For the week of December 1, 2003

From the 6th floor

Just enough to cover the ground. That's the extent of our snow, so far.
And by no means is that a complaint. While we've had some scattered flurries over the past couple of days, it hasn't amounted to much on the ground. The weatherman says high pressure is going to settle over the UP for the next couple of days so that means increased sunshine and limited precipitation. Temperatures are predicted to be pretty mild also, with daytime highs in the upper 30s. It's still going to get chilly at night, though, with lows in the single digits.

Cost reduction options to be announced December 8

The budget-reduction recommendations being developed by the President’s Council will be presented at the next university forum scheduled from 3-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, in the Michigan and Ontario rooms of the University Center. The proposed options and related campus input will then be considered by the NMU Board of Trustees at its Dec. 11-12 meeting.
The President’s Council was charged with finding $4.6 million in cost-saving measures, which would equal a 10 percent reduction in state funding for the current fiscal year.
The planning figure was a middle-ground assumption, based on early estimates of an executive order in the 5-15 percent range. But recent media reports have suggested the impact on higher education will settle at 6 percent. An official announcement from Lansing is expected shortly after the legislature’s Thanksgiving break.

First loss of the season eliminates volleyball team from competition

Northern Kentucky came into the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Volleyball Tournament as the fifth seeded team. They did not look like a team that was seeded fifth as they knocked out the top team of the tournament, Northern Michigan. The ‘Cats were riding a 26-game winning streak plus they were playing in front of over 950 friendly fans. But, someone forgot to tell NKU. The Norse defeated the home team in four games on Friday night. NKU won the first game 30-27 before the ‘Cats came back to win their only game of the night, the second game of the match, 31-29. The third and fourth games went to NKU 30-22 and 30-28.

NMU ends the season with a 26-1 slate. Grand Valley State went on to win the tournament and clinch the NCAA Division II Regional Championship.

Other teams ending their seasons: football (3-8, 3-7 GLIAC), soccer (10-7-1, 2-5 GLIAC) and golf (12th at GLIAC Championships).

Whitman Hall dedication

NMU Interim President Mike Roy and the dedication plaque for the Willard M. Whitman Hall.

Northern dedicated Whitman Hall during an open house, Monday, Dec. 1. The dedication ceremony featured drumming by the Center for Native American Studies, brief remarks and the unveiling of a plaque.

Willard M. Whitman School first opened its doors in 1954 to accommodate kindergarten through 6 th grade. NMU purchased the building in 2001, after it had been closed by Marquette Area Public Schools due to shrinking enrollment. Interior and exterior work was required to convert the 39,000 square-foot building to faculty offices and classrooms, and to provide a 285-space parking lot to serve the facility.

Whitman Hall houses the School of Education , the dean of the College of Professional Studies , the charter school program, the Center for Native American Studies, the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies, the International Affairs Office, and the Modern Languages and Literatures Department.

Its namesake, Willard A. Whitman (1884-1955), served 34 years as superintendent of Marquette Public Schools. He played a major role in expanding the district through additional buildings and extensive programming. He is also credited with creating the student health protection program, introducing art, drama and music into the classroom, and developing the adult education programs. Whitman taught classes at Northern for several summers.

A sad postscript

I hesitated before deciding to include this next story. It seemed almost cruel to write about it, but then I decided that NMU alumni were so caring and compassionate when they read the news of Kip Taylor's death on Sept. 11th, 2001, that they would want to know what's happened since then. And I know all of you will keep Kip and Nancy Taylor's children in your prayers this holiday season.

Kip Taylor's wife, Nancy, recently passed away from cancer. She was 39 years old. The couple had two children, Dean and John. John was born six weeks after his father, Kip, died in the attack on the Pentagon.

It seems so unfair that one family could be hit so hard by tragedy. I don't know how you will feel after reading the following article, but I know it made me stop and be thankful for all I have.

The following story appeared in the Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram. I am including the link but in case the story gets pulled down before you have a chance to read it, here's the text, also.

Posted on Mon, Dec. 01, 2003

Another time for taps
By Joseph Galloway
Knight Ridder Newspapers

When Nancy Melvin Taylor died of cancer recently at the age of 39, it was the final act of a family tragedy that began on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

When they bury her at Arlington National Cemetery, she will rest in the same grave with her husband, Army Lt. Col. Kip P. Taylor, 38, who was killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Husband and wife will share a simple white marble marker in Section 64.

Two years ago, Kip and Nancy Taylor were living a dream. They'd struggled for years to have a child, and finally -- through in vitro fertilization -- Nancy had given birth to a son, Dean Ross Taylor. She was eight months pregnant, and their second child was due in October.

At 8:26 a.m. Sept. 11, in his office in the Pentagon, Kip sent this e-mail to friends about the joy of fatherhood:

"After kids, there are days that just get going when you say: Hi honey, I'm home! … What we do until that moment pales in comparison to what we do after that point in the day."

At 9:40, terrorists steered American Airlines Flight 77 into the offices of the chief of personnel of the Army, killing many of those who worked there, including Kip Taylor.

"We were very happy, about as happy as we had ever been in our married life," Nancy said. "I guess it's better to be taken when you're happy than when you're not. But it doesn't make it any easier."

Six weeks later, on Oct. 25, 2001, Nancy gave birth to their second son, John Luke Taylor. While she was in the hospital, bringing a new life to this world, the doctors discovered that Nancy had cancer. Terminal cancer.

Nancy packed as much living as she could into the precious months that were left to her.

She established a charity for infertile military couples, helping to pay their way to the only two military facilities where in vitro fertilizations can be performed. The Kip P. Taylor Memorial Fund helps offset travel, lodging and food expenses for military couples traveling to the hospitals. (Donations can be made to the Kip P. Taylor Fund, PO Box 185, McLean, Va. 22101.)

She loved and cherished her babies full time, even as she wrestled with her grief over the loss of Kip, a Michigan native who came into the Army with an ROTC commission at Northern Michigan University in a program run by his father, Don.

Nancy said her husband had loved fatherhood and couldn't wait for the day that he could coach his sons' Little League baseball teams and attend their band concerts.

On Oct. 10 of this year, Nancy was inducted into the University of Rochester's Athletics Hall of Fame. She'd been regional All-America in field hockey while attending the Nursing School at the university. She was, her coach said, "by far the best offensive player in school history."

What will happen to two little boys, orphaned at ages 4 and 2? Kip's brother, Dean, and his wife will care for them -- and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will ensure that Dean Ross Taylor and John Luke Taylor will have free college educations, everything included, in token of the fact that their father served a tour as adjutant of the Army's top-secret Delta Force.

If you're looking for a worthy charity this holiday season, you might consider the Warrior Foundation (, which was created in 1980 as the Col. Bull Simons Scholarship Fund (named for Col. Arthur D. Simons, a legendary special-ops officer who died in 1979) to provide college educations for 17 children of nine American soldiers who were killed or disabled in the Desert One mission to rescue American hostages in Iran.

That fund and others supporting special-ops troops and families merged and became the Warrior Foundation in 1995. Its purpose is "to provide a college education to every child who has lost a parent while serving in the Special Operations Command during an operational or training mission."

The Warrior Foundation provides grants, not loans. It covers tuition, books, and room and board.

To date, 48 children of special-ops soldiers have graduated with this help. More than 400 children of 380 special-ops personnel who have died in service to our country are guaranteed the assistance. That will cost $25 million through 2010. The Warrior Foundation has $3.8 million in the bank.

Joseph L. Galloway is senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers. 700 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045

NMU, FVTC reach transfer agreement

NMU has reached its first credit transfer agreement with Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis. Under the agreement, graduates of the electrical engineering technology program and electronics program at FVTC can transfer their associate degree credits to NMU. The credits will be applied to Northern’s bachelor of science degree program in electronics engineering technology.

Italian researcher receives NMU grant

When Cristina Menghini decided to write her master’s thesis on Italian immigration to the Copper Country, she found some valuable resources at the Central U.P. and NMU Archives. Menghini had a chance to thoroughly review the materials as the latest recipient of a Grace Magnaghi research travel grant from NMU. She will give a campus presentation based on her findings in April.

Menghini is a graduate student in industrial archaeology at Michigan Tech. Her thesis topic combines her academic interest with her personal interest in immigrants from her home country. She is a native of Foligno, which is about a two-hour drive from Rome .

“The immigrants came mainly from two places in Italy : Tuscany and Piedmont ,” Menghini said. “They organized themselves into different societies. Many came here originally for mining and several had farms. Later on, their business interests expanded. The 1910 census showed that many Italians owned grocery stores and saloons.”

Full story.

Some highlights from Horizons

The Fall 2003 issue of Horizons should have been in your mailbox last week.

Some of the highlights of the latest edition include:

  • A profile of Chicago restaurateur Steve LaHaie '75
  • The ancient tradition of "wild ricing"
  • Some changes in the Wildcat athletic program

Horizons is the magazine for alumni and friends of Northern Michigan University. If you did not receive a copy, perhaps we have a bad address for you? Please take a minute and complete our online address update form.


Physics club attends Argonne symposium

Ten Northern Michigan University students recently attended the 14 th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics. It was held at Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago.

The trip was sponsored by the NMU physics department and physics club.
The symposium provided an opportunity for undergraduates to interact, discuss and learn about research being done by their peers at other institutions. The NMU delegation also had an opportunity to tour the Advanced Photon Source, the highest-energy x-ray source in the United States; and ATLAS, the Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System.

The following NMU students made presentations at the symposium based on research they conducted at NMU or on summer internships at other universities:
  • Jeanean Ghering, a biochemistry major from Fenton, Mich., presented “Chemical Signaling between Black Locust and Soil Bacteria” and “Development of an Isolation and Purification Protocol for the Podospora Anserina Aox Protein.”
  • Micha Kilburn, a physics major from Evansville, Ind., presented “Sensitivity of Light Cluster and Nucleon Yields on Asymmetry Energy.”
  • Ali Picking, a physics major from Grayslake, Ill., presented “Electromagnetism with Broken Rotational Symmetry.”
  • Lisa Scott, a chemistry major from Mosinee, Wis., presented “Structure of the Catalyst which Degalogenates PCBS.”



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