Laker Chris Conklin

Chris Conklin to Receive Outstanding Alumnus Award

Chris Conklin, a 1974 Electronic Engineering Technology graduate, has been chosen as the 2022 recipient of the LSSU Outstanding Alumnus Award. The award established in 1968, is the highest honor that the association presents. It recognizes recipients for their personal and professional accomplishments and their involvement with LSSU, highlighting the significant achievements of alumni who serve as leaders in our region, state and nations. Chris is married to Carol Conklin and has two children, Kristine (Conklin) Goward, a fellow Laker alumnus, and Scott Conklin.

Below is the story of how it came to be that Chris attended LSSC.

“August, 1972, while working at Consumers Energy in Essexville, Mi, I received a telephone call from the main gate of the power plant complex. It was David Quimby of LSSC calling me wanting to discuss my future and he wanted me to sign a release of my transcripts from Delta College. He had been referred to me by my Delta College counselor, Tom Limberg, as a potential candidate to further my education.

I went to the main gate and signed the release forms for my Delta College transcripts and received another telephone call later that afternoon from David Quimby asking if we could meet for supper that very evening. I said that would be great. We met later that afternoon after my work was over and enjoyed a nice supper and conversation. At the end of the meal, David asked if I had any interest in a 4 year college degree. LSSC was offering me a full ride scholarship to get my engineering technology degree.

I asked him how long the offer was good for and he stated that this being August and classes for that fall would start in early September that the best he could do was to give me to the end of that week to confirm.

Later that evening I called my fiancee and discussed the  offer to continue my education and asked her if she would like to get married and move to the Soo in a few weeks. She said yes. So we married that September 2nd and promptly moved to on campus married student housing and began classes. (Chris and Carol will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on September 2, 2022.)

I received my BS two years later in 1974 and the rest is history.”

Chris would later give back to the university through his volunteer work as an effort to repay they school for their investment in his education. That volunteer work came via the admissions office and his efforts to assist with recruiting prospective students at college recruiting nights. Later, he discovered the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) group on campus and began working with them for several years supporting the engineering and technology programs on campus.

After graduating, Chris would would for Consumers Energy, Weltronic Corporation, NEWCOR Inc, Bechtel Corporation, and Dow Corning Corporation where he served as Senior Measurement and Controls Engineer (retiring after 30 years).

Chris will be formally honored as the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award recipient during this year’s Great Lake State Weekend on Friday, October 21.


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