NMU receives biggest gift in donation history

Adelle Whitefoot

Northern Michigan University received the largest gift in history to the NMU Foundation this summer.

Alumnus John Berry and his wife Shirley committed $5 million, which is intended to enhance the university’s ability to recruit high-achieving students. The couple have pledged $1 million to endow a scholarship provide support for students and $4 million in estate gifts that will establish financial aid for the future.

One of the students receiving the scholarship is Kasey Hall of White Pigeon, Mich.

John and Shirley Berry announced the $5 million gift at a dinner held at The Waterfron. President Wong, other faculty members and one of the students awarded the Berry Scholarship were present for the announcement.

“Somebody has seen the potential in me to do great things and is investing in my education,” Hall said. “I have no idea how I could ever be more gratefull.”

The Berry scholarship will be awarded to incoming freshmen who have demonstrated academic ability and achievement. Preference will be given to students who enroll in the NMU Honors Program and plan to pursue a major in the College of Business, followed by those who major in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering or math.

“We wanted to establish a scholarship program to help Northern raise the overall quality of education by attracting top-quality students,” Berry said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t quality students on campus now, but his will help the university be more competitive in recruiting others.”

Berry pick the College of Business because he graduated with a business degree from Northern.

“John has made it abundantly clear through his words and actions that Northern had a significant impact in his life,” President Les Wong said.