detroit. Our chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers spent time in the Motor City offering free Family Engineering Nights at K-8 schools and doing engineering presentations during the day. And finally, another group of twenty-five students headed to the Bay area and Silicon Valley where they were exposed to many high tech companies, alums and the likes of Google, Facebook, Netflix, Porter Family Vineyards, Apple and more. Lucky for me, I was able to join these students on this trip. And this was all over a period of 7-8 days.
Over the course of the past five weeks I have had the numerous opportunities to interact with a number of Michigan Tech alums. I met an alum that worked for Caterpillar right out of college, is now a VP at an energy company, owns a yoga studio, participates in bike-a-thons for MS, is considering placing an order for a Tesla, he’s 33. I met with an alum who helped develop some of the first computer chip technology at IBM, was a VP there and is now working w/researchers at Mayo Clinic to develop a patient app for babies born with congenital heart defects. A young woman who graduated in business and works as an investment banker in Chicago and Manhattan, a mechanical engineer who manages 70 billion dollars cash for Google, a geologist with Shell Oil, a former Michigan Tech football player who just opened his own law firm, and an entrepreneur that lives in Startuphouse- a space in San Francisco for bootstrappers, builders and disrupters with an emphasis on supporting diversity and wellness in the workplace in a co-living/working environment. I also met the first female editor of the Michigan Tech Lode (our student newspaper) and a Winter Carnival Queen, and did I mention, she’s 91.
There is seldom an hour in the day that I’m not apprised of something new or exciting where our students, our alums and others embracing possibility full on. This is the spirit of Tech and it makes me proud to be a Husky.