What's New, NMU for May 5, 2008

What's New, NMU?

For the week of May 5, 2008

From the 6th floor

Sunshine and blue skies across much of Upper Michigan to start the work week. The forecast calls for temperatures right around the 50 degree mark with a chance of rain mid-week.

Welcome new alumni

More than 800 students took part in Northern Michigan University's Spring Commencement. New graduates heard from commencement speaker Jim Shaughnessy '75, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Orbitz Worldwide and student speaker Aaron Pairolero of Gladstone. Jim's speech to the graduates is posted here. Pairolero graduated with a major in social studies/elementary education and outdoor recreation. He said a quote by a former professor - "You're not done; you're ready" - inspired him over recent years and became the basis of his speech.
"I believe those words apply to all of us on our graduation day," Pairolero said. "We are not done learning and growing; we are ready to have new teachers. Graduation is the day we must start to apply our education to continue getting one. Therefore, we are not done, but we are ready."

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Alumni Association hosts graduation pizza party

Graduating seniors were treated to a pizza party, courtesy of the NMU Alumni Association and student group First Impressions. The annual pizza party takes place immediately following graduation rehearsal on Friday afternoon. Hundreds of soon-to-be alumni took part in the event.
TCF Bank was on hand with its inflatable cash vault. Those seniors lucky enough to be selected had 15 seconds inside to try and catch as much cash as they could.
Congratulations to Corey Mills '08 of Ellsworth, Michigan. Corey was the winner of the grand prize basket, courtesy of the NMU Alumni Association.

NMU Board of Trustees meets

At its May meeting, the NMU Board of Trustees honored this year's recipients of its Student Achievement Awards. Each year the board recognizes students who have made significant contributions to the quality of life at NMU through their involvement in extra curricular activities, either academically or socially oriented, or through work in a university department.
The recipients of the 2008 Board of Trustees Awards are:
Amanda Moraska - Outstanding Female Graduating Senior
Jeremiah Bubb - Outstanding Male Graduating Senior
Holly Majszak - Outstanding Student (any class)
Andrea Dupras - Outstanding Non-traditional Student

In other business, the board approved a new compensation package for President Les Wong. It will go into effect July 1, the date his current contract is set to expire. Wong received a 5 percent increase to his base salary, raising that to $194,225. The board also voted to add $5,000 to his deferred compensation for each year he continues to serve as NMU's president.
"In recognition of President Wong's outstanding performance at Northern and his less-than-competitive base salary when compared with peer institutions, the committee is recommending the 5 percent increase," said Sam Benedict, chair of the board's executive committee.

Also at the meeting, the board approved two new degree programs: a graduate certificate in public management and a bachelor’s degree in art history, both of which will be offered this fall.

NMU alumni headed to Italy

Alumni taking part in the NMU Alumni Association's exclusive educational and travel experience leave for Tuscany this week. Alumni from across the U.S. are planning on attending. The group leaves May 7 and will be in Italy until the 15th.  Some highlights include learning the essence of Tuscan cooking, wine tasting and architectural wonders of Renaissance Florence. There will be several informative educational programs presented by local experts.
NMU assistant director of alumni operations, Brad Hamel '99, will be traveling with the group. Be sure and check out Brad's travel blog and photos on the NMU Alumni Association's home page throughout the trip.

Business Venture awards presented

The winning Presque Longboard entrepreneurs are (from left): Darren Young, Bryan Johnson, Brian Emigh and Ricky Golden.

The inaugural New Business Venture Competition, which drew 31 entries, culminated April 25 with a series of activities for students who submitted the top five written plans. The young entrepreneurs displayed their products or services at a trade fair, delivered a 60-second "elevator pitch" and gave oral presentations before a judging panel comprised of five business representatives. Presque Longboards, which designs and produces custom skateboards, won first place and $4,000. The group also won for best trade fair presentation. Cash prizes were provided by Northern Initiatives, Northern Michigan Bank and NMU alumni Ervin Kranberg ’71 and Robert Oles ’75.

Working Advantage winner announced

Congratulations to Jerry Becker '67.  Jerry won the recent Working Advantage contest that was open to all 'What's New, NMU?' readers. Jerry will be receiving a $50 Working Advantage gift certificate.
Not familiar with Working Advantage and how you can save? Working Advantage is the premier savings portal for more than 7,000 companies and organizations and their 10 million employees and members nationwide.

Members of the NMU Alumni Association are able to take advantage of savings up to 60 percent off on tickets, travel and shopping.
Check it out here.

From the e-mail bag

"Just had to write back and say, 'what a small world it is!' I saw my post in last week's mailbag.  What was an even greater surprise, though, was that our neighbor, who also lived at 821 Summit and (who) we haven't seen nor talked to in almost forty years, saw my post  and emailed me today. What a wonderful surprise! You have made two 'old' Wildcats very happy!  To think your picture of students enjoying an ice cream would result in so many happy memories for us alumni readers! Thanks again to 'What's New, NMU?' and 'From The Sixth Floor!'
Jerry and Susan Norquist
Canton, Mich.

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