Donald and Catherine Finlayson Award Recipients

Dr. Donald and Catherine Finlayson

This award is presented to an individual who has enjoyed success in their profession and community, and who is a strong advocate of the University, its programs, faculty, staff and students.

The award is presented at the discretion of the Alumni Association Awards Committee with the approval of the President of Lake Superior State University and the Board of Trustees.

The LSSU Board of Trustees approved renaming the Distinguished Citizen Award in honor of Dr. Donald and Catherine Finlayson in the fall of 1999.

Awarded in 2015

Dr. Rachael McCoy ’97 & Dr. Peter Scornaiencki

  • Chiropractors and owners, Bordertown Chiropractic PC
  • Staunch supporters of LSSU Academics and Athletics
  • Sponsor annual award for best biology senior thesis poster
  • Assist LSSU seniors with research projects
  • Donate equipment and services to LSSU
  • 2010 United Way Business Neighbor Award
  • 2012 F.M. Mansfield Business of the Year Award
  • Community Involvement includes Rotary Club, Chippewa County Community Foundation,
    Upper Peninsula Horseman’s Association, Sault Ste. Marie Hockey Association and Hospice of the EUP
  • More about Dr. Rachael McCoy ’97 and Dr. Peter Scornaiencki

Awarded in 2014

Dr. David Knowles

David Knowles

  • Retired LSSU Geology professor.
  • Instrumental in organizing fund raising efforts for Kemp Mineral Resources Museum
  • Actively involved in hosting open houses for the Kemp museum
  • Strong advocate for the Kemp Mineral Resources Museum
  • More about David Knowles

Awarded in 2013

David R. & Patricia L. Hubbard

David and Patricia Hubbard

  • Generous supporters of LSSU through Laker Club, Cooper Scholarship, and fund drive for a new gym floor
  • Created an endowed scholarship to assist full-time students of all majors
  • Contributed to the Arts Center, the Aquatic Research Lab, and the South Hall Renovation Project
  • David formerly served on the LSSU Foundation’s Board of Directors

David and Patricia Hubbard of Cheboygan have always recognized the importance of education and community. When they lived in Sault Ste. Marie, they supported a variety of community endeavors, including many projects at LSSU.

The Alumni Association is recognizing the couple for their LSSU support with the Donald and Catherine Finlayson Distinguished Citizen Award. The award, named after a former campus physician and his wife, recognizes friends, advocates and benefactors of the university who are not alumni of the institution.

The Hubbards moved to Sault Ste. Marie in 1971 when David joined Edison Sault Electric Co. to take the position of controller. He enjoyed a long career with Edison – now Cloverland Electrical Cooperative – retiring in 1998 as vice president of finance.

Both David and Patricia are graduates of Alma College, but enjoyed and actively participated in the cultural and athletic activities at LSSU, and believe strongly in the important role the university played in their lives and that of the community. They supported numerous university initiatives over the years, including Laker Club, the Cooper Scholarship, and fund drive for a new gym floor.

In 2005, they created an endowed scholarship to assist a full-time student majoring in any course of study at LSSU. They also contributed to the Arts Center, the Aquatic Research Lab, and the South Hall Renovation Project.

David formerly served on the LSSU Foundation’s board of directors and was recently named to the Alma College board of trustees.

“We were fortunate to have LSSU in our community,” the Hubbards said, “and we appreciated the opportunities that it offered to our family.”

While raising a family in Sault Ste. Marie, the couple spread their belief in volunteerism and support of local youth activities. Patricia taught Sunday school and volunteered with her church, the Bayliss Library, and local Girl Scouts groups. They were always ready with a helping hand or donation, often giving anonymously.

Friends who have known the Hubbards for many years agree that they are very deserving of this award for their support of the community.

One noted, “You couldn’t have chosen a more perfect couple…What I respect about both Pat and Dave is that they quietly supported so many things without any expectation of celebrity.”

When David retired, the couple moved to Cheboygan, where they spend time boating and continuing their volunteerism. Patricia serves on the Cheboygan Area Public Library board as its publicity chair. They return to Sault Ste. Marie every summer to visit friends.

The couple has two grown sons, Todd and Jeff.

Awarded in 2012

Precision Edge Surgical Products

  • Generous donor to LSSU’s engineering program and to LSSU in general
  • Funds an annual scholarship for Chippewa County students attending LSSU
  • Funded an endowment for LSSU’s engineering program
  • Donated thousands of dollars worth of equipment to the engineering program
  • Donated a building in Dafter to LSSU
  • Employs many LSSU grads: engineers, accounting and other majors

Awarded in 2011

J.C. Huizenga

  • Owner of JR Automation in Grand Rapids
  • JR Automation recruits on LSSU’s campus every year and employs a number of LSSU grads
  • Very generous donor to LSSU’s engineering program
  • His donations have helped dozens of incoming freshmen get started in engineering, and hundreds of middle and high school students attend LSSU’s summer engineering programs

Awarded in 2010

Peter & Georgia Gianakura

  • Retired owners of the American Cafe
  • Endowed a scholarship at LSSU
  • Support local programs, including the Bayliss Public Library, the Chippewa County Historical Society & Lake Superior State Univeristy.
  • Support Lake State Elders, an educational group of senior citizens who meet monthly and sponsor speakers, tours and a variety of learning experiences.
  • Founding members of the Superior Legacy Society

Awarded in 2009

Chuck Cliff ‘77

  • Attended LSSC in mid-1970s, studied business
  • Founded and runs an engineering company
  • Company does business all over US and into Mexico
  • Staunch supporter of Laker hockey

Awarded in 2008

Dr. Shane Woolever

  • Founded Greater Peninsula Orthopedics, 2001
  • Accomplished orthopedic surgeon
  • Director of Adult Joint Reconstruction and Chairman of the Operating Room Operations Committee at War Memorial Hospital, 2001-03
  • Title sponsor of Lake State Golf Classic
  • Extremely generous supporter of Laker Athletics, both financially and in spirit

Awarded in 2007

Roberts P. and Ella B. Hudson Foundation

  • Established Hudson, Coates and Kline Scholarship at LSSU, 1989
  • Major benefactor of the following LSSU programs:
    • Arts Center
    • Cooper Gym Floor Campaign
    • Cisler Center expansion and renovation
    • Athletics
    • Health Care Center
    • LSSU Foundation’s Development Fund
  • Establishment of scholarship endowment for LSSU students who are graduates of a Chippewa County high school.

Awarded in 2006

William and Sharon Bollin

  • Established a scholarship at Lake Superior State University in honor of daughter Leah Marie, to benefit those afflicted with epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Organized various fundraising efforts which brought in more than $120,000 for the Leah Marie Bollin Memorial Award
  • Member, LSSU Foundation Board of Directors (Bill)
  • Member, Zeta Tau Alumni Control Board, Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity (Bill)
  • Honorary member, Alpha Kappa Chi Sorority (Sharon)
  • Continue to volunteer time and treasure to advance Lake Superior State University

Awarded in 2005

Demosthenes (Denny) Booth

  • Established the Sault High/Loretto Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his father’s request 50 years earlier.
  • The fund has more than $150,000 with donations from more than 300 people. It has helped nearly 50 Sault High students earn a degree at LSSU.
  • Served in Korea as a second lieutenant in the Infantry.
  • Twice retired – First, as regional budget manager for Montgomery Ward. His second retirement came years later in California, where he was general manager of two cemeteries and three funeral homes.

Awarded in 2004

Robert Andersen

  • Supervisor of Instrumentation, Continental Teves
  • Active LSSU advocate, volunteer and benefactor
  • Member, LSSU Industrial Advisory Board
  • Arranges for and supervises Senior Projects for LSSU Engineering students
  • Continental Teves, through Bob’s leadership, has hired many LSSU alumni
  • Awards received from Continental: Achievement Award – 2002, Special payment award – 2004
  • Has hosted alumni gathering of engineers, etc. in corridor
  • Named honorary LSSU engineering alumnus at February 2003 engineering banquet
  • Granted official honorary LSSU alumnus status in 2003
  • Major donor to LSSU

Awarded in 2003

Walter North

  • A staunch and generous LSSU advocate
  • Chaired the LSSU Foundation Board of Directors on three different occasions, serving more than twenty years as a volunteer
  • District 37 State Senator (1994-2002),
  • As Senator, helped secure funding for Crawford Hall of Science, Shouldice Library and the Fine and Performing Arts Center projects
  • Comptroller of the Mackinac Bridge Authority, 1966-1982
  • Executive Secretary of the Bridge Authority, 1982-1993

Awarded in 2002

Rick Fitzpatrick

  • Active in the life of the community and LSSU, sharing time and treasure
  • Member of the re-chartered Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Honorary member, Student Alumni Involved for Lake State (SAILS), 1998
  • President and owner, Pingatore Cleaners, Inc.

Awarded in 2001

Tom Robinson, DDS

  • An ardent advocate of the University
  • Charter member, LSSU Foundation Board of Directors
  • Member of American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association and American Association of Orthodontists
  • Extremely active in the community including the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce, Sault Ste. Marie Foundation for Culture and History, Downtown Business Association and the Downtown Development Authority.

Awarded in 2000

Gary McClellan

  • President, McClellan Properties, headquartered in Frankenmuth
  • Long time LSSU benefactor and advocate
  • A founding member of the Soo Blue Liner Club
  • Board of Directors, LSSU Foundation, Inc.

Awarded in 1999

Donald Finlayson, M.D.

  • Campus physician, 1946-1978
  • World War II veteran, U.S. Navy, 1940-1946
  • Longtime Sault physician who delivered many babies

Awards were not given in 1997 or 1998

Reverend Timothy H. Desrochers Awarded in 1996

  • Graduate University of Detroit Law School 1948
  • Practiced law for 25 years with Plunkett, Cooney, Rutt & Peacock in Detroit
  • Oakland County Circuit Court Judge 1977-78 (part-time)
  • Graduated from LSSU in 1987 after a distinguished career in law. He added a B.A. in political science two years later
  • member and past chair of LSSU Foundation; Hudson Foundation Board of Directors of Sault Ste. Marie; member of Bi-national Regional Initiative Developing Greater Education board of directors
  • Chippewa County Commissioner two terms

Mr. John Peacock Awarded in 1995

  • Graduate University of Detroit Law School 1948
  • Practiced law for 25 years with Plunkett, Cooney, Rutt & Peacock in Detroit
  • Oakland County Circuit Court Judge 1977-78 (part-time)
  • Graduated from LSSU in 1987 after a distinguished career in law. He added a B.A. in political science two years later
  • member and past chair of LSSU Foundation; Hudson Foundation Board of Directors of Sault Ste. Marie; member of Bi-national Regional Initiative Developing Greater Education board of directors
  • Chippewa County Commissioner two terms

Mr. Robert Arfstrom Awarded in 1994

  • President, Chairman of the Board, C.E.O., and registered pharmacist of Arfstrom Pharmacies, Inc. since 1973 of Regents 1978-86; Chairman 1982-84
  • LSSU adjunct instructor of pharmacology
  • Sault Ste. Marie Business Person of the Year 1992
  • Michigan Small Business Person of the Year 1993
  • Member of LSSU Board of Regents
  • Received Merck Award for outstanding contributions to pharmacy from Merck, Sharp & Dohme Laboratories, 1993

Russell H. Ramsay Awarded in 1993

  • Minister of Labour in the Ontario Government
  • 30 years in radio and television, most as President and General Manager of Hyland Radio TV Ltd. and Lake Superior Cablevision of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Chair of many community organizations in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • inducted into the Order of Canada October 27, 1993
  • has had a high school sports hall of fame and a sports gallery in a Sault Ste. Marie museum named after him

Carl Levin, Senator Awarded in 1992

  • Appointed Assistant Attorney General of Michigan and first general counsel for Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 1964.
  • Elected to Detroit City Council in 1969; president in 1973
  • Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978; reelected in 1984 and 1990
  • Senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Governmental Affairs Committee and Small Business Committee
  • Author of many laws and bills to strengthen ethic rules and eliminate government waste

William A. Sederburg, Ph.D. Awarded in 1991

  • Member, Michigan State Board of Education
  • Michigan State Senator
  • Chair-Founder, Midwest Higher Education Commission
  • President, Ferris Sate University

Walker A. Cisler Awarded in 1990

  • Promoted use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes around the world
  • Supervised production scheduling of power-generating equipment to keep Europe alight prior to U.S. entry into WWII
  • Oversaw the restoration of power in war-torn Europe and the Soviet Union, 1943
  • Spearheaded development of Enrico Fermi (#1) Atomic Power Plant, the nation’s first large fast breeder reactor power plant
  • Decorated by Emperor Hirohito with the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure of Japan, the highest decoration for an individual who is not Japanese, 1976
  • Honorary Chairman, Campaign for LSSC Student Center, 1972

Mildred Jeffrey Awarded in 1989

  • Board of Governors, Wayne State University
  • Chair, State Board of Education, Special Committee on the Future of the Sault Ste. Marie campus of Michigan College of Mining and Technology
  • Distinguished Trustee Award, National Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
  • Commission on the International Year of Women appointed by President Jimmy Carter
  • Labor, political and community activist

Thomas S. Monaghan Awarded in 1988

  • Founder, president and chairman of Domino’s Pizza, Incorporated
  • in 1959 he borrowed $900 and bought a small pizza store in Ypsilanti, Michigan; in less than one year he bought out his brother’s share and opened additional stores in Ann Arbor and Mt. Pleasant
  • pioneered several innovations in the industry that have set standards among other operators including dough trays, the corrugated pizza box, insulated bags for transporting pizzas, a conveyor oven and a unique franchise system

Sam Cohodas Awarded in 1987

  • Veteran of World War I
  • Founded three exclusive fine fruit and vegetable stores in the Copper Country in 1913; by1983 Cohodas Brothers was the third largest business of its kind in the United States
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem conferred a doctorate of philosophy in 1983
  • Director of Bell Memorial Hospital for 25 years
  • Past chair of the Michigan Financial Corporation; chaired nine subsidiary banks
  • Member, U.P.’s Great Lakes Regional Economic Development Advisory Task Force
  • Established scholarships at many U.P. high schools and colleges including LSSC

William R. Gregory Awarded in 1986

  • President, Edison Sault Electric Company
  • Named president of Edison Sault in 1972 at the age of 33; one of the youngest utility presidents in Michigan
  • Chaired LSSU’s Operation Ice Campaign in 1973-74
  • Instrumental in establishing the Aquatic Lab in the Edison building. This cooperative effort between LSSU, the Department of Natural Resources and Edison Sault Electric Company has earned regional attention for its Atlantic salmon program
  • Named “Fisheries Conservationist of the Year” in 1992 by Michigan United Conservation Clubs

Roy R. Warren Awarded in 1985

  • Retired president of the Central Savings Bank
  • Member of the executive council of the Michigan Bankers’ Association and the Advisory Council of the American Bankers’ Association
  • Former part-time instructor at Lake Superior State University
  • Past joint chairman of the Chippewa County EDC, Base Closure committee and Military Affairs Committee, all leading to the economic revitalization of Chippewa County
  • President of the Chamber of Commerce, member of the Emma Nason Home board, Urban Renewal Commission, Downtown Development Commission and Lake Superior Circle Route

Stanley R. Pratt Awarded in 1984

  • Mentor for career enhancement of younger persons in radio news and sports reporting, and in newspaper editorial professions
  • A member of the team instrumental in founding of MCMT-Sault Branch
  • Pioneer in local radio news coverage in the Midwest via radio station WSOO
  • Co-founder and second president of Michigan Association of Broadcasters
  • Continued as mentor with Michigan governor’s staff in mid-70s throughout early ’80s, and with younger persons in Sandhills of North Carolina to present.

Dominic J. Jacobetti Awarded in 1983

  • Served a record 40 years in the Michigan Legislature, 1954-94
  • Chairman of State House appropriations committee for 18 years, 1975-93
  • Served on most of the 33 standing committees of the House
  • His two goals in the legislature, creation of jobs and provision of educational opportunities for all citizens, resulted in lasting contributions to the people of Michigan
  • Known throughout his career as a champion of the worker

Edmund S. Muskie Awarded in 1982

  • Member, Maine House of Representatives, 1946-54
  • Governor of Maine, 1954-58
  • Democratic Senator, Maine, 1958-80
  • U.S. Secretary of State, 1980-81
  • Presented LSSU commencement address honoring Senator Philip A. Hart, 1982

C. Ernest Kemp Awarded in 1981

  • Flight instructor at Michigan Technological University; also trained army and civilian pilots
  • An original faculty member of Sault Branch
  • Michigan Tech, beginning in 1946
  • Recipient of Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Award, when he was teaching in Sault Ste. Marie, 1963
  • Retired in 1981, but continued teaching at LSSU until 1993
  • First full-time faculty member to be selected Distinguished Citizen

Edgar L. Harden Awarded in 1980

  • Former president, Michigan State University and Northern Michigan University
  • Under his leadership NMU grew from 888 students in 1956 to 8,000 in 1980
  • Initiated widely acclaimed and innovative “Right to Try” program
  • Said to have stimulated the Upper Peninsula more than any other single person

No award awarded in 1979

Richard Helmbrecht Awarded in 1978

  • Executive director of Michigan State Housing Development Authority, beginning 1977
  • Instrumental in conversion of Kincheloe Air Force Base in the mid-1970s
  • Director of the Michigan Department of Commerce, 1972-77
  • Distinguished career in public service in Michigan

Philip A. Hart Awarded in 1977

  • United States Senator, 1958 to 1976
  • Known as the `Conscience of the Senate’ for the qualities of his character.
  • He practiced the virtue of humility and therefore presented his arguments with civility. He was courageous and took on the special interests in Michigan without fear or favor.
  • Major advocate for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Leader in the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
  • Worked extensively for the development of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • A memorial scholarship was established in his name at LSSU

Judd Arnett Awarded in 1976

  • Detroit Free Press columnist for 31 years, 1959-90
  • Veteran Ohio, Florida, Georgia and Michigan journalist
  • Appointed to LSSC’s Board of Control by Governor William Milliken, 1978
  • Chair, LSSC Board of Control, 1985

Thomas F. Schweigert Awarded in 1975

  • Retired Chairman/CEO of Michigan Liquor Control Commission
  • Past United States Commissioner of Delaware River Basin Commission
  • Past federal co-chair, Upper Great Lakes Regional Commission
  • Michigan State Senator 1961-71
  • Received award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture by Michigan State University, 1961
  • Legislative Conservationist of the Year for Michigan United Conservation Clubs in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation, 1966

George W. Romney Awarded in 1974

  • Managing director of the Automotive Council for War Production, 1939
  • Chief executive of American Motors Corporation 1954-1962; led the company out of debt with successful marketing of compact automobiles
  • Spearheaded founding of Citizens for Michigan, a nonpartisan group dedicated to mobilizing concerned citizens and solving state problems, 1959
  • Governor of Michigan, 1963-69
  • Pushed for expansion of Soo Branch-Michigan Technological University, 1960s
  • Secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1969-72
  • Organized National Center for Voluntary Action, 1972, which merged with the Points of Light foundation in 1991
  • Secured Presidents Clinton, Bush, Ford & Carter for a 1996 summit on non-political volunteerism; General Colin Powell, chair; all presidents attended, as well as Mrs. Reagan

Dean C. Burns, M.D. Awarded in 1973

  • Founded Burns Clinic Medical Center in Petoskey, Michigan, 1931
  • Director Emeritus of Burns Clinic
  • Credited with saving the lives of thousands of people by providing medical service otherwise unavailable outside of the Detroit-Ann Arbor area
  • Trustee, chairman and founder of North Central Michigan College

George L. Lahodny Awarded in 1972

  • Executive Vice President of Detroit Edison
  • Worked in a range of public service activities throughout Michigan
  • Organized and directed more than 50 community celebrations in Detroit, including Detroit’s 250th birthday in 1951 and the dedication of the Mackinac Bridge, 1958
  • Spearheaded $7 million fund drive for the construction of Cobo Hall
  • Instrumental in the construction of the Walker Cisler Center
  • Member, LSSC Board of Control, 1976-82; chairman, 1982
  • He and his wife Virginia established a scholarship endowment at LSSC, 1979

David S. Holbrook Awarded in 1971

  • Former president and chairman of Algoma Steel Corporation, Limited
  • First Canadian to receive LSSC’s top honor
  • Received the American Iron and Steel Institute Medal, 1958
  • Honored by the International Nickel Company for outstanding contributions to Canadian mining and metallurgical industries, 1967
  • Director on a dozen boards including Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Steamship Lines and Dupont of Canada
  • Great believer in community service and education

Jean Worth Awarded in 1970

  • Journalist and historian of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • Received the Pfizer Award for Michigan agriculture writer of the year
  • Cited for journalistic excellence by the Michigan State Medical Society, the Michigan Education Association, the A.P. Managing Editors and other state organizations
  • Editor for nearly forty years, first of the Menominee Herald Leader, 1930-55, and later at the Escanaba Daily Press, 1955-69
  • Leading conservationist, a respected writer in reporting forest and agricultural problems and progress across both peninsulas
  • Champion of many causes relating to the welfare of the area

Richard Y. Burnett Awarded in 1969

  • General Manager of radio station WSOO AM, 1940-57
  • Began working with Edison Sault Electric Company in 1957; president, 1963-74
  • Recognized by the state with a Michigan Minute Man Citation, 1967
  • Member of the Michigan Advisory Task Force to the Upper Great Lakes Commission
  • Charter member of the Lake Superior State College Board of Control, 1970-78
  • Chair of fund raising committee for the Walker Cisler College Center

Prentiss M. Brown Awarded in 1968

  • Born and raised in St. Ignace; practiced law in his home town; Prosecuting Attorney for Mackinac County, 1914-27
  • First Democrat elected to Congress from Michigan’s old 11th District, 1932 & 1934
  • U.S. Senator, 1935-43; Upper Peninsula’s only Senator
  • Declined Vice Presidential candidacy on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ticket at Chicago Democratic Convention, 1940
  • Director, Office of Price Administration in War Cabinet, 1943
  • Chair, Detroit Edison Company Board, 1944-1955; served the board until 1973
  • The “Father of the Mackinac Bridge” and first chairman of the Mackinac Bridge Authority, 1948-73, which organized financing and construction of “Big Mac” from its inception