Redefining the Classroom

Legacy gifts invest $500,000 in student financial aid

Posted: May 23rd, 2014

STATE PARK NIRVANA - 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. (LSSU/John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with this caption can be found by clicking here.

Bruce and Marian Huston
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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Four legacy scholarship award endowments - three for students from specific Michigan high schools and one for anyone who wishes to pursue a career as a park ranger - have been established at Lake Superior State University. In total, the gifts represent a half-million dollar investment in undergraduate education at LSSU.

A $300,000 gift significantly expands the Bruce and Marian Huston Family Scholarship, created two years ago to provide financial assistance to Johannesburg-Lewiston high school graduates majoring in any course of study at Lake Superior State University.

Family representatives of the Huston Family Trust - created after Marian's passing in May 2012 and Bruce's the following February - recently made the unprecedented legacy gift through LSSU's Foundation Office.

A scholarship selection committee will recommend a recipient and up to two alternates each year, prior to the school's annual awards banquet. The Bruce and Marian Huston Family Scholarship recipient will receive a four-year renewable scholarship for at least $2,500 and can major in any course of study at LSSU.

The Hustons lived in Lewiston, Mich., for more than 60 years, where they raised three daughters who all graduated from Johannesburg-Lewiston high school. They were always strong supporters of local schools, and hoped to help students from a community that also supported them throughout their many years in business.

The Hustons also felt that LSSU offered their family a quality education. Its small class size, dedicated staff, and quality of life impressed them. That is why they created a scholarship to help Johannesburg-Lewiston high school students find an excellent education at a small university.

Two of the Huston daughters, Cindy and Susan, graduated from LSSU in the 1970s, where they met their husbands Neil Gallaway and Maurice Evans. Cindy and Neil's son, Tim, graduated from LSSU in 2012; their daughter, Cory, in 2004, and Cory's husband, Kelsey Andersen, in 2005. An exchange student hosted by the family, Madina Turysbekova, graduated from LSSU in 2008.

“My parents were passionate about education and helping people who are trying to get ahead in life,” said daughter, Debra Phillips. “As a family of several Lake State graduates, we feel confident that the Bruce and Marian Huston Family Scholarship recipients will have a great opportunity to get an excellent education at Lake Superior State University.”

Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen
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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.

Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen were married in Manistique, Mich., 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.

Joseph and Bonnie understood the importance of a good education. With that understanding, the Halvorsen family hopes this fund will provide deserving students an opportunity to obtain the degree they need to advance within their chosen field.

Halvorsen scholarship applicants 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.

Esther (Ball) Beeten

Preference will be given to students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the Michigan State or National Park Service systems. Financial need is also a consideration.

The Esther (Ball) Beeten Memorial Scholarship benefits a Brimley high school graduate majoring in any course of study at Lake Superior State University.

Esther (Ball) Beeten was born in Petoskey, Mich., in 1920. She moved to Brimley as a child and graduated from Brimley High School as the salutatorian of her class. Due to a lack of financial aid she was unable to attend college, which was a life-long regret.

After raising a family she became a licensed realtor and real estate broker in Hawaii. She was a lifelong learner and traveler who also lived in Japan, California, and Florida. She was an avid outdoor person who enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting, and boating. During retirement she was also an avid reader, bird watcher, gardener and volunteer. Others knew her for her sense of humor and outreach.

Her daughter, Cindy Day and son-in-law, Norman, established the Beeten scholarship. Beeten and her daughter always loved Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Therefore, it's fitting to establish a scholarship at Lake Superior State University for students from Esther's alma mater, Brimley High School.

W. Gordon and Adela J. Wilman
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The W. Gordon and Adela J. Wilman Scholarship was established in 2007 for Sault High graduates who want to pursue a teaching degree at Lake Superior State University. It now enjoys a permanent endowment that will help students for generations to come.

Long-time Sault resident and world traveler, Gordon Wilman, wished to fulfill a request of his beloved wife of 61 years, Adela, who passed away in July 2007. It had always been Adela’s desire to help local students who dreamed of being a teacher. To fulfill this wish, Gordon established an annual scholarship in their names for Sault High Education students at Lake Superior State University.

The Wilmans enjoyed traveling to many places and raising a family. Gordon worked 44 years for Edison Sault Electric Company until his retirement in 1985. Adela loved to fish, enjoyed gardening and playing cards, but mostly treasured time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

One of their proudest moments was to see granddaughter Julie Suggitt graduate from Lake Superior State University in May 2007. Their daughter Kimberly and grandson David Suggitt also attended Lake Superior State.

Upon Gordon’s death in February 2013, his trust designated a permanent endowment to continue his Adele’s wish.

Eligible candidates must be incoming freshmen from Sault Area High School pursuing a degree in teaching. If there are no eligible candidates, a student from a Chippewa, Mackinac, or Luce County high school may be considered.

For more information about this or any one of the more than 100 scholarships and awards available at LSSU, call the LSSU Foundation Office at 906-635-2665 or run a search for “LSSU foundation scholarships” on the Web.

Click here to learn more about including Lake Superior State University in an estate plan, and other ways to invest in LSSU's education experience.


CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315; Sharon Dorrity, e-mail, 635-2665.