News for NMU Employees

Stryker Executive to Keynote Commencement

Dana Verville of Portage, senior director of global sales excellence at Stryker Corporation, will be the keynote speaker at Northern's mid-year commencement on Saturday, Dec. 13. The NMU alumnus also will receive an honorary doctor of business degree.

Verville has 27 years of experience with Stryker, a Fortune 500 medical technologies firm based in Kalamazoo. He has filled various roles of increasing responsibility and now oversees international marketing, marketing communications and sales training groups. Prior to joining Stryker, he began his career working as an account representative for Xerox.

A 1980 graduate of NMU, Verville also holds a master’s in business management from Aquinas College. He is a graduate of the Lead the Leaders program at the University of Michigan and the Advanced Leadership Program at Harvard University.

Student Speaker, Soloist Selected

Emily Schneider of Arlington Heights, Ill., will be the student speaker at Northern Michigan University’s commencement on Saturday, Dec. 13. She will graduate cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minors in economics and English. 

“I feel that I have grown both as a student and a person during my time here, and this gives me a chance to both express some things I have learned, as well as my gratitude to everyone who has helped me along the way,” said Schneider. “It's a great opportunity to show what NMU means to me, and how much I've grown while being here. Having my last words as an NMU student heard by so many people is an honor, and I can't think of a better way to end my undergraduate experience here.”

Schneider lists the theme of her speech as, “Using the NMU experience to be innovative, move past the generation label, and leave a mark on the world.”

The commencement soloist will be Alex Polkinghorne of Hurley, Wis., who is graduating with a music education degree. He will lead the audience in the singing of the national anthem and “Hail Northern.” He is the younger sibling of Callie Polkinghorne, who was the commencement soloist of her graduating class.

The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Superior Dome. It will be broadcast live on WNMU-TV regionally and streamed live in high definition online free of charge through the America One/B2 networks. To see the ceremony, follow the link at