For the week of December 5, 2005

From the 6th floor

Cold and snow; I suppose I better get used to it. Don't let today's sunshine fool you, it is pretty chilly outside. A cold front has settled over Upper Michigan and that means temperatures dipping below zero in the overnight hours. It also means it hasn't been getting that warm during the day, either. Today's forecasted high is only 15 degrees. Low pressure is expected to blast southward from Ontario into the northern UP this evening. With its passage, heavy lake effect snows are predicted-- especially in Marquette, Alger, and Gogebic counties. Over a half of a foot snow accumulations are possible in those target areas. Dry air finally settles in for tomorrow, slowly tapering off what is left of the snow showers. Reports say we'll be back to more average temperatures by the end of the week.

NMU sets record enrollment

Northern's current enrollment of 9,422 is the highest ever, surpassing the previous mark of 9,370 in 1980. That's according to Associate Vice President for Institutional Research Paul Duby. Duby released the figures at a university forum on Nov. 30. Duby said projections for fall 2006 puts the student body at 9,853. The university's previous high was in 1980, when the college had 9,376 students. Additionally, Northern's retention rate, or percentage of students who return to Northern for a second year, has steadily increased since 1993. NMU is exploring new academic initiatives to increase enrollment. These include a master of arts degree in teaching; programs in wildland fire certification and loss prevention; graduate certificates in criminal justice, training and development, and psychology; options to expand surgical technology programs; a United States Olympic Committee coaching certificate which is already in place; an ESL program; and an entrepreneurship minor for non-business majors.

NMU students "adopt" Louisiana school

Like many people across the country, special education majors at Northern were motivated to take action in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They had discussed traditional fundraising measures as an academic service learning project for their ED 400 class, but decided a long-term commitment would fill the palpable void anticipated after the initial flurry of support to the region had tapered off.
The students voted to "adopt" a school for the entire academic year. After an online search of impacted facilities and some phone calls, they settled on Bayou Woods Elementary. It has an enrollment of 500 students in grades K-3 and is located in Slidell, La., about a half-hour west of New Orleans.
"The Northern students were shocked to learn that most Louisiana schools have not yet received much in the way of aid or federal funding," said Kathy Heikkila (Education). "Many of the supplies sent to areas affected by the hurricane are still sitting in warehouses all over the south. The children are attending school, but many are still distracted for much of the day by missing classmates, personal belongings and school supplies. For many students, school is the only thing that is constant in their lives."
In an effort to help return a sense of normalcy to the youngsters' lives, the NMU class has been collecting needed items and setting up pen pals at Marquette schools for the Bayou Woods students. Superior Hills Elementary students have sent letters and drawings about Upper Peninsula culture. Students from Aspen Ridge and Marquette Senior High School have sent letters of encouragement. The NMU field work students at Superior Hills have also set up a children's book drive.
"Public school children in Louisiana wear uniforms that consist of khaki pants and polo shirts. The students have sent about 100 sets of clothing down there, along with other school supplies," Heikkila added. "Beyond that, the teachers there are also looking for assistance with lesson plans and other ideas to help the kids adjust to some of the major issues they're dealing with. For example, a counselor called and asked if we could think of a way to address the loss of pets. The NMU students came up with a lesson plan and collected children's books that deal with loss and grief. It's been a valuable learning experience for them."
The sister school relationship will continue throughout the year, as photos and letters are exchanged. For more information, or to join the effort, please contact Heikkila at


Ebenezer Scrooge on stage

The First Nighters Club is proud to present Ebenezer. This Christmas tradition from the NMU Theatre Department takes to the stage Dec. 8-10 at 7:30 p.m. and December 10 and 11 at 1 p.m.
For information and reservations, contact the box office at 227-2082.
Cost is $8 for the general public.

And speaking of Christmas.....

Do you have some Wildcat fans on your shopping list? Check out the NMU Bookstore online.
You can find gifts for the whole family.

Interested in working for Northern?

The NMU Admissions office has an opening for a regional admissions counselor. You can learn more about the position and other employment opportunities at NMU by visiting the NMU Human Resources Web site.

NMU skiers named to World Cup team


Four skiers with ties to the Northern cross country ski team have been named to the U.S. Ski Team which will compete at five cross country World Cup races in December in Canada as part of the lead-up to the Olympics in February.
Former NMU skiers on the team are Chris Cook on the men’s team and Abigail Larson on the women’s side.  Current skiers selected are Lindsay Williams and Lindsey Weier.
The skiers were named to the team following the SuperTour races which were held over the Thanksgiving weekend. The skiers will compete in two events Dec. 10-11 at Sovereign Lake in Vernon, B.C. and in three more races Dec. 15-18 at Canmore, Alberta, the 1988 Olympic cross country venue.

Wildcat sports update

The NMU women’s swimming and diving team set seven pool records at the Dragon-Cobber Invitational at Minnesota State University Moorhead last weekend.  The Wildcats placed second at the invitational with 865 points as the host school won with 1,138. The team is off to Cocoa Beach, Fla. for a training trip after Christmas.  NMU will host Lewis on Jan. 21 for its first meet of the second semester.
In its conference opener at the Berry Events Center, the NMU men's basketball team defeated the University of Findlay in a 73-61 decision.  The win snapped a five-game skid against the Oilers. NMU won its third straight game and now is 3-3 on the season and 1-0 in the GLIAC. The basketball 'Cats hit the road for the next six games.  First up is another GLIAC contest at Saginaw Valley State on Thursday, Dec. 8.
On the women's side, the Oilers defeated the Lady Wildcats on the court, 72-65, in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener for both squads. The ‘Cats are 1-3 and 0-1 respectively. The ‘Cats will face Saginaw Valley at University Center, Mich. on Thursday, Dec. 8.
The NMU hockey team had last weekend off. They face Ferris State in Big Rapids, Dec. 9-10.

San Diego party added to Wildcat Night Across the Country

The NMU Alumni Association has a variety of events planned in the upcoming months where you can hook up with fellow alumni.

Mark the dates so you don't miss out on any of the fun!
Among the activities:

Thursday-Friday, Dec. 29-30 Green Bay, Wis.
UWGB Basketball Classic
Resch Center

Informal pre-game receptions in Green Bay.
Special thanks to Maggie Mahoney for planning and hosting.
You can contact Maggie at

Game time is 7:30 p.m. Central Time Thursday, Dec. 29th,
and 5 p.m. Central Friday, Dec. 30th.
Join Wildcat fans before the games at the Brett Favre Steakhouse, across the street from the Resch Center.
Game tickets can be purchased from the Resch Center.

Friday, Dec. 30 Madison, Wis.
Badger Hockey Showdown
Kohl Center
(NMU vs. Wayne State, 4 p.m. Central Time)

Post-game reception at the Nitty Gritty
223 N. Frances St.
1 block North of the Kohl Center

Co-sponsored by the NMU Alumni Association and Blue Line Club.
Free snacks with beverages available.
Win prizes and meet the coaches.

Saturday, Jan. 28
Wildcat Night Across the Country
NMU hockey vs. Western Michigan

Check out all the new locations including San Diego! If there is not a party in your area, plan one.
Click here for locations, details and contact information.

Saturday, Feb. 11
Milwaukee Area Alumni Reception
Details to come

Thanks for stopping by....

.....Andy Forbing '03. Andy was on the rowing team while at Northern and was in town for a rowing banquet. He is currently coachign the rowing team at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.

Don't forget, if you're in town visiting, please stop by and say hello. We're on the 6th floor of the Cohodas Administration Center.

From the E-mail bag

"I remember the storms like the one Cliff Weyhing was writing about in last week's newsletter, in late 1981, and I can picture in my mind the Black Rocks on Presque Isle. What I was wondering is if people still dive from the rocks or if the level of Lake Superior has changed. Diving from the cliffs was a favorite activity for me until the water got too cold to stand and we broke out the cross country skis and enjoyed Presque Isle that way. Thanks for the weekly reminders of my college years. I really enjoyed my time at NMU. Keep up the great work!"
Caren (Loper) Thorp '81
Vassar, MI

Note from the Editor: Yes, indeed, students still dive from the Black Rocks. Perhaps next summer when the warm weather is back, I'll venture out there with the camera and get some photos.

"Loved the beautiful pictures of the first winter snowfall! Brought back lots of memories. I had forgotten just how beautiful Marquette could be in the winter. Thanks for sharing, and keep posting the photos.
Patricia Mason '77
East Tawas, MI

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