For the week of May 23, 2005

From the 6th floor

High pressure sitting over Upper Michigan has us on the receiving end of some pretty nice weather the past couple days. While we're not setting any record temperatures, it has been pleasant with the mercury climbing as high as 70 degrees. It's one of those cases of "enjoy it while is lasts" because it's not expected to continue much longer. A cold front is due to move through the area late Wednesday and bring with it cooler temperatures and rain. Just in time for the holiday weekend. Isn't that the way it goes?

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Mike Geary resigns as basketball coach

Mike Geary, coach of the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball team for the past 17 years, has resigned, according to NMU Athletic Director Ken Godfrey.
Godfrey said Geary is leaving the position for personal reasons, effective May 31.
“I’m very proud of what has been accomplished with the Northern Michigan University women’s basketball program during my tenure,” said Geary. “I want to thank the players, parents, and fans who have helped us to develop the program at NMU.”
Geary took over the Wildcat program in 1988. At Northern, he compiled a 370-123 record at NMU. He has an overall collegiate coaching mark of 417-133.
Under Geary’s leadership, Northern has made two NCAA Women’s Tournament Elite Eight appearances (1995 and ‘98) and advanced to the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 1998 where the ‘Cats lost to eventual champion North Dakota in the semifinals. His teams also won two Great Lakes Regional titles (’95, ’98) and two GLIAC North Division crowns (’95, ’98).
Geary was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1997, and he was honored in the latter season as the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan’s (BCAM) Women’s Coach of the Year recipient. His NMU teams posted 20-plus wins for all but four years of Geary’s tenure.
Five Wildcats earned All-America status and five were named Academic All-Americans during Geary’s tenure. Six ‘Cats were chosen to receive the GLIAC Most Valuable Player Award.
This past year, Northern went 16-12 and advanced to the semifinal round of the GLIAC Tournament.
Prior to NMU, Geary coached for two years (47-10) at Lake Superior State University.
“Mike took over a young women’s basketball program in the 1980s and developed it into one that has been successful over the years,” said Godfrey. “We wish Mike well in his future endeavors.”
Godfrey indicated that a national search will begin immediately to replace Geary.


Sten Fjeldheim named Coach of the Year

Sten Fjeldheim, the head men’s and women’s cross country ski coach at Northern Michigan University, has been selected to receive the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Coach of the Year Award – Development and the USSA Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year. The USSA is the National Governing Body for Olympic Skiing and Snowboarding. This is the second time that he has picked up the award as he won it in 2000 and is the only two-time recipient.

USSA Coach of the Year Awards are made in each sport to a USSA staff or USSA Competition Club coach based on outstanding contribution to either the domestic program or international program, resulting in high-level performance of his or her athletes in domestic or international competition respectively during the past season. Each respective USSA Sport Committee makes selections. Fjeldheim at NMU has produced 40 NCAA All-Americans, three NCAA National Champions and six Olympians. The NMU cross country ski team under Fjeldheim has produced a number of skiers who have represented the U.S. in international competitions.

“Being voted Coach of the Year is an honor,” Fjeldheim said about winning the award. “I would like to share this award with the whole coaching staff. I would not have this award without the support of NMU.” Fjeldheim also stated that he is very proud of the skiing community in Marquette.


Economic impact study provides interesting statistics

A recent update to Northern Michigan University's economic impact study yielded some statistics you may find interesting. NMU economics professor David Switzer was tasked with updating some parts of the last study. The update found NMU's economic impact to the Upper Peninsula to be well over a quarter of a billion dollars annually and that NMU’s presence generates an additional 4,800 jobs in the U.P. beyond our nearly 1,000 NMU positions.
Dr. Switzer enlisted the help of NMU faulty in surveying students, receiving information from more than 1,800 that was useful to his study.

To quote a small portion of his executive summary regarding the results of the student survey portion of the study: “Also, a survey of nearly 1,800 NMU students showed that 38 percent of them would be in another state if NMU were not an option for them, much more than the 19 percent of NMU students that come from a different state. Without NMU, the state of Michigan would be not only losing tuition and spending from the 19 percent of students it draws from other states, but also an additional 19 percent of students who are Michigan residents and who would leave the state to go to school elsewhere, resulting in lost Michigan output of more than $35 million.”

UP to participate in World Peace Art Initiative

Residents from four Upper Peninsula regions are invited to participate in the upcoming pARTners: World Peace Art Initiative. They will create and decorate large-scale, inflatable air structures depicting the uniqueness of the area in which they live. The four individual projects will be completed during regional workshops in June before they converge for a "grand finale" display at the UP State Fair in August.
The initiative is funded by a grant awarded by the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies and administered by Northern Michigan University. Its goal is to bring together people of different backgrounds, interests and talents.
"This idea is reflected very well in the theme of the project, which is 'The Oneness of Humankind: Unity through Diversity,'" said Dick Ross of Ishpeming, an NMU alumnus and retired educator who is serving as an artist in residence for the program. "Each structure will uniquely acknowledge diversity, address creative learning and problem solving, and illustrate the value of a collective thought process. This is a world-class project and I'm absolutely thrilled that a cross-section of Upper Peninsula residents will have an opportunity to get involved."
The four U.P. geographic divisions identified for purposes of the grant are as follows: the northern region, which covers Marquette County; the southern region, consisting of Delta and Menominee Counties; the eastern region, which includes Mackinac and Chippewa Counties; and the western region, comprised of Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon, Gogebic and Keweenaw Counties.

Full story.

From the Email bag

"I have been meaning to pass along a NMU-related story from my Grandpa that was too good not to share…
My 75-year-old Grandpa loves hats - especially hats from colleges and universities. He is a former high school science teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and until about 1 week ago he was the Mayor of Minooka, IL (growing “collar” suburb about 25 miles straight south of Batavia). So for Christmas I thought it was appropriate that I give him a NMU hat…he loved it and thought it would go great in his collection.
About 2 months ago he took a trip to Las Vegas and decided to wear the NMU hat because he hadn’t worn it yet and it was white and he figured it would keep his head cool in the desert. So he is walking down the strip in Vegas and taking it all in when a girl in her 20s stops him and points out his hat asking if he went to NMU. No, he says and tells her about me. She tells him that she is a recent alum and is in Vegas for a conference and goes on her way. He thinks this is pretty cool and goes back to his vacation. 5 days later he is in the airport waiting for his flight when the guy next to him points out his hat asking if he went to NMU. No, he says and tells him about me. This guy tells Grandpa that he lives “not 5 miles from campus” and is a recent graduate himself. Now that this has happened twice, Grandpa thinks it is very cool but figures it must be just a coincidence and travels home and forgets all about it.
Last week, he took a trip down to FL to celebrate the end of his term as Mayor of Minooka and chose the NMU hat because he hasn’t worn it since Vegas and it keeps his head cool, etc. As he is getting off the plane in FL, the flight attendant stops him and points out his hat asking if he went to NMU. No, he says and tells her about me. She tells him that she is a recent alum and got her job because of the “great education she received at NMU”. Since this is the third time this has happened, he figured it warranted a phone call to me. So in the middle of all the craziness of IACAC last week, I get this long story/phone call from him while he is still in FL. Needless to say he tells me…”I will definitely be wearing my NMU hat more often due to the great reaction it receives!"
Nathan Ament
Senior Admissions Counselor
Northern Michigan University
Chicago Office

"Hi Deanna,
Another anecdote about life at NMU during the 60's. I don't know if it is still there, but not far off campus there was a public sauna. On Friday nights my roommates and I would go there and partake of "adult" beverages. We were not the only people there doing the same thing. When you came into the waiting room "everyone"(groups of women, men and couples) was carrying brown bags that went " clink!'' when you moved them. There may have been soda pop in some of their's but not in ours. I never heard of the place ever being raided by the police. Is the place still there? In today's world this activity might not be possible for a number of reasons. By the way, I never heard of anyone getting hurt. Besides, where can you go, drink, "lose" pounds and get sober at the same time?"
Ken Trank '69

Pleasantville, NY

Note from the Editor: "Ken, it's called Second Street Sauna and we're pretty sure they are still open, although their phone number only gets you to a recording."

"When we graduated in June 1966 the sky was blue and temps in the mid 70s at about 11:00. Then as we were packing up and getting dressed for graduation a great black cloud appeared over the lake and moved toward us. The closer it got the faster the temperature dropped. When we exited the field house the temperature was in the mid 30s and it was snowing. Driving out of Marquette was real fun and I didn't get out of near blizzard conditions until the middle of the bridge heading south. By the time I got to Grayling it was back up over 70 again. It doesn't get like that in Central Florida."
Doc Landeck '66
Auburndale, FL

"I graduated in December 1980. My folks came out from NJ for the ceremony. They had been to the UP several times but never in winter. Graduation day was a brilliant sunny day. Not a cloud in the sky. About -10 with only a little wind whipping off the lake. Pretty above average by Marquette standards. My folks were stunned, shocked, awestruck and abused by the cold, especially after they had walked up and down Washington Street several times looking for the place I told them to go for breakfast. They felt like they had been mugged. They could not imagine how I survived my winters there. Whimps!"
Andrew Longman '80
Frenchtown, NJ

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