NMU turns 120 years


OLDEN DAYS—Longyear Hall of Pedagogy served NMU from 1907 to 1993, when it was torn down. Photo courtesy of James McCommons

Denali Drake

Along with Homecoming Week, NMU awaits to blow out 120 candles, as it celebrates its 120th birthday with Wildcat Willy next week on the Northern Center lawn. 

Students and community members are invited to celebrate NMU’s 120th birthday with Wildcat Willy from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 19. The festivities include free ice cream, music, photo booths, balloon animals, face painting and a happy birthday serenade to Wildcat Willy. 

A total of 120 years around the sun is a pretty impressive feat for this lakeside university, and its legacy is illuminated by the alumni who continue to make NMU proud. This university is an incredibly unique place to be, and with the student enrollment growth this year, it all comes down to who enrolls. 

“The type of student we attract, you don’t just show up to Marquette, all of us made a decision along the way to be here,” NMU Chief Marketing Officer Derek Hall said.

It is true with advancements in specialized programming and accomplished students, alumni and staff bringing global attention to NMU it shows that there is a lot to prove, and this school has a lot to be proud of. 

In light of NMU’s future, there are a lot of areas for improvement and excitement.

“President Erickson encourages innovation and trying new things, and I see that continuing,” Hall said. He sees an interdisciplinary approach to academic majors in the future, theorizing that students will aim to become well-rounded in a variety of subjects instead of focusing on one.