Oct. 10, 2001
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Bresnan Gives to NMU

Bill Bresnan and the Bresnan Family Foundation have made a $500,000 gift to This Decisive Season: The Campaign for Northern Michigan University. The gift will endow an equipment fund for the distance learning classroom and auditorium located in the Seaborg Science Complex.

The two rooms, which are part of the Glenn T. Seaborg Center for Teaching and Learning Science and Mathematics, will have profound impact on educational opportunities not only for NMU students and professors, but also for pre-school through high school students and teachers throughout the Upper Peninsula, according to Virginia Zinser (Development Fund).

The 30-seat distance learning classroom features two-way interactive capability with three remote sites and the on-campus site; fiber optic technology and hybrid fiber optic/coaxial cable transmission; several modes of multimedia presentation capabilities, including video and DVD; and a SmartBoard, which is a sophisticated electronic chalkboard that transmits information directly from the board into the computers of class participants both on-site and at remote locations. The room is directly linked to the Mead Auditorium.

“The Bresnan family’s gift allows Northern to keep the distance learning classroom and auditorium equipped with the most cutting-edge technology,” said NMU President Judi Bailey. “We sincerely thank Bill Bresnan and his foundation for this generous gift to our campaign.”

Bresnan served as chief executive officer of Bresnan Communications for 16 years before selling his company in 2000. He is considered one of the cable television industry’s leading visionaries in terms of advances in technology. Bresnan founded his company in 1984 when he purchased five small pioneering cable television systems in the Upper Peninsula and he has repeatedly acknowledged the fact that “it all started in the U.P.; the area really means something to me.”

Zinser reported to the Board of Control Friday that NMU has reached 97.6 percent of its $30 million campaign goal.

M*A*S*H is Dedicated to Victims of Terrorist Attacks

The cast and crew of Northern Michigan University’s production of M*A*S*H are dedicating their Oct. 10-13 performances to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As the United States responds with a military assault on Afghanistan, the NMU play takes audiences back to an earlier conflict – the Korean War – from the perspective of American doctors and nurses in the 4077 MASH unit.

The play is directed by Cecilia Pang (CAPS). In addition to the dedication described in the program notes, James Panowski (CAPS) will deliver a brief speech after each night’s final curtain on the healing power of theater; the costume shop is making 2,500 complementary ribbons for patrons to pick up on their way out of the theater; and students will accept voluntary donations for the Twin Towers Fund.

Local artist Don Peterson of Michigamme was moved by the Sept. 11 events to create a metal sculpture entitled “Vigil” in honor of the victims. His piece will be on display in the Forest Roberts Theatre lobby during the run of the show.

NMU Plans Fall Forums

Northern Michigan University faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend three planning forums scheduled for the fall semester. The sessions will address facilities, budget and enrollment.

Gavin Leach (finance and administration) said the goals are to elicit input and answer questions from the campus community pertaining to the specific issues. Each forum will be held from 3-5 p.m. on the date indicated below in the Huron/Erie Rooms of the University Center:

Wednesday, Oct. 17: Forum on Facilities. Participants will discuss current and future renovation plans. A second facilities forum will be held in the spring at a date to be determined.

Thursday, Nov. 1: Forum on Budget. Administrators will lead preliminary discussions on the current and future status of the budget and needs for the next fiscal year.

Monday, Dec. 3: Forum on Enrollment. Discussion will focus on where the university stands in relation to its enrollment plan. Participants will be encouraged to offer input on what might be done to increase enrollment. A second forum on this topic will be held in the spring (date TBD).

Author Stern Donates Books

Award-winning author Richard Stern donated a personal collection of 1,200 books to NMU's Lydia Olson Library. During a visit to campus last week, Stern (second from right) viewed a display of his writings with (from left) Jim Schiffer (English), Darlene Pierce and Joanna Mitchell(academic information services).

"Both Northern's library and the public library now have all of his own works--his novels and short-story collections," Mitchell said. "He also gave us his personal library of fiction, poetry and literary criticism. Some of it will be very useful to students."

Mitchell said Stern's connection to NMU is Jim Schiffer, a former student and now NMU department head who published the first book-length study of Stern's fiction in 1993.

Stern is the author of 21 books. They include the novels Golk, Stitch, about his acquaintance with Ezra Pound in Venice, Other Men’s Daughters, Natural Shocks and A Father’s Words.