For the week of November 29, 2004

From the 6th floor

Yes, we had a white Thanksgiving. But then it rained and we had a brown Black Friday.. But then it snowed again and we're back to a dusting of snow on the ground. At least in Marquette. Areas west of here had more measurable snow.
In Big Snow Country, Bessemer and Ironwood, they did receive more snow than us, about 5-7 inches in some places, but the ski season is not expected to begin until this upcoming weekend, if conditions are favorable.
At Marquette Mountain they're making snow, but are not yet open.
The forecast calls for flurries later this week with the temperature hard-pressed to make it out of the middle 30s.

Are you interested in keeping an eye on the weather in Marquette?

Our webcam shows you exactly what the weather is like right now.
It's an easy way to stay up-to-date.

Marquette Mountain has a start on its base, but snowmaking continues in earnest today.

I had to drive to Negaunee to find this guy. Looks like he may have had a rough weekend.

Study shows 'net cost' of college has decreased

The net tuition cost for the average Michigan public university student decreased over a recent five-year period, according to a study issued recently by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.
Results show that increases in scholarships, grants and tuition tax credits have more than outpaced rising tuition rates after inflationary adjustments. This means that students, on average, paid a smaller percentage of the total “sticker price” for tuition and mandatory fees in fiscal year 2003 than they did in 1998.
At Northern Michigan University, for example, the annual tuition rate for resident undergraduates increased by $1,358 over the five-year span. But the increase was offset by a combination of institutional aid, state aid, federal aid and federal tax credits that rose by an even greater amount – $1,411.
“This study confirms that it’s important to look at both numbers,” said NMU President Les Wong. “Some might assume college is out of reach because they only see reports of tuition going up. They may not realize that financial aid is compensating for that by growing at a similar or even more accelerated rate. Higher education is a significant investment, and Northern is committed to ensuring that it remains accessible to those with the greatest need. We have put more university resources into financial aid and scholarship programs every year, even when we were cutting other budgets across campus.”
NMU awarded an average of $556 in institutional aid per fiscal-year equated student in 1998-99. Five years later, the figure climbed to $889, which represents a 60 percent increase.
The Presidents Council report was patterned after a study done for USA Today and compiled by Hank Prince, a former Michigan House Fiscal Agency associate director.
Prince found that the net cost of a college education was 45 percent of the “sticker price” last year. In 1998, the net cost was 60 percent of the sticker price.
“This study shows financial aid from all sources is a significant factor in reducing the cost and increasing the affordability of a college education in Michigan,” said Mike Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council. “Institutional aid is a significant but overlooked component of the total cost of higher education. Political involvement, in the form of tuition caps, makes it harder for universities to provide university resources to students, which may result in higher net tuition costs for many students.”
The Presidents Council is a nonprofit higher education association based in Lansing. It serves Michigan’s 15 public universities. For more information on the study, visit and follow links to the report.

Legislative update from the president

Like deer hunting, the legislative budget process season is under way. Unlike deer hunting, legislative budget work is a long, long season.
Already there are several different projections about the state’s deficits for the current fiscal year.
Will NMU face more budget cuts this academic year?
Honestly, we don’t know, but after all of the cuts of the past two years, we hope not.
Funding for higher education will be a hot topic again as the state leaders work on the fiscal year 2006 budget.
Recent media reports around the state have discussed higher education funding.
One such piece was an editorial in the Detroit News that stated that a new funding model needs to be developed.
That article cited Northern as an example of a university that receives higher per student appropriation funding than some other schools.
What the article didn’t point out is that NMU’s per student appropriations has drastically dropped over the past five years, in part due to our impressive recruiting success.
We don’t disagree with the article’s primary premise that the legislature should explore a new way to fund higher education, but we strongly disagree with the “formula funding” method that was hinted at as being the answer.
Formula funding will do serious damage to a lot of Michigan’s universities if implemented.
It is not the answer. We hope in the future that the Detroit News uses Northern as an example of a school that is a real success story for strategic growth in reputation and enrollment.
In the past, Northern being a “regional comprehensive university” meant serving only the Upper Peninsula.
Today, NMU truly is a “regional” university and our region is the entire Midwest!

Your chance to meet NMU President Les Wong in Minneapolis

Dr. Les Wong and his wife, Phyllis, will be in attendance when the hockey Wildcats take on Harvard, Wednesday, December 22 at the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis, MN.
A special Wildcat Reception is planned for all Wildcat fans and friends immediately following the game.
The Wildcats take on Harvard at 5:00 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.
Game tickets are now on sale exclusively through Gopher Sports.
You do not need to attend the game to attend the reception.
The reception is being held at Ritter Arena, right next door to Mariucci and is free of charge.

NMU head hockey coach Walt Kyle and his staff will also be there.

Wildcat Hospitality Reception
Wednesday, December 22
Approx. 7:30 p.m.
Ritter Arena
Minneapolis, MN

Know someone in the Minneapolis area that might want to know about the Wildcat Reception? Please pass this message along.


I know it seems early....but it's NOT. Plan your party now.

Wildcat Night Across the Country is scheduled for Friday, January 28th. This may be your only chance to see the Wildcats play hockey on television this season.
They take on Michigan at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports.

In case you're not familiar with how this find a place to watch the game, we invite Wildcats in your area. Everyone has fun!

Last year parties were held in Chicago, Appleton, Battle Creek, Escanaba, St. Louis, Traverse City and many other locations.

It's so easy to do! You just need to find a place to watch the game with Wildcats and we do the rest.

Everyone always wants an alumni event in their area---this is the perfect way to host one!

Drop us a note and we'll tell you how to get started.

Special NMU Bookstore discount ends Friday

The NMU Bookstore is offering an exclusive special to readers of "What's New, NMU?" but only until this Friday, December 3rd.
Readers will 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

Help us clean up the Email Registry on the Alumni Association web page

The NMU Alumni Association web page offers alumni a great way to stay in touch through use of the Email Registry.
All alumni are welcome to sign up and list their email address so friends can get in touch with them.
If you are not already registered, please do so now.

If you are already registered or are not sure if you are, please visit the Registry and check.

We would like to try and clean up the Registry and get rid of some duplicate listings.
Is your email address accurate?
Are there multiple addresses we can eliminate?
Are there misspellings or inaccurate information?

Help us clean up the Registry by sending us any change/corrections.

This would also be a great time to sign up for your FREE lifetime Alumni email account. is a free service provided by the NMU Alumni Association.
It's simple to do and you'll have the same email address forever.
And everyone will know you're a Wildcat.
Click here for more information.


From the Email bag

"Deanna, I think I will jump out of my seat when you send photos of the first snowfall. I haven't seen snow for three years, as I have been living in the tropics of Australia. Although I love the great barrier reef here and the warm weather all-year-round, I miss the snow and the beauty of the autumn leaves in the U.P. Thanks for making me feel connected to it all."
Star Darpel '01
Cairns, Queensland, Australia

"Deanna: Today (feeling cold here in Phoenix in our chilly 60 degree weather) when I received your "What's New?" newsletter along with the picture of Marquette made me recall the incredible return back to Northern in 1966 for many of us from the LP from our Thanksgiving vacation. It snowed so much the roads were impassible in the UP and the car I was riding in could only make it as far as Skandia. The townspeople of Skandia were wonderful hosts and I remember passing the night in comfort in the church with 50 or so other stranded students until the plows could clear the roads the next day."
Gary Huntoon '72
Phoenix, AZ

"Good morning, Deanna. It's another blue sky day here in Reno, Nevada. This morning I see out your 6th floor window that you may have a snowless Thanksgiving weekend. Thanks for the peek. Some may remember when Thanksgiving weekend could mean a life and death struggle through blizzard conditions and snow drifts to return to NMU from Detroit suburbia. Ahhh, the good old days! Thank you. I'll look forward to my next look out your window."
Dennis Bradley '71
Reno, NV

"Good day. I am a 1968 graduate of Northern. Immediately upon graduation I was drafted into the Army. Ultimately, I found myself in Vietnam. I am interested in communicating with any other NMU grads that are also VN vets. Thanks."
Hank Feingold '68
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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!