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Northern Michigan University

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Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University
Northern Michigan University Seal
Motto Northern. Naturally.
Established 1899
Type Public
Endowment $13.9 million[1]
President Fritz Erickson
Academic staff 457 (F/T 328, P/T 129)
Students 8,879
Undergraduates 8,233 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates 646 (Fall 2013)
Location Marquette, Michigan, United States
Campus Small City, 350 acres (1.4 km2)
Colors Forest Green and Gold         
Athletics NCAA Division I, men's hockey
NCAA Division II, 12 varsity teams
Nickname Wildcats
Mascot Wildcat Willy
Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University (NMU) is a four-year college public university established in 1899 and located in Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. With enrollment of about 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Northern Michigan University is the Upper Peninsula's largest university. The university is known for its extensive wireless system that covers not only the campus, but the city of Marquette and the surrounding communities and its laptop program that issues laptops to all full time students and faculty members[2] The university is the alma mater of Starbucks founder Howard Schultz and the Chief Financial Officer of Kraft Foods Teri List-Stoll.[3][4] Northern Michigan University is consistently listed as being among the most affordable universities in Michigan in terms of tuition normally with only community colleges listing a lower rate.[5]


Northern Michigan University was established in 1899 by the Michigan Legislature as Northern State Normal School with the original purpose of providing teacher preparation programs in Michigan's then-wild and sparsely populated Upper Peninsula. When it opened its doors in 1899, NMU enrolled thirty-two students who were taught by six faculty members utilizing rented rooms in Marquette city hall. The original 20-acre (81,000 m2) campus-site at the corner of Presque Isle and Kaye Avenues was on land donated by local businessman and philanthropist John M. Longyear, whose namesake academic building, Longyear Hall, opened its doors to students in 1900.

Throughout the school's first half-century, education and teacher training was the primary focus of the small regional school. During this time, the school built the native sandstone buildings Kaye and Peter White Halls, as well as a manual training school adjacent to the campus buildings, J.D. Pierce School. Modest increases in enrollment resulted in several name changes throughout the years:

  • Northern State Normal, 1899
  • Northern State Teachers College, 1927
  • Northern Michigan College of Education, 1942
  • Northern Michigan College, 1955

In 1963, through the adoption of a new state constitution in Michigan, Northern Michigan was designated a comprehensive university serving the diverse educational needs of Upper Michigan. During this time, enrollment at the small state school swelled (due in large part to the 1957 opening of the Mackinac Bridge, linking vehicle traffic between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas); and as a result, the campus expanded rapidly, roughly to the size it remains to this day. Accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies.

Graduate education was inaugurated in 1928 when courses at the master’s degree level were offered in cooperation with the University of Michigan.

President Term Year(s)
Dwight B. Waldo 1899-1904
James H.B. Kaye 1904-1923
John M. Munson 1923-1933
Webster H. Pearce 1933-1940
Henry A. Tape 1940-1956
Edgar L. Harden 1956-1967
John X. Jamrich 1967-1983
James B. Appleberry 1983-1991
William H. Vandament 1991-1997
Judith l. Bailey 1997-2004
Leslie E. Wong 2004-2012
David S. Haynes (Interim) 2012-2014
Fritz J. Erickson 2014-present

Academic profile

NMU has four academic divisions:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Walker L. Cisler College of Business, named for philanthropist Walker Lee Cisler.
  • Graduate Education and Research
  • College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies: • School of Education, Leadership and Public Service • School of Nursing

Within these four academic divisions 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered.[6]

Placement Data[7]

  • The percentage of alumni continuing their education immediately after graduation: 19.3%
  • The percent of alumni employed/continuing education within six months of graduation: 81.1%


The Academic Mall: (from left to right) a bridge coming from Jamrich Hall (behind camera), West Science, New Science Facility and the Learning Resource Center.

NMU is a tobacco-free campus.[1]

Instructional Spaces

In the 10 buildings where classes are held, there are at least 210 instructional spaces, each having a Wi-Fi signal strong enough to accommodate not only the instructor(s) but every student. 112 of these rooms seat at least 30 students. There are 63 general use classrooms which can be scheduled for multiple disciplines. All but 4 general-purpose rooms are smart classrooms fitted with technology for projecting images and sound from one’s laptop computer. There are 14 tiered classrooms, 10 of which are considered lecture halls with a seat-count of at least 90. The largest lecture hall, Jamrich 102, seats 501. There are 58 labs covering the gamut of arts and sciences. There are 28 departmental classrooms, 16 of which are “smart”. There are 3 distance learning facilities, the largest of which is Mead Auditorium which seats 100.

Art and Design

  • This facility contains over 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of studios, lecture halls, digital green screen room, sound studio, photography suite, critique and screening rooms, as well as the DeVos Art Museum. The DeVos Art Museum displays 10-12 exhibitions per year of contemporary international, national, regional, and local art. At over 4,000 square feet (370 m2) it is the largest art gallery on campus and the only art museum with a permanent collection in the Upper Peninsula.[8]

Berry Events Center

  • Northern's multi-purpose student events center, funded in part by a $2 million donation by 1971 alumnus John Berry, opened in 1999 and is the home of the Northern Michigan University hockey and men's and women's basketball teams. The 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) facility contains an Olympic-size (200 ft. x 100 ft.) ice sheet and seats over 4,000 for hockey events. The Berry Events Center was built on the site of the former Memorial Stadium.

Cohodas Hall

A hayride passes through the heart of NMU's campus. Cohodas Hall can be seen in the background.
  • The tallest building on campus, Cohodas Hall houses administrative offices, as well as the offices for many academic departments. Completed in 1975, the building stands on the site of Northern's original campus. It is named after U.P. banker and philanthropist Sam M. Cohodas.[9]

Forest Roberts Theatre

  • The 500-seat Forest Roberts Theatre is named after a former head of the Speech department. The theatre has a computerized lighting system and modern sound system. Performances of up to five major theatrical productions per year are held in this facility.[10]

Gries Hall

  • A former residence hall, Gries is now home to the Military Science, Criminal Justice, English, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology departments.[11] The Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center provides family health care and pharmacy services to students and staff.[12]

CB Hedgcock Building

  • Was completely renovated from a field house to a student service center in 2004. It now houses the offices of the Dean of Students, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Housing and Residence Life, Multicultural Education, and other student services. Also located in Hedgcock is the Reynolds Recital Hall, a 303-seat concert hall featuring state of the art technology.

Jamrich Hall

  • Jamrich Hall, opened in the fall of 2014, contains numerous large lecture halls and smaller classrooms. The primary classroom building on campus, this building is named for former university president John X. Jamrich.[13] The current Jamrich Hall replaced a prior Jamrich Hall which was built in 1968. The older Jamrich was demolished after the completion of the new building.

Lydia M. Olson Library

  • The Lydia M. Olson Library,[14] located within the Edgar L. Harden Learning Resource Center (LRC), houses a volume count of 544,219 titles and 29,365 of periodical subscriptions.[15]

McClintock Hall

  • The building features a Black Box Theatre for student-directed productions and state-of-the-art audio laboratories, as well as general classrooms.[16]

Physical Education Instructional Facility

  • Physical Education Instructional Facility (PEIF) opened in 1976. The facility houses the PEIF Pool, and the Vandament Arena, home of Wildcat volleyball. Also housed within the PEIF is a recreation center with a climbing wall, weight room, basketball courts, spinning room, seven racquetball courts, a dance studio, and various classrooms.[17]

Seaborg Science Complex

  • The Seaborg Science Complex comprises West Science and the New Science Facility. This facility is the home to the natural, physical and health science departments. The complex is named after [18]

Superior Dome

  • The Superior Dome is the largest wooden dome in the world and is home to the NMU athletic department. The NMU football and other athletic teams play home games there. Seating capacity is 8,000 but can be rearranged to seat 16,000.

The Jacobetti Center

  • The Jacobetti Center is home to the Continuing Education and Workforce Development, which includes two departments: Engineering Technology and Technology and Occupational Sciences. A large lobby area, known as “the commons,” provides tables and seating for studying, discussions or enjoying food from the student-run Culinary Café. The upscale Chez Nous restaurant in the center serves as a training ground for cooking and hospitality services. The center is named for longtime Upper Peninsula State Representative Dominic J. Jacobetti.[19]

Whitman Hall

  • This facility contains the Dean of Health Sciences and Professional Studies, the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service, the Modern Languages and Literatures Department and the Center for Native American Studies. Before being purchased by the university in 2002, the building was home to an elementary school.


Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools

All education programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Other accreditations include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology; American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Chemical Society; American Society of Cytology; Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Professionals (Surgical Technology); Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs; Council on Social Work Education; Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Certification; International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.; Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology; Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing; National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; and the National Association of Schools of Music.

In addition, the nursing programs (practical nursing, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees) are fully approved by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing and the baccalaureate and master’s degrees are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The baccalaureate degree programs of the Walker L. Cisler College of Business are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[20]


The Teaching, Learning, and Communication (TLC) initiative places a notebook computer in the hands of every full-time undergraduate student and faculty. This initiative makes NMU one of the largest public university laptop programs in the world. Laptop program participants receive a new notebook computer every four years. Northern’s campus-wide effort for technological mastery helps NMU students compete in the high-tech global marketplace after they graduate. The university has national and international awards for its innovative work in the area of technology in higher education.

Vision of technology initiative

Northern Michigan University's vision for education in the 21st century is a learning environment that embraces technology to enhance student access, promote the development of independent learners and encourage greater student-faculty communication and collaboration. To help achieve this vision, the university implemented a laptop program in the fall of 2000 that ensures students and faculty have a standard set of tools (hardware and software) that meet a majority of their computing and telecommunications needs, promotes communication and enables quality support. NMU is the first public university in Michigan — but one of many nationwide — to pursue the idea of a "laptop" campus.

Since 2002, most of the campus and surrounding city is covered by a wireless network. Although electronic documents are encouraged, networked printers are installed in various campus locations for hard copy documents.

In the fall of 2009 the university initiated a WiMAX connection initiative. This far-reaching technology has brought Internet access to students off and on campus. It was the first educational facility to create such an initiative and an example of Northern's vision for the future. Because of its popularity and recognition, the campus was visited by President Barack Obama on February 10, 2011, where he praised the development in wireless technology and promoted a National Wireless Initiative to bring high-speed Internet to 98% of the U.S. by 2016.[21]

The university has a help desk and walk-in service center to handle laptop maintenance problems.

Cost to students

NMU leases the laptop computers and issues them to full-time students on a three-year replacement cycle (a student will never have a computer more than three years old). Continuing students who pre-register for the following fall will be able to use the laptop through the summer at no additional charge.

Part-time students may, at their option, participate in the program. Part-time students may also, for a fee, check out the laptops from the library on a daily basis.

Additional aspects

NMU continues to support and improve "specialty labs" as a function of need and resource availability. These are labs designed to meet the needs of specific academic programs that have special equipment and software needs (e.g., graphic design, computer science, GIS, CAD among others). The Center for Instructional Technology in Education (CITE) in the LRC supports faculty use of technology in instruction.[22]


A football signed by the 1978 Northern Michigan Wildcats football team

NMU’s Wildcats compete in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in basketball, football, golf, skiing, cross country, soccer, volleyball, track & field, and swimming/diving. The hockey program competes in Division I as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Division II football team plays in the world's largest wooden dome, the Superior Dome.[23] Lloyd Carr, former head coach at the University of Michigan, former NFL coach Jerry Glanville, and Steve Mariucci, former head coach of the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers, played football for NMU, and current Michigan State coach Tom Izzo played basketball at NMU. Northern Michigan's rivals in sports action are the two other major schools in the upper peninsula: Michigan Technological University, and Lake Superior State University.[24]

The winner of the annual football game between NMU and Michigan Tech is awarded the Miner's Cup.

National Championships (4):

  • 1975 - Football - NCAA Division II
  • 1991 - Men's Ice Hockey - NCAA Division I
  • 1993 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II
  • 1994 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II

National Runners-up (4):

  • 1980 - Men's Ice Hockey - NCAA Division I
  • 1992 - Women's Swimming and Diving - NCAA Division II
  • 1992 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II
  • 1995 - Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II

Basketball Final Four (1):

  • 1961 - Men's Basketball - NAIA Division I


The United States Olympic Training Site on the campus of Northern Michigan University is one of 16 Olympic training sites in the country. The NMU-OTS provides secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities for athletes while offering world-class training.

With more than 70 resident athletes and coaches, the NMU-OTS is the second-largest Olympic training center in the United States, in terms of residents, behind Colorado Springs. The USOEC has more residential athletes than the Lake Placid and Chula Vista sites combined. Over the years, it has grown into a major contributor to the U.S. Olympic movement.

Current resident training programs include Greco-Roman wrestling, weightlifting and women’s freestyle wrestling. Athletes must be approved by the NMU-OTS, their national governing body and NMU to be admitted into the program.

NMU-OTS athletes attend NMU or Marquette Senior High School, Marquette, Michigan while training in their respective sports. The student athletes receive free or reduced room and board, access to world-class training facilities as well as sports medicine and sports science services, academic tutoring, and a waiver of out-of-state tuition fees by NMU. Although athletes are responsible for tuition at the in-state rate, they may receive the B.J. Stupak Scholarship to help cover expenses.

On-campus NMU-OTS athletes live in NMU’s Meyland Hall, eat in campus dining halls, and train at the university’s Berry Events Center and Superior Dome.

The NMU-OTS also offers a variety of short-term training camps; regional, national, and international competitions; coaches and officials education clinics; and an educational program for retired Olympians.[25]

Student life

Residential life

Residence hall government is an important facet of student life and NMU. Ten to twenty students from each of the ten residence halls are elected and/or appointed to meet with the staff from their hall on a weekly basis. They represent their peers on a variety of matters pertaining to their residence hall community and campus life.

Students who participate in hall government have the option of participating in various leadership training activities.

One student from up campus (2 halls) and two from down campus (8 halls) are elected to serve on ASNMU, NMU's Student Government.

The 10 residence halls are:[26]

  • Gant Hall
  • Halverson Hall
  • Hunt Hall
  • Magers Hall
  • Meyland Hall
  • Payne Hall
  • Spalding Hall
  • Spooner Hall
  • VanAntwerp Hall
  • West Hall

In addition to the residence halls, NMU operates and maintains seven apartment buildings on campus.

The apartments are [27]

  • Woodland Park (Opened in 2006)
  • Lincoln Apartments
  • Summit / Center Apartments
  • Center / Norwood Apartments
  • Norwood Apartments

Many halls that have been listed above contain "houses", smaller communities within each residence hall, which participate in campus events and socialize.[2] Many have long-running traditions. For instance, Arctic House in Hunt Hall takes a swim in Lake Superior in the middle of winter. This is known as the Arctic plunge. [3] Many houses in Payne Hall are noted for their volunteer involvement in projects during the school year. Northern Michigan Hall traditions are numerous and involve the students, letting them bond as a community.

Groups and activities

Student organizations

NMU hosts a large number of student organizations which are governmental, academic, programming, social, religious, and athletic, as well as residence hall-related, in nature. There are over 300 registered student organizations that provide programs and activities for the campus community. [4]


NMU is the proud host of the United States Army Cadet Command's "Wildcat Battalion".[28] Roughly 70 Cadets train to earn their commissions as United States Army Officers in both the Active Duty and Reserve components. NMU ROTC also trains a specially selected group of Cadets to compete in the annual Ranger Challenge competition held in Fort McCoy, Wisc.

Greek life



Student Leader Fellowship Program

The Student Leader Fellowship Program (SLFP) is committed to developing competent, ethical, and community-centered leaders. Over a two-year period, students participate in six component areas (Fall Retreat, Mentors, Leadership Theory and Practice Course, Skill Builders! Leadership Workshops, Community Service Internship, and Special Occasions) focusing on self-development and community development.

The Volunteer Center

The NMU Volunteer Center is designed to assist students, both individuals and in student organizations, as well as faculty and staff at the university with finding ways in which they can contribute to the Marquette community.

Superior Edge

Unique to Northern, this citizen-leader development program is open to all NMU students, regardless of GPA, major or year in school. Participants can work on any or all of the edges; citizenship, diversity awareness, leadership and real-world experience. Students log a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer, contact, classroom or work time for each edge and write a reflection paper. Achievement of edges is recorded on a student development transcript that is issued alongside a student's academic transcript.

The Superior Edge was developed in 2004-05 by a task force that included students, faculty, and staff. The Superior Edge encompasses a wide range of in- and out-of-classroom experiences that will provide Northern Michigan University students with a distinct advantage by better preparing them for careers, lifelong learning, graduate school, and life as engaged citizens.[29]

Honors Program

The Honors Program provides talented undergraduates the opportunity to take rigorous coursework that leads to the designation of Lower Division Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Full Honors on their academic transcript. For Full Honors, students must complete two years (16–20 credits) of lower division honors courses, two years of a foreign language, mathematics at the pre-calculus level or higher, 12 credits of upper division coursework in their major or minor that have been "honorized", and a capstone project in the final semester before graduation. To qualify for acceptance to the program, students must have a recalculated GPA of 3.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), an ACT score of 27 or above and submit two letters of recommendation. About 40 freshmen are admitted to the program annually.

The North Wind

The North Wind began in 1972 as Northern Michigan University's first independent, student newspaper. The weekly paper covers news from the university and community alike and prints on most Thursdays during the school year.[30]


WUPX is Northern Michigan University's non-commercial, student run, radio station broadcaststing at 91.5 FM. WUPX provides NMU Students and the Marquette area with a wide variety of music, event announcements, and activities.[31]

Student government

The Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU) is made up of three distinct branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Representatives elected to represent Student Affairs groups and Academic Affairs comprise the Legislative Branch with a member of the Legislative Branch elected as Chair of the Assembly. The All Student Judiciary (ASJ), the judicial branch of ASNMU, is a panel composed of 16 students who hear cases involving students who violate the regulations of the University Student Code. The Student Finance Committee (SFC) a sub-committee oversees the collection and disbursement of Student Activity Fee and govern the disbursement of funds to registered student organizations. [5][6]

Notable alumni

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is an alumnus of NMU. As a result, NMU had the first Starbucks in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (located in the Learning Resource Center).[32] He is pictured in the poster at right.

Arts and Culture

Business, Government and Research

Sports and Entertainment

Charter schools

NMU operates seven charter schools throughout Michigan.[36]

  • Bahweting Anishnabe Public School in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Burton Glen Charter Academic in Burton.
  • Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy in Wilson.
  • North Star Academy in Marquette.
  • Walton Charter Academy in Pontiac.
  • Experiencia Preparatory Charter Academy in Detroit.
  • Southpointe Scholars Charter Academy in Ypsilanti.

As of July 1, 2014, NMU will add three more charter schools: Frances Reh Academy in Saginaw, George Crockett Academy in Detroit, and Universal Leadership Academy in Port Huron

Rankings and Honors

  • The 2008 edition of "America's Best Colleges", compiled by U.S. News & World Report, ranked Northern Michigan University as a Master's (Midwest) - Third Tier institution.[37]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 23, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "About Us | Northern Michigan University". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "NMU Art & Design Information". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  9. ^ "Cohodas | NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  10. ^ "Forest Roberts Theatre | NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  11. ^ "Gries Hall | NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  12. ^ "About Us | NMU Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  13. ^ "Jamrich Hall | NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  14. ^ "Library Home : Olson Library". 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  15. ^ [7]
  16. ^ "McClintock Building | NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  17. ^ "Physical Education Instructional Facility | NMU Athletics". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  18. ^ "Glenn T. Seaborg - Biography". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  19. ^ "Jacobetti Center | NMU Continuing Education". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  20. ^ "AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  21. ^ "Technology". Los Angeles Times. 
  22. ^ "Featured Stories: Northern Michigan University". 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  23. ^ [8]
  24. ^ "University of Michigan Athletics - Football Coaches". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  25. ^ "Home | United States Olympic Education Center". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  26. ^ "Residence Halls | NMU Housing and Residence Life". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  27. ^ "Apartments | NMU Housing and Residence Life". 2008-08-16. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  28. ^ About Us | NMU Department of Military Science. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  29. ^ "Students making social contributions - | News, Sports, Jobs, Marquette Information". The Mining Journal. 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ U.P.'s only Starbucks open on campus, NMU, August 25, 2003.
  33. ^ Biography at the University of Chicago
  34. ^ [9]
  35. ^ "News_Release.Aspx". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  36. ^ "Home | NMU Charter Schools". Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  37. ^ "Northern Michigan University - Best Colleges - Education - US News and World Report". 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 

Further reading

Hilton, Miriam. Northern Michigan University: The First 75 Years. Marquette, Michigan: Northern Michigan University Press, 1975. Magnaghi, Russell. "A Sense of Time: The Encyclopedia of Northern Michigan University." Marquette, Michigan, Northern Michigan University Press, 1999. NMU Website, 2014.

External links

  • Official website
  • Official Athletics website
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