Golden ‘Ms’ honored at Tech reunion

HOUGHTON – The Michigan Technological University Class of 1963 took full advantage of the annual alumni reunion weekend. The class of ’63 was inducted into the Golden “Ms,” alumni who graduated from Michigan Tech 50 or more years ago, during a pinning ceremony Friday. Of the 552 graduates of the class, 443 are still living and 432 – or 98 percent – are active alumni members according to Paula Nutini, director of annual giving.

“That is very impressive. Thanks for staying in touch with your alma mater,” Nutini said. “We appreciate it.”

In honor of their 50-year reunion, the class of ’63 raised $215,000 for the University.

Of those 432 active members, 47 attended the Golden “Ms” pinning ceremony. Each 50-year alumni was called individually to the front of the room by Nutini and presented with a certificate and pin by Glenn Mroz, university president, and Darnishia Slade, assistant director of programs and services and president of the alumni board.

After the ceremony, President Mroz invited attendees to share memories of their time at Michigan Tech. Once they got started, the alumni reminisced about everything – favorite bars, restaurants, classes, least favorite professors, glee club, sports and more. One alumna, Kay Hughes, even sang the “Co-ed anthem.”

“It’s so fun,” Hughes said. “I was so shy, I was really shy (as a student). I can’t believe I sang that.”

Hughes, who currently lives in Hackerspace, Mich., studied medical technology and biological sciences as a member of the Tech class of 1963. Her 50-year reunion is the first reunion she has been able to attend.

“It’s really fun to hear the stories and just get back to the memories,” she said. “I have so many memories. It was a really good time in my life.”

In addition to honoring the new members of the Golden Ms Friday morning, a special of honorees was recognized at the Awards Dinner Friday night. Seven individuals with ties to Michigan Tech and the Upper Peninsula were recognized with various awards. The recipients were:

Bob and Ruth Nara. The Naras were presented with an Honorary Alumni Award for their support of Michigan Tech and work with the Nara Nature Park.

Paul Fernstrum of the class of 1965. Fernstrum received a Distinguished Alumni Award for his success with RW Fernstrum company and donations to Michigan Tech including contributions to new high-tech classrooms and sponsoring Senior Design teams.

Jim Trethewey of the class of 1967. Trethewey received a Distinguished Alumni Award for his work with Cliffs Resources and support of the School of Business and Economics.

Dick and Stasia Gray of the class of 1982. The Grays, owners of the Keweenaw Brewing Company, received an Outstanding Service Award for their support of Michigan Tech.

Amy Clarke of the class of 2000. Clark received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award for her success as a research scientist.

Events continued throughout the weekend with guided campus tours, socials, class photos and outdoor programs including hiking, canoeing and kayaking.