Make us laugh

What is the funniest incident or story you recollect from your
time in Rolla?

Historian Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, recently posed this question to our readers and on social media. Here are a few of your answers.

In 1969 the Miners won their Homecoming game. The crowd was so shocked that they began to boo rather than cheer.

The reason was that we students didn’t know how to celebrate a victory, but we did know how to drown our sorrows.

Lee Austin, CE’71
Libertyville, Ill.


In 1965, to retaliate for an earlier firecracker attack by graduating seniors, done while we slept, my roommate
and I planned a counter-attack.

A few days after the attack, at 3 a.m., we snuck into their house. Since their room was locked, we went to the common bathroom and planted several M-80s, suspending them with string and using lit cigarettes for fuses. We scrambled back home in time to listen to the loud explosions. In the morning, we heard that the seniors and their landlady were literally blown out of bed. Lesson taught: don’t mess with UMR undergrads.

Larry Mikelionis, ChE’67
Johnsburg, Ill.


I was using the phone booth behind the movie theater on the main drag to call a girl to talk about an upcoming party weekend.

The telephone operator said, “Put your money in.” I said, “I already put my money in.” She said, “I didn’t hear the phone go ‘ding ding.’” I said, “I did put my money in.” She said, “Do you expect me to believe that?” I replied, “I’m at a booth across the street from the phone company. Come across the street and see for yourself.” She did and a bunch of other telephone operators were looking out the window to see history made. We put some money in, it didn’t go “ding ding” and she gave me credit for what I put in. I talked my telephone operator into getting in the phone booth with me. That would have been my Jeopardy! story if I ever made it on to the show. That was one of the strangest things to happen to me at Rolla.

Richard Starke, MetE’71
Manteca, Calif.

Around the Puck

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Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

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Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

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Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

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Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

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