Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University (NMU) is a public university in Marquette, Michigan. It was established in 1899 and offers programs in undergraduate, master's degrees, Doctor of Nursing Practice[2] and specialist certifications.

Northern Michigan University
TypePublic university
Established1899; 123 years ago (1899)
Endowment$15.4 million (2019)[1]
Academic staff
Undergraduates6,207 (Winter 2018)
Postgraduates557 (Winter 2018)
Location, ,
United States

46°33′32″N 87°24′19″W / 46.55901°N 87.40525°W / 46.55901; -87.40525Coordinates: 46°33′32″N 87°24′19″W / 46.55901°N 87.40525°W / 46.55901; -87.40525
CampusSmall city, 350 acres (1.4 km2)
ColorsGreen and Gold
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division II (primary)
NCAA Division I, men's hockey
MascotWildcat Willy
Northern Michigan University


Northern Michigan University was established in 1899 by the Michigan Legislature as Northern State Normal School to offer teacher preparation programs in Michigan's then-wild and sparsely populated Upper Peninsula. When it opened in 1899, NMU enrolled thirty-two students who were taught by six faculty members in rented rooms in Marquette city hall. The original 20-acre (81,000 m2) campus site at the corner of Presque Isle and Kaye Avenues was on land donated by local businessman and philanthropist John M. Longyear, whose namesake academic building, Longyear Hall, opened in 1900.[3]

Throughout the school's first half-century, education and teacher training was the school's primary focus. During this time, the school built the native sandstone buildings Kaye and Peter White Halls, as well as a manual training school next to the campus buildings, J.D. Pierce School. Modest enrollment increases led to several name changes:

  • Northern State Normal, 1899
  • Northern State Teachers College, 1927
  • Northern Michigan College of Education, 1942
  • Northern Michigan College, 1955[4][5]

In 1963, through the adoption of a new state constitution in Michigan, Northern Michigan was designated a comprehensive university serving the diverse educational needs of Upper Michigan. During this time, enrollment grew, due in large part to the 1957 opening of the Mackinac Bridge that links the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies.

Graduate education began in March 1935 when courses at the master's degree level were offered in cooperation with the University of Michigan.[6]


180 Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered at NMU.[7]

NMU has five academic divisions:

  • College of Academic Information Services: Beaumier Heritage Center
  • College of Arts and Sciences: School of Art and Design, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, Center for Native American Studies, Center for Upper Peninsula Studies
  • Walker L. Cisler College of Business (named for philanthropist Walker Lee Cisler)
  • Graduate Education and Research
  • College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies: School of Clinical Sciences, School of Education, Leadership and Public Service, School of Health and Human Performance, School of Nursing


Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

All education programs are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Other accreditations include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology; American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Chemical Society; American Society of Cytology; Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Professionals (Surgical Technology); Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs; Council on Social Work Education; Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Certification; International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.; Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology; Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing; National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; and the National Association of Schools of Music.

In addition, the nursing programs (practical nursing, baccalaureate, and master's degrees) are fully approved by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation, State Board of Nursing and the baccalaureate and master's degrees are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).[8]

The baccalaureate degree programs of the Walker L. Cisler College of Business are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.[9]


The Academic Mall connects Jamrich Hall, West Science, Weston Hall and the Learning Resource Center.

NMU is a tobacco-free campus.[10]

Instructional Spaces

Ten buildings where classes are held having at least 210 instructional spaces. There are 3 distance learning facilities, the largest of which is Mead Auditorium which seats 100.

Art and Design

  • This facility contains over 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of studios, lecture halls, digital green screen room, sound studio, photography suite, critique and screening rooms, as well as the DeVos Art Museum. The DeVos Art Museum displays 10–12 exhibitions per year of contemporary international, national, regional, and local art. At over 4,000 square feet (370 m2) it is the largest art gallery on campus and the only art museum with a permanent collection in the Upper Peninsula.[11]

Berry Events Center

  • Northern's multi-purpose student events center, is the home of the Northern Michigan University hockey and men's and women's basketball teams. The 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) facility contains an Olympic-size (200 ft. x 100 ft.) ice sheet and seats over 4,000 for hockey events. The Berry Events Center was built on the site of the former Memorial Stadium.

Cohodas Hall

A hayride passes through the heart of NMU's campus. Cohodas Hall can be seen in the background.
  • The tallest building on campus, Cohodas Hall houses administrative offices and the College of Business. Completed in 1975, the building stands on the site of Northern's original campus. It is named after U.P. banker and philanthropist Sam M. Cohodas.[12]

Forest Roberts Theatre

  • The 500-seat Forest Roberts Theatre is named after a former head of the Speech department. The theatre has a computerized lighting system and modern sound system. Major theatrical productions are held year-round in this facility.[13]

Gries Hall

  • A former residence hall, Gries is now home to the Military Science, History, Political Science, and Economics departments, along with the Alumni Association offices and the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center.[14] The Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center on the first floor provides family health care and pharmacy services to students and staff.[15]

CB Hedgcock Building

  • The CB Hedgcock building was completely renovated from a field house to a student service center in 2004. It now houses the offices of the Dean of Students, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Housing and Residence Life, Multicultural Education, and other student services. Also located in Hedgcock is the Reynolds Recital Hall, a 303-seat concert hall.

Jamrich Hall

  • Jamrich Hall, opened in the fall of 2014, contains numerous large lecture halls and smaller classrooms. The primary classroom building on campus, this building is named for former university president John X. Jamrich.[16] The current Jamrich Hall replaced a prior Jamrich Hall which was built in 1968. The older Jamrich was demolished after the completion of the new building. The hall houses five academic department offices: English, criminal justice, sociology and anthropology, social work and math and computer science.[17]

Lydia M. Olson Library

  • The Lydia M. Olson Library,[18] located within the Edgar L. Harden Learning Resource Center (LRC), houses a volume count of 544,219 titles and 29,365 of periodical subscriptions.[19]

McClintock Hall

  • The building features a Black Box Theatre for student-directed productions and audio laboratories, as well as general classrooms.[20]

Physical Education Instructional Facility

  • Physical Education Instructional Facility (PEIF) opened in 1976. The facility houses the PEIF Pool, and the Vandament Arena, home of Wildcat volleyball. Also housed within the PEIF is a recreation center with a climbing wall, weight room, basketball courts, spinning room, seven racquetball courts, a dance studio, and various classrooms.[21]

Seaborg Science Complex

  • The Seaborg Science Complex comprises West Science and Kathleen Shingler Weston Hall (formerly the New Science Facility). This facility is the home to the natural, physical and health science departments. The complex is named after Glenn Seaborg, an Upper Peninsula native.[22]

Superior Dome

  • The Superior Dome is the largest wooden dome in the world and is home to the NMU athletic department. The NMU football and other athletic teams play home games there. Seating capacity is 8,000 but can be rearranged to seat 16,000.[23]

The Jacobetti Center

  • The Jacobetti Center is home to the Continuing Education and Workforce Development, which includes two departments: Engineering Technology and Technology and Occupational Sciences. A large lobby area, known as "the commons," provides tables and seating for studying, discussions or enjoying food from the student-run Culinary Café. The upscale Chez Nous restaurant in the center serves as a training ground for cooking and hospitality services. The center is named for longtime Upper Peninsula State Representative Dominic J. Jacobetti.[24]

Whitman Hall

  • This facility contains the Dean of Health Sciences and Professional Studies, the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service, the Modern Languages and Literatures Department and the Center for Native American Studies. Before being purchased by the university in 2002, the building was home to an elementary school.


Northern Michigan University's eight-member governing board, the Board of Trustees, is appointed by the Governor of Michigan and confirmed by the Michigan Senate for an eight-year term. The Board of Trustees has general supervision of the institution, the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds, and such other powers and duties as prescribed by law. It also has the authority to hire and evaluate the university president, who reports directly to the board. Members of the Board of Trustees serve without compensation, but are reimbursed by the University for expenses related to Board duties.[25]


A football signed by the 1978 Northern Michigan Wildcats football team

NMU's Wildcats compete in the NCAA's Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in basketball, football, golf, cross country, soccer, volleyball, track & field, and swimming/diving. The hockey program competes in Division I as a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The Nordic ski team competes in the Central Collegiate Ski Association. The Division II football team plays in the world's largest wooden dome, the Superior Dome.[26] Lloyd Carr, former head coach at the University of Michigan, former NFL coach Jerry Glanville, and Steve Mariucci, former head coach of the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers and Robert Saleh, current head coach of the New York Jets, played football for NMU, and current Michigan State coach Tom Izzo played basketball at NMU. Northern Michigan's rivals in sports action are the two other major schools in the Upper Peninsula: Michigan Technological University, and Lake Superior State University.[27]

The winner of the annual football game between NMU and Michigan Tech is awarded the Miner's Cup.

Olympic Training SiteEdit

The United States Olympic Training Site on the campus of Northern Michigan University is one of 16 Olympic training sites in the country. The NMU-OTS provides secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities for athletes while offering world-class training.

With more than 70 resident athletes and coaches, the NMU-OTS is the second-largest Olympic training center in the United States, in terms of residents, behind Colorado Springs. The USOEC has more residential athletes than the Lake Placid and Chula Vista sites combined. Over the years, it has grown into a major contributor to the U.S. Olympic movement.

Current resident training programs include Greco-Roman wrestling and weightlifting. Athletes must be approved by the NMU-OTS, their national governing body and NMU to be admitted into the program.

NMU-OTS athletes attend NMU while training in their respective sports, and are officially recognized as NMU varsity athletes. The student athletes receive free or reduced room and board, access to training facilities as well as sports medicine and sports science services, academic tutoring, and a waiver of out-of-state tuition fees by NMU. Although athletes are responsible for tuition at the in-state rate, they may receive the B.J. Stupak Scholarship to help cover expenses.[28]

On-campus NMU-OTS athletes live in NMU's Meyland Hall, eat in campus dining halls, and train at the university's Superior Dome.

The NMU-OTS also offers a variety of short-term training camps; regional, national, and international competitions; coaches and officials education clinics; and an educational program for retired Olympians.[29]

Student lifeEdit

Residential lifeEdit

The on campus residence halls include:[30]

  • Birch Hall (Part of The Woods complex)
  • Cedar Hall (Part of The Woods complex)
  • Maple Hall (Part of The Woods complex)
  • Hunt Hall (Down Campus)
  • Magers Hall (Down Campus)
  • Meyland Hall (Down Campus)
  • Spalding Hall (Down Campus)
  • Spooner Hall (Up Campus)
  • VanAntwerp Hall (Down Campus)

In addition to the residence halls, NMU operates and maintains four apartment buildings on campus.

The apartments are [31]

  • Woodland Park (Opened in 2006)
  • Lincoln Apartments
  • Center / Norwood Apartments
  • Norwood Apartments

Groups and activitiesEdit

Student organizationsEdit

NMU hosts a large number of student organizations which are governmental, academic, programming, social, religious, and athletic, as well as residence hall-related, in nature. There are over 300 registered student organizations that provide programs and activities for the campus community.

Army ROTCEdit

NMU hosts the United States Army Cadet Command's "Wildcat Battalion".[32] Roughly 70 Cadets train to earn their commissions as United States Army Officers in both the Active Duty and Reserve components.

Greek lifeEdit


The North WindEdit

The North Wind began in 1972 as Northern Michigan University's second independent, student newspaper. The university's first newspaper was The Northern News, which was shut down due to published articles throughout the 1960s that painted the school in an unflattering manner. In 2015, a controversy arose between the school's administration and members of the North Wind staff, which reached federal court on claims of first amendment violations before the case was dismissed. The weekly paper covers news from the university and community alike and prints on most Wednesdays during the school year.[33]


WUPX is Northern Michigan University's non-commercial, student run, radio station broadcasting at 91.5 FM. WUPX provides NMU Students and the Marquette area with a wide variety of music, event announcements, and activities.[34]

Notable alumniEdit

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is an alumnus of NMU. As a result, NMU had the first Starbucks in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (formerly located in the Learning Resource Center).[35] He is pictured in the poster at right.

Charter schoolsEdit

NMU operates seven charter schools throughout Michigan.[42]

As of July 1, 2014, NMU added three more charter schools: Frances Reh Academy in Saginaw, George Crockett Academy in Detroit and East Shore Leadership Academy in Port Huron.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Leigh, Harri. "First Students in Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Graduated". Upper Michigan's Source. Negaunee, Michigan: WLUC-TV. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  3. ^ "Northern's History". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Historical Spotlight: Evolution and Name Updates of NMU". Northern Michigan University. September 11, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  5. ^ "Northern Michigan University – Michigan History". Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  6. ^ "History". Northern Michigan University College of Graduate Studies. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "About Us: Northern Michigan University". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  8. ^ "Accreditation". NMU School of Nursing. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  9. ^ "AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business". Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "Home: Tobacco-Free". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  11. ^ "NMU Art & Design Information". Northern Michigan University. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  12. ^ "Cohodas: NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "Theatre Season 2019-20". Northern Michigan University Forest Roberts Theatre. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  14. ^ "Gries Hall: NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "About Us: NMU Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  16. ^ "Jamrich Hall: NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  17. ^ "Jamrich Hall". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "Library Home : Olson Library". Northern Michigan University Olson Library. May 14, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  19. ^ [1] Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "McClintock Building: NMU College of Arts and Sciences". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  21. ^ "Physical Education Instructional Facility: NMU Athletics". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  22. ^ "Glenn T. Seaborg – Biography". Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  23. ^ "Superior Dome". Northern Michigan University Athletic Department. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "Jacobetti Center: NMU Continuing Education". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  25. ^ "Home: NMU Board of Trustees". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  26. ^ [2] Archived June 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Football Coaches". University of Michigan Athletics. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  28. ^ "NMU-OTS - Marquette, Michigan".
  29. ^ "Home: United States Olympic Education Center". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  30. ^ "Residence Halls: NMU Housing and Residence Life". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  31. ^ "Apartments: NMU Housing and Residence Life". Northern Michigan University. August 16, 2008. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  32. ^ "About Us: NMU Department of Military Science". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  33. ^ Box, WP. "About Us". The North Wind. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010.
  34. ^ "WUPX 91.5 FM Radio X Marquette". Marquette, Michigan: WUPX-FM. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  35. ^ "U.P.'s only Starbucks Open on Campus" (Press release). Northern Michigan University. August 25, 2003.
  36. ^ [3] Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ "JOHN D. HOLUM". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  38. ^ "Coach Izzo Biography". Coach Izzo. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  39. ^ "News_Release.Aspx". Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  40. ^ "Howard Schultz Biography Activist (1953–)". Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  41. ^ Turchansky, Ray (September 20, 1996). "From bantam to junior in single bound". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alberta. p. 26. 
  42. ^ "Home: NMU Charter Schools". Northern Michigan University. Retrieved July 1, 2010.

Further readingEdit

  • Hilton, Miriam (1975). Northern Michigan University: The First 75 Years. Marquette: Northern Michigan University Press.
  • Magnaghi, Russell (1999). A Sense of Time: The Encyclopedia of Northern Michigan University. Marquette: Northern Michigan University Press.

External linksEdit