What's New, NMU?

For the week of Monday, August 1, 2011.

From the 6th floor

It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend across most of Upper Michigan. A few storm clouds moved through late Saturday afternoon, but otherwise it was warm and sunny. We received a few scenic shots from the weekend and thought we'd share them with you. Picture Rocks (above and below) is a popular tourist destination over the summer months and the blue sky brought out the colors in the lake and on the rocks.

Forecasters are calling for another beautiful week of summer in the U.P. There's a chance of thunderstorms Tuesday, but almost every day has beach written all over it.

Alumni Awards to be presented at Homecoming

First presented in 1964, the NMU Alumni Association Awards celebrate excellence: Northern alumni who have distinguished themselves through achievements, both personal and professional, which not only set them apart in their field and social circles, but define them as true leaders. Here are five NMU alumni making a difference around the globe. Help us celebrate their success during Homecoming 2011 when these alumni are honored Oct. 1 at the annual Homecoming scholarship and awards brunch.

Distinguished Alumni Award
Brian Majewski '76

As executive director for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the Department of State, Brian is directly responsible for the delivery of all management services, guidance, planning, budget, human resources, information technology and regional support for 28 embassies and 22 consulates from Canada to Argentina. The January 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti is an excellent example of the full scope of his leadership and management skills. Brian juggled three major operations at once; staffing the State Department's round-the-clock Haiti task force for several weeks, supporting the U.S.'s highly stressed embassy in Port-au-Prince, and setting up a logistics hub in Santo Domingo.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Kyle Ortiz '04

An attorney with Weil Gotshal & Manages LLP in New York City, Kyle Ortiz was offered a one-year leave to do public service work. He jumped at the chance. While living in Cambodia, Kyle discovered a dramatically high rate of tuberculosis. He took the initiative, worked with the founding members of Operation ASHA, and now there are three TB centers open in Cambodia with 12 more planned by the end of this year.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Stacy Welling '00, '02

There have been a lot of "first" in Stacy Welling's career: the first female to serve as the Department of Natural Resources U.P. regional director and conductor of the first log truck safety survey involving drivers and organizer of the first Mackinac Bridge run. Stacy's favorite quote is, "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"

Alumni Achievement Award
Beverly Solomon '74

Beverly Solomon is an accomplished social worker with more than 35 years in the field of children's residential treatment. Her experience in the hospital environment and school setting have her interfacing with some of the most difficult human conditions that can arise in life. Her work with individuals in these situations enables them to reach their optimum level of functioning and contribute to society in a positive manner.

Alumni Service Award
L. Garnet Lewis '86

A tireless advocate for NMU, Garn's service to her alma mater goes well beyond her role as a member of the NMU Board of Trustees. A past-president of the NMU Alumni Association, she has hosted a variety of NMU events, both alumni-related and legislative. She was one of the first to participate in Wildcat Make A Difference Day by spearheading a food pantry drive in Midland and Saginaw. Her contributions extend to the next generation of Wildcats with the establishment of the Lewis Endowed Scholarship.

Homecoming 2011 is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct.  Check out the schedule here.

NMU Night at Comerica Park--Tigers get the win

More than 75 NMU alumni and friends got together Friday, July 29, for NMU Night at Comerica Park. Alumni had a chance to mingle at a pre-game party sponsored by the NMU Alumni Association. It was a near-perfect evening at the ballpark as the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels, 12-2.

Inaugural Blueberry Classic

Courtney Specker '06 and Betsy Jaakola '84 pose with their blueberry-themed decorated golf cart.

Twenty-four teams competed in the inaugural Blueberry Classic Golf Outing at the NMU Golf Course Friday, July 29. The primary purpose of the Blueberry Classic was to raise funds for the NMU Student Flexible Aid Fund, a resource for needy students who experience unexpected financial challenges such as medical expenses, day care emergencies and car repairs - things not covered by traditional financial aid. Held in conjunction with Marquette's Blueberry Festival, the first-time golf outing event offered everything from prizes on the course to silent auction items.

NMU to rejoin WCHA

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced that former conference member Northern Michigan University will be re-joining the Association effective with the 2013-14 season.

The Wildcats, who won the Division 1 men’s national championship in 1991 while a member of the WCHA, were admitted into the WCHA as an eighth league member for the 1984-85 season and remained through the 1996-97 campaign when they left for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

Said Northern Michigan University President Les Wong, “NMU is honored that the WCHA approached us with the idea of rejoining its hockey conference. The schools that will be in the WCHA in 2013-14 share many similarities with Northern. We all have similar locations with hometowns that passionately support their hockey programs. We also all offer similar academic offerings and have similar student bodies. We all have strong NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs, but a Division I hockey program. Having our hockey team travel west also compliments our recruiting footprint for not just athletics, but the university as a whole.”

WCHA men’s membership for the 2013-14 season includes University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), Bemidji State University (BSU), Michigan Technological University (MTU), Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU), Northern Michigan University (NMU) and St. Cloud State University (SCSU).

The WCHA will continue to operate as a 12-team conference for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Current members are UAA, BSU, Colorado College, DU, MTU, UM, UMD, Minnesota State University, UNO, UND, SCSU and University of Wisconsin.

Earlier this year (March 21) the Big Ten announced the formation of a new hockey conference that would include current WCHA-members Minnesota and Wisconsin and begin play in 2013-14. On July 13, WCHA members CC, DU, UMD, UNO, UND announced they would be leaving following the 2012-13 season to form a new league (National Collegiate Hockey Conference) which will begin play in 2013-14.

Thanks for stopping by...

...Alumni Association member Heather Albrecht '96 of Chicago, Ill., Bruce Vida '95, Gracelyn and Madeleine Vida.

...Alumni Association member Jules Chopp '71 of Lowell, Ind.


...Alumni Association member Leslie Ruohomaki '57, '68, '82, of Gladstone, Mich.

From the e-mail bag

Wildcat pride made a visit to the Today Show.

Patti and Katie Tourville of Marquette.

Have something you'd like to share?

Feedback should be directed to dhemmila@nmu.edu.

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