Family Ties

LSSU Family Ties
Looking on as SET academic assistant Laura Bofinger does the unveiling is LSSU School of Engineering and Technology Dean David Roland Finley (red tie); immediately to his left is Bill Verrette's son, current Champion CEO Steve Verrette (yellow shirt).

Lake Superior State University School of Engineering and Technology (SET) faculty and staff joined the school’s industrial advisory board on April 29th in unveiling a wall display that tracks an Upper Peninsula family’s constructive influence on LSSU’s Sault Ste. Marie campus.

Photographs mounted in the main east-west hallway of LSSU’s Center for Applied Sciences and Engineering Technology showcase several campus projects completed by Champion Inc., over the past five decades. Louis C. Verrette founded the multi-divisional business in Iron Mountain, Michigan, in 1946. His son, William (Bill) Verrette, followed in his father’s footsteps, eventually becoming chairman of both Champion and Gundlach Champion, the company’s construction arm.

The Verrettes and Champion eventually built 11 campus buildings, including Crawford Hall (1965), the Norris Center (1976), and Kenneth Shouldice Library (1971). Bill Verrette – recently retired from Champion – has continued his family’s connection with LSSU, becoming a generous donor and receiving an honorary doctorate in engineering in 2013.

(LSSU/John Shibley)