April 2019
2019 Commencement

561 degrees were awarded to nearly 400 graduates during Lake Superior State University's 57th Commencement ceremony . A light snowfall the night before Commencement added a clean coat to the random piles of snow left from the long, heavy winter, but bright sunshine Saturday morning melted the new snow and added warmth to the chilly temperatures. 

President Rod Hanley
Board of Trustee Chair Ann Parker & LSSU President Rod Hanley

President Rod Hanley was formally installed as the tenth president of LSSU and officially welcomed by Board of Trustee Chair Ann Parker. Provost Lynn Gillette announced Dr. George Denger, associate professor in the School of Arts and Letters, as the recipient of this year's Distinguished Teacher Award. 

Dr. George Denger
Dr. George Denger

This prestigious award is chosen by a committee of top students and prior recipients, and the identity of the recipient is a tightly held secret until Commencement morning. Dr. Denger described the news as an "extremely startling, wonderful and strange event" as he accepted the award with grace and humor.

Miss Molly Campbell
Molly Campbell
Dr. Gillette went on to introduce the  2019 student respondent, Miss Molly Campbell of Desbarats, Ontario. Miss 
Campbell graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and plans to continue her studies in medical school this fall. In her speech, Molly advised, "If your dreams don't scare you, then dream a little bigger."

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek
Dr. Todd Zakrajsek
President Hanley presented an honorary doctorate to 
Dr. Todd Zakrajsek,
an LSSU alumnus with a bachelor's in psychology from the class of 1985. Dr. Zakrajsek is an associate research professor in the department of family medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an adjunct associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. He is also the president of the International Teaching/Learning Cooperative, an organization dedicated to bringing together faculty to provide better learning opportunities for college and university students. Dr. Zakrajsek delivered the commencement address, which focused on "increasing attractiveness" - not defined by physical appearance, but rather by who you are. He advised that graduates know their true value; get others to see their value; and do something of value every day.
Golden Graduates

LSSU Alumni and Foundation offices welcomed back a dozen Golden Graduates - alumni who attended 50 or more years ago, when our campus was the Sault Branch of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, or Lake Superior State College. Golden Grads enjoyed a reception hosted by President Rod Hanley in his home Friday evening, and then dressed in academic regalia to lead the Commencement processional on Saturday.
Most Affordable Colled
LSSU is Michigan's most affordable college

Barch Challenge Fund to the Finish Line

The LSSU Foundation is pleased to announce that Dick and Theresa Barch have added to their already-generous support of the Center for Freshwater Research and Education (CFRE) with a pledge to match gifts up to $500,000 in donations made by alumni and friends of the University by September 30, 2019. To find out more about this project contact Virginia Zinser at 906-635-2725 or  vzinser@lssu.edu . You may also visit LSSU.edu/give to show your support today.

Laura Bofinger
Laura Bofinger 
LSSU Retirement and Service Awards
LSSU's annual Retirement and Service Awards dinner was held April 10 in  Cisler's Superior Room. Dozens of employees were recognized for 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of service. Eight retirees were honored for their service. Stacy Charles, purchasing manager, received the Administrative/Professional Employee of the Year award, after being selected from among 16 nominees. Laura Bofinger '06, academic assistant in the School of Engineering and Technology, was the ESP Employee of the Year.

Alumni Discount for Volleyball Summer Camps
Alumni receive a 10% discount off of high school and middle school volleyball camps. Check out all LSSU Athletics Summer Camps

Alumni Discount for Superior Edventures
LSSU Superior Edventures Summer Camps offer a 10% Alumni Discount! All students whose parents are alumni receive 10% off camp registration. Check out all 2019 Summer Camps available for grades 2 - 6 and 9 - 12 on campus. Email Lauren Paitson, Youth Camp Coordinator, to obtain your Alumni discount.

New Certificate in Culinary Arts Offered
Senior Symposium
Senior Symposium
LSSU seniors from dozens of disciplines presented research posters at the fifth annual university-wide senior symposium on April 12. A senior thesis is the capstone project for most students at LSSU. Students choose a topic, design a study, collect and analyze the data, write a thesis and present the information to the university community and interested members of the public. See photos from Lukenda School of Business senior posters.

Engineering Seniors

Engineering students  work in multi-disciplinary teams and often collaborate with corporate sponsors to solve real-world problems for companies. 

We'll have photos from other academic disciplines next month!

Students in New Zealand
The students and faculty from the INTD200: Cultural, Ecological, and Human Health Issues of New Zealand class are completing their classwork by traveling to New Zealand April 29th-May 14th! The students will be sharing their learning and activities on the LSSU Study Abroad Blog " LAKER Treks". 
Follow along with us!

Alumni Director Susan (Frohmader) Fitzpatrick '87 and Mark Poletti '79 will be hosting a breakfast tailgate in Boyne Highlands parking lot on Saturday, May 18, to kick off the annual Zoo-de-Mack bike ride to Mackinac City. Breakfast will feature Mark's famous Zooberry pancakes along with fruit, juice and coffee, allowing riders to carbo-load prior to the 51-mile journey. Any alumni in the area are welcome to join us for breakfast, regardless of your plans to ride. Chat with Mark & Susan and meet other Laker alumni crazy enough to pedal 51 miles. Email Susan Fitzpatrick if you plan to join us for the meal or the ride.

Is your email host blocking LSSU emails?
After the big Experian hack was announced, many institutions increased their email firewall security, sometimes resulting in emails that you want to receive being blocked. Most e-mail services provide a way to mark an e-mail address as "safe" or "not spam.

Please take a minute to add alumnirelations@lssu.edu to your contacts or mark it as safe.

  • When you're in the message click "Junk" icon
  • Then click Junk E-Mail options
  • From there you can click on "Safe Senders" tab
  • Then click "add"
  • Go to your Spam folder (in your list of folders on the left)
  • Find a message from the organization you want to add
  • Open the message and click "Not Spam" near the top of the message

Brenda Orazietti '89, received the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario  (RNAO) Leadership Award in Nursing Education (academic category). 

Hannah Pierson-Compeau '05, competed on the April 17th episode of Jeopardy. 

Rob Steinhoff '12 is the Prosecuting Attorney for Alger County 

May 2 Lake State After Hours , Wicked Sister, 4:30pm

May 18 -  Zoo-de-Mackinac bike ride breakfast tailgate, Boyne     
               Highlands Resort, 8:00 am 

June 6 -  Lake State After Hours, Wicked Sister, 4:30pm  

June 14 - Lake State Golf Classic , Wild Bluff Golf Course

July 20 - LSSU group outing at Comerica Park - Tigers vs. Blue 

August 4 - Bud Cooper Memorial Gold Classic, Sault Ste 
                 Marie Country Club, 9:00am

September 5 - Lake State After Hours, Alumni House Lawn

October 11-12 - Great Lake State Weekend, LSSU Campus

Life After Graduation

Track and Field

Track and Field athletes competed at Hillsdale College Gina Relays last week Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Commencement day at LSSU). May 1-2-3 will be the GLIAC Outdoor Championships at GVSU. Best of luck to Laker athletes!


Joe Gilman  and Krishan Taneja were named to the 2019 All-GLIAC men's tennis team



Bold, bright and brilliant, this jersey screams Laker pride and will enable you to show the world that you are a proud Laker! Show it off on the roads and trails around your home and promote LSSU!  for just $75. Pick up yours at Lukenda Alumni House or we will ship anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for an extra $10.
Go, Lakers!

For the Blue & Gold,
Susan (Frohmader) Fitzpatrick '87 - Life Member
Director of Alumni Relations

(906) 635-2831  I  alumnirelations@lssu.edu

Visit us  online  for information about alumni events and programs, to update your information  with LSSU, and to become a Premium member  of the  Alumni Association.