MARQUETTE -- A scholarship has been endowed to recognize Northern Michigan University students who have demonstrated appreciation of the Upper Peninsula's natural resources.

Chris Fries, coordinator of Northern's vocational support services, made the gift to This Decisive Season: The Campaign for Northern Michigan University to create The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) Scholarship, which was endowed by a match through the university's campaign challenge program.

The recipient will be chosen by the UPEC board.  The award will go to a student of any major or class status who is working to protect and maintain the special environmental qualities of the U.P. Strong consideration will be given for participation in local, habitat-enhancing projects.

Fries is a UPEC board member.  He has been an employee at NMU for the past six years.

"Creating this scholarship enabled me to do something positive for three things I really care about: Northern Michigan University, NMU students and the environment of the U.P.," said Fries.  The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Scholarship is one of more than 50 that have been endowed since the start of This Decisive Season in June 1996.  The new scholarships are worth more than $300,000 annually to NMU students and have an overall investment value of more than $4 million to the university.  The goal of This Decisive Season is to raise $30 million in private giving to NMU by June 2003 of which more than $29 million in gifts have been pledged to date.

Further information about NMU's scholarship program is available at www.amu,edu/development or by calling the Development Fund Office at (906) 227-2627.

Prepared By
Cindy Paavola
Director of Communications