MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Homecoming week isn’t just a time to cheer on the sports programs and current students, it’s also a time to celebrate the former students as well, and that’s what happened at Northern Michigan University’s 2023 Alumni Awards on Friday afternoon.
The ceremony and lunch were held at the Northern Center, which was full of faculty, Trustees, the NMU Foundation, and alumni. Three former Wildcats were recognized for their success, contributions, and promotion of the university in their lives after leaving NMU.
This years recipients were:
- Charles Hawes, ’77, won the Alumni Service Award
- Mitchell Stephenson, ’13, won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award
- Dr. Ellen Narotzky, ’71 and ’72, won the Distinguished Alumni Award
Each of these three, like every nominee, have “stood out from the norm,” but that can make it a hard decision for the alumni association.
“The great thing is that process is difficult to choose the winner,” said Chris Charboneau, the President of NMU’s Alumni Advisory Board. “Because usually, when you get down to it that committee has got three or four names, and it’s like, ‘How do we pick because all four are amazing.’ So there’s a lot that goes into it and into the process.”
Nominations can be submitted by anyone who thinks an alum is deserving of the awards. Every nominee is considered in the process, and it usually takes about four months to complete.
For nominees that aren’t selected on their first year, it doesn’t mean that they are excluded from ever winning.
“There are new nominations every year, but I think the nominee can stay in the ‘pool’ for three years,” said Charboneau. “So if you don’t win it that year, the nominee is brought up the next two years and if they don’t win it then they can be renominated down the road.”
To learn more about the criteria for the awards or how to nominate an alum, click here.