3 inducted into the Pendill Wall of Excellence | News, Sports, Jobs

They are the newest inductees into the Pendill Wall of Excellence at Marquette Senior High School. Left to right are Karen Ogle, Scott M. White and Leslie Claire Griffith. (Diary photo by Christie Matric)


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MARQUETTE — After a years-long hiatus due to COVID-19, the A. Felch Pendill Wall of Excellence induction ceremony resumed Thursday at Marquette High School with three names added to the wall.

They are Leslie Claire Griffith, Class of 1977; Karen Ogle, Class of 1973; and Scott M. White, class of 1976. The wall is reserved for notable MSHS graduates.

Located at MSHS, the wall is named after Pendill, a 1916 Marquette High School graduate and class president, actor, writer, and star of the undefeated 1915 football team.

Pendill, owner of Pendill Bedding Company, died in 1965.

Zack Sedgwick, Superintendent of Marquette Public Schools, thanked the inductees for establishing a “magnificent example” for students in the school district.

“Having this visual reminder of exceptional alumni in the halls of high school is one of the ways we can show our students the importance of giving back to their community,” said Carolyn McDonald, vice president of the Marquette Area Public Schools Education Foundation, which is instrumental in the development of the wall.

Griffith was valedictorian of MSHS in 1977 and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in life sciences. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from MIT in 1981, she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University and developed an interest in the molecular processes underlying learning and memory.

Griffith is now Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Volen Center for Complex Systems at Brandeis University. Her vision of brain function led to national and international recognition and honorary membership in the Royal Academy of European Physicians in 2016. She was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1027 and has received a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health.

“Marquette Senior High School gave me the chance to do a lot of things I wanted to do beyond the debate team,” said Griffith.

She called high school a significant time in her life.

“I have to say, it’s a community that I really, really appreciate,” said Griffith.

Ogle had a 36-year career with the US State Department, which included service at 14 embassies and consulates.

Ogle served in Lebanon, Congo and Mexico during violent times in the countries’ history and was a female diplomat in Saudi Arabia.

His other accomplishments included managing visa operations globally to expedite legal travel to the United States for thousands of visitors, students, refugees and business people.

“I wanted to live a bigger life than the one assigned to me based on my social class,” said Ogle. “I wanted a life where I would be involved in the actions and passions of my time.”

This desire led to a greater life.

“The first time I heard about Foreign Service was a really shocking moment because I knew that was what I wanted to do,” she says.

White was a four-year college wrestler and a member of the 1975 UP Championship team. White graduated in 1981 from Northern Michigan University with a degree in education.

In 1988 White joined what is now known as VAST, an independent insurance agency, eventually becoming CEO after spending 34 years with the agency. Under her leadership, VAST was recognized as Rough Notes Marketing Agency of the Year and Marquette Community Business Catalyst of the Year, and received the Community Partnership’s Company of the Year and Distinguished Service awards. Lake Superior. ProAssurance recognized VAST as Philanthropic Agency of the Year.

ProAssurance also recognized White as Agent of the Year in 1992 and 2002, and in 2021 he received its Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame.

“So many people have had a big influence on my life,” said White.

These people, he noted, included athletes, teachers and coaches from his high school years.

“I spent special times in this building,” said White.

Donations accepted

The Marquette Area Public Schools Educational Foundation is asking people to donate to give first-graders a head start in saving for post-secondary education through the 1st to Finish program. Different sponsorship levels are available.

Visit mapseducationfoundation.org for details, or email mapseducationfoundation@gmail.com. Donations can be made online or sent to: Education Foundation, Marquette Public Schools, PO Box 714, Marquette, MI 49855.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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