For the week of February 14, 2005

From the 6th floor

Fresh snow and slippery roads were Mother Nature's Valentine's Day treats for much of Upper Michigan this morning. An area of low pressure over the Midwest is sending a wintry mix our way. Much of the UP is in store for a couple inches of fresh snow today and tomorrow. On the positive side, fresh white snow makes for better pictures. Also, with this week designated WinterFest in the city of Marquette, it seems only so appropriate that we receive fresh snow.












A message from NMU President Les Wong

Last week, Governor Jennifer Granholm presented her “State of the State” address and her 2006 executive budget was announced to the Legislature. These actions amount to the first inning of a minimum nine-inning game known as the legislative budget planning process. I anticipate this year’s legislative season to be a very long one.

Over the weekend, I spent a considerable amount of time considering some of the points of the Governor’s speech and the possible implications of her executive order and budget. I’d like to share with you a letter I sent to the NMU faculty and staff Friday, so that as active Northern alumni, you have the same information as the campus community.
When you have time, please take a moment to read the letter.

The key point for alumni to understand is that at NMU the general fund is made up of almost a 50-50 percent split between state funding and tuition and fees. So, the math is pretty simple for us. If state funding goes down, tuition and fees must go up proportionally in order to keep all that we have at NMU today.
When the state ties funding to tuition restraint, the situation becomes much more complicated.
Universities, especially growing ones like Northern, must then find ways to address both the loss of funds as well as the increase in expenditures such as compensation, health care and utilities. On the positive side, it forces institutions to be very focused about their priorities.
On the negative side, it endangers the quality and/or existence of current offerings.

As alumni, I know you care that NMU’s academic offerings are of the highest caliber because that continues to be a direct reflection on your degree. This idea of focused priorities also holds true for the state. Does higher education rank as a top 10 priority among the citizens of Michigan? I hope we all agree that the answer is a resounding YES!
I hope when you get the opportunity to give your input as citizens of the state (if you are) that you send that message loud and clear to Lansing.












WinterFest and UP 200 highlight busy week ahead



Northern Michigan University’s annual WinterFest, held in conjunction with the City of Marquette’s winter celebration, will be held Feb. 13-19. “SNOWDAZE: Shake It Up!” is this year’s theme and several activities are planned.

An airband competition is scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, in 102 Jamrich Hall.
Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 7-9, the Berry Events Center will be the site of open skating and a pep rally. Attendees can skate with Wildcat Willy, NMU cheerleaders and hockey players. There will also be a dance team performance.
The NMU hockey Wildcats will face Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, in the Berry.

The start of the U.P. 200 sled dog race at 7 p.m. will be a highlight Friday, Feb. 18. It begins at 7 p.m. The race starts on Washington Street.
While we couldn't identify any alumni in this year's race, NMU grad Pete Curtice '86 took home the trophy in 2002.

The WinterFest warm-up party is scheduled from 7-11 p.m. Friday at Upfront & Company, with musical guests Jim and Ray. The day’s activities will conclude with WinterFest fireworks at 9 p.m. over Lower Harbor Park.
WinterFest concludes Saturday, Feb. 19, with a Winter Fun Run from 10 a.m. to noon and a charity snowshoeing race in the Lower Harbor Park.





A few follow-ups from Horizons

As you are aware, the winter 2005 issues of Horizons brought you the stories of several NMU alumni who are taking part in history through both civilian and military jobs in Iraq. Since publication, we have received updates on some of the featured alumni, and wanted to share them with you:
SGT. Ron Revello '95 (left) was stationed at Forward Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit. In his primary role as the technical engineering supervisor and lead CAD designer, he and his unit designed more than 175 projects ranging from roads and buildings to fences, guard posts, and control posts.

After a year in Iraq, Ron returned stateside last week and once through outprocessing, expects to be home in Appleton today.
Welcome home, Ron.

Tim Bennett '99, Kristi Gruizinga '99 and Mike Filizetti '02, in Baghad.
While the following actually came in for the Emailbag I thought it was more appropriate here:

"I would just like to comment on latest issue of Horizons magazine. The writing and photographs are equally impressive and capture the essence of what it was like living and working in Baghdad. NMU alumni over in Iraq should make everyone who went to Northern Michigan proud.

I never had the pleasure of meeting John Truitt '85, or MAJ Phillips, but they truly were on the front lines. One capturing news as it happened, and the other helping to rebuild communities through his civil affairs battalion. I did have the pleasure of working with Kristi Gruizinga '99 for the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. Embassy. Her efforts were tireless, and she did bring legitimacy to all of the projects and programs she was involved in. I am one of many that are overjoyed that she has recovered from those waning days of her tour in Iraq. Attached is a photo of Kristi, myself and another NMU alum Specialist Michael Filizetti '02 taken while all three of us were still in Baghdad. As mentioned in the Horizons article, Kristi is headed to the Hauge. I am back in Washington, DC working in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Michael is still in Baghdad working for the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office. Please continue your well wishes and prayers for him and all of our troops serving overseas. Many Thanks
Tim Bennett '99


Wildcat Night Across the Country photos still coming in

Miller's Time Out
in Battle Creek

Buffalo Wild Wings
in Mt Pleasant

The Sports Page
in Idaho Falls


NMU's Tarrki moves into first place

NMU goalie Tuomas Tarkki has moved into first place in the Hobey Baker fan pool. He has 27,667 points as of this writing. Jordan Sigalet is second with 23,117. Tarkki leads the CCHA in overall goals against average (1.88) and saves percentage (.936) and is sixth and fourth nationally in those categories. He has a 13-6-4 record. Other ‘Cats on the list include Nathan Oystrick, Pat Bateman and Darin Olver.

Preliminary voting runs through Sunday, March 6, during which time visitors to the site can vote once per day for first-, second- and third-place choices for the Hobey Baker Award ( The fans’ tally will be considered along with votes from each of the 58 Division I head coaches to determine the 10 finalist for this year’s award.






Some dates to keep in mind as you make travel plans *

April 15 DeVos Art Museum Dedication
April 16 Scholarship Donor Appreciation Luncheon
April 19 Reynolds Recital Hall Dedication
May 7 Spring Commencement
June 18 Rusielewicz Golf Outing (Holly, MI)
June 23 Wildcat Club/Alumni Association Golf Outing
July 2-4 International Food Festival
July 4-9 Negaunee Pioneer Days
July 30-31 Art on the Rocks
Outback Art Show
August 10-15 Finn Grand Fest 2005
August 20 Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic
August 27-28 Welcome Weekend
Student Rally
Sept. 16-17 NMU Homecoming 2005
Dec. 12-16 US Speedskating Short Track Championships
Dec. 17 Mid-year Commencement





*All events are in Marquette, unless otherwise noted

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