Marquette Senior High School welcomed two new faces to the A. Felch Pendill Wall of Excellence this afternoon.
Doctor Sallie Chisholm graduated from Marquette Senior High School in 1965 and is currently a biology professor at MIT. President Obama recognized Chisholm in 2013 with the National Medal of Science Award, the nation’s highest honor in the field. She credits her passion for biology to the time spent with her Junior High science teacher, Fred Rydhom.
“I had some excellent science and math teachers. They inspired me to keep going in that direction, and teach young students more about what I’m interested in,” noted Chisholm, who has spent 25 years discovering and researching Prochlorococcus. “I was born and raised in Marquette, so that’s where my heart has always been. But, my parents moved away when I graduated from high school. To come back and to be honored in this way is just really thrilling.”
Gordy LeDuc was part of Graveraet High School’s graduating class of 1958. After earning a degree from NMU in 1962, Coach LeDuc spent more than thirty years as an educator in the U.P., working in six different school districts. He returned to his alma matter in 1972 and established the all-time win record for Redmen basketball with 241 victories.
“I’m very proud to be a Yooper because I think the people in Upper Michigan are very genuine. What you see is what you get. They’re going to tell you how they feel, and they’re not going to hold anything back. It makes it a special place,” remarked LeDuc, the longest tenured basketball coach at MSHS with 17 years behind the helm. “It’s here, where I grew up and went to school. I’m being honored in not my home town, but where I grew up. I have a lot of friends and relatives here. It’s just a tribute not only to me, but to all the young men who played basketball for me, all my former students, and players because of what they did for me and how they helped in me in my career.”
Both LeDuc and Chisholm will live on for generations to come after being enshrined in the halls they once walked.