Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Alumni Association

Hall of Fame

2002 Hall of Fame Inductees

Dee Fischer Weaver

  • Volleyball 1985-1989
  • All-GLIAC First Team (1988, 1989)
  • GLIAC All-Academic Team (1989)
  • Established career records - kills 1,352; aces 212
  • Established LSSU record for single-season kills (429, 1988)
  • Established LSSU record for single-season aces (63, 1987)
  • Outstanding Female Athlete Award (1990)
  • Terry McDermott Award (1987)

Bill Slewidge

  • Hockey - 1971-1974
  • NAIA National Championship (1972, 1974)
  • NAIA All-American (1972, 1973, 1974)
  • All-CCHA First Team (1973)
  • All-CCHA Second Team (1974)
  • Established LSSU record for career goals by a defenseman (52, 1971-1974)
  • Established LSSU record for single-season assists by a defenseman (36, 1973)
  • Terry McDermott Award (1972)

1955-56 Basketball Team

Basketball- 1955-56

The '55-56 Hornets had size, speed, springs and burned out lights in the scoreboards. Coached by the now legendary coach, Ronald "Bud" Cooper, this Soo Tech squad averaged an amazing 101.6 points a game enroute to a 19-2 record and the UPIAC championship.

Led by LSSU Hall of Famers Frank Hamilla and Dean Rye, the Hornets set records for points scored per game, wins, consecutive wins, and win percentage that remain unchallenged in LSSU annuls. Among their victims were Aquinas, Suomi, Alma, Central Michigan's "B" team, and Ferris. The Hornets dropped their first and sixth games of the year before buzzing through 15 straight opponents.

This was an era when Soo Tech was a two-year school, playing a four-year, two-year and "B" teams from bigger schools.

1955-56 Roster
Jim Bourque, Rae Burns, Jim Cooper , David Creery, Jim Depew, Ray Fazari, Frank Hamilla, Ben Lachard, Eldred Leach, Ed Peterson, Jim Quinnel, Clarence Rye, Marv Tauriainen and Raymond VanLuven.

Coach Ronald 'Bud' Cooper - Assistant Coach Bill Ruffer - Manager Glenn Rye

1955-56 Basketball Team
Click to enlarge

Front Row (L to R): Jim Cooper, Ray VanLuven, Jim DePew, Dean Rye, Ed Peterson, Jim Quinnell, Eldred Leach

Back Row (L to R): Bill Ruffer (Asst. Coach), Glen Rye (Manager), Rae Burns, Dave Creery, Jim Bourque, Frank Hamilla, Ronald 'Bud' Cooper (Coach)


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