Surrell Named NMU Commencement Speaker


Dr. James Surrell, Newberry native and board-certified colorectal surgeon at UP Health System Marquette, will be the keynote speaker at Northern Michigan University’s spring commencement on Saturday, April 30. The NMU alumnus also will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

Surrell holds fellowship status in the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. His practice is focused on digestive health, including nutrition, dietary weight management and colorectal cancer screening and prevention. He has addressed related topics in numerous journal articles and presentations. He also wrote a book titled “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet.” 

A past recipient of NMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Surrell graduated from Northern in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He embarked on a decade-long career with IBM Corp. before enrolling at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Surrell completed his residency in general surgery at Blodgett Memorial Medical Center and St. Mary’s Mercy Medical Center in Grand Rapids. He also completed a one-year fellowship at Ferguson Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he remained as a colon and rectal surgeon through 2005. In addition to his local practice, Surrell has served as a member and past president of the board of directors for the U.P. Regional Campus of the MSU College of Human Medicine. 

NMU’s commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Superior Dome. It will be broadcast live on WNMU-TV and can be viewed online free of charge through America One/B2 Network. For more information, visit

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director