Lake Superior State University

Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University Seal
Motto Believe in Blue
Redefining the Classroom.
Established 1946 [1]
Type Public
Endowment $7.1 million[2]
President Dr. Tony McLain
Academic staff 111 full-time [1]
Students 2521 (Fall 2009)[3]
Undergraduates 2502 (Fall 2009)[4]
Postgraduates 19 (Fall 2009)[5]
Location Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA
Campus Small City
115 acre campus [1]
Nickname Lakers
Colors Royal Blue and Gold          [6]
Mascot Seamore the Sea Duck
Fog Horn the Sailor [7]

Lake Superior State University Logo

New Fort Brady
Original barracks of Fort Brady
Lake Superior State University is located in Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan
Location: Lake Superior State University
Coordinates: 46°29′36″N 84°21′50″W / 46.49333°N 84.36389°W / 46.49333; -84.36389Coordinates: 46°29′36″N 84°21′50″W / 46.49333°N 84.36389°W / 46.49333; -84.36389
NRHP Reference#: 72000605[8]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP: January 13, 1972
Designated MSHS: July 17, 1971[9]

Lake Superior State University (colloquially referred to as Lake State, Lake Superior State and LSSU) is a small public university in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It is Michigan's smallest public university with an enrollment around 3,000 students. Due to its proximity to the border, notably the twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, LSSU has many Canadian students and maintains a close relationship with its international neighbor. In a sign of its unique situation, LSSU has both the Canadian and United States flags on its campus, and both Canadian and American national anthems are sung at athletic events.

LSSU is known for its academic programs such as fisheries and wildlife management, engineering, chemistry and the environmental sciences, teacher education, nursing, geology, business management, fire science and criminal justice. It offers Michigan's only accredited undergraduate degree program in environmental health. In addition, students attend for LSSU's degrees in forensic sciences, recreation management, and legal studies.

Lake Superior State University offers primarily bachelor's and associate's degrees, but also grants a master of arts in curriculum and instruction and many certificates. The university also offers joint programs with Sault College and Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. LSSU also has regional centers located in northern Michigan in the cities of Gaylord, Escanaba, and Petoskey. Recently a center opened in southeast Michigan in the city of Dearborn. It is one of three Michigan public universities that function as both a university and a community college[10].



Brown Hall served as post headquarters of Fort Brady. It was the home of the Fine Arts Academy until the Fine Arts Center opened in 2005, and it now serves as the office building for the Education Department.
The Administration Building was originally the Quartermaster's building in Fort Brady.

The area that currently makes up the campus of Lake Superior State University served as Fort Brady from 1894 to 1944; it is listed as "New Fort Brady" on the National Register of Historic Places, as the earlier incarnation the fort was downhill.

Lake Superior State University was established in 1946 to address the needs of returning World War II veterans and to provide educational opportunities to the people of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The 115-acre (0.47 km2) campus includes several buildings which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Much of the university's upbringings can be credited to Michigan College of Mining & Technology, which is now known as Michigan Technological University. The mining and technology college opened the Sault Ste. Marie Residence Center of the Michigan College of Mining & Technology, which was commonly shortened to Soo Tech. The original class consisted of 272 students. The institution was later renamed Lake Superior State College of Michigan Technological University in 1966. The college received autonomy from Michigan Tech. in 1970 and was known as Lake Superior State College until 1987, when the institution was granted university status.[11]

Lake Superior State University was the first college in the United States to offer an accredited four-year fire science program, and continues to be one of only three universities to offer such a program.

The institution is also one of only three universities in the United States to offer the robotics specialization in the ABET/TAC accredited manufacturing engineering technology, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and mechanical engineering bachelor of science degrees. LSSU is home to one of the best robotics educational facilities in North America. The robotics laboratory is valued at over $3 million.

The university's college radio station is WLSO, and its student newspaper is The Compass.

Major Buildings

Administration Building
The Administration Building houses the offices of the President and Provost, as well as human resources and purchasing.
This is the main engineering building on campus, but also provides rooms for many basic general education classes, such as communication and English. CASET also houses the LSSU Robotics Lab and the Prototype Development Center.
Cisler Center
This building is the main food service and student life building on campus. Dining options include the Quarterdeck and Galley, which features the Grill 155 and a convenience store. It also hosts the Peacock Cove Coffee House, the Student Government offices, the school's newspaper (The Compass), and the University radio station (WLSO).
Crawford Hall
This building focuses on the many science degrees offered at the university, from nursing to biology and chemistry to fisheries and wildlife. In 2000, a $23 million dollar renovation and expansion was completed, providing modern laboratory, classroom, and faculty and student research space. Crawford Hall also houses the LSSU Environmental Analysis Lab.
Fine Arts Center
The arts center is a $15 million dollar facility which opened in 2005. The arts center houses a 674 seat auditorium, art studios, classrooms and faculty offices.
Fletcher Center
The Fletcher Center houses the offices of Business Operations, Financial Aid, the Registrar, and Scheduling.
Norris Center
This is the main building for recreation, criminal justice, and fire science majors. It is also the main building for the Athletic Department and includes the main office for the Athletic Director. Inside the building lies the Cooper Gym, home of the Laker basketball and volleyball teams; Taffy Abel Arena, home of the Laker hockey team; and the Student Activity Center (SAC). The University recently announced a 5 million dollar privately funded addition and renovation to several athletic Norris Center facilities.
Shouldice Library
This is the University's library. It is also a major office building for professors and has two major lecture halls. The basement primarily contains the offices that provide academic services. The library also contains the Cappuccino Corner, a popular deli and coffee shop.

South Hall
This building was once the major building for business and economics. A building dating back to Fort Brady, the University determined that the upkeep costs were too great and the school moved to demolish it in favor of a new building. Local groups enacted swift action to save it, including placing it on the Historic Registry, making it illegal to demolish.

Notable Facilities

Aquatic Research Laboratory
The LSSU ARL is an off campus research and educational facility located in the east end of the Cloverland Electric Coop hydroelectric plant. The ARL houses the University's fish hatchery, and conducts research on fisheries and aquatic ecology in the region.
Environmental Analysis Lab
The EAL is housed in the chemistry department at LSSU, and provides analytical services to LSSU researchers, government agencies, businesses, and private citizens. The EAL routinely conducts standard environmental testing, as well as trace level analysis of environmental contaminants such as pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, metals, and cyanotoxins. Revenues from the EAL assist the Chemistry Department in purchasing and maintaining state of the art analytical instrumentation, and provide students with employment opportunities and experience working in a professional lab.
Prototype Development Center
The PDC provides a mechanism by which small businesses and entrepreneurs can access the expertise of the LSSU engineering faculty and students to produce low cost, functional prototypes. The PDC provides a range of services including rapid prototyping, component design and testing, machining, process optimization, statistical analysis, and documentation services.
Robotics Lab
The LSSU Robotics Lab is a multi-million dollar facility dedicated to student instruction in robotics and automation technology.


Lake Superior State University has a variety of traditions.

  • Banished Words List: Each new year brings another installment of the school's List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. It has been published since New Year's Day 1976 and receives significant media coverage. Word-watchers pull nominations throughout the year from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics, and more. A committee gathers the entries and chooses the best in December. The list is released on New Year's Day. [12].
  • Hoholik Victory Bell: The bell, located outside the Norris Center and Taffy Abel Arena, is rung after each home victory. Fans gather around the bell as members of the hockey team make their way outside in the cold temperatures to ring the bell. This tradition was started after the bell was hung in the early 1980s. The original bell was replaced in 1992 after extensive damage from the 1992 NCAA Championship celebration. [13]
  • Ship's Horn: An authentic ship's horn is located within the Taffy Abel Arena, where the Lakers play home hockey games. The horn is mounted high on the wall behind the goal a visiting team defends for two periods. The powerful horn, operated on compressed air, blasts after each Laker goal and at the end of each home game. [13]
  • Snowman Burning: Each March, on or near the first day of Spring, students, alumni and townsfolk gather around a 10 to 12-foot (3.7 m) snowman on campus and light it on fire. The snowman burning is derived from a German tradition in which the mayor of the town burns a snowman to declare an end to winter. The snowmen are usually made out of recycled paper and wire. In 1992, the event was canceled due to protests from the Environmental Awareness Club, a student group at Lake Superior State University. This decision upset many in the community, and the tradition was resumed in 1993. [14]
  • Snowmobile Race: The city of Sault Ste. Marie puts on the annual I-500 snowmobile race held at a one-mile (1.6 km) oval behind the Norris Center on the campus of Lake State. The event draws a big crowd and is held the first Saturday of February. [15]
  • The Unicorn Hunters established the banished words list and snowman burning. They also put on stone-skipping tournaments and started a literary magazine. As their name suggests, they also searched for unicorns. Once an ABC News crew found their way to the campus and filmed students "questing for unicorns." [16]


LSSU Lakers logo

The school's official nickname is the Lakers, but in some instances the university's athletic teams are called the Soo Lakers in reference to the school's hometown. Prior to becoming known as the Lakers, this institution's sports teams were known as the Hornets. The most prominent sport at LSSU is men's ice hockey, which is the school's only NCAA Division I program. The men's ice hockey team is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Other sports at LSSU play at a Division II level in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, of which LSSU is a charter member.[17]

Ice hockey

The Lakers were once one of the nation's top men's collegiate ice hockey programs. They have appeared in the NCAA Division I ice hockey tournament 10 times and have won three national championships (1988, 1992 and 1994) at that level. LSSU also won two men's NAIA national championships in 1972 and 1974 while playing in that association. The Lakers have taken the CCHA regular season title four times (1974, 1988, 1991 and 1996) and have also won the CCHA conference tournament four times (1991, 1992, 1993 and 1995). Many of these teams' players have gone on to play professionally in the NHL and other professional leagues. LSSU also has a Division III club hockey team, which plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Ice Hockey National Championships

1972 NAIA Tournament Results[18]
Round Opponent Score
Final Four Wisconsin State 12-2
Championship Gustavus Adolphus 9-3
1974 NAIA Tournament Results[18]
Round Opponent Score
Round 1 Concordia College 7-1
Final Four St. Thomas 9-2
Championship Bemidji State 4-1
1988 NCAA Tournament Results[18]
Round Opponent Score
Round 1 (Game 1) Merrimack 3-4
Round 1 (Game 2) Merrimack 5-0
Frozen Four Maine 6-3
Championship St. Lawrence 4-3 (OT)
1992 NCAA Tournament Results[18]
Round Opponent Score
Quarterfinals Alaska Anchorage 7-3
Semifinals Minnesota 8-3
Frozen Four Michigan State 4-2
Championship Wisconsin 5-3
1994 NCAA Tournament Results[18]
Round Opponent Score
Quarterfinals Northeastern 6-5 (OT)
Semifinals Michigan 5-4 (OT)
Final Four Harvard 3-2 (OT)
Championship Boston University 9-1

LSSU has also been national runners-up four times on the national stage in ice hockey. LSSU finished second in the 1968, 1969 and 1970 NAIA national championships and lost 5-4 to Maine in the 1993 NCAA ice hockey national championship.[18]

Men's basketball

The LSSU men's basketball team captured the 1976, 1978 and 1996 GLIAC regular season titles. In 1996 they also won the GLIAC tournament championship. In 2009, the men's team captured the GLIAC North Division Championship along with a NCAA playoff berth.

Women's Basketball

LSSU's women's basketball team found success in the early part of the decade. They were the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 GLIAC North Division regular season champions. The LSSU women's basketball team also took home the GLIAC conference tournament championship in 2003 and 2004.[19]


LSSU is home to a cross country and track & field program.

Football History

LSSU briefly fielded a football team from 1948 to 1950 when the university was known as Soo Tech. [20]

Notable alumni



  • Claude Denker Denker is senior vice president of Penske Corporation.


  1. ^ a b c Lake Superior State University :: About LSSU :: Fast Facts about LSSU
  2. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008: Lake Superior State University: At a glance
  3. ^ Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan Enrollment Report Fall 2009
  4. ^ Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan Enrollment Report Fall 2009
  5. ^ Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan Enrollment Report Fall 2009
  6. ^ Lake Superior State University Graphics Standard and Editorial Style Guide
  7. ^ New Laker Mascots Make Their Debut: Lake Superior State University Press Release
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  9. ^ State of Michigan (2009). "New Fort Brady". Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Lake Superior State University :: Admissions :: LSSU History
  12. ^ Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: Welcome
  13. ^ a b Traditions - Lake Superior State University Lakers
  14. ^ Lake Superior State University :: Snowman Burning
  15. ^
  16. ^ Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: About
  17. ^ GLIAC History - Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference -
  18. ^ a b c d e f Ice Hockey - Lake Superior State University Lakers
  19. ^
  20. ^ Soo Tech had a short, but colorful football past :: Hornets' inaugural season was its best

John Flesch 1972-72 Minnesota North Stars 1974-77

External links

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