Messages in a Bottle

Following is an email exchange between Mr. Bill Jackson, an alumnus from our Soo Tech days, and Sharon Dorrity, Director of Donor Relations for the LSSU Foundation:

Mrs. Dorrity to Mr. Jackson:

Thank you for speaking to our student caller, Anna recently.  During your conversation, you requested information on the Ernie Kemp fund.  Below is information on the C. Ernest Kemp Scholarship:

Ernest Kemp was one of the original instructors of the Sault Branch of Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1946 and developed the LSSU Geology program. The world-renowned geologist was the recipient of LSSU’s Distinguished Citizen Award in 1981, the first and only full-time faculty member to be selected for the award. He retired in 1980 and was awarded dean emeritus status, but continued teaching at LSSU until 1993. Professor Kemp passed away in 1997; but left a lasting legacy at Lake Superior State University. This renewable scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman majoring in the geology program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The scholarship currently benefits six students in a given academic year and is now represented by the children and grandchildren of Professor Kemp.

I came across this poem written by Mr. Kemp and shared by his daughter, Anne.  She noted that he wrote the poem under the stars during a Geology class field trip.  I hope you enjoy reading it:

“We are just specks of organic matter on an insignificant spheroid, rotating about an energy-producing ball lost in a timeless void of immense proportions, sprinkled with many such pinpoints of glowing matter. In this cosmos, our lives and deaths, our individual tragedies and joys, and even those of the whole human race, cannot be significant. We should be so pitifully humble before this vast and awful universe that our only aim should be to spread as much pleasure and happiness throughout the human family as our short stay will allow…

“All men should spend a portion of their lives out under the stars. There only can we become in tune with a glory greater than ours. Troubles wane and die and worries wither like autumn leaves. The soul is restored to equilibrium and peace, and man’s small striving die away to nothingness.”

Ernest Kemp

Sharon Dorrity, Director
Donor Relations
LSSU Foundation

William (Bill) Jackson to Sharon Dorrity:

Thank You Sharon,

I will wipe the tears of emotion from my eyes and try to explain the beauty that your message has brought to my day. The teachers of Sault Tech were so much more than teachers and so outstanding in so many ways that the relationships extended far beyond the halls of learning. Frank Otis, Ray Chelberg, Steve Youngs, Fritz Moyer, the list should go on and on, each name with a warm and appreciative memory.

I am putting in the mail a contribution to the LSSU Foundation to be used in any way that benefits the most. It cannot begin to represent the value of my education or my memories. Your message goes in the file I call “inspiration” to be shared with the 2 ex Sault Tech guys I know of.

God Bless!

Bill Jackson
Soo Tech Class of 1949