Q&A: Did you ever pull a prank in college?

Were hard-working, nose-to-the-grindstone Missouri S&T alumni all work and no play during college? We don’t think so. We’ve heard tales of students leading a calf to the third floor of the Rolla Building, constructing a brick wall across Pine Street and burning an outhouse on campus. We wanted to hear more of those stories, so we asked.

Yeah, they’ve tried to get me to incriminate myself before. It’s not going to happen.
Jeff Spencer, CSci’93, Rolla, Mo.

To this day, I will testify that I know nothing about who disabled the elevators in TJ Hall. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
Patrick Williams, CE’11, Helena, Ark.

There might be stickers on hard-to-reach places around campus. Some are in plain sight and were still there as of February 2012 when I was last there. Some are probably in official press pictures. Good luck finding them, and to whoever put them there.
Scott Frazier, EE’09, Rochester Hills, Mich.

The final in the 1997 Intro to Programming C++ involved debugging an application. Simple things like finding compile time errors and logic errors and fixing them. The lab probably had about 40 students in it. One student had created a program to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” on delay. You loaded it off of your 3.5-inch floppy disk, ran the program (which loaded it into memory), popped out the floppy and were out of the room before it went off. He passed out several copies the week before the final. My guess is almost half of the class had a copy of this program. I stayed until almost the end of the final, sitting in the back row listening as more and more PCs played out the song in all its 8-bit glory.
Nate Taylor, EE’00, Omaha

We repeatedly painted the Mu back on the rock at the Sigma Chi annex after they had the big “Burning the Mu” party. The Mu was dropped after getting their charter. We even went in camouflage with war paint. They tried to catch us, but it never worked. It was great fun. I was even dating a Sigma Chi and they were clueless. The sorority girls were not on the suspect list.
Cheri Mohan-Schmitt, ME’87, St. Louis

It is a tradition for the pledges of Sigma Phi Epsilon to drag the large rock in their front yard to another fraternity so their members would have to drag it back. In 1994, the students at the fraternity where the rock ended up rented a jack hammer and made the rock easier to carry back to Sig Ep. I’m not Greek, but I had some great friends in the Sig Ep house. When I asked them if they were going to replace it, of course their answer was “yes.” Their minds going wild with the size of rock they wanted to get. But then after a bit of estimation of what they could actually haul, they realized their goal was out of reach because no one in the house had a large enough truck to move a three-ton granite boulder. I said, “You find the rock, I’ll haul it.” I worked for Poe’s Gas, which had a truck equipped with a hydraulic boom for hauling propane tanks. One of the guys got permission to take a large red granite boulder from the Experimental Mine. I secured the truck from Gordon Poe, who had only one request, “Just don’t flip my truck over.” I delivered the rock the Saturday before finals week during the fraternity’s traditional senior round of golf. As soon as the rock was on the ground, someone shouted, “Let’s move it!” Those of us that loaded the rock knew this was nearly impossible, but we sat back and watched them try. The rock was sitting on edge and after a few minutes of grunting, it did roll over to a larger flat with a loud thud. I don’t think that rock moved for several semesters because of its extreme weight.

Another time, during the spring of 1997, the old IBM system in the computer lab was going away and all the 1-inch reel-to-reel tapes would all be obsolete. Dax Sparks, AE’96, ME’96, and I were working in the operations and equipment room on weekend shifts. We stockpiled about 80 of those reels and then unwound them and stuffed the mess into Charlie Irwin’s office one Sunday night. (Irwin is a retired supervisor of computing and information services, now known as IT.) His office was on the edge of the room and the walls were all glass. The tape filled the room to about chest height with his desk, chair and computers still inside.
Brian Call, ME’97, MS EMch’99,
Dunlap, Ill.

Tweets and Facebook

Stay connected to your alma mater through Twitter and Facebook.

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https://twitter.com/enuttall/status/268150140316053504

 

Tweets and Facebook

Stay connected to your alma mater through Twitter and Facebook.

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Pranks?

Send us your answers by Jan. 1, 2013, for inclusion in the Spring 2013 issue of the Missouri S&T Magazine.

What is the one thing you couldn’t have survived at Rolla without?

Everybody has one. You know, that one thing that got you though school. For some it was a laptop, a calculator or a slide rule. For others, it was all about friends and family. Here are a few things Miners say they couldn’t live without during their time on campus.

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Letters: Fall/Winter 2012

On Nov. 23, 1965, I took possession of a 1966 Pontiac GTO hardtop in Rolla, Mo. I was a college graduating senior. I had no job. I had, as yet, no firm job offer. Nonetheless, the dealer offered a financing deal:  my old 1958 Hillman Minx, no payments for 30 days, the first year’s insurance was included in the purchase price and the first three payments were $25.00. The deal was closed in less than 30 minutes. The dealer gave me the keys and told me to drive it off of the show room floor, which I did. I bought the car with every intention of keeping it forever. So far so good.

[Read more…]

What are your favorite car songs?

Chances are, even if you don’t own a Hot Rod Lincoln or a Little Deuce Coupe, you still have a favorite song about cars.

[Read more…]

Q&A: Which Best Ever was the best ever?

In 1908, a tradition was born — the annual St. Pat’s celebration at Missouri S&T. Each year, the celebration becomes larger than life. However, everyone seems to have a favorite, or most memorable year, for a variety of reasons.

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Letters: Spring 2012

As usual I enjoyed the latest issue of Missouri S&T Magazine. Item No. 125 (Ramey’s) of the “140 things we love” reminded me of Bear Tracks. As I recall, it was downtown above a bowling alley. You could have your own beer stein with your name on it and it was always available from a rack of steins on the wall. You walked in, grabbed your stein, and it was filled at a discount price. I still have my stein from the place. How about doing a bit of research on Bear Tracks and include the information in a future issue of the magazine? I think us older alumni would enjoy it. (I did, on rare occasion of course, visit Ramey’s.)
Keep up the good work.
Gary W. Davis, EE’57
Onyx, Calif.

The list of 140 things was a welcome and inspired idea for the Fall magazine. Having attended UMR in the late ’60s, I kept looking for mention of the “Green Sheet” (I think that was the name). This several-green-page publication would appear around campus about the time of St. Pat’s and would be a kind of “roast” for professors, graduate assistants and others who deserved a bit of mention — mostly negative, often bawdy, mainly off-color remarks and description. No one knew where this paper originated, but I remember looking forward to it year after year. I wonder if someone has a copy tucked away in the attic somewhere.
Lyle Hill, ME’73
Rhineland, Mo.

Regarding No. 129 of the 140 things we love about S&T in the Fall 2011 issue, before it was the Grotto, the Cavern, Brewster’s, or the Mine Shaft, it was Hiram and Mortimers. I know; I was a bartender there in 1975, just before I graduated. That was the first that I know of that basement being a bar. It was during the foosball days. We had six foosball tables and free barrels of peanuts; eat the peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. Good times!
Roger Keller, MinE’75, MS MinE’82
Las Vegas

In the Fall 2011 issue, you missed the football team’s unbeaten season in 1980. You also missed the 1949 football team, which was undefeated in the MIAA Conference. They lost the first two games, both non-conference games. The 1950 football team played in tennis shoes on ice and snow. They were the MIAA Conference champions, losing one non-conference game and one conference game.

The 1914 and 1980 football teams were the only unbeaten teams, and 1949 was the only other undefeated football team in the MIAA conference.
Since the 1980 unbeaten team, Missouri S&T has changed to a weaker conference and still is unable to have a winning championship season. I still enjoyed the Missouri S&T Magazine.
Arthur L. Schmidt, ChE’50
Lake St. Louis, Mo.

Regarding the 140 things we love about S&T, No. 102 Schuman Pond? As both a townie and proud 1977 graduate, I always heard it referred to as Frisco Pond, named after the Frisco railroad. Has my memory finally gone or has the name changed? And yes, No. 126 Tim’s Pizza did have the best pizza and salads in town. There was nothing wrong with the pitchers of beer, either.

I lived in Rolla from 1955, when my dad was assigned to the ROTC department after we returned from Japan, until I graduated in 1977, with time out for the Navy (1970-74). Back then, the ROTC department was in a wooden two story WWI-era building behind the gym. My dad’s office was on the second floor and I remember a rifle range on the ground floor. I pretty much grew up on campus and have fond memories of both the university and Rolla.
John Walker, Econ’77
La Porte, Texas

The 141st thing we love about Missouri S&T is amateur radio station W0EEE.
Douglas Hughes, EE’63
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Letters: Spring 2009

Mike Swoboda and I pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity in Rolla in the fall of 1956. Mike was voted in as chapter president in his sophomore year: An unusual move at that time.
He quickly consolidated his leadership team and our fraternity began to move up in all aspects of our activities and in prestige on campus. Bob Elrod, CerE’63, was the chapter treasurer and Mike would have Elrod announce all the moves and changes that might be controversial. Poor Elrod was his lightning rod but they made a good team. Mike led our fraternity to high respect on campus in his two years as president.

We shared a great love for sport and competition. Mike’s primary sport was tennis but he became a very effective player in flag football, volleyball, basketball, and softball (fast pitch). At one point we did not have a good pitcher so Mike and I went up to one of the local school play grounds that had a backstop fence and took turns trying to learn to pitch using the classic windmill motion of fast pitch softball. Neither of us could master it.

Though we were about the same height, Mike was a spiker and I was his setter in volleyball. He was left handed and not an overpowering spiker but enormously effective. Mike had that rare ability to think in the middle of a competitive event and would sense where the defense was and direct the ball away. His dinks scored as often as his slams.
Once I came into his room and it happened to be election night. Mike had two yellow legal pads on his desk and was listening intently to the radio. On the pads were the names of all the Senators and Governors running for office and he was keeping tally with a pencil.

He loved the political process and particularly loved small town politics. He eventually got his dream job, Mayor of Kirkwood, and he brought to it the same skills that make him so effective as a fraternity president. Mike would always do all of the grunt work to secure and know where all of his votes were. Folks who found themselves on the opposite side of an issue from Mike rarely were willing to put in the time and effort that Mike did regularly. As a result they regularly lost and Mike won setting up some long standing resentments.

But one could never question where Mike’s heart was. He was determined to be the very best mayor that a town ever had… And he was. I keep thinking of that song “Jimmy Walker loved New York… “Well Michael E. Swoboda really loved Kirkwood and served his town well.

Michael C. Kearney, EE’60, Kirkwood, Mo.
Kearney is a fraternity brother of late Kirkwood, Mo., Mayor Mike Swoboda, ME’60, who died Sept. 6 as a result of injuries suffered in the Kirkwood City Hall shootings of Feb. 7, 2008.