Private donations double

Private+donations+double

Sophie Hillmeyer

Monetary gifts to NMU from private donors have nearly doubled within the past two years. Funding to the NMU Foundation has increased by 26 percent as well, which benefits academic programs, scholarship opportunities, art and entertainment endeavors and more, Brad Canale, chief executive officer of the NMU Foundation said in an email.

The NMU Foundation, or the Northern Fund, is a nonprofit organization with the goal of establishing relationships that generate resources that will benefit the strategic goals of Northern, according to NMU Foundation website. The gifts provide immediate financial support in three key ways. They include enhancing academic excellence through things such as updated facilities, new student and faculty opportunities including travel, internships, expanding research and new programming and facilities, Canale said.

“Gifts from donors benefit our students, faculty and our institution in significant ways,” Kerri Schuiling, provost and vice president for academic affairs said in an email.

During the 2018 fiscal year, gifts to NMU have included $1 million from NMU Foundation Board Trustee and NMU Alumnus Mark Lovell and his wife Eileen Lovell, which established the Mark R. and Eileen Lovell Professorship that is the first of its kind at NMU, Canale said. He added this professorship will “provide support to focus on education, research and patient care in the area of traumatic brain injuries commonly known as
concussions.”

Other gifts include 500 scholarships totalling $930,000, over $115,000 to fund opportunities including student and faculty travel to conferences, student research, research equipment and guest speakers, and over $1.6 million for NMU departments and programs,
Canale said.

The benefits from these gifts to the university are influential to students’ success during their time at Northern, Schuiling said. In addition to funding education directly, these funds can provide new technologies and opportunities for students and faculty.

“Donor support can help students experience learning using the latest technology, such as virtual reality or simulation to enhance their understanding of content and application of what they are learning,” Schuiling said. “Gifts supporting faculty research enable them to make significant contributions to the science of their discipline which in turn benefits their students as they are involved in developing the evidence for
practice.”

Gifts for things like scholarships enable students to have more time to focus on studies and provides an opportunity for experiences such as study abroad that may not have been feasible to the student without the help of a scholarship, she added.

“Support from donors continues to have an impact as it enables the university, its students, faculty and its community to flourish and reach its fullest potential. Indeed, donor support has far reaching and long term positive impacts,”
Schuiling said.