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Northern Michigan University
Motto Northern. Naturally.
Established 1899
Type Public
Endowment $11.7 million[1]
President Leslie E. Wong
Faculty 457 (F/T 328, P/T 129)
Undergraduates 8,578 (2009-2010)
Postgraduates 680 (2009-2010)
Location Marquette, Michigan, USA
Campus Small City, 350 acres (1.4 km2)
Colors Forest Green (Pantone 335) and Old Gold (Pantone 116)         
Nickname Wildcats
Mascot Wildcat Willy
Athletics NCAA Division I, men's hockey
NCAA Division II, 12 varsity teams

Northern Michigan University is a 4 year college public university established in 1899 located in Marquette, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. With a population of nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Northern Michigan University is the Upper Peninsula's largest university.



Dating back to 1907 and originally located on the corner of Kaye and Presque Isle, the Heart of Northern was long a landmark of NMU. After falling into a severe state of neglect by the end of the 20th century, a new mound was created closer to the center of campus in time for its Centennial Celebration in 1999.

Northern Michigan University, NMU for short, was established in 1899 by the Michigan Legislature as a new school to provide teacher preparation programs in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When it opened its doors in 1899, Northern enrolled thirty-two students who were taught by six faculty members on a 350-acre (1,400,000 m2) campus.

In 1963, Northern was designated as a comprehensive university serving the diverse educational needs of Upper Michigan. Accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of 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. In 1960, Northern established its own graduate program.[2]

Academic profile

NMU has five academic divisions:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Walker L. Cisler College of Business, named for philanthropist Walker Lee Cisler.
  • College of Graduate Studies
  • College of Professional Studies: • School of Education • School of Nursing • School of Technology and Applied Sciences
  • School of Art and Design (as of 07-08 School Year)

Within these five academic divisions 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered.[3]

Placement Data[4]

  • 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.

Instructional Spaces

In the ten 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 it is the largest art gallery on campus and the only art museum with a permanent collection in the Upper Peninsula. [5]

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 the administrative offices, as well as the offices for many academic departments. It is named after U.P. banker and philanthropist Sam M. Cohodas.[6]

Forest Roberts Theatre

  • The 532 seat Forest Roberts Theatre is named after a former head of the English 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.[7]

Gries Hall

  • A former residence hall, Gries is now home to the Military Science, Criminal Justice, English, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology departments.[8] The Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center provides family health care and pharmacy services to students and staff.[9]

CB Hedgcock Building

  • This building houses the offices of the Dean of Students, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Housing and Residence Life, 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 contains five large lecture halls, the largest holding up to 500 students, and numerous smaller classrooms.[10]

Lydia M. Olson Library

  • The Lydia M. Olson Library[11], located within the Learning Resource Center (LRC), houses a collection of 592,689 titles, 2,588 serial subscriptions and 7,369 audiovisual materials.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

Seaborg Science Complex

  • The Seaborg Science Complex comprises West Science and the New Science Facility. This facility is the home to the Geography, Mathematics, Natural, Physical and Health Science Departments. The complex is named after Glenn Seaborg, a UP native.[15]

Superior Dome

  • The Superior Dome is the home to 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 School of Technology and Applied Sciences, 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.[16]

Whitman Hall

  • This facility contains the Dean of Professional Studies, the School of Education, the Department of International Studies, Foreign Languages, and the Center for Native American Studies.


University Center

Northern Michigan University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.[17]

All education programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.[18]

Other accreditations include the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Chemical Society; Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Professionals (surgical technology); Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (communication disorders); Council on Social Work Education; Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Certification; International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.; Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing; National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; National Association of Industrial Technology; 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.[19]


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 two 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 the 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.

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 two-year replacement cycle (a student will never have a computer more than two 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.[20]


NMU v. MTU football game in the Superior Dome.
Superior Dome exterior

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 Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The Division II football team plays in the world's largest wooden dome, the Superior Dome.[21] Lloyd Carr, former head coach at the University of Michigan, and Steve Mariucci, former head coach of the Detroit Lions, played for NMU.[22]

The winner of the annual football game between NMU and Michigan Technological University 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


Opening ceremony at the 2007 'China V. USOEC' challenge.

The United States Olympic Education Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University is one of four Olympic training centers in the country and the only one located on a college campus. The USOEC provides secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities for athletes while offering world-class training.

With more than 70 resident athletes and coaches, the USOEC 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 boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, short track speed skating, weightlifting, and women’s freestyle wrestling. Athletes must be approved by the USOEC, their national governing body and NMU to be admitted into the program.

USOEC 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 USOEC 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 USOEC 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.[20]

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 ten residence halls are [21]:

Gant Hall as seen from the courtyard
  • 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 [22]

  • 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 volunteer events and socialize. Many have long-running traditions. For example, the men of Brulé House in Gant Hall run across campus in the nude. This tradition is called the Brulé Run and happens after the first big snowfall sticks for 24 hours. The Malibu House in Spalding Hall traditionally flashes the runners through the window as they pass by. Arctic house takes a swim in Lake Superior in the middle of winter. This is known as the Arctic plunge. All the halls host an annual Halloween trick-or-treat opportunity for school-aged kids in Marquette. Northern Michigan Hall traditions are numerous and are not as revealing as this but these kind of opportunities 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 250 registered student organizations that provide programs and activities for the campus community.

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 reaction 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 2004-2005 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.[23]

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.[24]

The North Wind

The North Wind is Northern Michigan University's independent student newspaper, and covers news from the university and community alike. The weekly paper prints on Thursdays and has a distribution of 6,000, most of which are placed on campus. The paper also has a Web site. [25]


WUPX is Northern Michigan University's non-commercial, student run, radio station. WUPX provides NMU Students and the Marquette area with a wide variety of music, event announcements, and activities. WUPX broadcaststs at 91.5 FM with an effective radiated power of 360 Watts. WUPX also has a Web site. [26]

Student government

The Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU) is made up of three distinct branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. As of April 10, 2009 ASNMU elections turnout was about 1600 of 9,000 students. The current President is Jason Morgan, and the current Vice-President is Josh Corbat. [27]

Representatives elected to represent Student Affairs groups and Academic Affairs comprise the Legislative Branch. A member of the Legislative Branch is elected as Chair of the Assembly. The current Chair of the Assembly is Justin Brugman.

The All Student Judiciary (ASJ) is a panel composed of 16 students who hear cases involving students who violate the regulations of the University Student Code is the judicial branch of ASNMU.

The Student Finance Committee (SFC) a sub-committee, headed by the Chair, Andrew Foster, of ASNMU oversees the collection and disbursement of Student Activity Fee and govern the disbursement of funds to registered student organizations. [28][29]

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).[23] He is pictured in the poster at right.

Charter Schools

NMU operates five charter schools throughout Michigan. [33]

  • 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.


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. [34]


Hilton, Miriam. Northern Michigan University: The First 75 Years. Marquette, Michigan: Northern Michigan University Press, 1975. and Northern's Communications & Marketing director, Cindy Paavola, 2006.

External links

Coordinates: 46°33′32″N 87°24′19″W / 46.55901°N 87.40525°W / 46.55901; -87.40525


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