NMU asks for ideas to garner donations

NMU asks for ideas to garner donations

Kelsii Kyto

Next week, students will be able to share and shape their visions of the future of NMU through BIG IDEA Discovery Workshops in which students can brainstorm, discuss and further develop their BIG IDEAS that “will offer donors a clearly defined opportunity to have meaningful impact in an important way by choosing to invest in Northern,” according to a statement by President Fritz Erickson on the NMU Foundation webpage. There will be a workshop from 3:30 to 5 p.m. today at the Whitman Commons in Whitman Hall. The other workshop will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, also in the
Whitman Commons.

According to the BIG IDEAS website, ideas should be innovative, distinctive, have the ability to leverage NMU’s current academic strengths, encourage collaboration and have potential for high student impact.

This is the first time that a call for donor investment has been opened to the entire campus, Jane Surrell, co-chair of the internal planning committee said. The committee serves as an advisory group to facilitate the identification and collection of the BIG IDEAS, and will present a report to the NMU president and NMU Foundation CEO by May 2019, Surrell said.

“The goal of this process is to help campus generate ideas that demonstrate our ability to envision transformational change for Northern, our students, the community, higher education or even societal and world issues,” Surrell said.

It’s important for the committee to get input from students as the committee plans for investments that will shape NMU’s future, Surrell added.

“The workshop itself is a great learning opportunity to experience how an organization can encourage a creative and innovative thought process to help chart and transform its future,” Surrell said.

On Jan. 23, ASNMU sent out a campus-wide email notifying the community of the workshop. The best ideas will receive expanded development, including dedicated funding and marketing and communication support.

“The idea behind the discovery workshop is to not only inform the NMU Community of the process, but also to allow our creative brains to come together to think of BIG IDEAS to innovate and distinguish our university,” junior Cody Mayer said, majoring in economics and public administration and president of ASNMU.

“All students can benefit from this, the bigger the ideas and the more opportunity for innovation that we as university community can produce, means that many more possible outcomes that could actually be created,” Mayer said.

No idea is a bad idea, Mayer said, and the Internal Planning Committee will use the information from the workshops in accomplishing its goals.
If students aren’t able to attend, they are still able to submit their ideas to nmu.edu/BIGIDEA, or reach out to any committee member listed on the BIG IDEA website. Submissions must be sent out before March 31, to get “to get full consideration for inclusion in recommendations to the Leadership Team for discussion at the NMU Foundation Campus Leadership Retreat held in May,” according to the ASNMU email sent to the student body. Anything submitted after March 31 will be considered for the future.

“Students should absolutely attend. If they can, having students team up with other members of the university like our faculty creates a fantastic opportunity to think big,” Mayer said.