Campus Closeup: Brad Hamel
As Brad Hamel (Alumni Operations) can attest, most NMU graduates are eager to share stories about their college years—from fond memories of favorite professors to humorous anecdotes about extracurricular activities with friends.
“My favorite part of the job is getting to hear the different stories about their experiences in Marquette,” he said. “They all have different perspectives. It’s good for me to hear their unique viewpoints and they enjoy being able to relive moments from the past that had an impact.”
It is fitting that Hamel works closely with Northern alumni because he ranks among them. He graduated in 1999 with a degree in justice studies.
“I was born and raised up here,” Hamel says. “I’m from Champion and I commute 30 miles to work every day.”
As a student, Hamel worked concessions for recreational sports. He found full-time employment in close proximity after graduation, serving as assistant concessions manager and later ticket manager before his 2007 appointment to assistant director of Alumni Operations.
“It seemed like a natural fit because of my experience working with the public in the tickets office,” Hamel said.
Most of Hamel’s day is typically spent answering alumni questions, maintaining the alumni e-mail service and attempting to connect alumni to former classmates. He is in charge of the alumni membership program and affinity partnerships with corporations such as Bank of America, Liberty Mutual and vendors that provide membership benefits. He also assists with event planning. A prime example of that duty was last month’s all-alumni summer reunion, which drew about 500 attendees.
“I’m also adviser for the Student Alumni Association,” he said. “This is a relatively new group that tries to connect current students with NMU alumni. So far the group has held two career-related panel discussions—one for nursing students and another for aspiring entrepreneurs. The members also help Alumni Operations host events and help bring alumni from out of the area to talk with current students. We’re hoping the SAA will help to keep NMU graduates enthusiastic and engaged with the university after graduation. That’s one of the most challenging parts of the job: getting people to understand how the Alumni Association benefits them and the university.”
Outside of NMU, Hamel is an active volunteer with the Champion-Humboldt Emergency Services Board, which he chairs, and as an EMT with Champion-Humboldt EMS.
"When I was a student at Northern, I took an EMT class as part of the curriculum to both help with my degree and as a way to give back to the community where I've lived most of my life. In addition to volunteering with EMS, I work as a contingent EMT at Bell Hospital."
Hamel spends much of his remaining free time with his 12-year-old son, Andrew, mountain biking, riding four-wheelers and enjoying other outdoor activities.