Superior Legacy Award Named in Honor of Paul Ripley

The Lake Superior State University Alumni Association Board of Directors voted to rename the Alumni Legacy Award in honor of Lake State’s first Alumni Director, Paul E. Ripley. Mr. Ripley passed away August 20, 2018. The Alumni Legacy Award grants $1,000 to two LSSU students each year.

Paul came to Lake State in 1966, just as the institution was transitioning from the Sault Branch of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology to Lake Superior State College, a 4-year school in its own right. He served in several capacities – often concurrently – including Professor of journalism, Director of Information Services, Director of College Relations, Director of Alumni Relations and Director of Career Planning and Placement. He retired in 1987 after 22 years on Lake State’s campus.

Current LSSU Alumni Director Susan (Frohmader) Fitzpatrick ’87 knew Paul both as an instructor for her journalism minor and a mentor in Alumni Relations. “He was a terrific teacher,” she said. “Very engaging, full of stories and practical tips from his own writing experiences. When I became Alumni Director, Paul was one of the first people to congratulate me. He was so supportive! Right from the start he expressed great confidence in my ability to get the job done. At least once a year he would send a card or note or even stop by in person to tell me what a good job I was doing. It was very encouraging for me as a novice in the position.”

Susan said it seemed natural to name the Legacy Award in Paul’s memory. “It’s very appropriate to honor the founder of the Alumni Association by naming the Alumni Legacy Award after him in perpetuity. I can’t think of a better way to remember him.”

 Now in its third year, the Alumni Legacy Award  provides $1,000 per academic year to two students whose parent or grandparent is a premium member of the Alumni Association. The Legacy Award was established in 2013 to encourage children of Lake Superior State alumni to attend their parent’s alma mater and perpetuate the legacy of Lake State within their family. It recognizes the commitment and support of alumni in choosing to send their children or grandchildren to LSSU. Legacy awards are funded by Alumni Association dues and charitable contributions from Laker alumni and friends.

Paul’s daughter Patti Kjolhede writes: A strong family connection to LSSU was a point of pride for my dad, with five generations attending: his mom, himself, Bob and I (and Bob’s brother Jim), our daughter Jamie (Andy) and our granddaughter Justice; as well as all of the “kids,” as he referred to all of us who attended Lake State over the years, and whom he grew to love. He still followed how everyone was doing… and was so proud of each success.

Memorial gifts honoring Paul Ripley can be directed to the LSSU Foundation office,  designated for the Paul Ripley Alumni Legacy Award.

About the Author

Susan FitzpatrickSusan Fitzpatrick
Director of Alumni Relations

Susan started working at Lake Superior State University one year after she graduated from Lake State with a bachelor's in English Language and Literature in 1987. She has held various positions for the Foundation and Alumni offices and has been Alumni Director since 2006. In her free time Susan enjoys reading, running, biking, hiking, kayaking and gardening, and cooking as long as someone else cleans up!

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