Dr. John Beaumier (at podium) with NMU President Fritz Erickson, NMU Board of Trustees Chair Rick Popp and NMU Vice President for Advancement Martha Haynes
From left: Don Klimmek of IDI Architects; Levi Verrette, NMU student and grandson of Bill Verrette of Gundlach Champion, the construction manager; NMU Board Chair Rick Popp, NMU President Fritz Erickson and John Beaumier
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Beaumier Alumni Welcome and U.P. Heritage Center was held Saturday over Homecoming weekend. Work on the project is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 21. Dr. John Beaumier, a retired orthopedic surgeon and NMU alumnus, committed $1 million to the NMU Foundation for the facility.
An addition and renovations to portions of the former Gries Hall first-floor space will accommodate a reception area, exhibition space for the U.P. Heritage Center (to be relocated from Cohodas Hall), instructional space, a seminar room, formal reception area, staff offices, archives storage space and an exhibit prep area. The project also will include a new rotunda entrance/façade facing Seventh Street.
The Beaumier family previously contributed $1 million to create an area on campus that would feature exhibits highlighting the region’s socioeconomic, cultural and industrial heritage. The U.P. Heritage Center opened in December 2006 in the Superior Dome and in 2008 moved to its its current location.
Beaumier has maintained close ties to his alma mater since graduating in 1953. He served on the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees and was national campaign chair for the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. He is a past recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, a member of the NMU Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to football and was the featured speaker and honorary degree recipient at the university’s December 2006 commencement.