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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Recital hall benefactor dies at age 89

With the passing of Phyllis Reynolds, NMU and the Marquette community lost more than a benefactor and philanthropist; they also lost a vibrant woman who was dedicated to the improvement and happiness of those around her.

After a brief illness, Reynolds passed away on Nov. 10 at the age of 89. Reynolds and her husband Maxwell, who died in 1988, were active supporters of NMU. The Reynolds Recital Hall and the Max and Phyllis Reynolds Mediation Room were established in part by funding provided by them.

Pat Micklow, a friend and fellow church member, said that as a patron of the arts, Reynolds was especially proud of the recital hall.

“[The hall] was her big, crowning achievement at NMU. It’s absolutely lovely,” she said.

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Reynolds was involved in many capacities at NMU, including being a platinum member of the President’s Society, a charter member of the First Nighters’ Club at the Forrest Robert’s Theatre, a member of the board of directors of the Friends of the DeVos Art Museum and a recipient of the 1982 President’s Award for distinguished citizenship.

“She never hesitated and did everything she could possibly do to expand and enhance the resources that the community of Marquette would have,” said Micklow. “I don’t think we’ve seen anybody like her in this area in a long time, somebody who was so involved in helping others.”

Reynolds was interested in giving funds to help benefit children, the environment and the arts, said Micklow.

“I think she had a very strong sense of always helping others in need. That was just a part of Phyllis,” she said. “I think that she felt that that was her ministry in life, as a strong Christian woman. She shared herself not only financially but also emotionally. She had a great gift for giving; giving herself, her time, and her treasure.”

President Les Wong said he met Reynolds in his first semester at NMU, and that she introduced him to people across town.
“She was a very good mentor to me. She helped me understand the culture and ambiance of Marquette,” said Wong. “A good president needs people like Phyllis to help us understand a community, and she was just exceptional at that.”

Wong said Reynolds loved to attend student performances and that it was this passion that led her and her husband to help create the recital hall.

“She wanted to bring music and theater to students,” he said. “Philanthropists see themselves as a catalyst for change and improvement in a community. They almost see it as their responsibility as a good citizen.”

Martha Haynes, the executive director of advancement for the NMU Foundation, said that Reynolds was so involved in Marquette and at NMU because she wanted to provide students and the community with as many opportunities as possible.

“She supported a huge amount of things around the community,” said Haynes. “She was involved in a lot of different things to make sure that this community could offer nice things to the people that live here.”

Haynes said that Reynolds loved NMU and that she was great to work with because she was so passionate and dedicated to education.

“She was a very cool lady. I think that she would love to be described that way,” said Haynes. “She had a spark about her that was contagious.”

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