What's New, NMU?

For the week of Monday, May 9, 2011.

From the 6th floor

After a mild weekend, it appears rain will be the predominant theme in the weather department for most of this week. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid 60's early this week, but then cool off.

Berry gift largest in NMU history

Northern Michigan University alumnus John Berry and his wife, Shirley, have committed $5 million to the NMU Foundation. Their gift is the largest in Northern’s history and intended to enhance the university’s ability to recruit high-achieving students. The couple has pledged $1 million in cash to endow a scholarship and provide immediate support for students and $4 million in estate gifts that will establish a legacy of financial aid for the future.

The Berry Scholarship will be awarded to incoming freshmen who have demonstrated academic ability and achievement. Preference will be given to students who enroll in the NMU Honors Program and plan to pursue a major in the College of Business, followed by those who major in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering or math.

“We wanted to establish a scholarship program to help Northern raise the overall quality of education by attracting top-quality students,” Berry said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t quality students on campus now, but this will help the university be more competitive in recruiting others. It’s like a sports team. If you have a few superstars, it elevates everyone else’s game. That’s what I had in mind when we started this scholarship.

“As you get older, you tend to want to support those things that had the most meaning in your life. One of those places, for me, was Northern. This is a way to give back on an ongoing basis and provide the opportunity for students to go here. I know from my own experience that when you graduate from here, you have the tools you need to go out and be successful. I’ve enjoyed success and made some money along the way and I’m fortunate to be in a position to share that.”

Berry also contributed the second-largest gift in NMU history with $2 million to support construction and naming of the Berry Events Center. NMU President Les Wong said the new commitment announced today further demonstrates the family’s philanthropic spirit and the strength of John’s connection to his alma mater.

“John has made it abundantly clear through his words and actions that Northern had a significant impact on in his life,” Wong said. “Through this gift, he and Shirley will enable Northern to attract students who would meet the admissions requirements for the most elite schools in the country, but want the well-rounded, community-centered college experience that Northern is known for. This gift will help us recruit the best and brightest from across the nation and around the world. This gift also supports NMU’s strategic vision by providing critical financial resources to support innovation, student success and continued academic excellence.”

Read more about the gift and hear directly from John. Click here.

Largest grad class in history; congratulations graduates

Northern Michigan University had 1,035 students eligible to graduate in the winter 2011 semester. Of those, 848 students participated in the commencement ceremony, Saturday, April 30, making it the largest class to walk in school history. Each semester, the NMU Alumni Association encourages new grads to register for their first-year, free membership. All new graduates who register are eligible for the drawing. This semester's winner was David Del Zoppo '11 (shown above with NMU Alumni Association President Kris Day.) David won an iPad 2, courtesy of the NMU Alumni Association.
Membership in the NMU Alumni Association has a number of great benefits, including discounts to most alumni events. Read more about membership.

Summer Reunion registration online now; some events filling up quickly

If you haven't yet registered for Summer Reunion, June 23-25, you might want to do so soon, as some events are close to capacity.
Summer Reunion offers a wide variety of activities for the entire family. Events kick off Thursday, June 23, at NMU President Les Wong's home with an all-alumni picnic/pig roast, and wrap up Saturday, June 25 with the Wildcat Fun Run.
View the complete schedule here.

Marquette favorites Jim & Ray will be playing throughout the weekend, including Thursday, June 23, at the Kaye House Picnic/Pig Roast.

NMU Night at Comerica Park set

NMU alumni and friends are invited to the annual NMU Night at Comerica Park. This year's event takes place Friday, July 29. The Detroit Tigers face the Los Angeles Angels at 7:05 p.m. Every summer, some 200 Wildcats gather at Comerica Park to cheer on the Tigers. The NMU Alumni Association is hosting a pre-game party.
Tickets are on sale now.

Art students return from Milan


NMU student Mathew Otto with his "Construct" adaptable seating prototype.

Recently 17 NMU human-centered design students returned from exhibiting prototypes at the prestigious Salone Satellite, a juried show for emerging designers, in Milan, Italy, which attracts nearly 400,000 visitors each year.

Milan is Italy's cosmopolitan hub and a design mecca perhaps more often associated with high-end fashion than home/office furnishings. But the latter was the focus April 12-17 as the city celebrated the 50th year of Salone Internazionale del Mobile, also known as the Milan International Furniture Fair. It is regarded as the world's most important design show and has transcended furniture to include other products.

It is hard to appreciate the scale of the show without experiencing it in person. Milan backed its claim as the design capital of the world by investing in a massive fairgrounds complex to host Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which last year drew more than 1,300 exhibitors and 300,000 visitors.

The complex has 24 pavilions, each with row upon row of booths. SaloneSatellite (right) occupies only the rear of two pavilions, yet is expansive in its own right and takes a good deal of time to fully explore. Students took turns staffing their space so they could stroll through the complex and gain inspiration from the world's top professional designers. Away from the show, the they visited Milan landmarks, took a day trip via train to Venice and experienced Italian culture and cuisine.

Their experience was documented through social media channels, including daily reports on Facebook, photo galleries on Flickr and video uploads to Northern's YouTube channel (see a video tour of NMU's exhibit space here). A public show is planned for early this summer at the DeVos Art Museum after the crates return from Italy.

NMU summer hours and information

NMU has instituted a 4-10 workweek in an effort to save money on utility costs over the summer. A number of campus buildings will be closed on Fridays and most employees will work Monday-Thursday through Aug. 12. Core office hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In order to accommodate public activities and NMU courses previously scheduled, along with requirements of leasing tenants, the following buildings will be open on Fridays for the hours noted:

            University Center: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

            Jacobetti Complex: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

            Learning Resources Center: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

            New Science Facility: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

            PEIF: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

            DeVos Art Museum: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

            Health Center: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

            West Science: closed except for Seaborg College for Kids

            Superior Dome: closed except for public events

In addition to the exceptions noted above, all campus buildings will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on four orientation Fridays: May 20, June 3, June 10 and July 8. 

Note from editor "What's New, NMU?" moves to its bi-weekly summer schedule beginning Monday, May 9.

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What's New, NMU? is a service of the NMU Alumni Association.