In celebration of French-Canadian Heritage Week in Michigan, the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University will present notable French songs from the voyageur period as part of the Beaumier Heritage Concert Series.
Beaumier Center Director Dan Truckey and Upper Peninsula Folklife Award recipient Dave Bezotte will perform “Songs of the Voyageurs,” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, at the center in Gries Hall at NMU. The event is free and open to the public.
The voyageur period refers to the time around 1670 when French-Canadian canoe-paddlers established fur trade routes into and beyond the Great Lakes to do commerce with indigenous tribes. During the fur trade period, there were few roads in what is now Canada so the metaphorical highways of that time were the waterways of the Great Lakes, which voyageurs used to take long and difficult journeys to deliver cargo.
The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved a 2018-19 general fund operating budget of nearly $113.8 million. The budget is $3.7 million, or 3.4 percent, higher than last year. The university is advancing its strategic plan with investments in student scholarships, new academic programs, a student success center and athletics. The increase also covers contractual obligations and inflationary cost increases related to utilities, supplies and other expenses.
The board approved the facilities five-year master plan and the 2018-19 capital outlay project request. Public universities are required to submit these annually to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The top two priority projects identified by NMU are: a revitalized Career Tech and Engineering Technology Facility; and an Academic Teaching and Business Innovation Center. If a project is approved as part of a capital outlay bill, the state would pay 70 percent of the cost and Northern would be responsible for 30 percent.
The first project would modernize the Jacobetti Complex into a “vibrant, modern, high-tech teaching facility,” according to the project request. The Career Tech and Engineering Technology Facility would put cutting-edge training tools in the hands of Northern students, enhancing their learning experience. It would also support the U.P.'s high-demand CTE workforce of tomorrow, which aligns with the State of Michigan's goal to increase CTE education to meet the statewide demand for skilled workers.
The second priority project would transform the McClintock Building into a state-of the-art teaching and business innovation facility. The NMU College of Business would relocate to the core of campus, enhancing faculty/student interaction and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. The building would also house Invent@NMU, which helps entrepreneurs take ideas for products from concept to market, along with the Innovate Marquette Smartzone. Space would be made available to related entities, including the NMU Center for Rural Community and Economic Development, and Northern Initiatives, a local nonprofit providing financial resources and business services to entrepreneurs.
In other action, the board:
-Formally agreed to change the name of the renovated former Marketplace dining facility to The Lights, which opened this semester.
-Voted to grant trustee emeritus status to H. Sook Wilkinson, who was appointed to the NMU board in 2009 and served as chair during her final year in 2016.
-Authorized a rental agreement between NMU and the State of Michigan, Department of Technology, Management and Budget for two office areas in the University Center for the Department of Attorney General.
-Approved the notebook computer program's annual replacement of 175 additional ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 6s, model 20KG (to include warranty, engineering services, software imaging and shipping costs).
-Gave the administration authority to negotiate and, if deemed appropriate, purchase 10 acres of property in Marquette Township, which it has been leasing as the tower site for its public radio and TV stations, at a price not to exceed $45,000, including closing costs.
-Agreed to set the following meeting schedule for calendar year 2018 (all Thursday-Friday dates): Feb. 14-15 (meeting or retreat); May 2-3; July 18-19 (meeting or retreat); Sept. 19-20; and Dec. 12-13.
-Accepted an ad hoc policy review committee's recommendation regarding revisions to the NMU indemnification policy.
-Approved the fiscal year 2019 long-term maintenance project list.
The board's next regularly scheduled meeting is scheduled Dec. 13-14.
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Northern's new bronze wildcat statue, a much-anticipated addition to the campus landscape, was unveiled and dedicated Sept. 21. It is installed on top of a boulder surrounded by a hardscape patio, creating an impressive gateway to the academic mall and a likely photo location for students and visitors. The statue was made possible through a gift from the estate of former NMU Board of Trustees chair and longtime NMU supporter Gil Ziegler ('60 BS).
NMU President Fritz Erickson thanked Ziegler's daughters, Wendy and Kelly, who attended the dedication with other family members.
“This is a fantastic addition to our campus and our academic mall, where Northern students walk by every day,” Erickson said. “It is a great way to remember one of the most dedicated Northern Wildcats I've ever met. Again, thank you for this gift, which will be a gift for generations to come.”
In referencing her dad, Wendy said it was “exciting to leave a legacy to him here.” Kelly echoed that sentiment and added, “We were his first pride. But Northern, outside of family, was his second pride.”
NMU solicited artists who specialize in similar statues and selected Hanlon Sculpture Studio in New Jersey. The cast-bronze wildcat is 12 feet long—nose to tail—and about five feet high. Artist Brian Hanlon said he has created a number of mascot subjects and appreciates each opportunity to do so.
“It's much more than a piece of art put in place; it becomes a meaningful symbol and destination on campus,” Hanlon said. “Thank you for letting me work with the great team here on this project.”
ASNMU President Cody Mayer said, “This represents unity among the NMU community and will foster tradition from this day on. I'm proud to be part of this historic occasion.”
The statue complements recent horticultural enhancements to the academic core, all funded by private donors: a perennial flower garden that honors former NMU Provost Paul L. Lang Jr.; a contemplative garden that features a pathway to a series of benches framed by trees and shrubs; and more than 180 trees planted throughout the heart of campus.
With all of these additions, Northern continues to transform its campus landscape to promote outdoor activity, quiet reﬂection and an appreciation for natural beauty. This conforms to one of seven core values in the university's strategic plan: environment.
Northern Michigan University alumnus Robert Torrence ('15 MS) will return to campus to give a presentation titled "Residual and acute effects of cannabis on emotional processing in anxiety disorders." His talk is scheduled from 4-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in Jamrich 1100. It is open to the public.
Torrence is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Wayne State University His research is focused on using cannabis to help patients with PTSD during extinction learning and exposure therapy. After graduating from NMU with his master's degree in 2015, he attended Colorado State University for his doctorate and studied the residual effects of cannabis use on anxiety related emotional processing.
The NMU Department of Psychological Science is hosting Torrence's presentation.
The Steppin' Out Ballroom Dance Club has cancelled all Sunday sessions for the rest of this semester. The club offers free ballroom dance classes for NMU students and Marquette community members. We need to cancel for the rest of the semester, but hope to see interested students in January.