Our Favorite Memories

Alumni share their winter memories.

I remember having a "wipe-out" chart on the wall. About eight of us in the dorm hall were in on it. Every time you fell (in the winter) you put a mark on the chart next to your name. Each fall was 10 cents. A three-pointer was 5 cents and if you fell and didn't put it down, it was a quarter. We had enough money in the spring to get a pony keg. We took it to Sands and had a party. I lived in Gant and worked in the cafeteria. On Fridays, after work, we would go to Remillards for pool, beer and pizza. In the spring, I remember going with my wife (then girlfriend) to Presque Isle for picnics. Sometimes we would watch the otters at the Presque Isle Zoo. I do remember traying at the ski hill at night after it closed for the day. Greek Week when the Delta Tau Delta beat the TKE's in the tug of war. First time in 19 years they had been beaten. After, we all went to Andy's Bar. (Andy's was a Delt hangout and the Northland was the TKE's.) Andy closed the bar to all but Delts and TKEs and their friends. What a party! I can say there weren't too many TKEs there. I also remember the students helping to clear the snow off the football field before the late fall games. Since there were only three channels on the TV, we watched a lot of Sesame Street in the mornings and soap operas in the afternoon. The TV room seemed to have a perpetual card game going; hearts, pinochle or gin rummy. I fondly remember when the smelt would run, going to the river and dipping them out. It was bonfires, beer and FUN! While in school, Marquette and I had a love/hate relationship. It seemed each spring I couldn't wait to get out of there and all summer long I would wish I was there. It wasn't until my final year in Marquette that I spent the summer in town and truly learned what a wonderful place Marquette is.

Jack MacLachlan

My memories of Northern began the first time I arrived in Marquette. It was January 1972 and Marquette was in the middle of the worst snowstorm in 30 years. It took me 12 hours to get there by bus from Detroit. It took another six hours to reach campus because both of the city's two cabs were stuck. I remember the lava lamps, bongs, the bust of Hunt Hall dealers, the Alibi Rock Theatre with the lighted dance floors. Streakers, people jumping out of second story windows into snowbanks. Muhammad Ali, Julian Bond, Maya Angelou, Herbie Hancock, Les McCann. Summers and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Falling stars, UFO's, Mike Garland, Izzo and a whole lot of good friends that I see to this day.

Ed Bernard

Looking back to what Northern Michigan University has meant to me, I feel a large number of memories: As it is with anything that has been long past, I kind of think that the bad parts are much less remembered than the good parts. I honestly remember many good times up there which didn't always include the education. When I was there we did a lot of socializing, which included on and off-campus.  I recall many fun times at places such as the Tip Top, Flanigan's, the Elite and many of the restaurants in Marquette that served some very good meals where we had very good experiences. On campus, we played the old card games such as hearts, canasta, smear and usually broke for classes when the time came. Most of the classes I was given a report as to what would be happening and in some cases I had to hold myself from laughing out loud or as they would say on the computer now, lol. I suppose you could say that I followed the easiest direction in my studies. I took the classes I did well in and tried to avoid the ones I did poorly in. Except for English. We had to take so many required classes I think I ended up with a major in that field. My favorite classes were geography and history and I got a job in the geography area as a cartographer for a few years but ended up as a librarian, which would be the English field. It was a blessing for the computers to come out and have spell check available. The degree from Northern was good to show that I could learn enough to do my job even though the information was not always available in the classes I took. The important part to me, though, was being able to be exposed to so many different subjects and knowledge which I have been able to enjoy all my working and retired life. Without the education, I would not have been able to enjoy my life nearly as much as I have.

Jerome Waldron

Well, let's just say that I have a ton of memories from life at NMU! Those were the days dedicated just to me and life was just about me. I took advantage of having that time. I made great friends, had great times and love thinking back on those years. My favorite things, well, to name a few; the Shamrock, Rugby, Dance Team, my friends, meeting my husband and well, moving on and living a great life.

Tami Steinman Havel

There are a few favorite memories. One is the great dorm food. I know most colleges have bad food, but all my friends at Central Michigan would come up and pig out on our cafeteria food. I remember the cook-outs with real steaks and the ice cream machines and Eggs Benedict on Sundays.
My other memory was the snowfall being so deep that it ate up my '76 Gremlin in the parking lot of Payne Hall for an entire winter. And the stupid thing started right up in the spring, like it had not been under a drift at all; great car but lots of rust by 1980. Doing the Alligator at that crazy bar off-campus, seeing all the kids laying on the floor, kicking up their legs. But the best was the feeling of safety. I never felt unsafe; in the dorm, on campus or in town. When other colleges had problems with crime, we never heard of any or experienced any. I slept like a log every night at NMU, totally without fear. Maybe part of that was just being a dumb kid, but I really felt and still feel that it was the safest place to have gone to college. That's my best memory...the feeling of safety and being young and carefree. Thanks NMU! And thanks to all my Tri Sigma sisters that made it fun.

Melinda Ashton Semer

Favorite memory? Well, I would have to say all the friends you meet along the way. Those cold nights in Gant Hall during the first snowfall of the season. The Brule Run will be something I will never forget. Just the atmosphere of the campus will be something I will never forget. Of course, there will always be a few people that mean the most to you over that time. If they happen to see this entry, they are Jon K., Ray M., Julie M., Joel C., and all the guys from the Brule House from 1997-2000. The memories will last forever.

Dan Sigler

Lots of memories but my favorite memory was listening to the college radio station--WBKX. I used to listen to the station in the afternoons and early evening. There were these two guys who had a show called Squatting Bear & Camel show. It was hilarious--they played a lot of alternative music mainly (at that time) and talked about all kinds of stuff that really had not much relevance to anything at all. But it was great listening to them. One of the guys had a deep baritone voice and the other had a cool, polished accent and it was a unique combination. I think these guys were well ahead of their time because they not only played music but they actually talked on the air about stuff other than music. This was not that common in those days, unlike now where talk radio shows are a dime a dozen. I hope those guys are still doing radio somewhere.


My favorite college memory? My time at Northern was fantastic! Every aspect of my learning experience was a new step forward for me becoming who I am today. Football, hockey, basketball games, President's Round Table, President's Ball...there was just so much that molded this non-traditional student. But my favorite memory is of walking early in the morning and seeing President Bailey walking her dog. Everything about Northern and family is a living memory today. I will never forget the many people who touched my heart. Jon, Jody, Sarah, Jose, Carl, Kim, Erin, Angie, Colleen, Beth, the list is unending. Congrats to all of you for a job well done. Have a joyous and wonderful life. Go Wildcats! Keep in touch.

Dottie Post
'02, '03

Portside breadsticks have to be one of my fondest memories! I get them every time I go back to Marquette. Also, all the great times with friends and working at The North Wind. My best friend and I both attended Northern and we love to recount old memories!

Ericka Hafferkamp DeLange

Having spent my high school years in Australia, I was so impressed by the snow at NMU. I love cross-country skiing and wearing down jackets and jumping in snow banks. I have since returned to Australia and I really miss all the winter and snow stuff. But most of all, I miss my good old NMU friends. Where are you guys? Please email me at ruthgoss@iinet.net.au if you remember and want to get in touch. I would love to hear from you. Especially those guys that were in my wedding--where are you Fannitra Donald, Eric Heyland, Scott Hazel, Kevin Brozier, Anne Izzo? I would love to talk to you.

Ruth Koontz (Goss)

College, by far, was the best four years of my life. Recently, I submitted some of my memories and I didn't mention one very special person who was there for me when I needed him most and I hope, when he was in Iraq, I was there for him. Andy was a wonderful friend to me at NMU and after we graduated. I hope no matter where we are in life, he always knows he meant so much to me. Cherish the friends and people who walk into your life because, as the poem says, they always leave footprints in your heart.

Shannon Truse

Loved working at WBKX Radio. It propelled me to a brief radio career after college, but I always remembered where I got my start. I especially enjoyed the cast of characters we had as on-air personalities. Unbelievable! It was like working a psych ward. I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

Dave Polick

Coming from a small UP town, Republic, within Marquette County, NMU was the obvious choice for me, and several others from my small graduating class (20 of us). We'd gone through K-12 together, now four of us were going to the NMU dorms together, three of us in Halverson and one in Spooner. We had such great times, with each other and all our new friends. Two of the four of us met their husbands in Halverson, and while home was only a 40-min. drive away, we usually spent our weekends at NMU (the fact that our parents stopped by and brought us groceries and treats when they were out shopping in Marquette helped greatly!). I think we had it made there, the best of both worlds--it was an extension of our home and the small-school atmosphere we were raised in, but with so many new friends and experiences waiting. Even now, when my husband and I go to Republic for a weekend (we're in Green Bay, which I swear is made up of 65% former Yoopers!), we often take a drive to Mqt. so I can check out the changes to the campus and the dorms and apartments I lived in during my years there.

Heidi Hofbauer

There are so many wonderful times that I can recall being at NMU. I remember being so nervous when I first came to the university. I am from Chicago and being so far away from home was a very risky thing to overcome, however I couldn't be happier than being that risk taker and enduring my journey at NMU. I met so many wonderful people and close friends (Jamie Galbari & Erin Lenzer (Ulness).I had my ups and downs and learned many valuable life experiences,but through it all I learned how to be independent and learn to enjoy being young and free. Since I graduated in 2001 I try to make it up to Marquette every summer or fall and visit one of my most favorite areas in the world. I have recently just shared with my fiancé Jim this wonderful place and he loved it so much he would like us to move here someday he said! Some of my favorite places that we all love are
Presque Isle, Sugarloaf & McCarty Cove. Some of my most favorite hangouts were the good old Shammy, Jack's!Tee Pee (Ishpeming) the best bloody mary's in the world!, 3rd Base, and of course my friend's annual apartment and house parties! I love the outdoors and I remember loving to take my bike from Halverson Hall and riding it to Presque Isle and just sitting at the beach for hours relaxing. It was a nice time to get away from all the studies and take my mind off things when I needed too. Thanks to all those people (Renee,Nate,Johnny,Jenny,Shelly,Janelle,Kelly,Laura,Matt,Brad(Beef),Ryan(Pudge),
Maria,Erin,Jamie, Darren,Marlin,Derek,&PeeWee) and everyone else who made so many memories the best times ever at NMU.

Shannon Truse

There were so many good times spent at NMU. I met my best friend, Kim Shannon (now Smith) at NMU....and we are still friends to this day. The Nickel, where we would drink cheap beer, shoot darts and put dollar bills up on the ceiling. The Shamrock, where we socialized to 2:00 a.m. and then went to Burger King and Taco Bell for a quick snack. The Portside Inn, where they serve the best breadsticks with cheese dip. I always loved hiking up Sugarloaf at mid-night without a flashlight or going to Presque Isle in the afternoon after a full day of class. Cliff diving off Presque Isle...enough said:) Late nights studying with Brendon in an attempt to pass Dr. Ball's Comparative Government Exams or to prepare for Dr. Ashby's "socratic method" in Con Law. The student organizations were a blast, especially the Student Law Forum. Our trips to mock trial competitions always ended up with things happening that we couldn't share with our parents --- Thanks Mark and Rico. !
And who can forget my favorite RA....Ron Seaberry!! Of course, we won the Winterfest Competition with our version of Men In Black. Ron, you make the best "Will Smith":) and Brendon definitley made the best "Alien". But, I must say the best time was going to the hockey games!! Friday and Saturday nights were the best!! Rocky Welsing was my favorite player!! I remain a true wildcat fan to this day. Thanks NMU for the GREAT times!!

Jennifer Johnson Howell

Lots of memories! First two years (actually all four years due to overbuilding of dorms) of enforced residence in Halverson Hall, Potawammi wing. Three to a room was the norm. The freshman bonfire that year (1967) was so high (71’) that Marquette decided they needed an ordinance to limit future heights. After the first semester half the freshman class flunked out ‘cause at the time Northern gave everyone a chance no matter how poor their high school grades were. One year on May 15th, it is snowing and fifteen days later the temperature is near 100. Of course fire hydrants are turned on; water being dumped out of second and third floor windows and campus didn't care until the following day when maintenance was getting called on stuck plumbing valves, sand being the culprit. The first draft lottery and a sudden exodus of guys going back home to work in the auto factories. Why? BTW mine was 96 but auto factories did not hold a fascination for me even if it had been over 125. Ice skating class at 8 am a mile across campus but there were only 25 students at that time. The women’s job core was located in Carey hall the first two years bringing problems with their boy friends from KI Sawyer. After there contract expired it was turned into dorm with open house hours from 8 am to 10 pm and the first coed dorm. (My first two years of dorm life had about eight open house days for two hours with doors open.) (Times definitely have changed and definitely for the worse!) Oh how I loved the winter nights walking my girl friend back to Meyers hall with the biting wind blowing at 11 pm and returning. Or the year the temperature never reached 32 degrees for months and the City of Marquette had to start filling in the city sidewalks with snow because they ran out of place the snow and it was not sinking any. Can’t forget to mention the Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant spewing out its obnoxious fumes and huge particulate matter. Working for the audio visual department I found myself lugging Kalart Victor 16 mil projectors to classrooms showing films for class. Running lights for the BJ Thomas concert and not believing the tales of some the crew who went to a party with BJ and his crew. There were many more fun times that I will remember later. But the tough times were studying for each exam like it was going to make or break me. By mid-semester I would be ready to drop out at the end of the semester but after receiving my grades I would continue on. And now some bragging, I was the curve breaker in all my accounting classes. It was discouraging not being able to search for jobs knowing that military service was the next thing in my life. Would I do it again? You bet!

Joe Gavlas

I started as a freshman at NMU in 1973 (30 years ago, hard to believe) arriving early for marching band camp. I lived in Tarawa House in Payne Hall the year before it became a quiet hall, and I know first-hand some of the reasons that decision was made. Memories include weather hotter than I ever thought possible for the UP during marching band camp practice. Enjoying the evenings with other bandmates was great. And, of course, there was the cold and snow during the winters. I remember streakers, Gonzo Media Outlaws, and the Pat Theut for Snow Queen campaign. There was fine cuisine at Pizza Arena and a #16 at Togos. And nightlife at the North End, Andy's, Traffic Jam, Snuffy's and other locations. But most importantly the people--other students, faculty, and staff that I met and who helped me make my stay at Northern memorable and valuable. The experience remains with me to this day.

Paul Killey

There are many wonderful memories of NMU and Marquette, but I think what always stays in my heart is that this is the place I met my most cherished and dearest friends, Terry and Debbie. Terry and I became roommates due to the fact that I was afraid of lightening storms and ran to her room next to mine one stormy afternoon in Carey Hall. We talked for hours and decided quickly to share a suite since my roommate never showed up that year. It was hilarious to pack up our buckets and cool whip containers and head to the community bathrooms in robes, or smell the strange odors cooking in the kitchen. We had sooooooooo many great times at NMU and meeting other people in the dorm like Carol, Sharon, Joni, Peg, Pam, Rhonda, Mike, Carrie, Sparkles, Mary and so many others including Deb. She was an angel many times and continues to spread her wings around Marquette as she and her husband, Shaun, now live there. Many of that crew remain close today and try to have reunions as much as possible. They are scattered all over Michigan and I am in Texas. I try to get back as often as I can. I miss Lake Superior, Presque Isle, Third Street, hockey games, football, the Pier, Villa Capri and campus life as we knew it in those days. But mostly I miss the daily friendship of so many great NMU alumni. Our last day together in Marquette, several of us went to Big Boy for a farwell lunch and jumped on the statue for lots of pictures. Quite memorable!

Nancy Yesney-Spates

My favorite college memory is singing the National Anthem at my graduation ceremony. It had been a long, hard road for me and the emotions I felt as I sang were beyond description. I had arrived in 1989 with four children and a determination to finish my college education. It was my good fortune to end up at NMU because at another institution, I may have become overwhelmed and discouraged and quit before I achieved my goal. I made immediate, long lasting friends who helped me with babysitting, car repair, creative job scheduling (!) and shoulders to cry on when it all got too much. I had professors who allowed me to gain first hand experience toward my theatre degree by casting me in leading roles. This does not happen to undergraduates at most universities. My children sometimes had to come to class with me and ended up learning a lot about acting and directing! Living in family housing was a trip...five people in a Lincoln Street apartment with two bedrooms! Good thing they were little at the time or we would never have fit! It took me three years of "senior status" to graduate since I couldn't take a full load of classes, work full time and care for my kids. But I managed to graduate magna cum laude, five hundreths of a point short of summa. (Darn that Mythology teacher who gave me an A-...) The day I walked across the stage, my mom, dad and sister were there, having traveled all the way from Missouri. I graduated Northern exactly 20 years after I graduated from high school...and believe me it meant the world to me to finally have my degree. I don't think I could have done it at any other school. I still apply many of the lessons I learned in my everyday life. There is one more favorite memory that happened eight years after my graduation date. In 2000, my son Ryan also graduated from Northern. During the honors dinner when he was being named outstanding Male Graduating Student of NMU, he looked at me and said "Thanks for all you did for us Mom. I had no idea."

Barbara Burri

Many wonderful memories come to mind but there are two that stick out: first was freshman year in "under the sea", the 24-hour quiet all girl floor in Spalding. All the girls would get together to Watch Days of Our Lives in the TV room. We were the loudest bunch in the dorms...the next year we changed to The Breakfast Club. While painting the walls we kinda made lots of messes ending up covered with paint but having a blast...to all you girls out there from 94-98, it was a blast! Miss ya'. Little Jen

Jen Hanson

Flour fights in the third floor laundry/kitchen of West Hall, walking to the Shamrock and then the long, cold walk home at 2:00 a.m., the BLUE house on Third, Wild Bill's Poli Sci classes, the crazy PR group, what fun we had! It was in college that I met my best friends and husband. I just wouldn't be the same person without having had gone to NMU. Thanks Northern!

Karen Forrest-Burke

Painting Picnic Rock with Joe during Homecoming 2001 gold and green with the phrase NMU 9-11-01 with the yellow ribbon to remember the victims that died at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.


Good old NMU! What can you say bad about the place? Nothing! I loved living in the residence halls, always something going on at any hour. I love the people I met and the friends I made. Being in that setting with all the beautiful scenery and recreation it was hard to get some studying done. I recommend NMU to anyone who wants a great college experience with smaller class and campus size and laid back town, compared to Lansing or Ann Arbor. I worked as a resident assistant during summer orientation in 1985; the greatest summer ever, lots of fun with a great group of people and lots of memories and road trips. Lots of memories from those years. Winterfest snow statues and falling asleep on a snow dragon in below zero temps, broomball tournaments, homecoming parades, hockey games at Lakeview and the Donor's Room. What ever happened to Jane Darga, Donna Johnson, Laura Wagner, Leigh Lewis, Susan Beaudoin?

Debbie Kahila-Younk

Everything! NMU was the best time of my life. Living in West Hall, Kate, Jill, Brian, Chad--the whole gang, we never stopped finding new and creative ways to entertain ourselves. Hockey games, hiking, being able to see Lake Superior from campus as I walked to class. Standing in the middle of the football field looking up into the Superior Dome, what an amazing structure. Hiking Hogsback in the middle of winter, driving in blizzards because I just needed to get to the video store. Walking to class when the temperature outside was 59 below with the windchill and your lungs felt like they froze every time you sucked in the air. Marquette was the greatest town with the greatest scenery in the world and I would not hesitate at a chance to make it home again. Being from Indiana, spending summers working in Minnesota, living in upstate New York with trips to Georgia Bay in Canada, I can still honestly say, Marquette is and always will be my favorite place.

Kris House

So many memories. Being here for the football championship, the start of the hockey program, the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the giant snow monkey, the fire in Payne Hall, Normandy House and off campus to Exile House and The Asylum. What I'll probably remember most were the streakers in the Payne-Halverson Quad dining room during finals week for three semesters in a row. And the best memory of all; meeting my wife-to-be, Debnie Fisher, a week before I graduated.

Shaun M. Clark

Before you can appreciate my memories, you have to put the era in perspective. January 1972, the drinking age was lowered to 18 years because if 17 year old guys were able to shoot a gun and die in Vietnam, then they sure ought to be able to walk into a bar and order a beer. Bar hopping and keggers were legal. Peanut night at Andy's, the Pier, Back Door, Brat House and the Tip Top were familiar places. But it doesn't necessarily mean that alcohol consumption was the focus. Socializing and meeting people was the name of the game. I could nurse a glass of Boone's Farm Apple or Strawberry Hill for hours. Being initiated into the Lambda Chi Crescents, being paraded in front of the crowd at the Palestra. The Raft Race from Tourist Park to the Hot Pond. Smelting into the wee hours, biting off that first head. Living in a first time, coed dorm. Happy hour at the Four Seasons. The entire student population traying at midnight when the first snow fell. Having a blizzard show up, whenever it was time to drive home to the burbs. Snow so thick, I couldn't see Hunt Hall from Halverson. Snowshoeing up to the foot of Tahquamenon Falls. Having Yoopers refer to us as "Detroit area brats" but loving it anyway. Laughing Whitefish Falls, when there was no wooden structure, only a teetering ladder to climb down. Going to class with the first female ROTC students. Lambda Chi White Rose, at the Chalet, which burned down the next year. The tv room full, to watch Phillip and Tara on All My Children. Dances at the Typewriter shop. Learning to repel off ROTC Rock in Survival Skills class. Never missing an NMU home football game in 5 years. Losing every home game in '74, in the middle of blizzards and rain. Winning in 1975, in our comeback season. Thanks, Steve. Being here when the Edmund Fitzgerald went down. I graduated in '75, Michigan had a freeze on state social work jobs. I left Marquette in '76 because I still didn't have work. I make the 450 mile trek to Marquettte, annually if possible. I turned 49 today, but last October, I made it up Sugarloaf for the umpteenth time.

Donna Vandermark

Studying Field Tchniques and a few other things at the Cusino Lake Field Station, Metropolis of Melstrand. Pat Farrell and Ivan Fende were "Professor's in Charge". Until one beautiful summer night. We decided to make a bonfire in the fire pit located in front of the "in charge people" cabin. Soon the blaze was on. Little did I know that many among us were campfire pyromaniacs. Without dwelling, when the flames reached a height of 30 feet, the "people in charge" came storming out of their cabin and all **** broke loose! They were so angry that we wondered if we would get kicked out. Being the kind and gracious people they were, they soon laughed, following major hollering (no damage done) and the four week stay was even better. We all became great friends. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and it seems like yesterday. O.K. I have to get back to work, however, the trip back was great!!!

John Mohr

I don't even know where to start! A spur of the moment decision (always good when choosing your educational needs) led me up to the most freezing, beautiful, paradoxical, fun place on earth. The student loans will be paid off in a few years but my memories of that fine institution will last forever. Dr. Platt, I want to thank you for having the toughest Psych class in the U.S., conveniently scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Dr. Karen Rybacki is a true saint, always positive and encouraging. Mr. Robert Miller was (and is) a great mentor and friend who always made the time to talk about religion, politics and anything else that came to mind. I look back fondly at our little gang of friends from Port Huron who always managed to be in the center of fun/trouble, take your pick. The late nights working and playing at the Shamrock, drinking, fighting, listening to some of the most god awful music, Swivel, you guys were cool but ever heard of changing your set list? Kidding. Bill and Shizuka's endless physical destruction of my beloved West Hall. The endlessly freezing winters that this troll never seemed to be prepared for. Jen Blough, thank you for feeding me during my first year there. Todd, you still have a killer sense of humor. Joe LaPorte, thanks for watching my back at the Rock. Dale and Nancy for giving me some extra spending money. EconoFoods, what would I have done without you? How do I count the ways? To Blossom and Six who provided for endless hours of entertainment, at your expense, of course. Through it all, I made a strange city that I had never been to...my own. Thanks for the memories.

Shane Chapman

Regardless of how much snow, wind or cold, Dr. Earney from the Geography Department would ride his bicycle to campus. His hard-sided briefcase was strapped on the back, and he always wore a dark fur (mink?) Russian hat. As tough as they come for an instructor, the high standards he expected from his students have been my strongest assets over the years. All of the professors in the Geography Dept. of the 70s have contributed in their own ways to my successes--including Pat Farrell, John Hughes, Dick Mahowski, Fred Joyal, Bernie Peters and the others whose names now escape me. But all in all, the experience of a lifetime.

Jesse Luttenton

One of the funniest memories I have is when I was sitting by my window in good ol' Spalding Hall (when it was still all-female) waiting to see my grandma walk up the sidewalk for a visit. Instead, to my astonishment and disbelief, she decides to turn onto the sidewalk (thinking it a driveway or parking lot) park her baby blue Oldsmobile in the middle of the Gant/Spalding courtyard and get out of the car with three of her friends. It's Saturday morning, they're looking around wondering where to go next, and I'm wondering whether or not to go out. My friends up and down the hall are laughing so hard...needless to say, that day, I taught my grandma where to park next time!

Lynn (Barrette) Gaunt

I have many moments that could be classified as "favorites". From hockey games at Lakeview (who could forget the donors room) to Gant Hall and winter fest snow sculptures, NMU gave me a lifetime of memories. Being a member of Lamba Chi Alpha made my college experience that much better. I made friends there that I will have for life. Aside from that, I feel a deep attachment to both Lambda Chi and NMU, a desire to see them both excel in the future. My favorite memories are from the beginning of the Fall semester. I loved coming back to school in the fall. It was still warm out and everyone was having fun, seeing each other after the summer break. I will always cherish those days, whenever I need to smile, I sit back and think of NMU.


There were many good times had by myself and friends in Marquette and at Northern. My favorite memories are of the times we had living in the house on the "Rock", 316 E. Michigan St. There were four of us gals and we lived in the house with the BEST view of Marquette and Lake Superior. You could watch the sun rise and set from one of the highest points in the city. You could see all the ships on the lake. One thing that amazed me was that the lake never looked the same from day to day. We had many good times in that house and some of you probably came to some of our parties. One of my favorite things to do while attending Northern was to go down to the breakwall and sit and watch the sun set over Marquette. Whenever things got me down or I was feeling stressed I would take a run down to that spot and sit for an hour or so and watch the sun go down. Those memories hold dear for me and I will never forget the beauty of Marquette and Northern.

Becky Hunter

April 1996 when my roommate, Mary K. Kearns, and her boyfriend, Matt Berch, decided it was a good idea to hike Presque Isle in about three feet of snow! It was the best afternoon ever, and I still have the pictures to prove it.

Jill Hanson

It was a cold, dark night as I sat doing homework in my room, located in Payne Hall, when I heard a knock on my door. I put aside my book and opened the door. My friend stood outside the door in full winter gear with frost on his beard. He asked me if I wanted to walk out to ROTC rock to get some exercise. We didn't see many people outside the dorms. It was very cold and it was late. We got outside the campus and entered the forest. We slowly pushed our way up the hill through the deep snow and got to the top of ROTC rock. It was a very clear night and there was no moon, so the stars were very bright. I was entranced. My friend told me to look to the north and I was shocked. the Northern Lights were glistening across the sky in three different colors. They were rippling across the sky in waves. I thought it was some trick at first, but then I knew it was a natural phenomenon. It was so awesome the hair stood up on the back of my head. Well, it could have if all the layers of clothing weren't mashing it down. We made a little indentation in the snow, lay back and continued looking up at the sky for a long time that night. I'll never forget it. I just wish I could find the guy who brought me up there that night so I could thank him. A girlfriend got between us a couple years later, and we fell out of touch. I still have dreams about my experiences up there. I'll always love Marquette and NMU. If you're out there Steve S., thanks for all the memories.

Michael Johnson

My boyfriend and I were walking home from a frat house Halloween party when we decided to get a pizza from that place by Togo's. We dropped the pizza on the cement outside the Third Base. Everyone in the bar stood and applauded. I'll never forget it!

Ann Supanich

The time went by so fast, and my brain is still filled with memories of Dreamscapes, Spooner Hall, the UC (and its old booths), but mostly of the wildlife surrounding the area. There was so much to explore for just one person, but so help me God, I tried to search it all. I'd always go hiking in any condition wearing whatever I had on at the time. A friend of mine, Sean Booth, and I hiked out to Presque Isle in the middle of a serious snow storm at 10:00 p.m. at night, and stayed there until 6:00 a.m., and still made it back for our 8:00 a.m. classes. But I'd say the funniest experience I had was when several friends of mine, in the fall of my senior year, went hiking out to a creek and found some cliffs. They were beautiful, and we stayed out there a bit too long. It got rather dark, and the only thing lighting our way was a lit cigarette of mine. Which they said was bounding through the forest looking for the path back until it dropped and completely disappeared! I had fallen off a cliff! The rocks broke my fall on the way down (Thank God it was angled a bit), after saying "DON'T FOLLOW ME", they found the trail as I climbed up. We made it back after slowing down a bit! I still have the scar on my left leg from that fall, but man, that was a night I will never forget. I'm sure all of you reading these memories have hiked something out there and had some fun in the Marquette woods that you'll never forget....if not...get out there and do it! Good luck to all. It was fun.

Nicky Strahl aka The Wookie

I must say, being a part of the orientation staff at NMU. It was a great experience and I could not have had a better opportunity. I worked very closely with Jim Gadzinski and he became my Dad away from home. I had a great time and met many wonderful and fun people.

Lisa Gustin Gross

Taking the drive from Pontiac, MI to NMU in December, 1976 to start NMU in January of '77 began some of the best moments of my life. I truly have not been as happy since. It was as if for the first time in my life, I was really alive. I loved the campus, lived in West Hall, made wonderful friendships that have lasted almost 25 years. Marquette General Hospital was a small brick building, not the wonderful building and facility it has become. I volunteered there in pediatrics. Hiking Sugarloaf, catching the northern lights at Presque Isle, doing work-study--setting up for banquets--I even met President Ford when he came to speak because he wanted to meet everyone who had set up the room so nicely. I have visited many times since, and hope to return to the area to live some day.

Linda (McIntyre) Henderson

My most memorable experiences of NMU are a bit different than what I've read so far. You see, my NMU experience began in 1994 and went through spring of 1996. Those years I remember my roommate sneaking in a parakeet to our room. We conned the custodians into keeping quiet about it by naming the birds after them. There was also the memory of the girls in West Hall playing hide and seek with my teddy bear and once I found it stuffed in with the fire extinguisher. Of course, there are a hundred more incidents from those years, but this isn't the time to mention those memories. Now here's the difference in my NMU memories. I have memories from 1993-97 when I came back to take up where I had left off in 1976. I was 37 and living amongst the "kids". However, most of them never acted like I was any older than them. The memories I have of this time were of us Kat Pack-ers cheering at all the games, the midnight runs to Econofoods, the campus cinema movies, and working in the multicultural office. I have to say the thing I remember most from these years is just feeling like I had come back home. I have lived in 7 towns/cities (besides Marquette) in the last 40 years, but not one of them comes close to what I felt living in Marquette. Marquette is unique in that as big as it is, the people are so genuinely friendly that you feel you've known them for years. The scenery and nature of Marquette gives on the idea that they have the best of both worlds--country and city living all in one. When I'm feeling down or sad, I just haul out my memories of NMU and Marquette and soon I'm smiling again. Thanks, NMU and Marquette for the best years of my life!

Kay Battice

One of my favorite college memories was being rescued by Steve Mariucci and Tommy Izzo as I was a new freaky freshman and so nervous about beginning college. Tom and Steve were from my hometown of Iron Mountain and close friends with my older sister Maryellen. They took me under their wing and I felt relaxed and cool to know these super athletes...too bad I have not kept in touch, these two are now too famous for me!

Nance Parent

My favorite college memory would have to be Alpha Xi Delta, The Shamrock, Birthday Bash, Delta Chi parties, TKE parties! So many memories, and how the time and lifestyle sure has went by so fast!

Jennifer (Judge) Amoe

I have so many great memories I could write a book! How about I narrow it down to two.... Picture this: It was my senior year of college--last semester to be exact. The last thing I wanted was to be involved with someone. So I am sitting there one Saturday night--so thrilled to have turned down my friends "bar invitation" watching Saturday Night Live when the phone rang. It was my best friend who was living in Hunt Hall. She begged me to go on a blind date with some boy who lived down the hall from her. I said no. Then she begged me some more. She wanted to go out with his friend and thought it would be better if we could all double date. So I gave in. What a nightmare that turned out to be! We went to the Portside and he didn't speak to me. He just sat there talking to his friend. I was so mad! My friend had talked him up so much! "Oh, he is so sweet--so considerate--he is so cute." Okay! Where was THAT guy? I was out with a guy who wouldn't talk to me all night and then to top it off, he and his friend took off and never even said goodbye to me! The nerve! I was mortified and told my friend not to do me any more favors! I guess I was just shy. At least that's what he tells me... we have been married for almost three years! One of my other all time favorite memories is one of the nights my friends and I climbed Sugarloaf Mountain. It had to be around 2 or 3 AM one Saturday early in the winter. When I reached the top, I laid down on one of the benches and gazed up into a sky filled with stars. There were so many stars in the sky that it looked like a sparkling ceiling. The air was so clean and cold--I could have stayed there forever. I think about that night a lot--and of how peaceful it felt. It is one of my favorite memories because it reminds me that even in a time of chaos, there is calmness.

Pamela (Atkinson) Turner

I have about 1,000 favorite memories from my time at NMU. But my favorite memories are those times I spent playing bass in bands such as Propane Moses, Midnight Texas and Laughing Boy. I absolutely loved rocking out with my friends at places like Remies, the Village Pub and the UC. It was really great.

Greg Wood

I have collected many memories at Northern. From spending four years in Van Antwerp Residence Hall to my involvement in many student organizations, NMU has provided me with memories and friends that will last a lifetime. There have been numerous late night talks with friends and spontansously running outside in the middle of winter diving into five feet of snow in our boxers. However, my most memorable college experience was when 20 of my closest friends and I drove to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to cheer on the hockey Wildcats in the 1999 CCHA playoffs. The first night NMU played the top-ranked Michigan State Spartans. Joe Louis was filled with nearly 15,000 Spartan fans and about 400-500 Wildcat fans. However, our group of 20 students were the rowdiest, loudest, most spirited fans in the building. Our faces were painted, we had banners, and proudly displayed our green and gold. During the second period when the Wildcats were down 3-1, the Spartan fans were heckling the NMU fans. That didn't last for long as the Wildcats scored four unanswered goals and won the game 5-3. After the game, as we made our way out to the ticket counter to purchase tickets for the following night's game, we cheered and celebrated with other Wildcat fans. Many Spartan fans came up to us at the end of the game to congratulate us and comment on our spirit. That was the night when 15,000 MSU fans sat silent while a handful of Wildcat fans celebrated victory.

Nathan Leach

All my days at NMU are filled with nothing but good memories! Like others have said, arriving in town on M-28 and seeing the city on the shore brought a ton of relief after the long drives from Illinois. The thing that really gave me the goose bumps was when I saw the "Home of Northern Michigan University" sign over Front Street. Other times, it was the snow packed streets and all the white lights on the downtown buildings on Washington. Most of all, the best memories were made with all the friends I had made, including my wife. It could have been the cliff diving, or the hikes up Sugarloaf, maybe all the afternoons hanging out on the lawn at the Lambda Chi house on Fourth Street, but probably just the security the people and the town gave me. Marquette and NMU are both one very unique community which I hope many, many more students learn to enjoy and take advantage of all it has to offer.

Bill Hawker

I played hockey for the Marquette Americans Junior C team during my first two years as a student at Northern. Because of an injury I was forced to finally hang up my skates in January of 1983. Having little free time prior to my hockey retirement, I soon found myself needing to find something that would not only take my mind off hockey, but also interest me. One afternoon while strolling through NMU's campus, I happened to be walking by Lee Hall. I had never been in that building before and I guess curiosity got the best of me. Right then I walked into the double doors of Lee Hall to see what was going on in there. To the left of me I saw the Art Gallery, and to my right, I saw the letters W-B-K-X above a door. When I walked into those doors, I had no idea that my life would take such an interesting turn. WBKX, now WUPX, was your typical college radio station. I soon began to meet the staff members and found out what college radio was all about. During the 1980's, WBKX was promoting cutting edge music from around the wolrd. What would become forms of music known as hip-hop, alternative, rap, techno and jazz fusion or liquid jazz, were being played at WBKX years before the general public knew of their existence. There is something about college radio that is so great, so unique, because it is as fleeting as your years at NMU. Once you begin to understand the freedom of it all, it is time to graduate and move on to the real world. I have a ton of memories from these two and a half years; too many to tell here. But what I will always remember was the freedom we had when we took control of the airwaves. Often times, especially late at night, us DJ's would wonder if there was anyone out in the dorms listening to us at all. I remember getting letters from prisoners housed at the Marquette Prison. Often times the prisoners would request a certain song, to be played at a particular time, or by a particular female DJ. I remember Roland, who seemed to work there forever, playing reggae music on Sunday nights. I never worked in radio again after leaving WBKX. I probably knew deep down inside that the best of radio was behind me, and that nothing would match that experience again.

Michael Kramer

My favorite college memory could never be narrowed down to just one experience. One was the Alibi Rock Theatre where I met my boyfriend who I dated all four years of college (Terry McMahon). I would say I spent so much time there during the disco era that it was my second home! This was back in the late seventies, of course. My roommates and friends and I would dance the night away every weekend. Remember the "alligator"? Not to make it sound like all I did was have fun, a close second would be working in the darkroom. Although it was fun, too. It was one of my passions and a place where I spent lots of time while studying photography under Dennis Staffne. There was a great comaraderie among the students and profs in that department.

Colleen Maki

You asked for favorite memories. Mine are a little different, as I am from Marquette, and was a commuter. But one of my memories was the fantastic ice sculptures made by the different organizations at Winter Fest in the mid 60's. There was some real creativity involved, and the scale of the sculptures was great! Some place I have some pictures of them.

Ron Takalo

Most anyone who has gone to college will tell you that the years they spent at their respective institution of higher learning were some of the best of their life. The fondest memories that one gains from this period of one's life come from all aspects of the entire experience, whether they are academic or social. I have a plethora of memories from my days at NMU, and it would be difficult, at best, to try and pinpoint which specific memory is the strongest or the favorite. However, the one that stands out in my mind as the most vivid, would have to be from my first visit to my alma mater. When I applied for admission to NMU during my senior year of high school, I had never actually seen the campus. Most of what I knew about Northern came from a few high school friends who had chosen to go to NMU. One buddy of mine, who had graduated the year before me, had sent some pictures of the campus, which certainly helped influence my decision of which college to attend. I had narrowed it down to two: Michigan State and Northern. Most of my friends were going to East Lansing, while two of my friends would be making the long drive to Marquette. I compared all of the good and bad points of each institution. MSU was extremely large, but only about 50 miles from home. NMU was smaller, with less of a chance of getting lost in the shuffle, so to speak, but it was over 400 miles from home. I was quite familiar with the Michigan State campus but had never visited the city of Marquette. So, after much discussion with my parents, I decided to come to an orientation session at the beginning of the summer, in the hopes it would help me come to a final decision before any acceptance deadlines passed. Making the drive with me was a friend who had decided long ago that she would, one day, be an NMU alumna. However, this would be the first visit to the campus for either of us. The drive was enough to make me realize that I didn't want to go through this harrowing journey any time I wanted to come home for a weekend. Needless to say, by the time we reached Munising, I had all but decided that I was destined to be a Spartan. Little did I realize it at that time, but that would all change within the next 60 miles. My first glimpse of the city of Marquette from the Lake Superior shoreline along M-28 gave me sight of one of the most beautiful cities I had ever seen. I was impressed, to say the least, to be greeted by the old "Home of Northern Michigan University" sign that hung along the railway bridge as it crossed over Front Street. As we journeyed closer and closer to campus, I began to see all the sure signs of a small college town. Fraternity and sorority houses, beautiful old homes converted into flats, and Memorial Stadium. I was beginning to feel less and less like a Spartan. We entered campus from the south, driving past the Cohodas Builing, Carey and Spooner Halls and the UC. It wasn't long before the deal was clinched. As we drove up Harden Circle Drive, passing Hedgcock Fieldhouse, I caught my first glimpse of Sugarloaf Mountain as the backdrop to campus. I realized that, although there are many beautiful college campuses in the state of Michigan, I had never seen any like this. I decided that the opportunity to attend this fine institution amidst nature's grandeur was too much to pass up. Before even checking in for orientation, I found a pay phone and called my parents to tell them I was about to become a Wildcat, not a Spartan. And it was a decision I would never regret. I cannot remember a day on campus that I didn't pause, even for a moment, to appreciate what a spectacular place this was. But, more than any other memory, the one where I first laid eyes on that unparalleled campus is the one I remember most.

David Sevick

I have two favorite college memories. First were the opportunities afforded me by my sorority Alpha Xi Delta of leadership training and personal development. Second was my involvement in residence hall government and student activities. I formed many positive friendships, gained valuable leadership abilities, and just plain had fun as a result of these two important college memories.

Rebecca Rogers Burns

Has to be cliff diving on Presque Isle or watching volleyball on the beach!

Melani Ryan

I attended NMU from 1979-1983. As the number 8 member in a 10 person family, I managed to get through Northern on a creative finance budget. Most of my friends were operating on a similar scarce resources budget. Northern was a great place to get by on a limited budget. The rents were cheap. Housing was plentiful and you could always supplement your grocery budget by returning cans and bottles. I guess my fondest memory of Northern is the simplicity of life in a small town. You could walk to almost any location. I knew a good percentage of the students on campus as well as some locals. There was always a social event going on Monday-- Sunday. The local landscape offered great hiking, fishing, camping, biking, swimming, hunting and climbing. Some of my favorites were Tourist Park, Presque Isle, Black Rocks, the Dead River Falls rope swing and pools, the trestle, Big Bay, Hogsback, Sugar Loaf, Cliff's Ridge and the local rivers and lakes.

John McNally

I was a Resident Assistant in Gries Hall (remember when Gries was a residence hall?). At times it became a pretty stressful responsibility so my fellow RA's and myself in the early autumn and late spring would visit the breakwall that was closest to downtown by the old ship dock. If I remember correctly, it curves to the right as you walk out towards the lighthouse and you could find a good spot to watch the sun set directly over the downtown buildings. We would crack open [our beverage of choice] and vent about people and school, but of course took care of most of the world's problems during these mini-retreats, too. It was a peaceful setting with good company, and as I think back on these episodes, it was really something that bonded us. Many alumni will recall the names of the guys I did this with over my tenure as an RA in Gries. Some are still in the Marquette area; Jerry Kanka, Paul Kotz, Bernie O'Brian, Mike Woodward, Charlie Wnuck, Kevin Miller, Bill Slough and Rick Amidon. Most all of us still stay in touch and I'll bet there is not one of these individuals who would disagree with me that our breakwall times were special moments. Thanks for letting me share this with everyone.

Steve Liestenfeltz

My favorite memory of NMU was one winter, while living in Meyland Hall, the snow was so deep that my Honda was covered in the parking lot. Classes were cancelled so we decided to go to the mall. The football guys on the first floor (we lived on the second floor) were complaining about being hungry. So they went outside with us and found where the car was supposed to be parked. The girls dug it out (sort of) and then the four guys picked it up and moved it out to the street. All we (girls) had to do was bring back McDonalds for all the guys. We went shopping then to Uncle Don's for the food. Everyone was happy! Lots of fun in the snow up there. I don't miss it now but I do miss all the fun at NMU and being that young.

Mary Dugas Bianchetti

My favorite college memory? WOW! I do not know if I have just one...from the annual President's Ball and Holiday Dinner, to working at the Dean of Students, to homecoming, to the activities such as the Drag Show, Maya Angelou, All Student Rally, hypnotists, intramural volleyball, "Drive in" style movie in the Payne/Halverson Field (this list could go on and on), to the football games, to the hockey games, to working on the Summer Orientation staff, to being an R.A., to working with Campus Visit, to time spent with friends in my communications classes, to spending time out at Presque Isle, to late night Burger King runs, to graduation...I do not think that I could narrow it down to a favorite college memory. The friends at NMU and all it has to offer is wonderful. NMU was a great memory all on its own for five fabulous years! Thanks NMU and GO 'CATS!

Jodie R. Filpus

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