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

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

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Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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