Michigan Technological University
Michigan Technological University is a public research university in Houghton, Michigan. Its main campus sits on on a bluff overlooking Portage Lake. Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the first post-secondary institution in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and was created to train mining engineers to operate the local copper mines. Science, technology, forestry and business have been added to the numerous engineering disciplines, and Michigan Tech now offers more than 130 degree programs through its five colleges and schools.
Michigan Tech's athletic teams are nicknamed the Huskies and compete primarily in the NCAA 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, and has won three national championships. The women's basketball team were national runners-up in 2011.
HistoryMichigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School. After much agitation by Jay Abel Hubbell, the state legislature established the school to train mining engineers. Hubbell donated land for the school's first buildings.
The school started with four faculty members and twenty-three students. It was housed in the Houghton Fire Hall from 1886 through 1889.
MTU's first president was Marshman E. Wadsworth. Enrollment grew to such a point that its name no longer reflected its purpose. The name was then changed to the Michigan College of Mines in 1897. This name lasted through World War I until 1925, but by this time the school began offering a wider variety of degrees and once again decided to change its name to the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1927.
Fred W. McNair was the college's second president. By 1931, enrollment had reached nearly 600. Over the next few years, due to the Great Depression, money was scarce, causing department heads and even the president of the university, William O. Hotchkiss, to take pay cuts.
Under President Grover C. Dillman, the school underwent many notable changes, including the construction of the Memorial Union Building, the purchasing an ice rink and a golf course as well as the procurement of the village of Alberta, Michigan.
In 1956, J. Robert Van Pelt became the new president of the university. He restarted many PhD programs and created a focus on research. This included the school's first analog computation class in 1956–57.
In the final years of his presidency, the school changed from a college to a university, changing its name a final time to Michigan Technological University. The change from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology was necessary for two reasons, according to Van Pelt. First, the college had expanded too greatly and the current name was no longer an accurate title. Also, including "mining" in the name of the college was misleading. The name "Michigan Technological University" was chosen in order to retain the nickname "Michigan Tech" that had already been in use since 1927.
Richard J. Koubek has been president since July 1, 2018.
Although engineering still accounts for some 59 percent of all enrollment as of fall 2010, the university now offers more than 120 undergraduate degree programs and 70 graduate degree programs.
Along with its new name, the school also gained new constitutional status in 1964. This gave responsibility for control of the university to its Board of Control rather than the state legislature.
CampusThe main Michigan Tech campus is mainly situated on US-41 in Houghton. It is the safest campus in Michigan, and the third safest in the United States, according to Reader's Digest. The main part of campus can be traversed in about 10 minutes. The offices of the Michigan Tech Fund are located in the Huntington Bank Building in Hancock. The Lakeshore Center in downtown Houghton houses the offices of Human Relations, Vice President for Research, and other departments.
Faculty are involved in several distance education programs with clients including 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 one dollar. Since then, many improvements have been made such as the addition of another nine holes in 1969. In 1984, the new clubhouse was constructed. In 1996, a sprinkler system was installed to modernize the course and keep it playable. The Portage Lake Golf Course is located two miles southeast of campus. With 18 holes on 160 acres, it offers two nines of distinctly different flavors and challenges.
Mont Ripley is the oldest ski area in Michigan in the snowiest city in the Midwest. It's also University-owned, so Michigan Tech students ski or snowboard for free. Mont Ripley has twenty-two trails, a terrain park, a tubing park, sits on 112 acres, and has a scenic overlook of the Keweenaw Waterway. It's about two miles from campus; the hill is viewable from most campus buildings. In 2019, Michigan Tech's Mont Ripley earned the University a No. 13 rating on College Census' 25 Best Colleges for Skiing and Snowboarding list.
AcademicsMichigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, natural and physical sciences, computing, business and economics, technology, environmental studies, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Home to the first College of Computing in the state of Michigan, the University is divided into five Colleges: Business; Computing; Engineering; Forest Resources and Environmental Science; and Sciences and Arts. The average overall ACT scores for incoming students is 27.2 in fall 2017, compared to 21.2 nationally. It currently has the highest tuition of all public universities in Michigan, exceeding both Michigan State and the University of Michigan. The College of Engineering's environmental engineering and mechanical engineering enrollments rank in the top ten nationally and their respective graduate programs are ranked in the top 50 in the US. The electrical engineering department uses an innovative "DSP First" curriculum found at only a few leading universities.
- The College of Engineering. Its departments are biomedical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology, electrical and computer engineering, chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and geological and mining engineering and sciences.
- The College of Computing was established in 2019. It offers undergraduate degrees in computer science, software engineering, computer network & system administration, cybersecurity, electrical engineering technology. Graduate degrees are offered in computer science, mechatronics, health informatics, and cybersecurity.
- The College of Sciences and Arts has majors in fields including bio-informatics, biological sciences, biochemistry, cheminformatics, chemistry, computer science, kinesiology and integrative physiology, mathematics, pharmaceutical chemistry, physics, psychology, and social sciences. The College is also home to the visual and performing arts, Air Force ROTC, and Army ROTC programs.
- The College of Business is accredited by AACSB. 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. The undergraduate program includes a unique Business Development Experience, where students gain real-life business experience in a mentored environment. 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 College 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 maintains greenhouses, labs, and the Ford Forest and Ford Center in nearby Alberta, and celebrated its 75th year in 2011.
Student bodyThe student body consists of more than 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students and more than 470 academic faculty. As is historically true of engineering institutions, female enrollment at Michigan Tech is low. The male to female student ratio was 22:1 in 1960; since 1980 it has remained around 3:1. Michigan Tech's admissions office has enlisted female students and faculty to contact every admitted female applicant via telephone or personal letter in an attempt to increase female enrollment. The Fall 2010 freshman class had a ratio of 3.1:1. In the Fall 2012 semester, female enrollment rose for the 6th straight year to reach a then all-time high of 1,837 students. Female enrollment for the 2017-18 academic year was 27.1%.
Michigan Tech students are primarily from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. The student body is approximately 75.4% European-American/Non-Hispanic, 14.2% International, 1.6% Hispanic, 1.5% percent African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.6% Native American, 1.0% Multiracial, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and the remaining 4.5% was not supplied.
ResearchMichigan Tech ranked 172nd of 600 US colleges and universities in research and development expenditures in 2007. Research expenditures exceeded $50 million in 2017.
The university has 17 research centers and institutes and 273,000 square feet of research space and labs.
Student lifeStudents attending Michigan Technological University have a wide range of activities to participate in, whether or not they are living in the residence halls, of which there are four. In addition to the various small interest groups which form throughout the year, students participate in Greek Life, Student Organizations, Senior Design, and the Enterprise Program; many organize and attend campus traditions, such as K-Day, the Parade of Nations, Design Expo, Career Fair, and 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 organizationsMichigan Tech currently recognizes more than two hundred student organizations, including:
- The Daily Bull, satirical daily entertainment press newspaper; often prints current campus and world news in some form or other
- Alpha Phi Omega, Epsilon Lambda chapter, national co-ed service fraternity
- Mushing Club at Michigan Tech, The first and only university mushing club in the US. Founded in 2018 by student mushers, Adam Schmidt and Claire Hendricks.
- Mu Beta Psi, Zeta chapter, national honorary musical fraternity
- The Alpha chapter of Alpha Sigma Mu, nationwide metallurgical and materials engineering honors fraternity
- Blue Key, an affiliate of the National Blue Key honor society, which organizes the annual Winter Carnival
- The pride of Pastyland, the cream of the Keweenaw, the second best feeling in the world, the Huskies Pep Band.
- Turkish Students Association at MTU, a cultural, non-political, non-religious and non-profit organization; aims to promote and preserve Turkish culture and heritage on MTU campus and in the community
- Religious organizations: there are many religious groups on campus including Lutheran Collegians, Intervarsity, Cru,, St. Albert the Great University Parish, and His House Christian Fellowship.
- The Michigan Tech Lode, award-winning weekly student newspaper
- Undergraduate Student Government
- WMTU-FM, student-run radio station
- Film Board, screens theatrical features at a low cost to students and other members of the Michigan Tech community
- Society of Women Engineers, promotes and supports female diversity in STEM fields; for over six decades, SWE has given women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry; MTU's section of SWE held the 2014 Region H Conference Feb 14- 16, 2014
- Engineers Without Borders, an affiliate of EWB-USA; works on international engineering projects in developing communities
- Omega Chi Epsilon, the Chemical Engineering Honor Society; a member of the National Omega Chi Epsilon
- Mind Trekkers, promotes K-12 STEM education through a traveling STEM festival with fun and educational activities targeted at middle school students
AthleticsAs the school mascot is the husky, the school's sports teams are known as the Huskies. Michigan Tech competes primarily in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the men's hockey team competes in Division I as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The men's hockey team has won three national championships and the women's basketball team were national runners-up in the 2010-2011 season.
Michigan Tech owns a downhill skiing/snowboarding hill, Mont Ripley, just across Portage Lake from campus, and maintains extensive cross-country skiing trails.
School songsMichigan 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.
- K-Day is the first Friday of the fall term. It's a university-sponsored, half-day holiday hosted by Greek Life. It is primarily celebrated at nearby McLain State Park. Activities include a student organizations fair, games, swimming, and music.
- Homecoming has happened on campus each fall since 1929. Current and former Huskies show their school spirit—and crazy smarts—with football and cardboard boats.
- Parade of Nations and multicultural festival began in 1990 as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the cultures and countries of Keweenaw residents and visitors, many of whom were Michigan Tech international students. The event occurs in September.
- Winter Carnival is 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. Winter Carnival began in 1922.
- Spring Fling is always the Friday of Week 13 of the Spring Semester. Students end the academic year and welcome warmer weather by engaging in activities. Various student organizations participate in this event providing food and entertainment for a campus community eager to relax and have fun before the serious business of final exams begins.
- Summer Youth Programs have been held on campus since 1972: Women in Engineering, Engineering Scholars Program, and National Summer Transportation Institute, among many other programs, introduce middle and high school students to college opportunities.
- Film and Music Festivals at Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts occur throughout the year. The Rozsa is a main venue for the Pine Mountain Music Festival; The Red Jacket Jamboree, an old-time radio variety show; and the 41 N Film Festival.
- Michigan Tech holds two world records, the largest snowball and largest snowball fight, 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. This record was taken from the city of Bismarck, North Dakota, but about a year later, Bismarck took the record back with 8,962 snow angels. In 2018, students and community members set out to break the world record for most snowmen in one hour. Guinness is still tallying the results.
- Joe Berger, former NFL player
- Melvin Calvin, Nobel laureate and discoverer of the Calvin Cycle
- Chris Conner, NHL player
- Jill Dickman, Republican member of the Nevada Assembly.
- David Edwards, biomedical engineering professor at Harvard, writer
- Tony Esposito, NHL Hall of Famer
- Charles Gates Sr., businessman; founder of Gates Corporation
- Roxane Gay, writer, professor, editor, blogger, and commentator
- David Hill, former Chief Engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette
- David House, Intel GM of Microcomputer Components Div for 13 years. Coined the phrase "Intel Inside"
- Greg Ives, NASCAR crew chief
- Bob Lurtsema, former NFL player
- Randy McKay, former NHL player, two-time Stanley Cup winner
- David O'Donahue, Wisconsin National Guard general
- Joseph P. Overton, conceiver of the Overton window
- Davis Payne, former head coach of the St. Louis Blues
- Mel Pearson, college ice hockey coach
- Bhakta B. Rath, material physicist and Padma Bhushan recipient
- Kanwal Rekhi, businessman and entrepreneurship promoter in Silicon Valley
- Damian Rhodes, former NHL player
- Ron Rolston, ice hockey coach; head coach of the Buffalo Sabres
- Jarkko Ruutu, former NHL player
- Donald G. Saari, game theorist
- Alexander King Sample, 12th Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette; 11th Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon
- John Scott, former NHL player; 2016 NHL All-Star Captain and MVP
- Donald Shell, author of the Shell sort
- Matthew Songer, founder and chief executive officer of Pioneer Surgical Technology
- Andy Sutton, former NHL player
- Marek W. Urban, American Chemical Society Fellow; Recipient of Numerous Awards
- John Vartan, businessman, developer, banker, restaurateur and philanthropist
- Dave Walter, former NFL player
- Dr. John O. Hallquist, founder of Livermore Software Technology Corporation and original developer of LS-DYNA
- Baijayant Panda, Member of lower house of Indian Parliament