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Lake Superior State University President Thomas Pleger dies at 48

May 15, 2017: Thomas Pleger, the President of Lake Superior State University in Michigan, died on Sunday, May 7, 2017, two days after undergoing emergency brain surgery. He was 48. University officials at the school in Sault Ste. Marie said it seemed like he was recovering from a cold last week, the week of April 30-May 6, 2017, but when he went to get it checked out, it turned out he had a mass in his brain. Colleagues said Pleger was so dedicated that the life-long educator would have turned his death into a lesson. "He was pulled away from us too young," University Spokesman John Shibley said. "But, I think if he could talk to us now, he'd say: 'Do the best you can. Do everything you can today.' That's the way he was. He lived life for the moment. He didn't put anything off." Pleger was taken to War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, and then transferred to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey, where he was evaluated through Thursday, May 4, and then he underwent surgery on Friday, May 5, and he was in the intensive care unit until he died in the morning on May 7. Pleger was the university's eighth President, taking over in 2014. Before that, he worked for the University of Wisconsin System for twenty-one years in various posts. He was the campus Executive Officer and Dean at the University of Wisconsin Baraboo-Sauk County. Others remembered him as a friendly, upbeat and witty guy, who wore a well-trimmed beard and often met with students. One of his often-repeated quips was that he had the best job in the world because he never had to leave college.

Attribution: The Detroit Free Press

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