Steven Donley will not be attending Northern Michigan University’s Dec. 15 commencement to receive his MBA, only so that two graduating seniors he supervises at the local Best Buy can enjoy the morning off to participate in the ceremony. Upon hearing about his generous and unselfish gesture, NMU administrators decided to bring graduation to him at the store on Thursday. They surprised Donley by setting up an NMU backdrop, outfitting him in a cap and gown, conducting a master’s hooding ceremony and presenting him with a diploma.
Liberty Turner from Harrison Township has been selected as the student commencement speaker for the Dec. 15 graduation ceremony at Northern Michigan University. She will share her own story of transitioning through college and overcoming challenges to demonstrate how perseverance can lead to professional success.
“Due to my academic standing when I arrived at Northern, I really needed a school that wanted me to succeed just as must as I wanted to,” Turner said. “That’s why I went to Northern, but I fell in love with campus when I became engaged with the supportive community.”
NMU President Fritz Erickson summarized the Campus Master Plan at Wednesday’s meeting of the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Advisory Committee. Key elements, all of which are contingent on external funding, include strengthening the academic core and creating an expanded arts corridor with a new university-community performance venue and parking ramp.
Ford Motor Company has donated a 2013 Ford Focus to Northern Michigan University’s automotive technology program. Assistant Professor Randy Klitzke said the car introduces students to a dual-clutch transmission, which is discussed in class, but was previously unavailable to demonstrate in the shop. The feature combines elements of both manual and automatic transmissions, with two clutches—one controlling odd gears and the other even—but no clutch pedal or stick shift.
Nine Northern Michigan University faculty members were honored at the Dec. 6 Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship celebration. Award recipients were: Gary Brunswick and Jon Sherman, Excellence in Teaching; Marek Haltof and James Strain, Excellence in Scholarship; David Donovan and Jessica Thompson, Excellence in Leadership; Shirley Brozzo, Excellence in Part-time Faculty Teaching; Stacy Boyer-Davis, Excellence in Online Teaching; and Mounia Ziat, Technology Innovation.