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Campus Closeup: Cam Hadley

There’s no accurate method of verification, but Cam Hadley (Communications) may have found one of the more unique ways to combine two favorite spare-time hobbies: trout fishing and pie making.

“I was baking up some brook trout I had caught and started to wonder how they might taste in a pie,” he said. “So I combined them with cream of celery soup and some egg to bind it all together. It tasted good; pretty rich. That’s the weirdest pie I’ve ever made, but you can make one with just about anything. I’ve even used black beans as filler when I ran short of blueberries. I figured they looked similar and were about the same size, but I definitely wouldn’t repeat that one. It wasn’t good.”

His new colleagues in Communications praised the mixed-berry pie he brought to the office’s holiday luncheon last week. In the wake of these recent revelations, they are second-guessing what “fillers” might have been lurking beneath the perfectly browned crust adorned with decorative dough accents.

Hadley joined the staff earlier in early December as graphic designer, but he is no newbie when it comes to the job or NMU. The Detroit-area native studied art and design at Northern. “I was a drawing major first, but switched to graphic design because there was more career potential and I didn’t have to explain drawing to the people in church.”

After graduation, Hadley worked with his plumber uncle in Chicago.  He soon returned to the Upper Peninsula for a handyman-type job with the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club, near his great grandparents’ homestead in Engadine. Both were brief stints. Hadley headed downstate to work in his career field for a few years before he was hired by NMU in 1987. The university’s graphic designer position originally was part of Printing Services. Sweeping campus budget cuts forced Hadley to shift gears after 17 years. He was bumped by a fellow union member with more seniority and landed in Continuing Education.

“It may not have been the field I had trained for or felt most comfortable working in, but I don’t regret the experience. I got to learn a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. School bus driver training, which I thought might be awful, turned out to be my favorite thing. I also coordinated motorcycle safety classes. Both are large grant programs run through the state. I stayed current on graphic design programs and skills marketing the Continuing Education programs and through some freelance work on the side. I always hoped a position in that field would open up again and it did.”

Creativity is a trait shared with his wife, Joy Bender-Hadley, an art teacher at North Star Academy. The two became friends while attending NMU, but did not date until they reunited in Detroit. The couple has two sons: Pryce, who works for the city park system in Boulder, Colo.; and Keigan, who is in the U.S. Army Reserves and enrolled at NMU. They also adopted Buck, a Coonhound/German Shepherd mix.

Hadley spends most of his free time outdoors, whether hunting and fishing near Engadine or collecting firewood from the acreage surrounding his home. He said his woodstove “is like my favorite channel. I spend more time in front of that than anything else, watching it closely and making sure everything’s just right.” Hadley eschews a snow blower, favoring manual snow removal with a Yooper scooper. He claims to be highly adept at handling the common tool constructed of sheet metal. That could serve him well this winter.

“The key is to cut channels through the snowbanks instead of lifting up and over so all your effort is just to push and remove. WD-40 keeps the snow from sticking. If Yooper scooping were an Olympic sport, I would medal,” he joked.