Naming Opportunities at Northern Michigan University


APPROVED: May, 1986
REVISED: December 14, 2012


To ensure the guidelines for all future facility and program naming opportunities shall be associated with significant monetary gifts that reflect positively upon the donor/honoree and NMU subject to final approval by the NMU Board of Trustees.


Naming opportunities for non-physical entities such as colleges, departments, programs, professorships, chairs, scholarships, fellowships, or lectureships and the terms and conditions associated with such a naming, shall be subject to final approval by the NMU Board of Trustees.

Principal responsibility for soliciting and arranging for naming opportunities resides with the President of the University in consultation with the Vice President for Advancement.  They are encouraged to adhere to the funding minimums recommended by the NMU Foundation in their initial negotiations, but the President is also granted the discretion, subject to final NMU Board of Trustees approval, to consider other naming arrangements which best serve the wishes of the donor and the interests of Northern Michigan University.

A naming will be implemented only after at least 50% of the privately secured funds have been receipted by the NMU Foundation and no more than half of the total gift amount may be in the form of an irrevocable deferred gift.  The University reserves the right to revoke the name if the pledge is not fulfilled.

The following gift minimum guidelines for endowed naming opportunities at Northern are recommended by the NMU Foundation.


Building or College
Currently unnamed buildings may be named for a major gift or 50% of new building costs, up to $10M and negotiable over $10M. Renaming of existing buildings will occur only when the renaming serves the greater interest of the University and does not violate any existing agreements.  The NMU Board of Trustees has final review and approval on all building naming opportunities.


School or Department
Names of schools and departments present special considerations.  This acknowledges great commitment on the part of the donor.  Final approval of funding arrangements are made in consultation with the dean of the college and must best serve the interests of NMU.



Endowed Distinguished Professorship or Dean’s Chair
Enables University to recruit a scholar who has demonstrated the potential of making exceptional contributions to his/her discipline.  Income from endowment will support salary, professional development, related research and program expense.



Named Chair
Provides income toward an outstanding faculty member’s salary and related expenses, including research and professional conferences.



Portions of Buildings
Individual rooms or wings in new or existing buildings need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Consideration will be given to such matters as type of usage, visibility and traffic flow.  These must be approved by the NMU Board of Trustees.


Endowed Special Program
Provides income to fund special priority projects as identified by the administration of the University.



Named Visiting Professorships
Provides income to apply toward expenses for a visiting professor.  These professorships will allow the University to benefit from talent which would otherwise be unavailable to NMU.


Named Fellowships
Provides income to fund fellowships for graduate students.


Named Lectureships, Research Funds, Faculty Development Funds
Provides annual awards in specified area.



Named Endowed Scholarship
Provides aid to undergraduate students.  Selection criteria is based on donor preferences and the written guidelines are established by the NMU Foundation.

Minimums will be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, by the President and the NMU Board of Trustees.  Any revisions in the policy will be presented to the President for approval.

All naming opportunities at Northern Michigan University must be presented and approved -in accordance with the naming policy -by the NMU Board of Trustees.



Initiating Department/Division

Office of the President, ext. 2242