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The Most Recent News and Upcoming Events for UW-Superior Alumni.

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    The UW-Superior campus community and alumni from decades past are sorrowed to learn of the passing of Betty Mortorelli, the "First Lady of Sports" in Superior and widow of the Yellowjacket sports legend Mertz Mortorelli.

    Mary Elizabeth"Betty" Mortorelli died Aug. 31, 2012, in Superior. She was 90 years old.

    Betty came to Superior in 1954 when Mertz was hired as the university's first athletic director. As he coached and mentored generations of young men, Betty joined in by volunteering her efforts at virtually every university athletic event. Even more important, she welcomed countless student-athletes into her home and provided guidance, support and encouragement.

    She also served as an unofficial ambassador for Yellowjacket athletics, hosting such notable visitors as Vince Lombardi, Kathy Rigby, Bud Grant and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Beyond that, she was active in her community and her church, and a long-time employee of the university. Her role was of such prominence that in 1998 she was inducted into the UW-SuperiorAthletic Hall of Fame.

    Mertz died in 1985 following a career in which he greatly expanded the university athletics program and played a role in construction of many campus athletic facilities. In the years that followed, the young men and women who knew Betty grew older but never lost their admiration, affection and gratitude for her and the role she so selflessly played in their lives.

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  • 09/17/12--08:06: Sept. 16, 2012 [Flickr]
  • UW-Superior posted a photo:

    Sept. 16, 2012

    Students explore the sea caves on Lake Superior during a weekend trip offered by Superior Adventures at UW-Superior. (Photo courtesy of Superior Adventures)

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  • 09/18/12--13:13: Madison Alumni Reception
  • The UW-Superior Madison Chapter invites you to join us for an opportunity to network and reconnect with UW-Superior alumni from throughout the Madison area at the Coliseum Bar and Banquet Facility (232 East Olin Avenue) in Madison, Wisconsin on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 from 5 to 8 p.m. Meet UW-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter and University of Wisconsin Regent and UW-Superior alumnus Edward Manydeeds. The cost is $10 per person which includes appetizers, and a cash bar will be available. Register online or call the Alumni Office at 715-394-8452.

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    The UW-Superior Alumni Association invites you to join us for an opportunity to network and reconnect with UW-Superior alumni from throughout the UP/Northern Wisconsin region at Manny's in Ironwood, Michigan. 

    The cost is $10 per person which includes appetizers, and a cash bar will be available. Register onlineThis link points to an external webpage and will open in a new browser window or tab. or call the Alumni Office at 715-394-8452 by October 1.

    Wednesday, October 3
    5:00 to 8:00 pm
    Manny's Restaurant
    316 East Houk Street
    Ironwood, Michigan

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    Save the Date! The 2012 Chancellor's Ball will be held on Saturday, December 1 in the Yellowjacket Union Great Room. Join us for delicious food, live music and a fabulous silent auction.

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  • 09/24/12--07:50: Sept. 21, 2012 [Flickr]
  • UW-Superior posted a photo:

    Sept. 21, 2012

    Kirk Baker, a music major from Milwaukee, entertains the large audience at Open Mic Night in the Yellowjacket Union.

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  • 09/24/12--07:56: Sept. 21, 2012 [Flickr]
  • UW-Superior posted a photo:

    Sept. 21, 2012

    Brandon Gordon gets the crowd on its feet during Open Mic Night held in the YU. Brandon is a Communicating Arts major from St. Paul. (Photo by Jenny Schlender)

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  • 10/01/12--12:14: Oct. 1, 2012 [Flickr]
  • UW-Superior posted a photo:

    Oct. 1, 2012

    Fall colors are hitting their peak on campus this week.

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    Rick Sordelet, who graduated from UW-Superior in 1982 and has built a career as one of the leading fight choreographers for stage, film and television, received the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UW-Superior Alumni Association.

    In addition, the Alumni Association presented its James Rainaldo Mentor Award to retired professor John Munsell, and it honored the late Harold Larsen with its Edward and Betty Kossak Service Award. The awards were presented at the annual Donor Recognition Dinner held Thursday, Sept. 27, by the UW-Superior Foundation and the UW-Superior Alumni Association.

    "The Alumni Association is extremely proud of all the award recipients," said Tom Fennessey, chair of the UW-Superior Alumni Association. "This is a clear indication of the deep dedication these individuals have for UW-Superior."

    Distinguished Alumnus Award

    Rick Sordelet, Class of '82, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his career achievements as a fight coordinator and choreographer for stage, film and television productions. The award is presented each year to an alumnus whose success serves as an inspiration for current and prospective students.

    Sordelet has built a career in arranging mock battles and teaching actors to engage in fights that are realistic and yet safe for the performers. He has been featured in the New York Times and The Washington Post, and he has received several industry awards in recognition of his unusual work.

    Sordelet's credits include work on 54 Broadway productions and several Hollywood movies. He has staged fight scenes for the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera House,and La Scala in Milan, Italy, along with 84 different productions of "Romeo and Juliet" and 66 different productions of "Hamlet."

    He is the only fight director to stage battles for a Super Bowl Halftime Show -- the 1995 production of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" seen by 83 million people.

    Sordelet teaches at The New School for Drama and The Neighborhood Playhouse, both in New York City, and the Yale School of Drama. He is a board member for the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, and author of the play "Buried Treasure."

    James Rainaldo Mentor Award

    John Munsell, a popular and inspirational professor, will be presented the James Rainaldo Mentor Award. This award recognizes a UW-Superior faculty or staff member who has touched the lives of current and former students in a unique and significant way.

    Munsell began his teaching career at UW-Superior in 1967 and was the teaching specialist in acting and directing for University Theatre. He taught more than 30 different courses in theatre, television and speech as well as professional communication courses for the business program. He retired in 2001.

    In addition, Munsell was artistic director for University Theatre and directed more than 60 stage productions. He also appeared as an actor in more than 200 performances for stage and television, and he hosted public radio programs. 

    Over the years, Munsell developed a devoted following of students, fellow actors and friends. His overall philosophy for teaching theatre and for life in general was simple - "If you aren't having fun, you're doing it wrong."  

    Edward and Betty Kossak Service Award

    The UW-Superior Alumni Association is proud to honor the late Harold Larsen with the Edward and Betty Kossak Service Award. This award is presented to someone who has made significant contributions in time, energy, leadership and support to further the goals of UW-Superior.

    Larsen, a native of Superior, worked at UW-Superior as director of security for 24 years before retiring in 1990 and moving to the Twin Cities area.

    In 2002, Larsen worked with the UW-Superior Alumni Association to form a Twin Cities Alumni Chapter and became its first chair. He helped organize alumni events and assisted in recruiting students by volunteering at college fairs held around the Twin Cities. Before he passed away in March 2012, he and his wife Lynette frequently attended alumni events in the Twin Cities and on campus.

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  • 10/03/12--07:10: 100_0825 [Flickr]
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  • 10/03/12--07:10: 100_1074 [Flickr]
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  • 10/03/12--07:10: 100_1002 [Flickr]
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  • 10/10/12--13:22: Green Bay Alumni Reception
  • The UW-Superior Alumni Association's Northeast Wisconsin Chapter invites you to join alumni and friends from throughout the region at Curly's Pub at Lambeau Field for a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Food will be served and a cash bar available. Price per person is $10. Register online, or call the Alumni Office at 888-893-8593. We hope to see you there!

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    Marian and Lorraine Ellison spent their entire lives in Superior, developing a deep love of their community and their church. And after spending their careers working for the city's public schools, the sisters understood the importance of education.

    Lorraine died in 2007, and left her estate to her sister. When Marian passed away in June 2012 at age 87, one of her final wishes was that their assets be used to help others in the community. That included a significant six-figure gift to the UW-Superior Foundation to provide scholarships for UW-Superior students.

    "Because education was so important to them, they wanted part of their estate to go to scholarships," said Sherry Mattson, a 1972 UW-Superior grad who was a long-time friend and confidant of the Ellison sisters.

    The gift made through Marian's estate created the Lorraine M. Ellison and Marian E. Ellison Endowed Scholarship Fund. It will provide scholarships to students majoring in education.

    "We are deeply grateful to Marian and Lorraine for their generosity and commitment to education," said Jeanne Thompson, vice chancellor of university advancement. "They worked to help others throughout their lives, and now their gift will continue to provide help to others for generations to come."

    Lorraine graduated from UW-Superior in 1944 with a degree in elementary education and earned an advanced degree in 1953. She spent most of her career teaching at Bryant Elementary School in Superior.

    Marian attended secretarial school and took a job at the administrative office of the Superior public schools. She served as assistant to the district's superintendents for many years.

    Mattson got to know the Ellison sisters when they all bowled on the same team at Hennessey's on Tower Avenue. The pair used Mattson's accounting service to prepare their taxes, and Mattson occasionally provided financial advice. 

    "We've been like family, even though we're not related," Mattson said.

    For many years Marian and Lorraine lived with their parents. When their parents passed away, the sisters remained together, living a careful, frugal lifestyle.

    With only a few distant relatives, the Ellisons decided they wanted their estates to be used to provide scholarships in the community. Mattson suggested an attorney, who the sisters contacted to prepare their wills.

    Along with a scholarship fund at UW-Superior, Marian Ellison's will created a similar scholarship fund with the Superior School District for Superior High School students who enroll at UW-Superior, doubling the impact for UW-Superior students.  Another gift provides support for United Presbyterian Church, which the sisters attended regularly.

    "They were very connected to education," Mattson said, "and their church was really important to them."

    After a lifetime of contributing to the city they loved, Marian and Lorraine Ellison have left of legacy that will benefit their community far into the future."Marian and Lorraine had a lot of good times together," Mattson said. "Now, all they had will go to good use in the community."

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