SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Trout Lake, Mich. native whose passions are education and saving lives has been recognized by Lake Superior State University for his contributions to the classroom and community. On July 25, LSSU’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rename South Hall to “R.W. Considine Hall” in honor of Robert W. Considine.
“It’s a great day to be a Laker,” said LSSU Foundation Executive Director Tom Coates as he introduced Considine during the board meeting. “And it’s very easy to talk about this gentleman and his foundation, and what they’ve done for the university in such a short time.”
Through his R.W. Considine Foundation, Mr. Considine worked with the LSSU Foundation to establish the “Bring it Home” campaign to finish the fundraising earlier this year for LSSU’s South Hall Renovation Project. The campaign exceeded its goal and secured LSSU’s $3 million share of the $12 million project. The State of Michigan provided $9 million.
“We couldn’t have done it without him,” said Coates. “His passion and his eagerness to challenge us are admirable.”
IN TRIBUTE TO A COMMUNITY SUPPORTER -- Members of the audience at the Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees meeting on July 25 applaud Robert W. Considine as he is recognized for his support of LSSU and community educational and healthcare programs. For Considine's part in raising funds for the renovation of LSSU's South Hall, home of the Lukenda School of Business, the university has renamed South Hall after him. In this photo, LSSU Board Chair Patrick Egan is handing off a resolution to Considine that commemorates the event. (LSSU/John Shibley)
This recent donation is not the first for LSSU from Considine, who received an honorary doctorate from LSSU during its graduation ceremony in May to recognize him for his generosity and support of the university and communities in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Earlier, he established the Robert Considine Community Fund with the LSSU Foundation to help students from the Trout Lake area work toward achieving a college education. In the 1990s, he established a fund to benefit students at Rudyard High School, his alma mater.
In recent years, he turned his attention to healthcare and saving lives by supporting the LSSU Simulation Lab and outfitting northern Michigan ambulances with equipment that provides the ability to diagnose patients sooner. In 2013, his foundation provided the funding for high-tech mannequins that have made LSSU’s Simulation Lab a state-of-the-art health care training facility. Earlier this month, he and his group donated $179,000 to cover the purchase of four remote tele-health stations for the lab that relay patient vital signs as well as two-way voice and video communication between medical staff and EMS units anywhere in the world. All of the equipment in the lab is used to train LSSU students and community medical professionals.
“Our nursing program is now on the cutting edge of training, thanks to his vision and assistance, and in the not-too-distant future, our business programs will benefit from new facilities,” said LSSU President Thomas Pleger. “These gifts will also help LSSU recruit and retain talented students, faculty and staff.”
“His passions are education and saving lives,” said Coates. “From his transformational gifts to the Sim Lab, to his leadership with South Hall, he continues to support us. Many of our students are first-generation college students. Bob couldn’t go to college, so his dream is to help other kids go to school.”
Considine, 85, was raised by his mother and grandparents in Trout Lake, northwest of St. Ignace. Their guidance inspired him to become a significant example of where hard work can take a person, no matter how challenging his background. Following high school, Considine enlisted in the Navy for five years, part of which he served in the Korean War. Later, he applied skills he acquired in the electronics and robotics fields by starting companies that supplied automotive manufacturers with welding presses, assembly machines and transfer systems.
In 1964, Considine purchased Wil-Win Lodge and the lodge’s 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.
Throughout his business career, Considine always made a point to give back, and 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. A 3,000 sq. ft. guest house has been equipped with hospital beds and ramps to allow access to veterans with physical disabilities. The grounds have been made available to Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops for their outdoor excursions. In 2012, Considine funded the construction of a pavilion that includes a commercial kitchen and dining facilities to accommodate special events for veterans, scout troops, Wounded Warriors events, and more.
“That’s my whole life story,” Considine said when LSSU Board of Trustees Chair Patrick Egan read the resolution approved by the board for the naming of Considine Hall. “I really don’t have much to say except to express my deep appreciation for this. I’m very happy that I got involved here with LSSU. We have things yet to do in regard to hospitals and EMS vehicles and I look forward to it. Thank you very much.”
“It is an honor to meet Mr. Considine,” Pleger said. “He has an amazing life story and continues to give back to our community. His generous gifts and support will help future students and community members achieve their dreams. We cannot thank him enough for his support. It’s an exciting time to be on campus, as we chart a course for the future of LSSU.”
With the fundraising for South Hall – now R.W. Considine Hall – complete, Egan noted that the university is on to its next projects.
“We’ve finished one, thanks to the help of Mr. Considine and many others, and now we’re looking at another. It’s exciting and gets people energized. Good things are happening.”
Visit lssu.edu for more information about R.W. Considine Hall, the South Hall renovation project and the LSSU Simulation Laboratory.