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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott
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I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college...

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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

Alumni and heritage share space

The Beaumier Alumni Welcome and U.P. Heritage Center, located at the renovated end of Gries Hall, opened in April.

re-beaumier2As the name suggests, the center’s purpose is two-fold: welcoming NMU alumni and promoting U.P. heritage. The building is shared by both Alumni Relations and the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center.

These two departments have similar goals of engaging students, alumni and community members.

“Our mission is to reach out to the whole U.P.,” said Dan Truckey, director of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center. “To show how the U.P.’s culture came to be and where it’s going because culture is always changing—and foster an appreciation of it, why it’s a unique place.”

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The heritage center celebrates the history and culture of the Upper Peninsula through museum-quality exhibitions and public programs. It maintains historical displays throughout campus, including several along the perimeter of the Superior Dome, in the Seaborg Center and the University Center.

It also runs a large gallery inside the new building, featuring a revolving schedule of exhibits, which are researched and created mostly by students.

“We are a laboratory for students,” Truckey said. “We provide opportunities for students to get experience working for a museum. A big reason why we’re here is to create those opportunities.”

Students can gain experience working in the fields of museum studies, public history, graphic design, historical research and writing, as they develop the exhibits. Beaumier currently hosts an exhibit titled “Made in Da U.P., Eh!” which features companies both past and present that create products for export outside of the U.P.

The next exhibit will premiere Sept. 24, and is called “Remnants: Ghost Towns of the Upper Peninsula.”

It spotlights 15 communities that could be considered ghost towns today and one representative town from each county in the U.P.

The welcome center was named in honor of Dr. John Beaumier, who donated $1 million to the NMU Foundation for the project.

Beaumier is a retired orthopedic surgeon and former director of Mayo Clinic’s Orthopedic Evaluation United. Beaumier, an Escanaba native is an NMU alumnus himself, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Beaumier first contributed money to fund the heritage center in 2006 when it began as a series of displays in the Superior Dome. In 2008, the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center moved its gallery to the first floor of Cohodas Hall until the construction of its new building this spring.

Truckey described how the heritage center was often the first place alumni were brought on their visits, back when Alumni Relations was on the sixth floor of Cohodas.

“Working with Alumni Relations has created a new relationship and taken pressure off us,” Truckey said. “Before, we functioned like a welcome center, but we couldn’t really do it properly. We didn’t have the resources. Now we have a welcome center to do it right.”

Alumni Relations reconnects alumni with Northern. Those relationships are important to getting alumni to support the university, whether through charitable donations or recommending NMU to college-seeking students, said Brad Hamel, director of alumni engagement and external relation technologies.

“[The center is] the front porch of the university to alumni, a one-stop shop for information, campus tours and hopefully it’ll make us a more open campus,” Hamel said. “It’s about bringing alumni back and encouraging them to spread their NMU heritage to their community and family and to get others to attend.”

A major focus for Alumni Relations is increasing enrollment. This includes reaching out to current students.

“Students are only here for four or five years maybe, but the moment they come to campus they are alumni forever,” Hamel added. “We encourage students to walk through the alumni center or sit and study. We’ve got a popcorn machine. We’d love to get feedback from students on our program.”

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