The Arts and Athletics Showcase for Homecoming 2020 has been selected for a 2021 Northern Michigan University Distinguished Team Award. The team included Chair Kylie Bunting and Robyn Stille of Alumni Relations; Erin Colwitz of Music; William Digneit and Jill Grundstrom of Theatre & Dance; Michael Forester and Ryan Stephens of University Marketing & Communications; Katherine Harvath of Intercollegiate Athletics & Rec Sports; Michael Lakenen of Broadcast & Audio-Visual Services; and Christine Lenzen and Jason Schneider of the School of Art & Design.
“The Arts and Athletics Showcase highlighted our resilient faculty members and coaching staff who continue to experiment with new ways of teaching and learning during these unprecedented circumstances,” stated the team's award description.
The show entailed 45 minutes of performances, interviews, behind-the-scenes looks and campus spotlights. In it, four dance students, led by Grundstrom, created a timely piece entitled “Alone but Together.” The dancers showcased their talents while adhering to social distancing guidelines. NMU athletics coaches discussed the various ways they are moving forward, despite changes to their competition schedules.
The arts performances took place in various spots on campus and in some of Marquette's staple locations like Third Street, Blackrocks, Lake Superior and more. The program has had thousands of views on YouTube and has been shared on various social media channels as well. The digital format has allowed Alumni Relations to connect with alumni across the country and beyond.
“We received feedback from our alumni that they felt more connected to NMU than ever before, making connections that we may not have made with solely in-person events,” stated the award description. “Those involved in this project have great pride in NMU and, under tight deadlines and unchartered territory, they persevered to help each other achieve one common goal. This idea has also sparked more ways for departments to work together in the future, with the ultimate goal of inspiring students to attend NMU, showcasing our current NMU students and engaging with our alumni and friends.”
NMU honored several individuals and teams during its virtual 2021 Faculty and Staff Recognition Celebration. Employees were also honored for years-of-service milestones and retirement during the event. See all of those highlighted, along with the award winners, here.