Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Don Sawruk

Don Sawruk '70

"My two business degrees from LSSU were instrumental in preparing me to work at all levels of Edison Sault Electric (ESE), concluding with the privilege of becoming ESE President in 1998. My company also takes pride in that 14 out of a total of 17 management personnel and about 20% of hourly employees at ESE either have degrees from or have attended a substantial number of classes at LSSU. Finally, our company and employees have contributed in excess of $500,000 to various LSSU projects over the last 25 years. ESE Believes in Blue."

Edison Sault Electric Company
President and CEO
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

LSSU Business and Economics Outstanding Alumnus Award '03

The History of Word Banishment

n 1977, one year after Lake Superior State University Public Relations Director W.T. (Bill) Rabe released the first "banished words list," he said that the international reaction from news media and the public told him "it would go on forever."

Forever may be stretching it, but the annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness has been going strong since New Year's Day 1976 and shows no signs of stopping. People from around the world have nominated hundreds of words and phrases such as "you know," "user friendly," "at this point in time," and "have a nice day," to be purged from the language.

The tongue-in-cheek Banishment List began as a publicity ploy for little-known LSSU. The University, established in 1946, was opened as a branch of Michigan College of Mining and Technology to make room for returning World War II veterans. Lake Superior State College became autonomous in 1970 and developed into Lake Superior State University in 1987. It has grown from the tiny branch college into an institution offering more than 60 degree programs in fields such as engineering, fisheries and wildlife management, biology, criminal justice, nursing, teacher education and more.

In 1971, Rabe realized that Lake State was still largely thought of as a branch of Michigan Technological University, if it was known at all. To combat this image, he established the mythical Unicorn Hunters, along with events such as the annual Snowman Burning to welcome the first day of spring and, in 1976, the famous list of words.

In order to gain the most media coverage possible, the Banishment List is released each year on New Year's Day. This is attributed to former newsman Rabe's knowledge of the press. New Year's Day is traditionally a slow news day.

The first list was dreamed up by Rabe and a group of friends at a New Year's Eve party in 1975. The following day, he released the list and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, nominations for words and expressions to be banished have been invited and accepted throughout the year.

After Rabe retired in 1987, the University copyrighted the concept and continued the tradition. The popularity of the effort shows no signs of dwindling. Hundreds of nominations are received each year, and LSSU Public Relations Office staff conduct dozens of news interviews, largely with radio stations throughout North America and sometimes overseas on all major networks, including Cable News Network, Associated Press, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and more.

Graduate School Bound ...

Kim Churchill

Kim Churchill
Geology

"I've been accepted to Montana Tech's graduate school to pursue a master's degree in geophysical engineering. I have also accepted a full-funded graduate research assistantship to work with the Montana National Guard on developing magnetic techniques to detect unexploded ordinance. My summer internship with Geolex, a company under contract with the Guard, will study acquiring data, performing analysis, and offering interpretation on unexploded ordinance." [ more ]

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