For the week of November 22, 2004

From the 6th floor

Cloudy, but no snow. Pretty uneventful weather the past week. But that's a good thing. We have had several rather mild days, lately. There had been some talk that it was going to get messy before Thanksgiving, but now it sounds like they've pushed that back a couple days. calls for temps in the upper 30s with some chances of scattered precipitation later in the week but whether it shows up as rain or snow is the real question. A Thanksgiving without snow is fine by me.

'Top Ten' numbers to know about NMU

As NMU alumni, you play an important role in the mission of Northern Michigan University. We want you to be informed and knowledgeable about Northern so you can spread our positive message. Perhaps it has happened to you at the grocery store, restaurant or coffee shop: someone asks you a general question about Northern. It might be related to enrollment, or how many people are on the university's payroll, or how many academic programs NMU offers. It can be challenging to keep up with the ever-changing data, but here are some current, rounded figures that might be helpful in future conversations. They represent the "Top 10 Numbers to Know About NMU":

Here are some answers to other frequently asked questions:
Q: Is NMU the largest employer in Marquette County?
A: No, NMU is third, behind Marquette General Health System and Cleveland-Cliffs Inc

Q: How old is NMU?
A: Established in September 1899, NMU is 105 years old this year.

Q: What is NMU’s general fund budget?
A:. About $80 million (base budget); NMU’s general fund budget has decreased by $13 million since March 2003.

Q: What is the student-faculty ratio?
A: Depending on how you define faculty (include adjuncts, etc.) and students (full- and part-time), it is about 20:1.

Q: How many varsity sports teams?
A: 13 (5 men’s and 8 women’s teams)

Q: What’s the number of NMU alumni?
A: A little more than 50,000.

NMU Alumna to speak at Midyear Commencement

Jane Piirto, Ph.D. '63 has been selected as midyear commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient.

Dr. Jane Piirto is a Trustees' Professor of Education and Director of Talent Development Education at Ashland University in Ohio.She previously held a number of positions as an educator in Michigan, South Dakota, and Ohio, and served as principal of Hunter College Campus Schools in New York City. She was an instructor in Northern's English department from 1966-71.
Dr. Piirto was born and raised in Ishpeming. She graduated from NMU in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts-English. She received a Master of Arts Degree-English from Kent State University, Ohio in 1966; a Master of Education Degree-Counseling from South Dakota State University in 1973; and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision in 1977 from Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
She is sought after world wide as a conference speaker and consultant in her field. She has published several major nonfiction books, two of which went into second editions. In addition, she has published numerous journal articles, chapters in books, encylopedia entries, reviews, and articles in conference proceedings. She was a featured speaker at NMU in 1996 at the Teaching and Learning Conference. Dr. Piirto is also an extensively published creative writer.

Midyear commencement is scheduled for Saturday, December 18th at 10:30 a.m.

Start your holiday shopping with an exclusive discount at the NMU Bookstore!

The NMU Bookstore is offering an exclusive special to readers of "What's New, NMU?" From now until December 3rd, receive 20% off any order placed at The Bookstore.
The Bookstore has something for everyone on your Christmas list: children's, youth and adult sizes; gifts, souvenirs and much more.
Visit The NMU Bookstore right now.

To receive your discount, ALUMNI04 must be entered in the special shipping instructions area on the Shipping Information page when ordering.
This discount applies only to in-stock items available for shipment. This discount will not be reflected on your order form but WILL BE APPLIED and included on the receipt when you receive shipment.
For questions or to request a catalog, call 1-888-458-8668, Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00 or email

The NMU Bookstore would like to wish all NMU alumni a safe and happy holiday season!

Wildcat Sports update

Don't forget the hockey 'Cats will be in Minneapolis December 22-23

Alumni in the Minneapolis area are invited to get together Wednesday, December 22nd in conjunction with Wildcat Hockey.

Wildcat Alumni Reception in Minneapolis
Wednesday, Dec. 22
Approx. 7:30 p.m.
(Following NMU vs. Harvard)
Ritter Arena, adjacent to Mariucci Arena
Minneapolis, MN

Meet Coach Kyle, NMU President Les Wong and his wife, Phyllis, and Wildcat fans from around the area.

Hockey Tournament information:

Dodge Holiday Classic
Mariucci Arena
Dec. 22-23

Wednesday, Dec. 22:
NMU vs. Harvard
5:00 p.m.

Univ. Minnesota vs. Merrimack
8:00 p.m.

Tournament tickets available exclusively through Gopher Sports.

The ticket office at the University of Minnesota is encouraging Wildcat fans to purchase General Admission seating. The game is sold-out except for individual reserved seats scattered around the rink.

Questions? Contact the NMU Alumni Association.

Are you new to "What's New, NMU?"

If so, you'll want to check out previous issues of the newsletter. We archive the entire year so there's lots of great reading. And lots of fun photos to check out, too.
You can check out pictures from this summer at the beach, previous alumni events and much more.
And in case you receive our email and can't open the newsletter, it's always available here.

From the Email bag

"Even after being away from the UP since 1981, I still get homesick occasionally. Seeing pictures of my alma mater and hometown in this electronic newsletter brightens my day when it arrives each week!"
Diane White Husic '81
Kunkletown, PA

"Deanna, I have enjoyed receiving "What's New, NMU?" for years and this is the first time I have felt compelled to write. We do not return to Michigan very often, but were recently in the Upper Lower Peninsula--about 30 miles from the UP. My family and I froze to death! It was so cold. The day we left we were all bundled up in jackets, sweatshirts and long pants. When we finally arrived home more than 8 hours later, we had taken off our heavy clothing and were walking around with barefeet, shorts and t-shirts. My mom called that night and told us she had gotten more than an inch of snow. I talked to her while standing on our porch, grilling in summer clothes. My oldest child has pined to return to Michigan for the past 6 years, but now he says every morning "I'm so glad it's not cold out like it is in Michigan!" We love the pictures, but I'm afraid that after 6 years, we can no longer deal with the cold and snow."
Jessica (O'Rourke) Close '97
Cincinnati, OH

"Outstanding newsletter and a great way to keep in touch with the school--thank you."
Jeffrey Wellman '79
Bloomfield, MI

"Hi Deanna. Really appreciate having you include me on the email list for news. Thank you."
John X. Jamrich
Alumnus via the Honorary Degree route
(and retired NMU president)
Jacksonville, FL

"Deanna, thanks so much for sending this newsletter. This is the second one I have received and I look forward to seeing your email in my inbox. Thanks to you and whoever else puts in the effort and time to prepare and send this out to the alumni. Many thanks. I LOVE IT!"
Francesca Sarvello '77
Salt Lake City, UT

As always, feedback/suggestions/questions can be directed to yours truly.

"What's New, NMU?" is a service of the NMU Alumni Association. Consider joining today!