Scholarship Honors Late LSSU Fire Science Student Justin Kelly

A late Lake Superior State University student is now memorialized with a scholarship for students who share his passion.

Justin Kelly passed away unexpectedly in February at the age of 20.

The fire science student leaves behind a lasting legacy and now his parents are making sure his passion for helping others continues at LSSU.

“He had a real strong reputation on campus of being dedicated to the institution and just really had a lot of fun here at Lake Superior State,” LSSU President Rodney Hanley, said.

Just mention the name Justin Kelly to anyone at Lake State and his memory puts a smile on their face.

“He was quite a character, I know him by reputation he was one of our primary students of our hockey games, he would really get the crowd up and rearing to go,” Hanley, added.

He was often seen cheering on the hockey team and embodying what it meant to be a Laker.

“That’s what he was into, safety and also helping people so he was always willing to help the school, his church, that’s what we want to carry on,” Justin’s Dad John Kelly, said.

His passion for helping others led him to join the National Guard and study fire science at Lake State.

“The number 24 is very important to him because that was his helmet number,” LSSU Foundation Executive Director Tom Coates, said.

His #24 helmet now sits in a case, never to be worn again.

His passing leaves a hole in this campus but his memory will help others continue their education.

“They wanted to honor him and keep that tradition going, that students come out kind of with the same attitude and great education that Justin was working on,” Coates, added.

The Justin Kelly Memorial Endowment will go towards a junior fire science student and be a minimum of $1024 and no matter the amount it will always end in 24.

“I know there’s a lot of students that need help up there, so we thought it would be a good thing. We had to remember him and she thought this would be the best thing,” John Kelly, explained.