Remembering Wesley DeJong Jr.: Legacy Endowment Fund Established at LSSU to Honor Beloved Alumnus and Former Hockey Equipment Manager

Contact: Erin Lake, Executive Assistant of Alumni and Foundation at Lake Superior State University, , 906-632-6210

Front row (l to r) Wesley DeJong Sr., Dr. Lynn Gillette, LSSU Interim President, Susie DeJong. Back row (l to r) Tory Lindley, Athletic Director, Danny Kinnear, Head Equipment Manager, Mike York, Assistant Hockey Coach, Damon Whitten, Head Hockey Coach, DJ Goldstein, Assistant Hockey Coach, and Andrew Rubinstein, Annual Fund and Athletic Development Director.

(Sault Ste. Marie, MI)  – With a spirit of generosity and remembrance at its core, family and friends of Wes DeJong, now in memoriam, have collaborated to establish the Wesley DeJong Jr. Legacy Endowment fund at Lake Superior State University (LSSU). This endowment serves as a lasting tribute to the memory of Wesley DeJong Jr., a beloved 2017 LSSU graduate and former hockey equipment manager for the university, who tragically passed away in July 2022 at the age of 28. 


“Lake Superior State University and Laker hockey gave Wes the opportunity to live his dream,” said Wes’s mom, Susie DeJong.  Wes’s dad, Wesley Sr. added, “Our desire is to create a legacy for him to give back through the little things needed to help the program day to day.  Our hope is these funds will benefit the folks behind the scenes of Laker athletics.”


Wes DeJong’s passion for Laker athletics and his dedication to his role as a hockey equipment manager left an indelible mark on the LSSU community. He referred to his position as his ‘dream job’ and his commitment and tireless work ethic endeared him to all who had the privilege of knowing him. 


“Our campus, and especially those of us in Athletics, will greatly miss Wes,” said Laker Head Hockey Coach, Damon Whitten. “He was universally loved across campus with his huge smile, quick wit, and total commitment to all things Lakers. For over a decade, Wes lived his dream of being part of Laker hockey. He inspired us to put the team first, attack each day with good humor, and find a way to get the job done. He will continue to inspire our Department and Laker hockey.” 


The Wesley DeJong Jr. Legacy Endowment fund will play a pivotal role in supporting the Laker Athletic Equipment Managers, providing essential resources to address immediate equipment needs or priority requirements of their respective Division I or Division II programs. This endowment embodies the enduring legacy of Wes DeJong and his profound impact on LSSU athletics.


“Wes was not only a valued member of our LSSU family but also a source of inspiration to all who knew him. This endowment will ensure that his legacy of passion, dedication, and service to athletics continues to thrive for generations to come,” commented Laker Athletic Director, Tory Lindley.


Through this endowment, Wes DeJong’s legacy will continue to uplift and empower LSSU’s athletic programs, fostering a culture of excellence and teamwork that reflects his enduring spirit. “We are deeply touched by the outpouring of support from the DeJong family and the Laker Hockey community in establishing the Wesley DeJong Jr. Legacy Endowment fund,” stated LSSU Interim President Lynn Gillette.


For more information on how to contribute to the Wesley DeJong Jr. Legacy Endowment fund, please LSSU Annual Fund & Athletic Development Director Andrew Rubinstein, at or (906) 635-6219. Those who wish to make a gift may also visit