For the week of March 8, 2003

From the 6th floor

Yes, we have more snow this week than last. Darn it, anyway. Any hopes of smaller snowbanks were dashed with a fresh dose of snowfall last Friday. Some areas reported more than a foot and a half of snow. Friday was a Snow Day across most of Upper Michigan, with the exception of Northern Michigan University, because the students were on Spring Break. (Which really is a misnomer because there's nothing even remotely resembling spring around here.) Just about every district in the UP closed down Friday because of snow and slippery roads. The snowfall was that really wet, heavy, kind of snow, too, so that didn't help matters. By the time I left work at 5:00 Friday, there were probably a good 12 inches of snow on my car. And that is not an exaggeration. Because I would never exaggerate when it comes to snow.

How alumni are helping Northern

As most of you are aware from reading this weekly update there are some serious issues facing the state legislature regarding funding for higher education. The state of Michigan is facing a $1 billion dollar budget deficit and cuts will have to be made in some areas. University officials around the state are working hard to ensure that higher education does not take an unfair hit.
Alumni in certain areas of Michigan are also doing their part to help.
Alumni in Saginaw, Gratiot and Kent Counties are writing letters to their legislators to make sure their elected officials are getting the message that higher education in general, and Northern Michigan University in particular, are important investments for the state.
Here is an example of a letter to State Senator Ken Sikkema:

" What concerns me greatly is the budget cuts that NMU has had to make due to inadequate funding from the state. If the current trend continues, fewer and fewer people will be able to have the opportunities I have had, and in turn, fewer tax payers.
I am a very analytical person, and when I saw that currently the state provides about $6,000 per student and $29,000 per prisoner I was shocked. What is the return on investment when looking at the two groups? I'll tell you, in my 3 years since graduation, I have paid about $7,000 in taxes. How much has a prisoner paid in the last three years? If you look at the math, it seems almost ridiculous that the State would cut University budgets before severely cutting prisoner costs.
I also want you to be aware of the anchor NMU provides the UP and other rural areas in the state. The school needs equal and fair funding, to continue to provide the state of Michigan not only with skilled employees but also with a better tax payer base.
Andrew Coster '01
Grand Rapids, MI

NMU Interim President Mike Roy:
"Senator Ken Sikkema is one of the most influential members of the Senate when it comes to decision making on appropriation issues.
The legislative process for funding of higher education is taking place over the next few weeks and it's vital we make sure Northern is treated fairly in the process."

Do you live in Saginaw, Gratiot or Kent County and want to help out? Email us for the details.

NMU's hearing before the Senate subcommittee is Friday, March 12, in Sault Ste. Marie.

Former Wildcat continues to recover

Eric LeMarque '90
outside Sherman Oaks Hospital
It's a story that's making headlines across the country: Former hockey player lost in the wilderness.

Eric LeMarque '90, an NMU Wildcat hockey player, 1986-90, was snowboarding in the mountains of California when he became lost.
He spent a week trying to survive in the wilderness, eating pine needles and digging snow caves. It is an amazing story of survival.

LeMarque was finally rescued but not before frostbite had set in. Surgeons removed LeMarque's feet just below the ankles.

"I feel rich. I've never been a happier man than I am right now," said Eric LeMarque, 34, a former member of the French Olympic hockey team. "God has saved me," added Lemarque, speaking from a wheelchair during a news conference at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital.

A medical foundation has been set up in Eric's name.
For those details, contact Sherman Oaks Hospital Foundation at (818) 817-3288

Cards and letters can be sent to:

Eric LeMarque
Sherman Oaks Hospital
4929 Van Nuys Blvd
c/o Grossman Burn Center
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Hockey 'Cats headed to Fairbanks, basketball teams end season

The NMU Hockey Wildcats wrapped up regular season play with a pair of wins over Ferris State this past weekend. Meanwhile, the Michigan Wolverines captured the CCHA's regular-season title. The first round of the playoffs this weekend will see Michigan at home to Nebraska-Omaha, Miami playing host to Lake Superior, Ferris travels to Michigan State, Bowling Green visiting Ohio State, Western Michigan heading to Notre Dame and Northern making the trip to Alaska Fairbanks. In their previous meeting this season, in Fairbanks, Northern was outskated by Alaska 0-1 and 2-5.

Northern's men and women's cross country ski teams will compete at the NCAA Skiing Championship, March 10-13, at the Auburn Ski Club in Truckee, CA.

NMU's men's basketball team ended their season with a loss to Michigan Tech on March 3. The quarterfinal game of the GLIAC Tournament saw Michigan Tech cruise to a 87-66 win over the Wildcats. The 'Cats end the season at 16-12.
Meanwhile, the Lady Wildcats end the season at 19-8 after losing to Ashland in GLIAC quarterfinal action.

Numbers positive for enrollment growth

The university recruiting cycle for the year is more than 65 percent completed. Northern projections at this point look good for next year. The university is seeing a double-digit increase in applications from prospective students. This is great news because it indicates that students throughout the Midwest are becoming more familiar with NMU and are considering Northern one of their top choices. However, officials here remain cautiously optimistic as the national trend this year is for students to apply early and to a larger number of schools. So, while NMU is a top prospect for many students, we know they are still in the decision-making funnel and they are exploring their options. What Northern will start to watch closely over the next few months is orientation registration numbers. Signing up or even attending orientation does not guarantee that a student will enroll here in the fall, but is the next level of commitment in the process. NMU Interim President Mike Roy is confident that these positive numbers make the 3 percent enrollment growth we’ve built into next year’s budget attainable.

A brief facilities update

Just because it's winter doesn't mean construction work isn't going on. Thomas Fine Arts is on schedule to be done by the end of July with departments being moved back into that space in early August. Two isolated areas – the choir and band rooms – will be completed between September and December. The Art and Design facility is coming along nicely, but has experienced a few minor delays that may push the opening of that facility back from early August to early October. The Student Service Center (Hedgcock), which includes the Reynolds Recital Hall, is on schedule to open in August. Once the student services departments are moved into Hedgcock, minor renovation work will be done in Cohodas to prepare the vacated space for those departments still housed in Magers Hall. The move for those departments from Magers into Cohodas is expected to be mid-October. Major renovation of Magers from a faculty offices facility back into a residence hall is scheduled to begin in January 2005 and will be completed that spring.

Mark Your Calendars

Wildcat Golf Classic Monday, June 14
Boyne Highlands Resort
Wildcat Club/Alumni Association Golf Outing Thursday, June 24
Marquette Country Club
NMU Football Kickoff Classic Saturday, July 31
Red Fox Run
NMU Homecoming Oct. 15-16

From the Email bag

"I just wanted to let you know what an awesome time I had at the NMU hockey party in Battle Creek. Troy Huggett was a fantastic host and a fun time was had by all who attended that night. It's always nice to get together with NMU grads (and others) and root on the Wildcats. There were two other parties that were closer to my house, but I enjoy making the trip to Battle Creek since I have attended there before and remember what fun it is! Thanks for keeping us updated on the NMU web site. It's such a nice way to keep up on current Wildcat events. Keep up the good work--it is appreciated!"
Teresa Hofman Lawrence '90

Is there something you want to read about? Have a question that needs an answer? Any and all feedback should be directed to yours truly.

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