Longtime broadcaster among outstanding LSSU alumni recognizedTuesday, October 16, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY
LSSU to recognize alumni, friends ay Great Lake State Weekend
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI - Lake Superior State University's Alumni Association will honor three alumni and one friend of the university in the form of a successful Sault area business when it hosts its annual Alumni Awards Banquet at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, at the Walker Cisler Center.
The public is welcome to attend the event, which is part of Great Lake State Weekend, October 26-28.
Tickets will be available until Wednesday, October 24, through the Norris Center ticket office during business hours or by calling 635-2602.
They can also be purchased through LSSU's alumni office by calling 906-635-6219 or by e-mail.
The honorees include: Daniel T. Laur ('76), Sanford, Outstanding Alumnus Award; Tom Ewing ('73), Sault Ste. Marie, Shouldice Achievement Award; Heather J. Benjamin ('01), Waterford, WI.; and Precision Edge Surgical Products, Sault Ste. Marie, Finlayson Distinguished Citizen Award.
Stories about them are available here.
When Dan Laur's parents took a gamble and opened their own business in 1977, Dan, newly graduated from LSSU with bachelor's degrees in history and political science, became the first person on the payroll.
Today, 35 years later, the recipient of this year's Outstanding Alumnus Award is still on the payroll as president of Laur Silicone Inc., a company that specializes in custom formulating and mixing silicone rubber for use in a variety of manufacturing products.
The company has built a reputation for providing a superior product and service from its Beaverton, MI base.
Its facility provides lab samples, stringent quality-control testing, pilot runs for trial scale-ups and production quantities of any size.
Through the years, Laur's experiences at LSSU have remained in his thoughts and have motivated him to donate to the LSSU Foundation to help other students find their career paths.
His gifts are unrestricted, meaning that they may be used wherever the need on campus is greatest, whether it's for equipment to refurbish the former auto shop that has since become an expanded machine shop and robotics lab, or to help raise the necessary funds for the university's match in the South Hall project.
Tom Ewing [shown] has been involved with Lake State in one way or another since he enrolled as a student in 1968.
As a news reporter, he has covered nearly everything with which the university has been involved, from building projects to board meetings and Laker athletics.
He speaks to LSSU students about his profession, assists in university promotional campaigns and has offered advice on news media classroom configuration for the Arts Center when it was first proposed more than 20 years ago.
It is for his campus and community involvement, career achievements and more, that he is being recognized with the Alumni Association's Kenneth J. Shouldice Achievement Award.
Ewing is currently the vice president and general manager of Sovereign Communications, which owns and operates 15 radio stations across the Upper Peninsula, including WSOO, where he started.
As busy as he has been professionally, Ewing has found plenty of time to volunteer for many causes in the community.
He works with the United Way of the Eastern Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste. Marie Rotary Club, Sault Area Chamber of Commerce, Elks Lodge, United Way Volunteer Center, Sault Country Club, Sault Area Public Schools, and the Soo Theatre Project, to name a few.
Heather Benjamin followed her parents' example to become a Laker. Now she's blazing her own trail in the business world and is being recognized for her accomplishments with the Paul Ripley Young Alumna Award.
The Ripley Award recognizes LSSU alumni who have enjoyed exceptional personal and professional success early in their careers.
Heather graduated in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in accounting, obtained her CPA license in Michigan and Illinois in 2003, and earned a master's in business administration from Michigan State University in 2006.
She is currently pursuing a doctorate in organizational leadership and business management.
In addition, she remains connected to her alma mater, returning to campus regularly for Great Lake State Weekend and special events.
As a former member of LSSU Students in Free Enterprise, she participated as a SIFE judge in Chicago and took the LSSU SIFE team to dinner when it was competing there.
Heather's parents, Gary and Dolores, graduated from LSSU in 1970 and 1971, respectively. Gary was the recipient of the Alumni Association's Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2001 and was a former member of the LSSU Board of Trustees.
Since earning her bachelor's degree, Heather has worked and lived in Illinois, Michigan, New York and, recently, Waterford, Wisc., not too far from her hometown of Iron Mountain, MI.
She is currently a manager with Deloitte LLP out of the Chicago office, a position she accepted earlier this year.
Precision Edge Surgical Products sets a wonderful example of what it means to be a university and community advocate and is being recognized with the Dr. Donald and Catherine Finlayson Distinguished Citizen Award.
This award is presented to an individual or group who has enjoyed success in their profession and community, and who is a strong advocate of the university, its programs, faculty, staff and students.
Precision Edge is a world-renowned contract manufacturer of fine surgical components, cutting tools, burs, blades, drills, instruments and other surgical cutting accessories used in orthopedic surgery and procedures.
It had its beginnings in 1989 as a small shop in Barbeau, expanded to a 37,000 sq. ft. facility in Sault Ste. Marie, and has now opened a second plant in Boyne City.
The company has provided employment for about 200 people at Sault Ste. Marie and more are being hired at the Boyne plant.
Headed by John Truckey '80, president, the company has been a very generous donor to LSSU, providing thousands of dollars worth of equipment to the engineering program, and many thousands more through a real estate donation.
It sponsors teams during LSSU golf fundraisers and, most important, the company hires many LSSU interns and graduates.
Through its donations, each year the company provides four scholarships of $2,500 each to LSSU for local high school seniors.
In addition, through the sale of the real estate that Precision Edge donated, an endowment was created for two annual engineering scholarships of $2,000 each.
The company is also supporting the South Hall renovation project and will have a seminar room in the new building named in its honor.