January 14, 2014 12:00AM
Regardless of the outcome of the 2014 Grammy Awards later this month, musical stars the likes of Taylor Swift, David Bowie and Justin Timberlake were guaranteed to leave the show with some nice hardware in their hands.
And each one bore the mark of Pittsburg State University.
Pitt State senior Tyler Dietzschold spent part of January making 250 metal bottle openers that were inserted into the gift bags that all Grammy nominees received at this year’s award show. The bottle openers were made using the new wax injection machine recently donated to Pitt State by MPI.
“It’s pretty crazy to think about,” Dietzschold said. “Some of the biggest names in music are going to have a bottle opener we made right here at the Kansas Technology Center. I never really thought I’d make something that George Strait would one day hold.”
The opportunity came about when Rachel Ropp, wife of PSU graduate Trenton Ropp, was invited to showcase her furniture restoration business, Revamp & Revive, at the Grammy Awards vendors exhibit.
“As a vendor, I have the opportunity to include an item in the goodies bag for all of the stars,” Ropp said. “I wasn’t really sure what to do, but I knew about my husband’s experience at Pitt State and the university’s wonderful technology center.”
Ropp contacted Russ Rosmait, university professor of engineering technology, to see if anyone at the KTC could help.
“At first, I really didn’t want to take it on,” Rosmait said. “It was close to winter break, and I knew a project like this could take a while. I put it out as an opportunity to our students, and Tyler jumped all over it.”
Dietzschold said the project was one he just couldn’t pass up.
“I really couldn’t imagine saying no to something like this,” he said. “It’s a bit stressful because of the amount and the tight deadline, but it’s for the Grammy’s. I mean, how often do college students get a chance like that?”
One side of the bottle opener bears the split face gorilla logo of Pittsburg State, and the other side bears the Grammy Awards logo.
“One of my friends saw the mold and asked why I was making something with the Grammy’s logo on it,” Dietzschold said. “It was cool to be able to say, ‘Well, because it’s for the Grammy’s.’”
Ropp praised Dietzschold for his diligence and hard work on this project.
“Tyler has just been amazing,” she said. “We’ve kept in constant contact, and he is making sure that the final product reflects well on Pittsburg State and on me. That means a lot to me, considering we had never met before this crazy ride started.”