For the week of December 6, 2004

From the 6th floor

Not much snow left in the Marquette area, at least. Rain, drizzle and mild temperatures the past couple days did a fairly decent job of melting much of the white on the ground.
The forecast through the week calls for temperatures in the upper 30s with a chance of snow near the end of the week. Otherwise, relatively mild. No big systems in the near future.
Hopefully, the weather will cooperate next week, also, for anyone making the trip to Marquette for commencement and those students traveling home after finals.

The future of NMU's oldest buildings discussed at forum

Lee Hall is seen in the foreground, Carey Hall in the background.
Construction continues on campus even though the snow has started to fly.
The new art and design addition is nearly complete and progress continues on the new DeVos Art Museum .

With the new art and design addition nearly complete, serious attention has turned to the future of the two oldest campus buildings: Carey and Lee Halls. Carey, built in 1948, may be turned into condominiums designed for a retiree population.

"The thought of creating a teaching and learning environment that suits all ages of the population is appealing," said President Les Wong. "We have made an effort to receive community input on the Carey proposal. There is a lot of condo construction taking place in Marquette, but we think we can complement that without stealing others' thunder. Adult learners have a legitimate place on campus and this would open up other opportunities."

Mike Roy, Vice President for Finance and Administration, said Lee Hall may become a campus welcome center, restored to preserve and showcase such noteworthy features as its terrazzo flooring and ballroom. It might eventually house the NMU Foundation, alumni relations, a heritage center funded by a private $1 million gift presented during the past campaign by an NMU alumnus, Northern Center for Lifelong Learning, continuing education and the center for gerontological studies. While some university resources will be required for the project, Roy said the goal is to fund most of it through private sources by creating a vision for the building and securing investors.

Two housing plans presented at forum

An artist rendering of renovated Magers Hall.

The next major renovation on campus – converting Magers Hall from faculty offices back to student housing – was the first of several pending facilities projects discussed at the Dec. 1 university forum. Art Gischia, Director of Purchasing, said bids are due Dec. 9 and construction is scheduled to begin in March.
The estimated $6.1 million renovation is on the "fast track," with completion expected in just three months. The self-imposed schedule with Magers will serve as a trial for future residence hall renovation projects in the hope that on-campus housing will not be impacted during the academic year.
"That is a very aggressive approach to a project of this magnitude, but we wanted to finish it over the summer so that we wouldn't have to take a building off line for a whole year," Gischia said. "In order to have better control of the scheduling, we've approached the bidding process differently. Instead of having an architect draw up one complete bid package, this time we have three individual bids – for general contractor, mechanical and electrical – held by the university. It will take two or three shifts to accomplish this, but if it works, we may consider it again for future residence hall renovation."
Magers will also serve as a real-life learning experience for construction management students, who will work on the schedule and follow the process through the initial construction phase. Carl Holm, Director of Housing and Residence Life said architectural changes in the building will include a roofline that is pitched rather than flat; and three-story entryways on the corners featuring sunroom sitting areas on the second and third floors.
"We really wanted to change the long, dark corridors and open them up to bring in more natural light and allow students to take advantage of that light," Holm said.

The NMU Board of Trustees recently authorized a bond issue to fund new student apartments (sketched above) at an estimated cost of $13.3 million. The complex will feature a mix of efficiency, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and four-bedroom units.

Excellence in Teaching awards announced



Ray Ventre (English) and Wally Niebauer (CAPS) are the recipients of the 2005 Excellence in Teaching Awards at NMU. They will be recognized at the Celebration of Scholarship Ceremony from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, in the Peter White Lounge of the University Center. Each will receive a plaque and a $1,000 check.

All faculty are encouraged to attend the celebration, which will also honor the following 2005 TLC Faculty Award recipients, all from the School of Education: Kathleen Heikkila, Mitchell Klett, Laura Reissner, and N. Suzanne Standerford.

Ventre joined the NMU English faculty in 1979. He has served on the following university committees: AAUP executive, educational policy, and salary compression review. He also chairs the graduate programs committee. Ventre is director of English graduate studies and AAUP faculty grievance officer. He is a past recipient of the outstanding faculty award from the NMU chapter of Mortar Board. Ventre received a bachelor’s degree in English from Providence College and an English doctorate from Brown University.

Niebauer arrived at NMU four years ago after teaching public relations for 17 years at Iowa State University. He is a member of the following advisory boards: the USOEC, academic service learning, and health promotions. He also serves as adviser for the NMU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, a role that earned him the 2002-03 student organization adviser of the year award. Niebauer received a bachelor’s degree in communications and natural resources and a master's in environmental communications – both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned a mass media doctorate in philosophy from Michigan State.

The Excellence in Teaching Award is sponsored by the Teaching Learning Advisory Committee (TLAC) and the office of the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Nominees must demonstrate a sustained record of high achievement in teaching evidenced by, but not restricted to: positive peer observation; high student qualitative and quantitative evaluation; a thorough knowledge of subject matter taught; clarity, organization, and consistency in subject presentation and assessment; enthusiasm for teaching and learning; creation of a safe and open learning environment; and experimentation with teaching and learning paradigms.

Wildcat Sports update

Don't forget.....

NMU Alumni Association Minneapolis area Alumni Reception
Wednesday, December 22
Ridder Arena
Minneapolis, MN

Immediately following (approx. 7:30) the 5:00 NMU vs. Harvard hockey game at Mariucci Arena.

You do not need a game ticket to attend the party!

Meet NMU President Les Wong, his wife, Phyllis, and NMU head hockey coach Walt Kyle.


Thanks for stopping by.....

...future Wildcat Delaney Marchiol.

One of the advantages of being editor of this newsletter, I can include any photos I want. Which is why you are looking at my niece who came to visit the 6th floor last week.

But honestly, I take pictures of everyone who visits, so it's not like it's nepotism. Plus, Delaney comes from a long line of alumni; both her parents, Steve '92 and Kristin '94, both her grandpas, all her aunts and all her uncles. So, if that's not good enough to get your photo included in "What's New, NMU?" I don't know what is.

From the Email bag

"Thank you so much for the weekly newsletters! My husband, Greg, and myself both graduated from NMU (me in '76 and he in '81.) We usually are able to return to Marquette at least once a year, since we were both born there and still have family in the area. We now live in Muskegon (for the past fifteen years) and enjoy living very close to Lake Michigan. When we first moved to lower Michigan for a job promotion for my husband, for two years we lived in the middle of "the mitten" and I sure suffered from Great Lakes Deprivation! Our middle son went to NMU last year so we were able to go to a couple football and hockey games and cheer on the Wildcats! I sure appreciate the updates and hope to be able to go to the hockey game in Ann Arbor this year since our daughter is in college there. I am hoping for more snow here, since I am an avid cross country skier. I will look forward to further updates from the newsletter. Feels like home whenever I read them."
Carol '76 and Greg '81 Schwemin
North Muskegon, MI

"Thanks for the Wildcats sports update you put in the last newsletter. As a former NMU basketball player I enjoy keeping up with the teams and how they are playing. Keep up the good work, great way to keep us informed."
Caren (Loper) Thorp '81
Vassar, MI

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!