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

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

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By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

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Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

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Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

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What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

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