My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: Lake Superior State
Location: Sault St. Marie, Michigan
Sometimes a publicity stunt becomes a way that an institution can stay relevant. In 1976 Lake Superior State University Public Relations Director W.T. (Bill) Rabe released the first “banished words list”. It has been going strong ever since.
For those of you that are challenged geographically Lake Superior State University is located in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. It is a town of about 14,000 people located on the upper peninsula of Michigan. The red push pin shows just how far north it is located. There is a bridge in Sault Ste. Marie that takes you across the St.Mary River into Canada.
In order to gain the most media coverage possible, the Banishment List is released each year on New Year’s Day. This is attributed to former newsman Rabe’s knowledge of the press. New Year’s Day is traditionally a slow news day.
After Rabe retired in 1987, the University copyrighted the concept and continued the tradition. The popularity of the effort shows no signs of dwindling. Hundreds of nominations are received each year, and LSSU Public Relations Office staff conduct dozens of news interviews.
If you want to see all the lists go to the link below:
Over the years I have met a lot of great leaders. One of them works at Lake Superior State University. Her name is Kris Dunbar. One think great leaders possess is a commitment to building relationships.
Kris is currently the Athletic Director at Lake Superior State University. Kris is a female in an occupation that has far too few female leaders. There are 43 female athletic directors in Division II and 128 in Division III.
Kris lives in a part of the country that has its challenges due to its remote geography. She also has to maintain sports in two NCAA Divisions. I like to think that the daily commitment to excellence that Kris lived with as a player, assistant coach, and head coach is the reason she was ready to lead. She learned all about relationships in those roles. They do transfer.
Kris had success as a coach at Lake Superior and that led to the opportunity she got to become an administrator. During her eight-year stint as head women’s basketball coach and senior women’s administrator, Kris led the Lakers to a 154-72 record, including five straight 20-win seasons and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances. She has more wins than any former or current basketball coach at LSSU.
Leaders like Kris will never show up on a banished list. GO LAKERS!