Redefining the Classroom


Russell D. Bruce Recreation Department Scholarship

This scholarship honors Dr. Russell D. Bruce, the first department head of recreation disciplines at LSSU. Awarded to a recreation or exercise science major at the end of their junior year, selection is based on academics, leadership, and service contribution to the Recreation Club or Exercise Science Professional Club.

Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen Memorial Scholarship

The Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen Memorial Endowment was established by the Halvorsen’s children to provide financial assistance to any LSSU student pursuing a career as a park ranger for the state of Michigan or National Park Service. They were married in Manistique, Michigan on April 15, 1952, shortly after Halvorsen began his career with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He worked up through three park ranger grades to assistant park manager at nearby Indian Lake State Park. All five of their children were born while the family lived in Manistique.

Between 1963 and 1977, Halvorsen managed F. J. McLain State Park in Hancock, Grand Haven State Park, Brimley State Park, and Tahquamenon Falls State Park. In 1977 he was promoted to assistant regional parks supervisor, working out of Marquette. He retired in 1991 as an assistant regional parks supervisor. Despite all these accomplishments, Halvorsen always felt his advancement was curtailed because he lacked a college degree. He spent the last years of his career training people who would go on to surpass him, always willing to assist and provide advice because of his love and commitment for the job.

Successful candidates must have at least 26 LSSU credits (sophomore status) majoring in parks and recreation, natural resources technology, environmental science, conservation biology, or fisheries and wildlife management.

Lake Superior State University student Nathan Coon, foreground, gets a tip from park ranger Charles Maltby during a snowshoe-making workshop at Brimley State Park. Working in the background on her own pair of snowshoes is LSSU recreation studies and exercise science professor Sally Childs. The newly created Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen Memorial Endowment provides assistance to any LSSU student pursuing a career as a park ranger for the state of Michigan or National Park Service. The Halvorsen gift and three other recent endowments worth $500,000 will help LSSU students for generations to come.

Successful Students

Brandon Fast, of Honor, MI, graduated with a degree in Parks & Recreation management from LSSU in May and will apply his $1,000 scholarship toward an internship this summer that is a part of his degree requirements. His internship is with the U.S. Forest Service in Mio, MI.

"This is a great tribute to our program," said Prof. Deb McPherson, chair of the department.

Brandon worked six summers as an interpreter at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery. A student member of MPRA, Fast worked as a volunteer at the organization's state convention in 2007.

Brandon received one of seven scholarships offered to students throughout the state.

NOTE: MPRA is a state association of professionals who are working in recreation, leisure, parks and sports-affiliated careers. The organization provides continuing education, certifications, workshops and an annual conference for members. It staffs representatives in Lansing to discuss issues important to its members with the state legislature.