All in the Husky Family

[Michigan Technological University] All in the Husky Family

Six Huskies, going on seven. For the Brockington family, earning a degree at Michigan Tech is a family tradition.

When Havanah Brockington of West De Pere, Wisconsin, joins Michigan Technological University’s incoming class in fall 2023, she’ll represent the third generation of her family to decide that MTU is the best fit for them.

It all began with Gary Brockington, a 1964 civil engineering graduate who went on to work for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation where he designed, built, and maintained highways and bridges surrounding Green Bay. He was followed by his brothers, Randy ’72 and Dan ’76, who also earned civil engineering degrees, along with brother Rick ’79, who earned degrees in both civil engineering and forestry. 

Pictured from the left, starting at the top, are Dan, then Gary and Randy, then Boomer and Tamara, with Havanah holding the ball. Not shown is brother Rick, who lives in Texas. 

The four brothers grew up in Kingsford in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and all of them chose Michigan Tech partly because they were so good at math and science—and, they joked, they didn’t want to go to Northern Michigan University and become teachers. All four went on to become engineers, leaders, entrepreneurs, consultants, and parents.

Randy’s son Robert, also known as Boomer, chose Tech, too. When asked why, he said  "family small-town atmosphere, great academic reputation, plus uncle Gary said he would give me $500 if I carried on the family tradition!"  

The 1998 graduate also earned his degree in civil engineering. During his time at Tech, he met and married his partner, Tamara (Misner) Brockington, a fellow ’98 grad who earned her degree in environmental engineering.

The Brockington men played intramural sports; Tamara ran on Tech’s women’s cross-country team. She chose Tech because it was one of only a few universities that offered an actual environmental engineering degree; also, she loved being outdoors and living in the Upper Peninsula.

“I received a great scholarship that paid for my tuition,” said Tamara, who went to work as an air quality engineer and then an environmental engineer. “Boomer and I had such a fantastic experience at Tech. We’re super excited that Havanah gets to experience Tech and all its awesomeness, too.”

The Brockington family's stairstep portrait in earlier times, with six-year-old Havanah and younger brother Cade. 

Havanah will follow in her mother’s student-athlete footsteps—she has signed a letter of intent to join the Michigan Tech women’s soccer team. She’ll forge new territory for the family in degree work, planning to major in biomedical engineering. Havanah chose Tech because she feels at home with the campus and town culture, where jeans and a flannel shirt constitute dressing up—and she’s excited to ski and hike in her free time. 

“The soccer team was so welcoming and supportive. I wanted to get a good education and play good soccer, and Michigan Tech fit that description,” she said.

Havanah has one sibling: Cade, a high school freshman. “Cade would really like to play lacrosse in college, so that takes Tech off the books,” said Tamara. “But we’ll see—he’s great at math and loves mountain biking, so Tech may be in his future, too.”

Havanah points out the Brockington family’s legacy brick in Husky Plaza during a visit to campus. They’ll have to add one with her name when she graduates.

 

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.