Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

The main entrance of Fort Brady was through the east gate. The east gate and Gate house were built in 1921 to shelter guards during fort operating hours. Today the gatehouse is used for electrical switching equipment.

While on active status, the grounds of Fort Brady were surrounded by twelve-foot fencing. Guards were stationed outside the fence at the east gate and at the Easterday Avenue exit.

A second, smaller entrance was located in the fencing along Easterday Avenue. This entrance made a loop around South Hall, where trucks would drop off soldiers and supplies. These trucks would park in front of the old Auditorium which burned down in the early 1960s.

For more information, visit the east gate stop on the Lake State Virtual Tour



Fort Brady Entrance as it appeared in the 1940s.

Lake State's East Gate entrance as it appears today.
Guards posted outside the fence along Easterday Avenue.
Click photos to enlarge.

 

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