HOUGHTON - Michigan Technological University officially dedicated the Waino Wahtero Center for Student Success Thursday morning in a ceremony attended by students, faculty, staff and members of Wahtero's family.
The Waino Wahtero Center, located on the first floor of the Administration and Student Services Building, is named in honor of Waino Wahtero, a 1942 Michigan Tech alumnus. Wahtero, a first-generation American with Finnish parents, grew up in Marquette and attended Michigan Tech on a disability scholarship after losing a leg to gangrene.
"Waino really appreciated his time at Tech. His professors were nurturing, they were encouraging when he was here and when he came back to visit them," said Kim Wahtero, Waino's nephew. "...There are lessons that Waino learned that I hope you will convey here at the success center."
The Waino Wahtero Center brings together multiple resources that have been available for students as well as offering new programs and resources for student success. Some of the resources housed in the Center include the Dean of Students office, Financial Aid and Student Disability Services. The Center also includes the staff and programs of the former Center for Orientation, Mentoring, Parents and Academic Student Success (COMPASS). In addition, the Waino Wahtero Center offers academic success workshops, academic success coaching and success skills courses.
"What the center has enabled us to do is really bring together a lot of the services the students need, not only academically but for their mental well-being, in one place and also to enhance the academic side of things," said Glenn Mroz, Michigan Tech president.
During the ceremony, students spoke about the impact some of the Center's programs have already had on their success at Michigan Tech. Alyssa Alexander, a third-year student from Tech who participated in the Excel program before signing on to mentor other students, testified to the importance of the program to her success at Tech, noting that she would not have had the confidence to address a room full of people without it.
"This is a high-impact gift, it's probably one of the most high-impact gifts for the undergraduate and graduate students at Michigan Tech because it really will make a difference for their lives inside and outside of the classroom," said Mroz.
In addition to the academic success workshops, the Center will host specific workshops throughout the year pertaining to topics of interest such as time management and networking.