LSSU Student and US Coast Guard Reservist Receives 2023-24 Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award

LSSU Interim President Dr. Lynn Gillette; Paul and Robin Ignatowski; USCG Base Sector Sault Commander James Bendle, USCG reservist, Will Dautremont (recipient), USCG Senior Chief Officer Edmund Foster, USCG Deputy Commander Bryan Swintek

(Sault Ste. Marie, MI) – Lake Superior State University junior social science secondary education major and U.S. Coast Guard reservist William (Will) Dautremont has received the 2023-24 Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award from LSSU. The $500 award is bestowed annually to an LSSU student who is an active U.S. Coast Guard member or reservist or the dependent of one stationed at Sector Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

“I am very grateful to receive this award,” said Dautremont, “I appreciate and understand Amy’s love of service of the Coast Guard and for her family. My decision to enlist in the Coast Guard was heavily influenced by my mother who served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1991-1998. The way she described her passion for her career and the missions she went on with so much enthusiasm was always fascinating to me, and I wanted to have a career that was as rewarding as hers. My mother, who passed away in 2022, was my personal hero and joining the Coast Guard was an easy choice to follow in her footsteps and to fulfill the legacy she left for me.”

The Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award fund was created by Paul and Robin Ignatowski in 2010, following the loss of their daughter, Amy, who had attended LSSU before enlisting in the Coast Guard. Amy was killed in May 2008 while serving in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was pursuing a helicopter license at the time of her death and was awarded her wings posthumously. This award was made possible by the generous memorial gifts from the Ignatowski’s family and friends and through the collaboration of the USCG Base Sector Sault and continued donations to the Lake Superior State University Foundation. This amazing generosity allows Amy’s legacy to continue and positively impacts the lives and future of each annual award recipient.  “I was very touched to learn more about Amy, and to meet her parents,” commented LSSU Interim President, Dr. Lynn Gillette. “We are so proud to honor her legacy with this scholarship and to host this annual event with the Ignatowski’s, the Coast Guard and our scholarship recipient.”

“This is a special day for our Coast Guard, said USCG Base Sector Sault Commander James Bendle.” “The event reminds us of Amy’s lasting legacy in the community and to our Service. Petty Officer Dautremont is the 14th recipient of the scholarship, which honors Amy and firmly anchors Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie’s relationship with LSSU and the Ignatowski family. Despite the tragic circumstances, Amy, her family, and LSSU have positively impacted and changed the lives of many Coast Guard members forever.” 

In addition to meeting U.S. Coast Guard qualifications, candidates for the Amy Ignatowski Memorial Award can pursue any course of study at LSSU, must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and must answer an essay on the topic: What does it mean to live life? Dautremont’s response: “To live life would be to not live in a world of regrets, and to live free of self-doubt from obstacles that may come up, and let them only be obstacles and keep moving forward through life.”