secret history

Secret History: “Bombs Away”—The Great Pingpong Ball Shenanigan

Florida Tech held its first homecoming in January 1972. The four-day event proved to be a debacle.

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The Secret History of Florida Tech’s Michelangelo

Dateline: 1978 The knock on the door was unexpected. It was barely seven o’clock in the morning.  Three days earlier, Stanford (Stan) Zone, on June 9, 1978, had graduated from Mel High.  His mother woke her sleeping son and told him that there was a man from Florida Tech there to give him a ride to work.  Forty-two years later, Stan Zone is still…

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Secret History of the Homer R. Denius Student Center

The telegram arrived just before Thanksgiving 1966. 

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Secret History: Let Us Praise an Honorable Man, Q.A. “Hank” Hughes

“There’s [sic] some good memories,” Hank Hughes declared with a sparkle in his eye. 

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The Secret History of Evans Library

The small woman moved with precision as she rearranged the bookshelf. 

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The Secret History of the Frueauff Energy Building

Dateline: 1977/1983 Prologue: The Three Mouseketeers The mouse seemed perplexed. It looked as if it had lost its way. Had it forgotten where it wanted to go? Ed Kalajian’s eyes narrowed when the tiny creature moved. This was not Kalajian’s first rodent sighting since the relocation of Florida Tech’s civil engineering department to the Frueauff Building.  In the mid-1980s, the…

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The Secret History of Roberts Hall

Dateline: 1970/2020 The building was a problem from the beginning.  In 1964, Jerry Keuper had decided to remold “Countdown College” into a residential university.  By the late 1960s, more than five hundred students were living on campus.  Renting rooms at the airport motel had been a stopgap for the burgeoning student population. The purchase of the Tradewinds Hotel in Indialantic…

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Secret History: Every Day is Earth Day

Dateline: 1968 At noon Christmas Eve 1968 in Melbourne, Florida, shoppers were making last-minute holiday purchases. About 230,000 miles away, the Apollo 8 crew was completing the first manned orbit of the moon. Astronaut William Anders was photographing the dark side of the moon when he caught sight of the Earth rising. In that moment, Anders snapped what is arguably…

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The Secret History of Julius Montgomery: A Profile in Courage

Dateline: 1958, 2020 Many Americans know that in 1947 Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play professional baseball. Others know that three years later, Ralph Bunche was the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Most know that on a December day in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama…

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The Secret History of Little Red Schoolhouse

Dateline: 1883, 1970 and 1996 A Meeting in the Garden The five men stood at the entrance to the university’s botanical garden. It was a cold January morning just after daybreak in 1996. Lynn Weaver, Florida Tech’s president, had invited the directors of the F.W. Olin Foundation to make a clandestine visit to the university as part of his campaign…

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