Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011


President Identifies Eight Targets in Convocation


In his fall convocation this afternoon, NMU President Les Wong outlined eight targets he has set for the coming year and emphasized the need to confront three existing issues in creative ways.


With respect to the latter, Wong said, “The budget situation hasn’t changed and might get more challenging as we enter the era of formula/performance funding. The dramatic decline in the number of high school students nationwide that we’ve been talking about is starting to really impact universities and it’s impacting NMU today. Employee health and wellness issues continue to play an increasing role in any organization’s financial picture and this is something we’ll engage this year.” Full Story



Debt Deal Shores Up Pell Grant Program

The budget deal approved by Congress earlier this month that raised the federal debt ceiling had a mixed impact on student aid. According to FinAid, the deal devotes $17 billion to reduce a funding shortfall in the Pell Grant program and preserves the $5,550 annual maximum Pell Grant amount.

“Pell Grant funding has been one of the discussion pieces in Congress in terms of whether it should be funded at the same level or cut back,” said Mike Rotundo (Financial Aid). “The fact they’ve shored up the funding and solidified the program for the next two years is a big plus for Northern’s 3,700 Pell Grant recipients.” Full Story


Receptions for Lautner Exhibits Sept. 2


NMU alumnus John Lautner (1911-1994), considered one of the most visionary architects of the 20th century, is the subject of two exhibits in his hometown of Marquette. The DeVos Art Museum is focusing on his creative process and professional contributions. The Marquette Regional History Center will explore the impact of family, art and the Upper Peninsula environment on his life and work. Both will hold opening receptions on Friday, Sept. 2.

Lautner received a liberal arts degree from NMU before leaving to study with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Wisconsin. He settled in Los Angeles and became well-known for designing innovative structures, particularly residential buildings that demonstrated a true sensitivity to location, space, structure and the wishes and needs of his clients. Full Story


Mileski Named Chef of the Year

Nathan Mileski (Dining Services) has received his third “Chef of the Year” Award from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Upper Michigan Chapter. The award recognizes the individual “who best personifies the qualities and attributes of ongoing promotion of the culinary profession and assisting advancement in education and expertise.”

Mileski is an ACF-certified executive chef who previously won the award in 1997 and 2002. Over the past three years, he has also won two gold and two silver medals in national ACF-sanctioned culinary competitions.


NMU Theater Season Announced


The NMU theater program has unveiled its 2011-12 schedule of featured plays and special events. Mainstage productions include a comedy-drama about a London male actor whose livelihood playing female roles is put in jeopardy, a family-friendly musical about Frog and Toad, the regional premiere of a play tinged with echoes of Arab-American conflicts and a musical about a long-running county spelling bee. The season opens with Compleat Female Stage Beauty Oct. 12-15. Full Story


New Format for Theater Auditions

Fall-semester theater productions, senior lab shows, a new play reading and the First Nighters Haunted Theatre all will be cast over a single weekend. This is a departure from previous years, when separate auditions were held for each show. A theater interest night is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at Forest Roberts Theatre. Auditions open to students and community members will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, and 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. Callbacks for mainstage shows are at 1 p.m. Sunday.

"We hope to get more freshmen in the productions," said Ansley Valentine (CAPS). "Many come for the first audition and if they aren't cast, never come back to try again. With a general call, we are looking to cast 60-plus actors. Casting the full semester also allows everyone to plan more effectively and make better use of available resources. This level of advance planning has extended to other areas. We met over the summer to design all mainstage productions and figure out how to implement cost-saving measures. For example, three productions require a similar pit covering, so we designed one that will work for all three, saving labor and plywood."


Campus Light Pole Repurposed

A 100-foot light pole was removed from campus last Friday and transported to Cherry Creek Elementary School, where it will be put to new use as an antenna site for Northern’s WiMAX network. A collaboration with Marquette Area Public Schools will enable NMU to expand coverage in Chocolay Township beyond that currently offered by the antenna at the NMU Golf Course.

A collaboration with Marquette Area Public Schools will enable NMU to expand coverage in Chocolay Township beyond that currently offered by the antenna at the NMU Golf Course. The system should be operational before or shortly after the MAPS school year begins.

Full Story


President's Golf Outing Sept. 25

The 31st annual President's Open golf outing for staff, faculty and retirees will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the NMU Golf Course. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 10. The scramble tournament includes lunch at the turn, beverage specials and awards/prizes afterward.

The cost is $40 per person and participants must register by Wednesday, Sept. 21. For more information, email or contact Glen Rochester (ext. 3111) or Tom Helgren (ext. 1086). Or fill out the registration form.




Daric Christian (Art and Design) likes playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to punk music as loud as possible. He works with his daughter, Aidan, on creative projects such as building an N-gauge railroad layout. And in the winters, Christian travels with his son, Devin, to hockey games throughout the Upper Peninsula. Full Story



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Updated: August 24, 2011

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