What's New, NMU? for the week of Nov. 30, 2009

What's New, NMU?

For the week of Monday, Nov. 30, 2009

From the 6th floor

It appears as if winter may be making an appearance in Upper Michigan, albeit a bit later than usual. Temperatures remained mild through Thanksgiving Day, but snow flurries scattered across the area over this past weekend. A mild disturbance is making its way across the U.P.  The forecast calls for a chance of flurries each day and more seasonable temperatures in the mid 30s.

NMU offers interest-free loans for Promise scholarships

NMU announced it will offer interest-free loans to students who were supposed to receive the Michigan Promise Scholarship until the legislature pulled the funding from the state budget. More than 1,200 NMU students were counting on $1.5 million through the program. To assist with the unbudgeted expense, NMU will offer interest-free loans to cover the value of each student’s anticipated award, worth up to $2,000. Those who elect not to take the loan will see the amount of their Michigan Promise Scholarships included in their billing statements for the winter semester.

“Northern remains committed to access and affordability,” said NMU President Les Wong. “The university had already allocated an additional $1.2 million in financial aid for the neediest students this year, but we knew we needed to act again on behalf of Michigan students expecting the scholarship. By not delivering on its promise, the state put an added hardship on Michigan families—many of whom are already struggling—and shifted the burden to universities to try to fill the void so late in the academic year.”

The interest-free payments can be spread over 20 months, with a minimum payment of $50 and the first installment due in June 2010. The NMU loan program applies only to the 2009-10 academic year.

Holocaust survivor to speak at commencement

Erna Blitzer Gorman triumphed over her traumatic childhood as a Holocaust survivor and now shares her experiences and message of tolerance with worldwide audiences. The Bloomfield Hills resident will deliver the keynote address at Northern's mid-year commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12. She will also receive an honorary doctor of education degree. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the NMU Superior Dome.

Gorman was born in Metz, France, in 1935. Her family of four was in Poland attending her aunt’s wedding when World War II started. Unable to return to France, they moved to what is now Ukraine to live with relatives. The German occupation followed and Gorman’s father was forced to help bury Jews in mass graves. As ghettos were established and their relatives disappeared, a farmer offered to hide the family in a small hay loft in his barn.

Read Gorman's story here.

Northern’s commencement will be broadcast live on WNMU-TV.

Northern will offer a free live streaming video of commencement via the Internet through NMU Athletics partnership with B2 Networks, the company that provides Internet broadcasts of Wildcat sports events. To sign up for the streaming, go to the NMU commencement web site.

So, if members of your family or your friends want to watch your NMU student graduate, they can easily do so in real time. WNMU-TV will provide the broadcast to B2 Networks. WNMU-TV also will air the ceremony live on Channel 13 in the Upper Peninsula, as it does each year.  More information about commencement can be found on the NMU commencement Web site.

Open house to honor Jay Johnson '65

A memorial open house will be held from 4 - 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9 at WNMU-TV/FM Studios in honor of Jay Withington Johnson ’65.  Johnson, a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Wisconsin, former television news anchor in Green Bay and former director of the United States Mint, died Oct. 17 at his home in Bristow, Va. Johnson was born in Bessemer, Mich., in 1943, graduated from Gogebic Community College in 1964 (Distinguished Alumni Award-2003), Northern Michigan University in 1965 (Distinguished Service Award-1988 and Distinguished Alumni Award-2000), and Michigan State University master's degree program in 1970.

Memorial Open House

 in honor of Jay Withington Johnson ‘65

 Wed. Dec. 9

 4 – 7 p.m.

 Program at 6 p.m.

 WNMU-TV/FM Studios

 Learning Resources Center

 Northern Michigan University

World AIDS Week event honors Bourgault

A World AIDS Week performance event celebrating the life and work of the late Louise Bourgault will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Dr. James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre (McClintock 105). There is no charge to attend. Bourgault was a professor in the Communications & Performance Studies Department since 1983 until her death in October. The dance performance service learning project, under the direction of Maria Formolo, will share portions of "One World, Many Drums, Many Voices." The piece was developed around the theme of HIV/AIDS stigma. Other dance, music, theater and poetry will be performed by members of the NMU community. There will also be community drummers and an opportunity for audience members to join in a free dance at the end of the show.

Formolo said it is appropriate to honor Bourgault during World AIDS Week because of her African AIDS-related media work and her efforts to promote internationalization at NMU. She wrote "Playing for Life: Performance in Africa in the Age of AIDS." She also helped to establish the international studies major, chaired the Internationalization Task Force, was interim director of the international office at NMU and developed the International Performing Arts Series. Bourgault also brought many scholars and performers from around the world to NMU.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming Alumni Association events

Minneapolis Alumni Reception
Dodge Holiday Classic Saturday, Jan. 2
Immediately following NMU vs. Clarkson, Mariucci Arena
at adjacent Ridder Arenda

Chicago Alumni Reception
Friday, Jan. 22
6 -8 p.m.
Glascott's Groggery
2158 N. Halsted.

Wildcat Night Across the Country
Friday, Feb. 19
NMU vs. Michigan on Fox Sports

Phoenix/Scottsdale Alumni Reception
Tuesday, March 9

Keep your eye on the NMU Alumni Association Web site for more details.

Pictured Rocks research completed

Researchers from the NMU geography department recently completed a three-year project at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that uncovered 23 new archaeological sites and reconstructed the Nipissing shoreline as it looked about 4,500 years ago. John Anderton, NMU Geography department, said the National Park Service supported the effort to locate cultural resources so they remain protected in future plans for road improvements and other developments.

In the first year of the project, satellite imagery was used to identify distinct land forms—notches, ridges and barriers—created by wave action to map the older shorelines. They found that the water was 30-40 feet higher than it is today.

“Today, Pictured Rocks is seen as a barrier with the cliffs and long stretches of beach," Anderton said. "It’s not very habitable. But if you go back a while, there were nice places for people to live. There were embayments, or shallow water lagoons that had a variety of fish and plants; everything a hunter-gatherer would need.”

Read more about the project here.

Wildcat sports update

The NMU hockey Wildcats made the long trip to Fairbanks, Alaska to take on the Alaska Nanooks this past weekend (Nov. 27-28) and returned home with a pair of shoot-out losses. NMU is now 5-5-4 overall and 4-3-3-0 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). NMU is home Dec. 4-5 to host the Michigan State Spartans. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. each night.
The NMU women’s basketball team (1-2) dropped a 75-68 game to UW-Parkside Nov. 28 at Kenosha. The ‘Cats are at Finlandia Tuesday (Dec. 1) before hosting Northwood in their home opener Thursday (Dec. 3).
The NMU men's basketball team (2-1)played its final tune-up Monday (Nov. 30) in a 90-77 win over Finlandia. Four Wildcats were in double-figures in the contest. The 'Cats open up Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play this week with two games. First up Thursday (Dec. 3) at 7:30 is Northwood then Saturday (Dec. 5) is Wayne State.

From the e-mail bag

"For the Wildcats campaign in Fairbanks, Alaska, several NMU alumni gathered to support the men's hockey team as they tied both games against the Alaska Nanooks."

James Anderson ''93, '06
Escanaba, Mich.

Pictured (from left to right): Daniel "Farmer Jo" Klein, `08, Nunam Iqua, AK; James Anderson, `93 & `06, Escanaba; Shawna Anderson, `96 & `01, Escanaba; Kelsey Kost, `08, Juneau, AK; NMU coach Walt Kyle, and Jack "MOIT" Daly, `81, North Pole, AK.

Have something you'd like to share?

Feedback should be directed to alumni@nmu.edu

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