What's New, NMU?

For the week of Oct. 26, 2009

From the 6th floor

Dreary start to the week in Marquette. Foggy and rainy Monday morning. The forecast does call for a bit of an improvement for mid-week, though. The western end of the U.P. got hit with a batch of snow late last week. Reports were as much as 6-8 inches in the Ironwood area. No real accumulation in central Marquette County so far this season.

Wildcats Make A Difference

The inaugural Wildcat Make A Difference Day took place Saturday, Oct. 24. Make A Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others - a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. NMU alumni throughout Michigan participated in a number of community service projects.


In Redford Township, NMU alumni spent the day helping with renovations on the Wait House, Redford Township's oldest residence.
Shown in the photo above are some of the alumni who pitched in:
Left to right: Sharon and Mike '75 Williams, Alana Stuart '07, David '72 and Charlotte Wirth.


Alana Stuart '07.

Larry Becker '71.

Charlotte Wirth

Mike Williams '75.

Mary Haney and David Wirth '72.

Sharon Williams

Toby Sobolewski and Cynthia Donoghue '76.
Also taking part, but not pictured: Shelagh Williams '79

In Mt. Pleasant, alumni spent the morning hard at work at Woodland Hospice. In addition to planting some donated bushes, the crew spent time winterizing the yard; and putting lawn furniture and other outdoor items in storage.


Mt. Pleasant volunteers included Matt Igleski '04, Hannah Woodkey, Dan Carter, Jim and Lou Ranck, Annie Van Dyke '79 and Edwin Schalm.


Annie and Matt

Dan and Hannah

Lou Ranck

Jim Ranck

In Midland and Saginaw, a canned food drive brought out the crowd.


Garn Lewis '86 and Cindy Weir

Pat and Ryan Wilson

Deanna Hemmila, NMU director of alumni operations, and Mary Trumble.

Cindy Weir and Millie Dixon

Jerry Ulrey and Terry Wolff.

Curt Tucker '82, '08 and Jerry.

It's not too early to begin planning your event for next year. Make A Difference Day takes place on the third Saturday of October. We'd like to get twice as many locations participating next year. Contact us for details.

Family weekend tailgate draws large crowd

The NMU Center for Student Enrichment and the NMU Foundation co-sponsored the annual Family Weekend Tailgate Party, Sat. Oct. 17. Hundreds of Wildcat families turned out for the tailgate party. The crowd was entertained by the NMU Marching Band, NMU Cheerleaders and President Les Wong. More than 500 people attended.


NMU Alumni Association Board Member Julee Kaurala '05, '07 and her husband, Mike '97, handed out beads and pom pons to the crowd.
We were excited to come across these families who are second generation Wildcats.
NMU Alumni Association Lifetime Member Will Geiger '83, his wife, Robin, daughters Allie and Jackie. Jackie is a student at NMU. The Geigers live in Middletown, New York.

Holly and Michael '84 Smith and their son, Scott, a current NMU student. The Smiths are from Gladwin.


Sarah, Debra, Michael '85 and Emily Juday from Woodhaven, Mich. Sarah attends Northern.

William Clay Ford Jr. spends time with NMU students

NMU students had the opportunity to meet William Clay Ford, Jr., the executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors and vice president of the NFL's Detroit Lions, when he was on campus Monday, Oct. 19. Ford addressed a number of topics during the presentation. You can view it here.

Recent grad in Austria on Fulbright scholarship



Jameson Higgins is the third NMU student in five years to be selected for a Fulbright English language teaching assistantship in Austria. He is pictured with Carol Strauss, from the department of Modern Languages and Literatures, who encouraged him to apply and wrote a letter of recommendation.

Higgins was notified of his acceptance shortly before graduating in May. He serves as a language and cultural classroom resource in three rural high schools in Styria, located in southeastern Austria.

Higgins said study abroad experiences in Vienna and Berlin as an NMU undergraduate sparked an appreciation of German-speaking cultures. Teaching English to Austrian students will also enable him to improve his own German conversational skills.

�Most of the students will have a basic understanding of English,� he wrote in an e-mail shortly before his departure. �I will help to supplement their studies with cultural insights, pronunciation and regular conversation. I have been blessed by this opportunity, but I know it wouldn�t have come to pass without the support of the teachers, students and community members who make up the NMU German program. There is a special bond that holds it all together�from career advisement in Frau Strauss� office to fun laughs at our cozy Stammtisch [conversation table]. The program was always a kind of family for me unlike any other at NMU.�

The scholarship requires one academic year of duty with the possibility of a merit-based renewal for a second year. Higgins indicated he planned to stay on longer if given the chance. Strauss said the Fulbright program in Austria is extremely competitive because the education system carefully selects candidates who will uphold its rigorous standards.

�I think it�s a testament to the stellar performance of the NMU graduates who previously served in Austria that Jameson was selected," she added. "All were wonderful students to begin with, but it�s also a credit to the fact they�re acquiring impressive language skills here even though German is a minor and not a major program. The number of students doing the minor now stands at about 50. Based on student interest in both German and cross-cultural studies, we�ve submitted a proposal for a major in German studies.�

Since 1963, the Fulbright teaching assistantship program in Austria has provided college graduates with opportunities to work at secondary schools to enhance English language instruction and serve as a resource for lessons about American culture.

Alumna celebrates birthday number 105



We can't say for certain that she's NMU's oldest living alumna, but she must come pretty close. Sarah Botrell '29 celebrated her 105th birthday on Oct.22. NMU's History Department hosted a gathering in Sarah's honor, as did her church. Sarah told the Marquette Mining Journal she doesn't feel she has any special secrets to her longevity, although she admits to never drinking alcohol, in keeping with her Methodist faith. Sarah had a 43-year teaching career in Newberry and Marquette.


Wildcat sports update

The NMU football Wildcats played in a defensive struggle with the Findlay Oilers Saturday (Oct. 24) in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action. Entering the game, each team was 5-2 in the conference race. NMU could only muster a first half touchdown and dropped the game to the Oilers by a count of 9-6. The Wildcats fall to 5-3.
They play at Grand Valley State Sat. (Oct. 31).
The NMU hockey team completed its first weekend home series against the Bemidji State Beavers. Friday ended in a 3-3 tie with the Beavers taking Saturday's match-up, 5-0. NMU falls to 1-2-1. The Miami Redhawks visit the Berry Events Center Oct. 30-31.
The NMU women's soccer team dropped its home regular season finale Sunday with a 1-0 setback to the Tiffin University Dragons. NMU falls to 8-8-1. NMU will conclude regular season play at Ashland Saturday (Oct. 31).
The NMU women's cross country team competed at the GLIAC Cross Country Championships Saturday (Oct. 24). NMU finished the event in seventh place with 206 points. The 'Cats have one more event on the schedule. They will compete at the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Championships Saturday, Nov. 7 in Kenosha, Wis.
It was Senior Day at the NMU volleyball match Saturday (Oct. 24) against Lake Superior State. Two seniors led the charge in the five-set win over the Lakers. NMU will play a non-conference match Friday (Oct. 30) against Finlandia in Vandament Arena. They conclude their regular season with three matches on the road. First up is an encounter at Michigan Tech Oct. 31.

From the e-mail bag...

...and other odds and ends that cross our desk

"Our 20th reunion was held at the Holiday Inn. We had cocktail hour, dinner, speeches from present members and one of our founding sisters, along with a slide show of past and present photos.  We had 13 alumni show up for the event, along with a few husbands. Our members had a great time talking with the alumni about past years in the sorority. Thank you so much for your donation, the crowd really liked the party beads!"

Sarah Nadeau
Alpha Gamma Delta
The NMU Marching Band, Pride of the North, made a pre-game visit to NMU head football coach Bernie Anderson's home on Friday, Oct. 16, prior to the NMU vs. Hillsdale game. The neighbors were entertained and sent us a photo.
Congratulations to Jenny '99 and Andy Molnar of Catawba, South Carolina, on the arrival of Lucy Claire. Lucy was born Sept. 3. Shown in the photo are proud grandparents Bob '69 and Bev '69, '83 Laughna.

Marquette was recently cited in a University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business study as one of the top performers at attracting and retaining entrepreneurial firms. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan's regional economies.
Read the article here.

Check out this YouTube video on Marquette, too.

Have something you'd like to share?

Feedback should be directed to alumni@nmu.edu

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