For the week of June 20, 2005


From the 6th floor

I'm going to go out on a limb and say we are having a really nice summer in Marquette. Yes, I know, it's only June 21st, but I'm sitting here once again writing about the great beach weekend we just had. I've only written two newsletters in June and both refer to beautiful beach weekends. Doesn't that mean we are having a pretty nice summer? Forecasters call for record warmth for much of this week. As a matter of fact, we broke the record high for this date. The record for June 20 was 87 degrees set back in 1988. Monday's temperature reached 88 degrees. Yay!

Budget update

At a standing-room only forum at the University Center, Monday, June 13, NMU President Les Wong showed how Northern would be impacted by House and Senate formula funding models relative to the governor's budget proposal, emphatically dispelled "any myths that the university has benefited disproportionately from the Jacobetti legend," and urged employees to join a grassroots effort to contact legislators on behalf of the university.

Alumni throughout Upper Michigan have also been asked to show their support by writing their legislators. Many already have.
Even if you don't live in Upper Michigan, you can help.

As you have read previously, the funding formula proposal of the GOP leaders on the House Higher Education Appropriation Subcommitte
hits Northern and Wayne State hard. For NMU, it is a 31 percent cut or nearly $15 million. However, there is a cap of 5 percent on the amount any individual school can gain or lose in the upcoming fiscal year, so Northern will, in essence, lose more than $2 million a year over the next six years as long as the formula remains effective and unchanged. NMU president Les Wong has called this a very disturbing plan, for it asks NMU and WSU students and families to bear a disproportionate burden in fixing a state-created and historical funding problem – one that the data indicates is due to explosive enrollment growth at some schools, not past political favoritism as some legislators have suggested.   This proposal was part of a mammoth House omnibus bill that passed earlier this month.

In the Senate’s proposal for higher education, released June 2, Northern receives a 10 percent reduction ($4.5 million).  While announcing that plan, the subcommittee chair actually singled out NMU in his public comments to state that his plan is trying to ‘right a long-term wrong of over-funding to some universities'. Northern's administration strongly disagrees that this is the case and feels they have the proof to back up those claims.  The documentation that has been presented to the legislators on this topic was also presented at the recent community forum and the forum materials are available for review at 

Northern officials have several questions about how the formulas, particularly the House version, were built and why alternative funding options, such as cutting the amount to private and parochial institution aid ($58 million annually), have not been considered before making such drastic cuts to public institutions.

On the positive side, Governor Jennifer Granholm came out shortly after the House and Senate formula proposals were announced stating that she will oppose any legislation that significantly harms a few institutions to the benefit of others, saying doing so would not help the state reach its goal to double the number of college graduates over the next 10 years. 

A conference committee will be appointed to work on resolving the differences and merging the two versions in one bill to be brought to the governor.  Between now and then, the NMU community will be extremely busy working to convince legislators that this state-created funding problem needs to be fixed, but not on the backs of the NMU and Wayne State students and their families. 

Do your part

We are urging everyone in the
Upper Peninsula to write to the entire U.P. legislative delegation telling them that, as residents of the U.P., we expect them to find a way to restore Northern’s funding.  A list of the contact information for Upper Michigan legislators is available at, if you want to help.  If you live in the Upper Peninsula, this is an important issue for you whether you have any direct connection to NMU or not because we estimate that if the House higher education formula is implemented and NMU suffers a 31 percent funding reduction over six years, it will subsequently be about a $90 million hit to the U.P. economy resulting in the loss of hundreds, maybe thousands, of jobs.

If you live downstate, here's what you can do:
Take a moment and drop a note to Michigan's Legislative Leaders:

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ken Sikkema
Office Phone: (517) 373-0798; Fax: (517) 373-5236

Speaker of the House, Representative Craig DeRoche
Office Phone: (517) 373-0827; Fax: (517) 373-5873

Chair of Higher Education Appropriation Committee, Senator Mike Goschka
Office Phone: (517) 373-1760; Fax (517) 373-3487

Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Representative Scott Hummel
Office Phone: (517) 373-1778; Fax: (517) 373-5780

If you live outside of Michigan, write the Governor.

Governor Jennifer Granholm
Governor Granholm's Offices

Please ask them to help solve the problem without NMU or other U.P. organizations paying a higher price.

Your voice is important and it is heard.

Orientation brings hundreds of new students to campus

Freshman Kayla Dalley (center) and her mother, Calista, (left), from Alpena check in at the Gant-Spalding registration desk.

Do you remember Freshman Orientation? Did you make the trip to Marquette with the 'rents to check out your new digs? Hundreds of incoming freshmen are doing just that this week and over the next month. Some of the highlights of Freshman Orientation; Math and English placement exams; academic advising; student employment and extracurricular organization fair.
A mandatory part of the freshman experience, hundreds of students will visit campus over the next few weeks to get a first-hand look at what their lives will be like come fall.

Jeff Trantham and Dan Schultz (left and center) from Frankenmuth.

Thursday's weather is going to be gorgeous...spend it on the golf course

It's not too late to get in on the fun! The annual Wildcat Club/Alumni Association Golf Outing is scheduled for this Thursday, June 23 at the Marquette Golf and Country Club. More than 100 golfers are already signed up.

WHAT: Wildcat Club/Alumni Association Golf Outing
WHEN: Thursday, June 23
REGISTRATION: 11-30:-12:30"
COST: $100 per player; includes golf, lunch, beverages, prizes, dinner.

This annual golf outing supports the NMU Wildcat Club and Alumni Association.
Get your team together now!

Last minute questions? Contact us!

Shyiak accepts Anchorage position

Dave Shyiak, the associate head coach of the Northern Michigan University hockey team, has resigned his position with the Wildcats to accept the head coaching position at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Shyiak takes over for John Hill, who resigned his position with the Seawolves to accept an assistant hockey coaching position at the University of Minnesota.UAA is a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and finished the 2004-05 campaign with a 12-19-6 overall record and a 9-15-4 slate in the WCHA, which was good for seventh place in the conference. Walt Kyle, the head coach at NMU, said with Shyiak taking this job it will be a big loss for the ‘Cats.  “On a personal note, it is real gratifying to see Dave get this opportunity.  I recruited him and have worked with him,” Kyle said.  “This is a great opportunity for him.  Every assistant coach wants to be a head coach.  We wish him all the best."
Shyiak just completed his 10th season on the ‘Cat staff and third as the associate head coach.    He has played an integral role in developing the NMU program into one of the most respected in the country. 

Thanks for stopping by.....

......Rick Amidon '81 of Muskegon, MI. Rick was in town for meetings and ventured to the 6th floor. He and a classmate, Bill Slough '84 of Gladstone, plan on golfing in the Wildcat Club/Alumni Association outing Thursday. Good luck, guys!

....Dr. Roger D. Cole '84 of Hickory, North Carolina. Roger was in town with a friend from NC who had never visited the UP. They checked out some favorite UP spots; Pictured Rocks, Copper Harbor; and stopped by the 6th floor during their campus tour. This is only Roger's second trip back to Marquette since graduation.

....Peggy Rose '76 of Plymouth, MI. We were so glad when Peggy stopped by. For the past several years, Peggy had been missing out on her Northern news because we "lost" her. We are happy to report she is back on our mailing list and receiving Horizons, the magazine for alumni and friends, and all the invitations to our events. She also joined the NMU Alumni Association during her 6th floor visit. Thanks, Peggy!

If you are planning a visit to Marquette this summer, make sure it includes a trip to the 6th floor to visit the NMU Alumni Association!

From the Email bag

"Greetings from across town!!
Since your weekly newsletter is aimed at keeping NMU alums informed, I thought this the perfect venue to let everyone know about an alum in need.  Mike Willard '79, current owner of White’s Party Store in Marquette, has been battling Mantle Cell Lymphona – a very rare cancer.  In January of this year, he was declared in remission.  However, it didn’t last long.  In April, Mike’s cancer returned with a vengeance.Certain treatments may prolong Mike’s life, but in most cases do not cure the disease.  He is in need of a bone marrow transplant.  Mike and many other cancer patients can benefit from the donor drive we are about to implement and I am calling on NMU alumni to consider supporting this effort.  Both Mike and his wife, Kris, are NMU alums and business owners within the community.
Here’s how you can help:

"Just wanted to share the news and a photo of our precious baby girl, Ruth Riley Walter, born on June 2, 2005 to the proud parents of Tom & Jami Walter.  We had searched for the perfect going home outfit and decided that a Northern onesie would be most appropriate since that is where we first met back in 1991.  If it weren't for Northern Michigan University we wouldn't have our baby Ruth. "
Tom & Jami Walter '96
Hilghland, MI
"Hi Deanna
Several Alums from 1975-1978 are getting together for an informal reunion June 24-26 in Marquette.... friends and ex Hunt/VanAntwerp alums... and other erstwhile acquaintances of Pete Depuydt(77), Arne Wirpio(76), Bridget Sheehan(77), Joel Tepsa(76), Gayle Milam(76), Mike Paul, Jill Walker Taylor, Joe Kurina........ we are basing out of the Super 8 in Marquette....hiking Sugarloaf (if our AARP legs can stand it) visiting campus and catching up on memories....."
Jeff Pricco '76
Burnsville MN
"Both of my children think it's cool to wear NMU items. After playing hockey for 15 years here in Charlotte, NC, my son is now the mascot for the local ECHL team & skates around wearing a polar bear outfit. Walking into the locker room before an appearance, he was wearing a NMU hat & U of M shirt (went to hockey camp there). Three of the players were from Michigan, including 1 from Houghton. They asked where in the world he was from, because of the hat. U of M stuff can be purchased anywhere, but they all recognized the NMU logo. It made him feel really good to attract their attention, and was a good conversation starter."
Laura Little Pelchat '76
Charlotte, NC

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