MTU Celebrates a Mascot Milestone

Three cheers for 50 years of Michigan Tech’s beloved ringleader of loud and proud Husky…

MTU Celebrates a Mascot Milestone

Three cheers for 50 years of Michigan Tech’s beloved ringleader of loud and proud
Husky followers, giver of hugs and high-fives, and receiver of steady assist by devoted

The Johnny Mac was buzzing on the primary Saturday evening in August. Michigan Technological
College’s Alumni Reunion hockey recreation all the time attracts a crowd to the sector, however this was an extra-special event: Blizzard
T. Husky’s fiftieth party. 

Blizzard isn’t but 50, technically, however carries on the spirit of Tech’s first mascots,
who debuted 50 years in the past. So it was becoming that the VIPs who got here to have fun this
milestone included the unique mascots, 1971 graduates Invoice and Kathy Wassberg, and
mascot program supporters Dave ’68 ’71 and Sharron Paris. 

The Parises have been Blizzard T. Husky helpers for the reason that four-fingered furry buddy
of Huskies in every single place was born on Jan. 31, 1997. Longtime Tech donors, they assisted
with the naming contest (the opposite choices have been Harley, Heikki, Howie and Yoopie).
Their assist of the mascot program was impressed by seeing their nephew in motion
because the Ferris State Bulldog. “We noticed how laborious he labored,” says Sharron, a former MTU registrar who had a virtually
30-year profession with the College.

“It’s not simply strolling round. It takes persona and endurance. Blizzard performs an
essential function and is on campus in many various methods.”Sharron Paris, MTU Mascot Program donor

“It’s all the time neat to see Blizzard interacting with younger individuals,” mentioned Dave. And regardless of
being 350 in canine years, “Blizzard stays younger.”

As soon as a Husky, All the time a Husky

At 67,000 robust, Michigan Tech alumni keep linked all year long on campus
and across the globe. Held Aug. 4-6, 2022’s Alumni Reunion introduced practically 450 Huskies and buddies to city for a full weekend of actions,
together with on- and off-campus journeys down reminiscence lane. Learn how MTU alumni and buddies maintain the Husky spirit alive, be a part of the enjoyable — and save the date for Alumni Reunion 2023, Aug. 3-5.

However who got here earlier than Blizzard? 

Lots of unofficial shenanigans. Or “rats and bats and pollywog tails,” as unique
mascot Invoice Wassberg playfully places it. He and spouse Kathy have been the primary formally
authorised Tech mascots to take the ice. They cooked up the mascot thought for the best
of causes: They thought a nationally identified collegiate hockey powerhouse deserved
one. And, with just lately secured scholar loans permitting them to give up their jobs, they
had the time. “We have been bored,” joked Invoice. Legendary hockey coach John MacInnes had no objections to their request so long as they bought off the ice after warm-ups.  

The mascot gig was a group act. Invoice donned a crumpled bear costume of unknown origins that was resurrected from a locker. “It stunk so dangerous Kathy wouldn’t
let it in the home,” he says. Kathy constructed a mouse go well with by modifying a clown
costume sample that she topped with a hand-crafted papier-mache head. It, too, ultimately
acquired the unforgettable aroma of a hockey locker room. They didn’t have mascot
names. They have been merely Bear and Mouse.

Lots of at the moment’s Blizzards can skate circles across the rink (watch Blizzard’s easy strikes on Michigan Tech TikTok). Neither Wassberg was proficient on the ice. “The spectators thought we have been pretending
to skate badly — the reality is, we didn’t understand how,” says Invoice. 

There are few mementos of both mascot. Regardless of requests through the years, solely a pair
of pictures have turned up. Because of its abiding odor, the bear costume needed to be thrown
out. The mouse costume, saved within the Wassberg attic, met its premature demise mockingly
— mice chewed up the pinnacle. 

There was no formal assist for the mascot in these days. Invoice credit the late Bob Olson, the unique voice of Michigan Tech Athletics, former Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz and spouse Gail and others for volunteering a serving to hand. Right this moment, assist from contributors like
the Parises ensures that college students portraying Blizzard gained’t must go one pungent
canine go well with backwards and forwards. The funding, say the Huskies who create and maintain the
program, is nicely price it.

“It’s the most effective outreach program there may be. The mascot doesn’t must say a factor.”Invoice Wassberg, Michigan Tech’s unique co-mascot

True to kind, Blizzard remained speechless on the celebration, however was nonetheless the middle
of consideration, managing to eloquently convey each celebration and appreciation. The
big Husky within the Quantity 85 jersey circulated by way of the gang, posing for limitless
selfies. Smiles lingered lengthy after every picture was snapped. The Parises and Wassbergs
bought a kick out of watching the motion — and getting their very own pictures with Blizzard. 

There’s No Spirit Like Michigan Tech Spirit 

“At Michigan Tech we’ve got the right trifecta,” mentioned Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret in her remarks on the celebration. “Blizzard, Mitch’s Misfits and the Huskies Pep Band. These spirit teams maintain very particular which means for our student-athletes and workers.

MTU Celebrates a Mascot Milestone
Blizzard is not simply at sporting occasions. Michigan Tech’s mascot interacts with college students
and the group in lots of different venues. That is one of many causes Dave and Sharron
Paris are completely satisfied to assist this system. They have been giving again to Tech for a very long time and settled on the mascot program after seeing how laborious their nephew
labored when he was a mascot at Ferris State. 

“Right here’s to 50 years of smiles, pictures and — a lot to Blizzard’s dismay — tail pulling!”Suzanne Sanregret, Michigan Tech athletic director

They’re our true followers, by way of and thru. Blizzard offers us hugs, win or lose. The
pep band is pure expertise and creativity — so good that our opponents need to rent them.
They’re an unique that nobody within the nation can replicate. And nobody is louder than the Misfits. Once we come to play, our opponents must pipe in cheering.”

The distinctive contribution that Michigan Tech spirit teams carry to the College is
additional affirmed in 1970 alumnus Invoice Sproule’s ebook, “100 Years of Michigan Tech Hockey.” “They’ve chapter 14 all to themselves,” says Sanregret.

The Busiest Husky on MTU’s Campus

The mascot’s house workplace — what Sanregret refers to as “Blizzard Central” — is Michigan Tech Athletics. It takes three individuals to handle the favored pup’s calendar. “Blizzard is known,
however so mysterious,” says Sanregret. “We by no means know who you might be till you graduate.”
Previous Blizzards at Saturday’s celebration raised a paw for a spherical of applause. Pep band
members of yore raised a cheer. The group had extra applause for the Misfits and Tim
Braun ’04, who based the legendary scholar cheering part you’ll discover in Part
L in any respect house video games.

The original MTU mascots pose with Blizzard T. Husky in Michigan Tech's hockey rink in the bleachers.
Mouse and Bear and Blizzard, oh my! The unique MTU mascots, Kathy and Invoice Wassberg,
pose with the mascot of at the moment, representing 50 years of Husky spirit.

Because the picture session with the {couples} wrapped up, Hockey Huskies of yore glided onto
the ice for the alumni recreation marking a century of Michigan Tech Hockey. Kathy Wassberg watched from the bleachers with a smile, pointing to goalie Darcy Method warming up close to his web. Nobody from Kathy’s time was on the ice, however acquainted names
and faces transcend class years. As soon as a Husky, all the time a Husky.

Michigan Technological College is a public analysis college based in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is house to greater than 7,000 college students from 55 nations world wide. Persistently ranked among the many finest universities within the nation for return on funding, the College provides greater than 125 undergraduate and graduate diploma packages in science and know-how, engineering, computing, forestry, enterprise and economics, well being professions, humanities, arithmetic, social sciences, and the humanities. The agricultural campus is located simply miles from Lake Superior in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula, providing year-round alternatives for out of doors journey.