NMU Foundation

Opportunities to Build Transformational Collaboration

Philanthropy will play an increasingly important role in the achievement of some of NMU’s strategic objectives.  The NMU Foundation has been working with donors to design and potentially fund two exciting new projects: a Research Institute to be housed in Lee Hall and a Business Innovation Center in the McClintock Building.


NMU Research Institute


Proposed Research center


The Research Institute will provide unparalleled research opportunities on Northern’s campus and will grow the next generation of scholars.

The institute will allow for interdisciplinary research, facilitate the rapid exchange of ideas and foster higher levels of innovation. “With this facility, we hope to ignite the passion and commitment to research excellence in the best and brightest students,” said Dave Bammert of the NMU Foundation. “We are looking to build upon Northern’s strong tradition of collaboration, innovation and scholarship.” 

“The Research Institute will transform this campus in ways we can’t imagine. It will have a significant and far-reaching impact.”

Provost Kerri Schuiling

A target figure of $10 -$12 million would support the phased development of three key components of the institute, including the renovation of Lee Hall, faculty and student research initiatives and resources to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. Among these would be: 

  • endowed professorships
  • international scholars program
  • research fellowships for undergraduate through post-doctoral students
  • student research, presentation and publication support

“This is an exciting opportunity for creative philanthropists to engage in the crafting of this transformational center. Our campus community, alumni and friends will play a key role in shaping the future of the institute,” Bammert added.  The project has already enabled student employees in NMU’s Engineering and Planning Department to get real-world experience in the development and design of the Research Institute. To see the concept video regarding the project, go to http://bit.ly/NMUResearchInstitute.


NMU Business Innovation Center


Proposed Business Center


This proposed center will serve several purposes. First, it will be the new home for the College of Business, whose operations are currently spread across the campus with no central location for business students to congregate. In addition to classrooms, the College of Business will house a cyber-security lab, marketing focus lab and a financial trading lab. The center will also be designed to be the central location for entrepreneurial activities and business formation in the central Upper Peninsula. Organizations such as Invent@NMU, Northern Initiatives, and the new SmartZone have expressed interest in the plans. It will enable students, faculty and business people to interact in a welcoming environment on a daily basis.


Interior view


“The Innovation Center will positively affect the economic landscape surrounding the university by providing space for economic development, entrepreneurial catalyst and funding organizations,” said Mike Nelson of the NMU Foundation.  “The state-of-the-art educational center will be located prominently at the center of campus and will likely become the most active area on campus.” 

“Our primary objective is to create a central hub for entrepreneurship and business formation for the Upper Peninsula that incorporates a new home for the College of Business and creates tremendous opportunities for our students,” said College of Business Dean Dave Rayome. 

The projected cost for the center is $13 million.

For more information on the Research Institute project, please contact:
Kerri Schuiling
906-227-2922 // kschuili@nmu.edu 
or Dave Bammert, 
906-227-2802 // dbammert@nmu.edu.

For more information on the NMU Business Innovation Center project, please contact:
Mike Nelson
906-227-1152 // mnelson@nmu.edu 
or Dave Rayome, 
227-2947 // drayome@nmu.edu.