MARQUETTE -- Four Northern Michigan University alumni will be recognized for their achievements as part of Homecoming 2005 activities.  Karen Reese from Marquette will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, Jeffrey Vande Zande from Bay City will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Beverly Laughna from Marquette will receive the Alumni Service Award, and Matthew Wiese from Marquette will receive the Alumni Civic Leadership Award.

          Reese was a founding member of NMU’s Student Leader Fellowship Program (SLFP), which is a nationally recognized leadership initiative that is committed to developing competent, ethical and community-centered leaders.  She has also served as the vice president of Student Affairs at NMU, and is remembered by students, faculty and staff for her wisdom, advice and fairness.  Reese has also committed her time to community service activities for several years.  She graduated first in 1963, then continued her education and also received degrees in 1966 and 1976.

          Vande Zande graduated in 1993.  His poetry and short stories have appeared in over 50 small press magazines and journals, including College English, Passages North, Controlled Burn, The MacGuffin, and Fugue. Two of his poems were nominated for the 1999 Pushcart Prize, and poet Jim Daniels nominated his work for a 2003 Pushcart. He has shared his passion for the literary arts by giving public readings of his works on the campus of Northern Michigan University.

          Laughna became involved in community service during her early years at NMU.  She graduated in 1969 and again in 1983, and her involvement hasn’t stopped.  She serves on the “N” Club Board, Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Alpha Xi Delta Non-Profit Building Corporation, Northern Center for Lifelong Learning Board and has been a member of a number of search committees for faculty and staff positions. She is also actively involved with current students, serving as a mentor in the Student Leader Fellowship Program.

          Wiese, who graduated in 1984, is being recognized for his selfless dedication to the community. He is a founding member and former chair of the county’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinating Council.  He volunteers for United Way of Marquette County, the local Little League, and assists with local political campaigns.  He has been a Cub Scout pack leader and is currently Day Chair for Government Day sponsored by the Lake Superior Community Partnership

          The recipients will be honored at the annual Alumni Association homecoming brunch on Sept. 17.  The NMU Alumni Association awards are presented annually to alumni who have had a positive influence on their professions, or on their communities through public service, or who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding achievements that place them above the norm.

Prepared By
Becky Kratz