Bush First President to Visit NMU


The Bush rally marked the first time a sitting president had visited Northern since it first opened its doors as Northern State Normal School in 1899, according to Russ Magnaghi (History). President William Taft came to Marquette in 1911, but there is no indication that he visited campus during his stay.


“Other presidents and vice-presidents have visited Northern either before or after their terms in office,” Magnaghi added.


Here are some of the national politicians or government officials who visited campus to receive honorary degrees, attend political rallies or deliver a speech. The information is based primarily on what Magnaghi gleaned from the book he wrote titled, A Sense of Time: The Encyclopedia of Northern Michigan University (honorary degrees listed in parentheses):


•George H.W. Bush, 1973 (Laws)

•Gerald R. Ford, 1978 (Laws)

•Hubert H. Humphrey, 1966 (Humane Letters)


U.S. Senators Robert Griffin, 1970 (Education); and William Proxmire, 1990 (Laws)

•Head of Peace Corps and ambassador to
Norway: Loret Ruppe, 1981 (Public Service)

•Al Gore, 1992 and 1996 (as vice president), attended political rallies

•Eleanor Roosevelt, 1956, lectured on "Changes in the
United States in the Past 50 Years."

•Secretary of State and Gen. Alexander Haig, 1984, for the McGoff Distinguished Lecture Series


“These are just the national political figures,” Magnaghi said. “We have also had several state government officials visit and there were convocations in the early days of NMU that attracted famous people to campus.”



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Updated: July 20, 2004