For the week of August 30, 2004

From the 6th floor

Back to school in the rain. It is the first official day of classes on the campus of Northern Michigan University and students were greeted by cloudy skies and rain as they headed to the classroom.
The good news was it did not rain over the weekend as everyone was moving in to dorms and apartments.
The weatherman says to look for a bit of a warm up later this week, with another chance of rain Wedneday.
The general feeling around here is that we are due for a really nice fall because summer was so lousy.
I'll let you know how that goes.


Thousands attend Alumni Association sponsored rally to kick off school year

The Berry Events Center was the place to be Sunday evening as more than 2,000 students showed up to "Be A Part From The Start" at the annual back to school rally. Sponsored by the NMU Alumni Association and Associated Students of NMU, the event is a noisy, fun-filled evening of school spirit.
Free pizza and pop greet the students as they arrive and then the rally takes over. A Spirit Competition is held pitting residence halls against each other and one student is chosen from the crowd as Most Spirited Student for their enthusiasm and energy.
Spencer Ansorge of Cadillac, MI., poses with his $100 check for Most Spirited Student.
NMU Alumni Association Board of Directors member Mary Knauss '53, '70, helps hand out pizza.
Dominos prepared more than 200 pizzas for the event.
Terri Williams '93 and Juliet Hoffman ' 94, hand out pizza and pop.

New president delivers inaugural convocation

In his inaugural fall convocation address, NMU President Les Wong said the university will begin deliberate discussions on how it can position itself to offer a “Curriculum for the 21 st Century.”

Wong said some campuses have been forced into similar discussions through budgetary distress, enrollment decline, or a desire to re-brand themselves in a new market.

“But our enrollment, relative budgetary stability and, more importantly, the human talent and potential in place suggest we can embark on this discussion from a position of strength,” Wong said. “One condition of these discussions is that we will refrain from decision making to the best of our ability. The purpose is to explore and examine what kind of curriculum will offer us the ‘superior edge.’”

Wong said the university must also explore and examine how each area of campus – not just academics – may play a role in the creation of the curriculum. He cited several examples, including the following:
•How does NMU incorporate important initiatives like service learning, international education and other active learning modes without adding to the credit demands of the major?
•How can the university bear fruit with a ramped-up international education program if it fails to reach out to Native America and underserved adults who are its neighbors?
•In what ways can NMU provide incentives to develop curriculum products and their delivery that exploit the technical environment and do not necessarily mean only online or distance education?
•Will NMU be the first to fully integrate academics and student support into on-campus residential opportunities to create a living-learning community and, if so, how might this impact the architectural design for planned residence hall renovations
•Are Northern’s academic majors designed to meet the learning demands of its students in the worlds they choose to live and do they support the goals of the discipline?

“You’ll find me to be a person who is reflective, thoughtful, respectful and inquisitive,” Wong said. “I admit, my thinking can even be edgy. After all, we want to be out of the box. Maybe that will be the lasting legacy of our work together: creative, well thought out, edgy and effective teaching and learning in the 21 st century. … I am not comfortable with the notion of president-centric organizations, though I endorse the idea that an effective president is at the center of the consensus-building process – a process that respects and honors shared governance, shared responsibility and academic freedom.”

Wong credited his predecessors of the recent past and the “hard working, high quality” faculty and staff for promoting student success and making NMU a healthy, vibrant institution.

“There is a spirit here which is uniquely NMU and one which we should not take for granted,” he added. “I am intrigued by it and hope to learn and enjoy more of it as the year progresses.”

The full address can be viewed at Convocation.

Excellence in Teaching recipients honored at convocation

Patricia I. Hogan (HPER) and Thomas A. Hyslop (English) are recipients of the 2004 NMU Excellence in Teaching Awards. They were honored at Wednesday’s fall convocation, where each received a plaque and $1,000 check.
Hyslop has taught at his alma mater since 1967. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NMU and earned his doctorate in composition/literary studies from the University of Michigan.
Hyslop was a teacher at Grosse Pointe High School prior to joining Northern’s faculty. He is director of the secondary program in English at NMU and has also taught courses at the Marquette Branch Prison.

Tom can be reached at, if you'd like to drop him a congratulatory note.

Hogan earned bachelor’s degrees in human kinetics and education from the University of Windsor in Ontario and her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Oregon.

She has been at NMU since 1991. Prior to her teaching career at NMU, Hogan was a health educator/physical educator at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore.; an assistant professor and assistant research scientist at New York University in New York City; the health promotion services director for the National Board of the YWCA of the U.S.A. in New York City; and assistant professor/project director at New York University.

Patty is at

Former basketball player gets first look at renovated Hedgcock

Mark Simon '86, stands outside the west entrance of the C.B. Hedgock Student Services Center.

"Wow." That was the first word out of Mark Simon's mouth as the former NMU basketball player got his first look at the new C. B. Hedgcock Student Services Center.
The 1986 grad played basketball at Northern from 1983-86.

"It amazes me to see the progress of NMU," Simon added. "The Student Service Center is an awesome example that Northern is not stagnant in the middle of nowhere. Hedgcock provided a wonderful service in the past and possibly an even more important service for the future. When I took my tour of the new facility, I could still feel the "ghost of Hedgcock", however; it's still there."

A $15 million dollar renovation project turned the former fieldhouse into the Hedgcock Student Services Center. All offices that serve students have been moved to Hedgcock. Hedgcock will also house the Fieldhouse Food Bar and Reynolds Recital Hall. The latter is scheduled to be completed in October.

The top floor of Hedgcock will be home to the Fieldhouse Food Bar.
Financial Services, as expected, is one of the busiest offices. A conference room on the top floor.

During his visit to Hedgcock, Mark stopped in to say hello to Carl Holm, Director of Housing and Residence Life.

NMU in 'Top Tier' of midwest public universities

Northern Michigan University is one of the best public universities in the Midwest, according to the 2005 college rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. NMU is ranked 13th in the “top tier” among master’s-level public institutions. The Midwest region is composed of 12 states that span from the Dakotas in the west to Ohio in the east and as far south as Missouri.

"It is exciting to see Northern in the top tier of these competitive rankings,” said NMU President Les Wong. “The university has gained national recognition through its university-wide notebook computer program, which creates a more connected learning community. But it has always enjoyed a reputation for personalized attention and effective teaching. This high-tech, high-touch combination is what convinced me to come to Northern and it is obvious the U.S. News & World Report radar has picked up on these strengths as well.”

NMU shares the 13th ranking among Midwest public universities with Southwest Missouri State and Western Illinois. The magazine ranked NMU 55th among all Midwest institutions – public or private – in the master’s category. Schools that fall within this designation offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs and typically recruit students from their own state or surrounding states.

U.S. News & World Report collected data from more than 1,400 accredited four-year colleges related to “15 indicators of academic excellence.” These measures – assigned various weight based on judgments about their degree of importance – include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, class sizes, academic credentials of incoming freshmen, financial resources and alumni giving. For the regional rankings, U.S. News & World Report compared 572 schools in four geographic areas.

Complete 2005 rankings will be included in U.S. News & World Report's “America’s Best Colleges” guide. Highlights are also included in the Aug. 23 newsstand issue and on the magazine's Web site.

Homecoming 2004

The investiture of NMU president Les Wong and a celebration of 100 years of Wildcat Football will highlight Homecoming 2004, October 15-16.

This is the year to visit!

Hotel rooms are going quickly, so make your reservations now!

Visit our Homecoming 2004 web site for a complete look at the schedule.

Are you planning on attending? We'd like to start a list of folks coming back to make it easier for friends to get in touch.
If you plan on being here for Homecoming, let us know so we can tell others.


Thanks for stopping by....

Al Behnke '98....currently serving in Balad, Iraq. Al was on a two week leave and returned to the United States to visit family in Menominee, MI.

Elmer Schacht...retired dean of the Dept. of Education.

Charlie Nickel '92, '96 of Green Bay, WI. Charlie was in the area on a business trip. (He also made time to fish with some friends.) Charlie was an NMU Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner in 2001.

If you're in the Marquette area for a visit, please stop by and say hello. We're on the 6th floor of Cohodas, room 603.

As always, feedback/suggestions/questions can be directed to yours truly.

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