(Note: The following is a letter from LSSU President Peter Mitchell to the editor of the Sault News)
Thanks to Phil Wenzel for the article about Lake Superior State University obtaining a Michigan Economic Development Corporation Legislative grant for crucial upgrades to its electrical infrastructure and the debt of gratitude owed to our late president, Dr. Thomas Pleger.
As reported in the Sept. 28 edition of the Sault News, the $300,000 earmark not only covers $75,000 worth of repairs last winter, but also $40,000 in repairs slated for fall 2017, along with work over the coming year to address decades worth of deferred electrical maintenance.
Let me take this opportunity to thank State Representative Lee Chatfield and State Senator Wayne Schmidt, who lent their time, expertise, and influence to steer LSSU’s request through the process that yielded the MEDC’s investment in LSSU’s infrastructure.
Both legislators, who represent LSSU’s home district in Lansing, appreciate that an investment in Lake State’s future guarantees a steady stream of biologists, engineers, nurses, and business entrepreneurs who will power Michigan’s economy for decades to come.
As LSSU Board of Trustees Chairman Rodney Nelson told me, “Senator Schmidt and Representative Chatfield played a pivotal role in securing this much needed funding. Lake State is very fortunate to have these legislative leaders representing the interests of the University and our students.”
Accolades are also deserving for Dr. Pleger’s special assistant, Jay Gage, who made many trips to Lansing to clinch this grant. Jay, a 2014 LSSU graduate in political science, is now a regional manager for US Senator Debbie Stabenow, out of her Upper Peninsula office in Marquette.
I learned the first week on the job the vitally important role Schmidt and Chatfield play everyday on behalf of LSSU, but also the citizens of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. They — along with our alums, students, faculty, and staff — are tireless advocates for the best interests, needs and dreams of our region and Lake State in particular.