Northern Michigan University participated for the first time in Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving, on Nov. 28. The NMU Foundation recorded commitments totaling nearly $1.23 million for the fundraising effort. Donors gave to a wide variety of NMU programs and departments, including $250,000 for faculty support, more than $200,000 for endowed scholarships, a $100,000 gift for theater and dance, $50,000 for research support and more.
Campus leadership, the NMU Board of Trustees, the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board of Directors made commitments totaling more than $400,000.
In addition, the collaborative effort between the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU) and NMU Public Safety's Food4Fines program well exceeded their goal of collecting 1,000 items for the recently opened NMU Food Pantry.
Northern Michigan University instrumental and vocal ensembles will perform a Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in Reynolds Recital Hall. The NMU band, orchestra, University Choir and Arts Chorale will be featured, along with soloists and small groups. A special presentation is planned to honor former physics department head Dave Lucas, who passed away in 2015.
“Over the years, many of the music faculty did visiting presentations for the course Dave created on the physics of sound,” said Robert Engelhart, music department head. “All of us were deeply appreciative of his love for music and the arts. The music faculty have purchased a small table-top xylophone for use in the physics of sound class, with a commemorative plaque attached. We're going to be presenting this instrument to Marsha Lucas and her sons near the end of the concert, right before the final number, Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.”
NMU students can attend for free. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children, with proceeds supporting student scholarships. Tickets are available at NMU ticket outlets or online at tickets.nmu.edu.
Northern Michigan University's Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom will launch a new speaker series to address topics that generate interest on many college campuses. The first event, presented in cooperation with the College Democrats and College Republicans, will focus on the meaning of free speech today. Thomas Cushman, sociology professor and founding director of the Freedom Project at Wellesley College, will present “Who Gets to Speak and What Do They Get to Say?” His talk is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in the University Center Nicolet Room. It is free and open to the public.
According to its website, the Freedom Project “offers a unique intellectual space for promoting tolerance, pluralism, intellectual diversity and freedom of expression within the larger Wellesley community and beyond.” It is grounded in the foundational idea of the liberal arts: that vigorous debate, disagreement and conflict are the source of intellectual growth and development and are to be embraced rather than avoided.
NMU English Professor Gabriel Noah Brahm said he was inspired in part by Wellesley's Freedom Project to establish and direct Northern's Center for Academic and Intellectual Freedom. Neither the center nor this year's distinguished speaker series is intended to endorse or oppose any particular issue, he added. The aim is to elevate the discourse on campus in general by fostering tolerance for viewpoint diversity on a range of topics.
“If you don't create a forum for people to address issues collectively through civil discussion, inevitably people break into factions and talk about things in less civil and productive ways,” Brahm said. “I have an interest in public discourse and noticed the country is so divided these days with escalating anger between opposing viewpoints. This speaker series promotes free thought and free expression. As a bipartisan and nonpartisan affair, the purpose is to promote robust public discourse within responsible bounds, which presumably is something we all want.”
Two other speakers beyond Cushman have been scheduled to make appearances at NMU. University of Illinois Professor Cary Nelson, former national president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), will address academic freedom in February. He is the author of No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom. Columbia University Professor Mark Lilla, author of The Once and Future Liberal will address citizenship and identity in April.
For more information on the speaker series, contact Brahm at 227-1690 or email@example.com.
Northern Michigan University's Sustainability Advisory Council is hosting the second annual zero-waste challenge. This event will take place during the NMU-Alabama Huntsville men's hockey game at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the Berry Events Center.
The challenge is on and off the ice, as all game attendees will visit the zero-waste stations to sort their trash items into compost or recycling. In partnership with Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority, everything collected will be composted or recycled therefore diverting as many materials as possible from the landfill.
By hosting this event, the sustainability council encourages the NMU campus and local community to create less waste and a positive impact for the future. The Sustainability Advisory Council's long-term goal is to "create a lasting impact on the university where sustainability is part of our campus culture and identity."