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UW-Superior Foundation receives $1 million gift to launch floating Superior classroom

Dec 13, 2019 06:02AM ● By Editor

Photo: Duluth News Tribune


From the The University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation - December 12, 2019


The University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation has accepted a $1 million anonymous donation designated to the Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) to bring a new floating classroom and research program to campus.

The generous gift has initiated a two-year planning phase to re-establish a floating education and research vessel in Superior. LSRI aims to develop a program that inspires and educates learners of all ages about the importance of Lake Superior resources and heritage through direct experience.

“Innovative and regionally focused educational programs that meet the needs of our students and community, such as this, is what makes our ‘small but mighty’ university unique,” said Jeanne Thompson, executive director of the UW-Superior Foundation. “We are genuinely grateful for this transformational gift.”

“The addition of this vessel will not only provide educational opportunities, it will advance scientific research on Lake Superior, such as the work being conducted at our Montreal Pier Ballast Testing Facility that we opened last summer,” said Dr. Matthew TenEyck, director of LSRI.

LSRI hopes to recreate the rich and successful L.L. Smith Jr. (LL Smith) on-the-water programs it conducted from 1978 to 2012.

“We believe the LL Smith cruises for students and stakeholders are deeply missed by the community,” said Amy Eliot, LSRI assistant director and program lead. “This funding will allow us to take the first steps in helping fill that gap with a state-of-the-art vessel and programming. We couldn’t be more appreciative of this gift or excited about this opportunity for Superior.”

“This is a win-win-win-win contribution,” said Chancellor Dr. Renee Wachter. “We are bringing to life the donors’ passion for all things Lake Superior, bringing back a beloved water research program, providing meaningful undergraduate research opportunities for our students, as well as involving and educating our region.”

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