Redefining the Classroom

Gil Gleason Natural History Museum

Gilbert Gleason: A molder of minds - a builder of character

Gilbert ‘Gil’ Gleason began his career at Lake Superior State University in 1961 as a biology professor. He was trained as a wildlife biologist but was first and foremost a teacher. Gil could be called the Father of the Biology Department; he was one of the original professors, and also served as a surrogate father for many of his students. As one of their first college instructors, Professor Gleason not only taught his students the science of biology, he taught them how to study, how to manage time, and how to survive the entire college experience. By his example he showed them how to be trustworthy, to have respect for themselves, and their fellow students, as well as their teachers. In short, he taught them to be adults.

As an avid outdoorsman, Gil founded and built Lake Superior State University’s first Natural History Museum, using many of the African mounts, skulls, and skins collected by his father. Gil’s dedication to this project was demonstrated when he spent his sabbatical at Central Michigan University studying museum science. Upon his return, he actively involved students in the expanding and improving Lake Superior State University’s museum of Natural History. Throughout the years the museum has lived on through the contributions of many generations of students.

Gil was personally dedicated to all of his students and thrived on their success. His wife Maxine and their children supported this dedication to L.S.S.U. and had a profound influence on his character and overall success. In 1988 Gilbert Gleason retired from L.S.S.U., received Professor Emeritus status, and remains as one of the most highly respected teachers in the history of the University. During his years of service, one of Gil’s most important contributions was the increased recognition and respect for the university that he engendered.

This museum is dedicated to the memory of Gilbert Gleason.

Recent additions to the museum

Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)

This wolf was killed in 2012 when it was observed (along with several others) to be spending time around and between homes in Ironwood, MI. This specimen was donated to the LSSU by the MDNR and then professionally mounted thanks to ongoing donations to the Gil Gleason Natural History Museum.

Special Thanks:
    Douglas Reeves - Michigan DNR
    Erin Largent - Michigan DNR
    Soo Area Sportsmen's Club
    Jim Aili - Range Taxidermy

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

Update coming soon.

Special Thanks:
    Jim Knight - LSSU alumnus
    Jerry Killips - LSSU

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

This polar bear originated from Foxe Basin, in Canada’s Nunavut Territory and was illegally smuggled into the United States and later seized by the USFWS, Office of Law Enforcement and ultimately forfeited by the offender who was also issued a fine. This mount is on loan to Lake Superior State University for use in educating the public about polar bears, their management and conservation.

Special Thanks:
    James Fuller - USFWS
    Don Davis - U.S. Attorney
    Timothy Greeley - U.S. Magistrate Judge
    Jerry Killips - LSSU

Support the Gil Gleason Natural History Museum

Giving to the museum couldn't be easier. Use the LSSU Foundation's secure website to support the museum. When completing the online form, type in the words "Gil Gleason Museum" and the amount you would like to give, within the Other Gift Designation. This will ensure your support is directed to the museum. All donations are used to professionally prepare specimens for the museum or to maintain the museum's displays.

Go to the secure form...