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LSSU to award degrees to nearly 600 graduates on Saturday

Posted: May 1st, 2014

Commencement stage is set (click here for a full-res version)


Ceremony to feature speaker John Hantz, Detroit, honorary doctorate recipient Robert Considine, Trout Lake, and student respondent Rose Scheid, Sault Ste. Marie

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Nearly 600 graduates will receive degrees during Lake Superior State University’s annual commencement ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the Norris Center’s Taffy Abel Arena.

The ceremony, which will be available live online through lssu.edu, includes announcement of this year's Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, as well as remarks from speaker John R. Hantz, Detroit, honorary doctorate recipient Robert Considine, Trout Lake, and student respondent Rose Scheid, Sault Ste. Marie. It will be LSSU President Tony McLain’s last ceremony as president before he retires in June.

Graduates will be led in to the Abel Arena by the bagpipes and drums of the Duncan Family of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The family has been part of LSSU graduation ceremonies for more than 50 years. In addition, the LSSU chorus will sing the Canadian and U.S. national anthems, and native drumming group Aabizii of Brimley, Mich., will perform an Honor Song at the conclusion of the ceremony.

As in past years, the march of graduates includes a few members of LSSU’s earliest graduating classes. The “Golden Grads” will be introduced during the ceremony.

The main speaker for this year’s ceremony is John R. Hantz, president and CEO of Hantz Group Inc., who is nationally recognized as a dynamic and creative leader in the financial community. The Hantz Group has more than 600 employees with 20 offices serving communities in Michigan and Ohio, including an office in Sault Ste. Marie.


John Hantz

Hantz is a supporter of many community projects, a strong advocate of educational programs, and is active in Michigan’s higher education system. The longtime Detroit resident has dedicated his time, energy and resources to the revitalization of the city.

The Hantz Group was founded in 1998 and since then has grown to include more than $4 billion in assets under management. Hantz Bank has quickly become one of the fastest growing community banks in Michigan since its establishment in 2010, with six branches and continued planned growth into the future. The company continues to expand its assets beyond a full-service financial holding company.

Hantz is widely known for his innovative management techniques and his ability to implement change. He is a visionary who sees opportunity in obstacles, with the capability to turn them into advantages. This is evident among Hantz Group’s subsidiaries like Hantz Farms, which is slated to be the world’s largest center for urban agriculture.

Hantz earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwood University, where he majored in economics, and he is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University Business School. In 2004, he was the recipient of an honorary Juris doctorate from Northwood.


Robert Considine

Robert Considine will receive an honorary doctorate at Saturday’s ceremony. The Trout Lake native is a true advocate for his northern Michigan community, which he has assisted in a variety of ways over the years. At LSSU, his foundation has provided funding for LSSU’s new Simulation Lab, as well as substantial support for LSSU’s South Hall construction project. The lab provides state-of-the-are training for LSSU nursing students and will become a premier training center for EUP first-responders. The project to remodel South Hall, home of the Lukenda School of Business, begins this spring.

Considine was raised by his mother and grandparents, whose guidance inspired him to become a significant example of where hard work can take a person, no matter how challenging his background. After five years in the Navy, Considine took a correspondence course in electronics and radio/TV repair and was hired as an electrician’s helper and eventually electrician with Link Welder in 1954. He traveled the U.S. installing equipment for the automotive companies and their suppliers. In 1956, he assumed the responsibility of installing the first “Double T” floor plan welding line at the Chrysler 9 Mile Press Plant.

Considine and George Bracken founded Bra-Con Industries Inc., a well-established automotive supplier of welding press and assembly machines and transfer systems, and later founded the robotics company Rob-Con Ltd., which produced cardboard baling equipment for the food and wholesale industries.

In 1964, Considine purchased Wil-Win Lodge and its 600 acres just west of his hometown, where he hunted as a youth. The 5,000 sq. ft. lodge was built in 1914 by lumber company interests. The Considine family has hunted and fished there and celebrated many holidays and summer vacations. In 2011, he donated the entire Wil-Win Lodge property to the American Legion as a haven for veterans and their families to overcome the trauma related to their military service. The guest house has been equipped with hospital beds and ramps to allow access to veterans with physical disabilities and a new commercial kitchen and dining facilities accommodate special events for veterans, scout troops, Wounded Warriors events, and more.

Considine established a fund to benefit students at Rudyard High School, his alma mater, in the 1990s. He has helped students from the Trout Lake area work toward their goal of attaining a college education and he has structured a fund at LSSU to continue these educational opportunities through an estate gift.


Rose Scheid

Rose Scheid of Sault Ste. Marie will give the student response at the ceremony. Just three years after she graduated from Sault Area High School, she is graduating summa cum laude from LSSU with a bachelor’s degree in political science/pre-law concentration and is now headed for Michigan State University School of Law.

Through advanced placement courses at Sault High and the SAHS Career Center, as well as summer courses at LSSU, she was able to earn the credits she needed in a shorter period of time than most and yet still had time to become involved in Student Government, Activities Board and the Political Science Club. In addition, she worked with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District as a data analyst while assisting the EUPISD’s general education department in planning conferences, such as the science and history fairs that are hosted annually on the LSSU campus.

Scheid is this year’s Outstanding Political Science Graduate and recipient of the Board of Trustees Distinguished Scholarship and the Patrick Gagliardi Political Science Scholarship.

Scheid has two brothers and a sister. Jack is preparing to enter the U.S. Air Force, while Francis and Lily are in middle school. Both of her parents are LSSU alumni. Her father, William, works for Sault Ste. Marie’s AMI Industries as a process engineer, while her mother, Jane, is a paraprofessional at Washington Elementary School.

For more information about LSSU graduation, visit www.lssu.edu/commencement. A link to streaming video of Saturday’s ceremony will be available on the LSSU home page, lssu.edu, on Saturday. --LSSU—

Contacts: John Shibley, 906-635-2314, (e-mail jshibley@lssu.edu); Tom Pink, 635-2315, (tpink@lssu.edu)


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