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Michigan Technological University (abbr. Michigan Tech or MTU) is an Americanmarker public university with a range of degree offerings. Michigan Tech's campus is located on the Upper Peninsula of Michiganmarker in the city of Houghtonmarker.


Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School. Established by the state of Michigan to train mining engineers to operate the local copper mines, the school started with four faculty members and twenty-three students. The name changed to the Michigan College of Mines, then Michigan College of Mining and Technology, and, in 1964, greatly expanded academic offerings propelled the school to its current designation as Michigan Technological University. Although engineering still accounts for some 55 percent of all enrollment, the University now offers more than 120 degree programs.

Memorial Union

The average overall ACT scores for incoming students is 25.6, compared to 21.2 nationally. Undergraduate enrollment in environmental, geological, and mechanical engineering all rank in the top eight nationally, and the scientific and technical communication program is one of the nation’s largest. According to the US News and World Report, Michigan Tech graduates leave campus with some of the lowest debt in the nation.


Michigan Tech is known for academic excellence in engineering, natural and physical sciences, computing, business, technology, environmental studies, arts, humanities and social sciences. The university is divided into several schools and colleges—
  • The College of Engineering has majors in many fields of engineering. Environmental engineering, geological engineering, and mechanical engineering all rank in the top ten in enrollment nationally. The Electrical Engineering department uses an innovative "DSP First" curriculum found at only a few leading universities. The cornerstone of this program is an introductory course in digital signal processing (DSP).
  • The College of Sciences and Arts includes one of the largest technical communications programs in the United States
  • The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB, the premier accrediting body for business schools. Students can receive a bachelor of science degree in seven areas, including accounting, economics, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and operations and systems management. Students also have the opportunity to join several business student organizations, including the Applied Portfolio Management Program where they invest $1 million in the stock market each year. The Tech MBA program is a one-year MBA with a focus on innovation and technology management. The Tech MBA is in the top 100 worldwide in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings, conducted by the Aspen Institute. Beyond Grey Pinstripes spotlights innovative full-time MBA programs that are integrating social, environmental, and ethical stewardship into curricula and research. Starting in the Fall of 2010, distance learning students will be able to access Michigan Tech's MBA program through the Tech MBA Online program.
  • The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science has been recognized nationally for excellence in its research program, and its PhD program was ranked fourth in the nation by Academic Analytics in 2007.
  • The School of Technology features the BS in Computer Networks and System Administration, Electrical Engineering and other four-year degree programs.

Michigan Tech is ranked among the top half of all 249 national universities in U.S. News & World Report’s "America’s Best Colleges" and is ranked a "tech powerhouse" by the Princeton Review's "Best 361 Colleges." Michigan Tech is also ranked among the top 500 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiaotong University and number 159 in the nation by Washington Monthly Magazine. In 2007, PC Magazine ranked Michigan Tech the seventh most wired campus in the nation.

Michigan Tech has also developed an innovative enterprise program which fosters engineering skills by allowing students to work in business-like environments on real-world projects while completing their education. Different enterprises include Nanotechnology Innovations, Hybrid Transportation, Aerospace, Blue Marble Security, Husky Game Development, Boardsports Technologies, Integrated Microsystems, and Wireless Communications Enterprises.


Michigan Tech is ranked 179th of 600 US colleges and universities in research and development expenditures (NSF, 2004). Michigan Tech ranks ahead of Michigan State, the University of Michigan, Wayne State, and benchmark universities RPI, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, and Notre Dame in invention disclosures per $10 million of research.

Examples of recent research include studies in high energy astrophysics, protein folding, boron nitrate nanotubes, carbon nanotubes, Hall thrusters, molecular transistors, climate change, osteoporosis in bears, biofuels, disaster planning, tree genomes, and high-tech security communications.

The Michigan Tech physics department has a research affiliation with the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatorymarker lead by Dr. David Nitz and Dr. Brian Fick

Research expenditures exceeded $60 million in 2008.

Alumni relations

There are over 65,000 Michigan Tech alumni living in all 50 states and over 100 countries. Michigan Tech Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association mission is to provide a mutually beneficial link between Michigan Tech alumni and a) the university, b) other alumni, and c) Michigan Tech students (future alumni). There are many different products and services offered to all alumni and friends including the exclusive HuskyLink online alumni community which was launched in early 2007.

School songs

Michigan Tech has both an official fight song and an official Alma Mater. At most sporting events, however, both the "Engineer's Song" and "In Heaven There Is No Beer" are played by the Huskies Pep Band, and many students consider these to be the unofficial school songs. The "Blue Skirt Waltz" is played at home ice hockey games and is called the "Copper Country Anthem." During the song, the fans join arms and swing back and forth to the music.

Campuses and buildings

Campus view from Mont Ripley
The main Michigan Tech campus is located mainly on US 41 in Houghton, Michigan. It is the safest campus in Michigan, and the among the safest in the United States. Michigan Tech also maintains a building in Hancockmarker; the Ford Forestry Center and Research Forest in Alberta, Michigan the Keweenaw Research Center at the Houghton County Airport near Hancock (site of vehicle testing, the Winter Driving School); the Portage Lake Golf Course in Portage Townshipmarker, the Mont Ripleymarker ski hill in Ripley, Michigan and the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor. Michigan Tech opened a campus in the New Delhi area, India in 2003. The University recently purchased the UPPCO Building one block off of downtown Houghton.

In addition, the offices of the Michigan Tech Fund are located in the Citizens Bank Building in Hancock.

Faculty are involved in several distance education programs, with clients such as General Motors.

The Portage Lake Golf Course opened for play in April, 1902. In 1945 the members could no longer support the needs of the course and sold it to Michigan Tech for the amount of one dollar. Since then many different improvements have been made such as the addition of another nine holes in 1969. Then in 1984 the new clubhouse was constructed in place of the original clubhouse. In 1996 a sprinkler system was installed to modernize the course and keep it playable. The Portage Lake Golf Course is located only a few miles from the Michigan Tech campus on US-41.

Campus Changes

Michigan Technological University has undergone many changes throughout its existence. One of the changes that has been made is the campus layout and the buildings on campus. A total of five older structures have been removed in order to make space for newer academic buildings. The buildings that have been removed include Sperr Hall, Hubbell Hall, the original McNair Hall, the original Mechanical Engineering Building, and Koenig Hall (fire). Another change that has taken place is moving College Avenue off campus.

Student Development Complex

The Student Development Complex, S.D.C., was built in 1980. The gun range was built as part along with the rest of the S.D.C. in 1980. Built to handle any cartridges that have a muzzle velocity of up to 2000 feet per second (f.p.s.) the range is also used for archery shooting. Today, there are four clubs that operate out of the range: the Competition Rifle Team, the Pistol Club, the Practical Pistol Club, and the Archery Club. There are also several P.E. and ROTC classes that use the range.

Residence halls

  • Wadsworth Hall

Wadsworth Hall is a coed dormitory that holds currently around 1,100 people. When the dormitory was first built it could only accommodate 356 people, it has been added on twice since then. The dormitory was built in 1955 and is named after Dr. Marshman E. Wadsworth, who was president of Michigan Tech from 1887 to 1898. Wadsworth Hall is commonly referred to by its residents as Mother Wads and others as Wads.

Wadsworth Hall was renovated in December of 2003 and the project was completed in the fall of 2005. The renovation of Wadsworth Hall cost around $31.3 million. The project updated all the plumbing and electrical wiring throughout the building. It also updated the layout of the building to give the students more privacy, a better community bathroom, and smaller social rooms where they could study called kitchenettes. Also it updated the cafeteria by changing the layout from one long line of food, to an open market type of cafeteria which reduced waiting in line for food.

  • McNair Hall

  • Douglass Houghton Hall

Douglas Houghton Hall, commonly called DHH, is the smallest and oldest residence hall at Michigan Technological University. It was built in 1939 when the school’s enrollment was reaching eight hundred and the surrounding community could no longer accommodate the population increase. The hall was called the Tech Dormitory until a year later when it was named after Douglass Houghton, one of the first geologists in the area. The hall originally housed two hundred students, but in 1948 an addition was built on to the building's east side to house an additional one hundred seventy five students when once again the school’s enrollment increased.

The hall was built using materials from the local area. Included in this was copper used to build the roof as well as handmade light fixtures. Solid oak paneling was also used for the interior.

Douglas Houghton Hall was an all men’s hall until the early seventies when it became the second residence hall at Michigan Tech to become coed.

Because of a very large incoming class, the Franklin Square Inn, a Best Western located in downtown Houghton, is housing approximately 60 students through an agreement with Housing and Residential Life.

The residence halls each have a council representing the students of that hall. The councils are: the Wadsworth Hall Student Association (WHSA), the McNair Hall Association (MHA), and the Douglass Houghton Hall Council (DHHC). The Inter-Residence Hall Council consists of members from all of these hall councils, as well as several at-large members, and represents all of the residents to the campus and community.

Academic Buildings


The EERC (Electrical Energy Resource Center) is home to both the Department of Electrical Engineering and MTU Telecom services.The EERC was built starting in 1974 and opened in 1976, with energy in mind throughout the design. At the building’s groundbreaking in 1974, R.L. Smith (president of Michigan Tech at the time) described the building's intended use in terms of energy, stressing the importance of educating the next generation of engineers to learn to use and transport energy efficiently.

At the time of its construction, the EERC was described as having a “strikingly modern design” by some and “basically cement, brick, glass and steel” by others. The building was designed to be energy efficient, hence the lack of large windows on the east and west faces (windows are a major source of heat loss).In building the EERC, several previous buildings were demolished including Sperr Hall and Hotchkiss Hall – only part of Hotchkiss Hall was demolished to build the EERC and the rest was brought down after equipment and personnel had moved into the EERC.

Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building

The Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building, Chem Sci for short, was completed in 1969 and originally housed the Chemical Engineering, Chemical, Metallurgy, Biological Sciences, and Humanities departments. It replaced the second oldest building on campus, the materials processing laboratory, which had housed the shops for several engineering departments. Since the building has existed, it has had only a few accidents, the most notable two being a ventilation problem causing lead fumes to build up in the labs and the explosion of a batch of volatile chemicals being used in a polymer synthesis process which nearly killed a research assistant, Michael Abbott. Chem Sci was built for easy modification of key systems in order to keep up with the needs of the lab facilities. One example of this is the design of the ventilation system, which was placed on the outside of the building and covered in the same red brick as the rest of the structure for easy access during renovations.

Mechanical Engineering/ Engineering Mechanics

The MEEM (also known as the R.L. Smith Building) is semi-famous for being one of the tallest buildings in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The building's first floor interior consists largely of "The Fishbowl", a large, glass-enclosed computer lab, mainly for Mechanical Engineering students

Student body

Michigan Tech students are primarily from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois, with about 11 percent from outside the United States. The student body is approximately 78 percent Caucasian, 12 percent Asian, 2 percent African American, 1 percent Native American and 1 percent Hispanic. The university has recently focused on achieving a more diverse student body, in terms of ethnicity, gender, and areas of study. A key step in this effort was the recent introduction of several new academic majors, including psychology, biochemistry and molecular biology, Cheminformatics, communication and culture studies, pharmaceutical chemistry, exercise science, sound design, audio production, and theatre and entertainment technology.

Student life

Students attending Michigan Technological University have a wide range of activities to participate in, whether or not they are living in the residence halls. In addition to the various small interest groups which form throughout the year, they participate in Greek Life, Student Organizations, and the Enterprise Program; many organize and attend varsity day events, such as K-Day, the Parade of Nations, and the Winter Carnival; furthermore, there are motivational drives to raise student activity levels and involvement in the school community, typically for those without membership in a student organization.

Student organizations

A student organization is a group of students who have formed under a common name, interest, and set of goals. The size of these organizations varies greatly, from the very large, to the small and specialized. For example, the Undergraduate Student Government, which despite its name is actually a student organization, is composed, according to its constitution, of the entire undergraduate body. More specialized groups, such as the various fraternities and sororities located on campus, list in their constitutions that membership pends approval by the organization itself, thus limiting its size. Many of these groups have long standing histories, such as the WMTU Radio Station, which was chartered in January 1975, while still others are recently established specialty groups, such as the Alpine Racing Team, which was established in January 2003.

MTU currently boasts a list of over two hundred different student organizations, and the number is continuing to grow at a steady rate. Any group of students composed of not less than ten members, not including the required faculty advisor, and who has a member-written, university approved constitution qualifies to be a student organization. Once this status has been given, the organization may request funding from the Undergraduate Student Government through the submission of a budget proposal. Through funding, many of these organizations put on special events, such as the Winter Carnival, or provide sought-after services to the students, such as WMTU radio.

Notable Student Organizations include:

  • WMTU-FM, an entirely student-run radio station
  • The Michigan Tech Lode, an award-winning, weekly published student newspaper
  • The Daily Bull, a widely-read newsletter published 3-4 times weekly, offering content with a satirical and/or humorous bent
  • The Huskies Pep Band, an integral part to football, men's and women's basketball, and ice hockey
  • The Inter-Residence Hall Council, a governance council and event-planning group representing the one-third of students living on-campus
  • Mitch's Misfits, the enthusiastic and passionate student section at Husky Hockey home games
  • Blue Key, an affiliate of the National Blue Key honor society, which organizes the annual Winter Carnival
  • Numerous ethnic, cultural, and diversity groups, aimed at exposing the campus to a variety of world views
  • Many fraternities and sororities

Greek life

Greek Life is considered by many of the students to be an important part of the "Tech Experience", and this can be seen in the high level of student participation in the many Greek-sponsored events hosted throughout the school year. Michigan Tech is currently host to seventeen different fraternities, including three international fraternities, and three local fraternities. Additionally, there are eight sororities on campus, including four local sororities. Events held on campus can be both planned out, and spontaneous. Students who are interested in Greek Life are encouraged to look at the various campus squares and message boards, where fraternities and sororities will typically publish information pertaining to their scheduled recruitment activities. Additionally, students already involved can reference the Greek Life Calendar for a list of planned activities.

The Enterprise Program

Michigan Technological University's Enterprise Program is considered by many to be the University's defining feature. Originally designed and implemented in the fall of 2000, the Enterprise Program allows students from different disciplines to work together to function as a professional company. Once established, students work together with industry leaders to solve real world problems, ranging from researching and developing new wireless technologies, the design and manufacture of specialty materials, to the development of an alternatively powered, full scale vehicle. The program is considered to be a separate curriculum from the student's chosen major, and is typically considered to be a minor program that requires the student to take a certain amount of credit-based participation in each year.

Each year, the university will establish between ten to fifteen different openings, depending on student demand, and industry support. These openings are then filled by both returning enterprise teams, and potentially new teams as well. The groups consist of twenty to thirty students from various majors, who are then assigned a specific task by the university staff; in certain cases a team may request their own topic, which is then subject to approval by the university's administration. Each student is then assigned various roles and responsibilities according to their ability, maturity, and schedule, as evaluated by the university. Once established, an enterprise is responsible for managing their own budgets, management of multiple projects under their direction, and working with university faculty, who act as mentors and coaches to the students involved. At the end of April of each year, the various enterprises publish detailed reports outlining their analysis and solution for their particular assignment, and additionally, they will meet with their various industry sponsors to give verbal presentations, and outline their designs and solutions.

Notable Student Enterprises include:
  • Aerospace Enterprise provides hands-on aerospace education and experience to students. As part of the University Nanosat program, Michigan Tech placed 3rd and has received over $100k in funding from NASA and the Air Force.
  • Blue Marble Security, which works to help individuals, companies, and local governments to protect their homes, workers, and communities; through the implementation of broad-level security solutions.
  • Forumula SAE Car, an enterprise which is working to develop an indy style racing vehicle for use in competitions, while focusing on the optimization of chassis, wheel, frame, and engine design, in order to provide a safer, more efficient vehicle.
  • Nanotechnology Innovations Enterprise, an enterprise that seeks to provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive hands-on entrepreneurial educational experience as they research, develop and market nanotechnology-related products and services, and share their knowledge and experiences with first-year undergraduates, high school students, and teachers.
  • The Wireless Communication Enterprise which is a highly diverse group of student disciplines, working to further the advancement of the communications industry through the development and implementation of new wireless technology, or improvements on existing ones.


As the school mascot is the husky (specifically, Blizzard T. Husky), the school's sports teams are known as the "Huskies". MTU competes in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The men's hockey team competes in Division I as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. MTU has its own downhill ski/snowboard hill, Mont Ripleymarker, just across Portage Lakemarker from campus, and maintains extensive cross-country ski trails (used for mountain biking in summer).

Special events

  • The first Friday of the fall term is K-Day (Keweenaw Day), a university-sponsored half-day holiday. This is primarily celebrated at nearby McLain State Parkmarker, which is overrun by Michigan Tech students and organizations for the day. Activities include a student organizations fair, games, swimming, and music.
  • Each fall Michigan Tech hosts Parade of Nations. It is an international fest, established for good communication between international students and community. It was established and first held in 1990 by Betty Chavis. The Parade is held on the third Saturday of September. It plays a big role in the life of the community and international students, because it has become a history lesson for both. The festival usually starts at Hancock High School. All participants gather there. Everybody wears beautiful national clothes, there are lots of different colors. Then parade marches through Hancock and Houghton downtown until it reaches Dee Stadium. It is escorted by Michigan Tech Pep Band. It is the first part of the Parade, where people from the community can look through each representative from each country, see their national clothes, flag and symbol. The second part is usually held at the Dee Stadium. International participants present their national cuisines, followed by different shows. There are lots of tables with different cuisines, almost each country present one.
  • In February Michigan Tech hosts its Winter Carnival, where students compete in a variety of artistic and athletic events. The highlight of Winter Carnival is a snow statue competition in which students construct snow and ice sculptures consistent with an annual theme. Some groups of students complete their work in a single evening, while the more grandiose are one month in the making. Statues must be pristine white and structurally sound; they must be self-supporting with no external scaffolding or hidden beams inside. They may not be walked upon. Carnival also features a queen competition, NCAA Division I ice hockey, and other special events.
  • One of Michigan Tech Winter Carnival's oldest traditions is the crowning of a Winter Carnival queen. This tradition began in 1928, six years after the first Winter Carnival at Michigan Tech, and has seen many different candidates through the years. The competition begins with around 30 candidates in early December and makes it way down to the final eight competitors for Winter Carnival. The queen receives her crown of copper and a bouquet after she wins the competition of being judged on a talent like singing or acting, interview questions, academics, and involvement around campus the weekend before Winter Carnival. Then it is said that the queen is to “reign of her land” and make appearances at hockey games, stage revues, and around the campus. This includes awarding the MVP of the hockey games a trophy, riding the Zamboni, judging snow sculptures, and being in the town parade.
  • In spring, Michigan Tech hosts Spring Fling, which celebrates the coming end of the school year. Local talent plays on stage, carnival games are offered, free food can be found, and the entire campus is transformed into a festival. Recent Spring Fling events have included MTU Idol, a pig roast, a water balloon fight, a comedy routine, a pool tournament and more. The event is planned annually by the Memorial Union Board.
  • In the summer Michigan Tech hosts the Summer Youth Program (SYP), Women in Engineering (WIE), Engineering Scholars Program (ESP), and National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) to introduce high school students to college opportunities.
  • During June and July, Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts is one of the main venues for the Pine Mountain Music Festival, with many musical and operatic performances. The Rozsa Center also holds performances by university, local, and touring companies during the school year.
  • Michigan Tech holds two world records, the largest snowball (21' 3" circumference) and largest snowball fight (3,745), which they accomplished in 2006, as verified by Guinness World Records officials. They originally held three world records, the third of which was the most people making snow angels simultaneously in a single venue (3,784). This record was taken from the city of Bismarck, ND, but about a year later, Bismarck took the record back with 8,962 snow angels.
  • Every fall and spring Michigan Tech's University Career Center holds a Career Day. The event draws large support from students, faculty, administration, and alumni. The Fall Career Day of 2007 saw 283 companies recruit over 3000 students. The Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity helps coordinate the Fall Career Day each year.

Image:Mtuparadeofnations.JPG| People gather in Hancock for the Parade of NationsImage:Mtukeweenawday08.jpg| Local band Third Coast performs at Keweenaw Day at McLain State ParkmarkerImage:Tkecarnival09.jpg| TKE's 2009 winter carnival statue

Distinguished alumni

External links


  1. |accessdate=2008-01-07
  17. personal email from Zach Simpson, President,Competition Rifle Team
  18. "Tech dorm named after Dr. Wadsworth." The Week That Was 22 June 1956
  19. Fosnes, Kelly. "New 'Wads' unveiled" Mining Gazette 21 November 2005
  20. McNair hall was formerly known as Co-ed Hall. It was built to attract more females to the mostly male university.(
  21. Nordberg, Erik. "Douglas Houghton Hall." Alumnus from the Archives (2004): 30-31.
  22. "Dorm Addition to House 175; Ready in April." Daily Mining Gazette [Houghton] 24 Mar. 1948.
  23. "Douglas Houghton Hall, An Historical Perspective."
  24. Hooker, Chuck. "DHH Goes Coed...?" The Lode [Houghton] 18 Feb. 1971.
  25. Douglass Houghton Hall was the first residence hall constructed on the Michigan Tech campus. It was completed in 1939, over 40 years after the campus opened.(
  27. Smith, RL. “Electrical Resources Building Groundbreaking Ceremony.” Event Program, 1 February 1974. Vertical File: Buildings – EERC. MTU Archives and Copper County Historical Collection.
  28. “Electrical Resources Center Started.” Michigan Tech Alumnus, March/April 1974. Vertical File: Buildings – EERC. MTU Archives and Copper County Historical Collection.
  29. “Construction progresses on Michigan Tech High Rise.” Daily Mining Gazette, 15 August 1975. Vertical File: Buildings – EERC. MTU Archives and Copper County Historical Collection.
  30. “Electrical Resources Center Started.” Michigan Tech Alumnus, March/April 1974. Vertical File: Buildings – EERC. MTU Archives and Copper County Historical Collection.
  31. Michigan Technological University Archives & Copper Country Historical Collections Vertical File: Buildings-Chemical Metallurgy
  48. “Winter Carnival Queen Finalist Selected” The Lode, Dec. 5, 2001. CCVF: Winter Carnival 2001. MTU Archives & CCHC.
  49. “Hancock Girl to Reign Over Carnival” Daily Mining Gazette, Jan. 17, 1936. CCVF: Winter Carnival 1936. MTU Archives & CCHC.
  50. [1] accessed on July 29, 2007.

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