Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Gavel For Seaborg

gavelWhen Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg passed away in 1999, he left the majority of his belongings to NMU. There is a bevy of artifacts currently on display commemorating his many accomplishments, as well as a replica of his office, on the second floor of West Science. These showcase only a small fraction of the items we have from him here at the BHC.

Dr. Seaborg led a very full life and accomplished many things in his time. He is probably best known for his work in the field of chemistry where he helped discover 10 trans-uranium elements. He also won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Edwin McMillan in 1951. He was a teacher at the University of California, Berkley and the chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission. At one point, he had won so many awards that he was in the Guinness Book of World Records for it. And last but not least, he was a native of the U.P., born in Ishpeming.

This gavel is a gift that Dr. Seaborg received on October 12, 1976. It was presented to him during a ceremony commemorating the restoration of the Priestly House. It is constructed from wood that was harvested on the Priestly House grounds.

This item is currently off display.

Written by Stephen Glover of the BHC.


NMU’s Haunted Theatre!

Halloween is only a day away and we’ve been digging up some haunting information. After all, what fun would October 31st be without a few ghost stories? Especially when they’re right in your own town…

There is a legend here at NMU that our very own Forest Roberts Theatre is… haunted! The story goes that the building had a custodian name Perry, who had been working there for nearly thirty years.  Perry was known for his friendly personality and for being a practical joker.  He was the go-to man for anything you wanted to know about Northern Michigan University, an old timer who knew it all. However, Perry was also a heavy drinker and had heart problems. One day while Perry was working, he had a heart attack. Perry died in the elevator in the Theatre, only to be found by a student janitor hours later.

Ever since Perry’s death the elevator occasionally acts strangely. For example, when the “up” button is pressed, the elevator goes down, and sometimes it makes mechanical sounds but doesn’t go anywhere at all.  Student employees have reported feeling unexplained drafts and the sense of a presence while in the building. Some think Perry never left the Forest Roberts Theatre, but no one will ever know for sure.

Forest Roberts Theatre

If you don’t believe me, then come into the Archives and read about the Haunted Theatre for yourself. You may just be terrified by what you find. Muahahah!

Prepared by Savannah Mallo and Olivia Ernst.

Streaking at NMU

When streaking became a fad across the country, especially on college campuses in the 70s, Northern fell right into place.

The upcoming edition of Horizons, Northern’s alumni magazine, is all about NMU’s history and there are interesting articles about everything from past fashion trends to campus eateries. I was surprised by a half-page note about streaking and the Brule Run so I decided to look into it.

streakers articleWhen the trend first started in 1974, there was an article in The North Wind about a group of streakers who were running on campus roofs: “People streaked the roof of Halverson: they streaked on bicycles, they streaked piggy back, they streaked in groups, they streaked alone, they streaked playing basketball.”

It wasn’t a small fad. Gries Hall organized a “grand streak” in which residents ran to Payne and Magers Halls. And there was “streak-fester” (probably a play off Win-fester which is what the winter homecoming was called) in the Payne-Halverson courtyard that was complete with flood lights and a P.A. system.

There are plenty of national articles that wonder why the trend was so popular, but I think Northern students sum it up pretty well in the NW article from the 70s: “‘Why not? It’s fun. I was drunk. It seemed like a good idea at the time.'”

newspaper article

1990 North Wind article

A more recent incident of streaking is recorded in The North Wind in 1990 when a guy ran across campus in 20 degree weather to support the women’s volleyball team becoming national champions. It sounds like people were pretty surprised as he ran from Hedgcock through the Academic Mall to a car waiting in the circle drive near Jamrich Hall. The newspaper reporter interviewed the associated dean of students at the time, Ed Niemi, who said any discipline for the anonymous runner would probably fall under disorderly conduct in the student code, but mentioned that it used to happen all the time. He said, ‘”The courtyard between Payne and Halverson hall use to abound with them.'”

The 1990 article finishes with a sad bit of observation: “In addition to possible frostbite the streaker probably has some bruises today because he fell twice.”

Current students might be familiar with the Brule Run which seems to be a close relative of the organized streaking events in the 70s. And what was said about those events is still true for the Brule Run. As someone wrote to The North Wind, it’s a great unifier for campus: “I have never seen so many people coming together and having a good time without worrying about possible consequences. It was the first time in my three years here at NMU that I heard a round of real laughter that made you feel good from the inside out.”

Written by Lucy Hough