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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 Wiertella April 30, 2024

Wildcat families explore campus, community

CATS AND DOGS—Even puppies hike the 1.2 mile round trip to stop at the top and sniff the peculiar sized cat. Due to limited parking at Sugarloaf Mountain, NMU will offer a shuttle to take families from the Superior Dome to the popular hiking spot with rides starting at 10 a.m. Photo courtesy of Rachel Harris

Fall color weekends are coming to the U.P. and so are wildcat families from all over. Whether empty nesters are missing their children or students are missing home, family weekend swoops in at just the right time to invite parents, siblings and students to come together. 

The first weekend of October every year, NMU organizes a few events each day for students and their families to spend time together in the community. 

“Family weekend is a chance for students to share their experiences with the people they care about at home,” Assistant Dean of Students Kash Dhanapal said.

This is Dhanapal’s first year organizing the event after previous years of the Center for Student Enrichment being at the helm. Dhanapal said it’s a “happy circumstance” that wildcat families are able to enjoy the fall colors, but there are other reasons why family weekend is at the beginning of October. 

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“We want to give students a chance to get used to being at college, but we also wanted to give families a time to come visit their students,” Dhanapal said. “We wait until six weeks on purpose because it gives them a chance to integrate with their roommates and it doesn’t end up making them super homesick.”

Events are not just limited to campus activities, one event offered is the Sugarloaf hike where families can get their picture taken with mascot, Wildcat Willy, at the top. Students are encouraged to show their loved ones where they spend their time. 

“Take the time to explore,” Dhanapal said. “We’re doing that Sugarloaf hike to help facilitate some of that. Just to drive through Presque Isle, take a walk through downtown and check out where their students are [living].”

Further information can be found on the NMU website. 

Family Weekend Events 

DeVos Art Museum:  Noon to 8 p.m. Friday; Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Campus Cinema Film:  Toy Story 4 Saturday at 9 p.m.; Sunday at 6 p.m. & 9 p.m. – Jamrich 1100; free admission.


Special Family Weekend Recreation Opportunities:  5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Physical Education Instructional Facility (PEIF)

Family Weekend Information Table:  2 to 5 p.m. –  Northern Center Atrium (located near NMU Bookstore)

Men’s Soccer:  NMU Wildcats vs. Northwood at 4 p.m. – Soccer Field (located behind the Superior Dome)

Marquette’s Largest Fish Fry & Entertainment from 4 to 8 p.m. – Northern Lights Dining

Duelly Noted: Dueling Pianos Program at 8 p.m. – Jamrich 1100


Special Family Weekend Recreation Opportunities: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – PEIF

Open Skate w/ NMU Club Hockey from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Berry Events Center

Sugarloaf Hike – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Football:  NMU Wildcats vs. Wayne State Warriors at 1 p.m. – Superior Dome (Tuition Drawing at Halftime)

Beethoven and Banjos 2019:  7:30 p.m. – Reynold Recital Hall, C.B. Hedgcock


Brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Northern Lights Dining

Special Family Weekend Recreation Opportunities: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. – PEIF

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About the Contributor
Maggie Duly
Maggie Duly, Social Media Editor
Hi! I'm Maggie Duly the Social Media Editor. This is my fourth year at NMU, I graduate in December with a degree in Social Media Design Management. My goal for the North Wind is to make our content more accessible to the community and gain readership.