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

Archival Assistance: WNMU’s 50th Anniversary, coming up!

North Wind Article on the WNMU Break-in. At the Archives, we love when we are able to help out others in the NMU family. We have records from nearly every department and organization at the university, and are often contacted by people looking for information on the history of our wonderful school. Our latest project is compiling a history of the WNMU radio station here on campus.

WNMU is approaching their 50th anniversary next year, and have begun preparing the celebration. They have asked us to help them develop a timeline of the radio station’s history, including all the major events of the past 50 years. Our job is to search our material for any exciting moments to include that show how WNMU became such a successful part of our campus. Including visuals in the timeline is an interactive way to show the history of this radio station.

News Bureau photos from WNMU Break-inPhotos are a great place to start when doing a history project like this. We can use images to capture people, and each image has a story that goes along with it. For example, did you know that the WNMU station was broken into and vandalized in 1982? We have photos to prove it! Hans Ahlstrom, the current voice of WNMU, recalls noticing the remaining dents in the walls of the office when he first started, and hearing the story of the ex-employee who broke into the studio one night simply to wreak havoc.

The project will be complete and posted on our website in time for the 2013 WNMU celebration, so keep a look out for the link. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new about our school!

Prepared by Savannah Mallo and Olivia Ernst.

‘Moose goes on the loose in Magers’

newspaper clipping of moose on campus

Click to enlarge the picture

Jeff Korpi, who was resident director in Magers Hall at the time, says when he heard the shattered glass, it sounded like someone had dropped a glass cup.

“And then all of a sudden, it was like the hall just started to buzz.”

Korpi thought there was a fight going on, so he got up and started to follow the people who were running toward the courtyard.

What Korpi and the other residents found was a moose in the Magers Hall courtyard. It had wandered onto campus and was scared, most reports of the event say, and crashed into the first-floor laundry room window before running off campus. Public Safety had been called and Korpi remembers that the officers were trying to direct the moose away from campus and into the woods, in the direction of Big Bay.

“Once it got in the woods, it was a dead issue,” Korpi says, who is now assistant director of residence halls and apartment.

The moose had hit the building so hard that it broke the entire window. Korpi says he called a carpenter to come look at it, and the window was replaced that night.

“The one thing that I do remember that stands out is that students were running after the moose,” he says.

This happened in 2006. Magers Hall had recently been updated, so the pictures that are featured in The North Wind article about the event are from security cameras.

Kim Eggleston was the editor in chief of The North Wind at the time.

“Someone told me there was a moose ‘rampaging’ through Magers. I said, ‘Haha.’ They said, ‘No really. There is a moose, you have to get someone down there,’” Eggleston says. “I think the residents of Magers had quite a shock though. We at The North Wind were mostly very gleeful about it. I mean, where else do you even get to write about this? Alaska, probably.”

Korpi says he doesn’t recall another time that a moose was on campus, however there have been incidents in the community. He remembers a moose being in the pond in the 7th street cemetery for days, and in the summer of 2011 there was the moose on Presque Isle that was removed by tranquilizer and the help of the DNR.

Written by Lucy Hough

A U.P. Sports Hall of Famer

UP sports hall of fameContinuing our short series for the Beaumier Heritage Center’s new exhibit “U.P. POWER! High School Sports in Upper Michigan,” here is a small introduction to one of the many athletes that will be featured in this exhibit.

Bob Mariucci became the second wrestler to earn a total of four U.P. championships. He wrestled for the Iron Mountain Mountaineers from 1981-84. He was also student body president in 1984 and was his class valedictorian. He was the 1982 national Junior Olympic freestyle champion and the only wrestler from the U.P. to be chosen for the USA Scholastic All-American Dream Team in 1983. After High School, Mariucci played football for Northern and was named their Most Valuable Receiver in 1987 and 1988. He was inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

To learn more about Mariucci and other great U.P. High School athletes, be sure to check out the new exhibit at the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center in Room 105 of Cohodas. It opens at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 with a reception in the Center.

All items on display for this exhibit are on loan to us from many people and places around the U.P.

A Glimpse at Theodore Roosevelt.

Correspondence from Roosevelt to Shiras, re: book

President Roosevelt urging Shiras to publish a book

If you remember from last week’s post, Evening at the Archives will be held later this week at 7pm on Thursday, October 18th. During the event, James McCommons will be talking about George Shiras III, a conservationist from the early 20thcentury who was in correspondence with President Theodore Roosevelt.

Well, have I got a story for you!

In the summer of 2011, not long after we received the Shiras collection, James McCommons requested photocopies of most of the collection’s correspondence files. While the collection is not as vast as some that we have copied for other patrons, many of the letters are old and somewhat irregular, thus requiring more time to scan without damaging the document. As I made my way through a folder, in the mindless rhythm of repetition, I came across a letter which had been improperly preserved.

Evidence of an Envelope on a letter from Theodore Roosevelt

The remaining evidence of that pesky envelope

The envelope was still folded around the opened letter, and after sitting in a file for 20 years or more, the glue from the envelope flap had sealed itself onto the front of the letter. Cursing whatever person had initially accessioned it, I carefully set about separating the envelope from the letter, trying not to damage either. Eventually I had the two separated, and as I glanced down at my handy-work I made a shocking discovery. All along, Theodore Roosevelt’s signature had been on the letter!

I quickly went back through the papers I had already copied and realize that all of the letters in that folder were either to or from the President. Some of the letters were of a professional nature, while other hinted at a sort of friendship between Shiras and Roosevelt. If you want to know more about their correspondence, come to Evening at the Archives, or visit the office to view the letters for yourself!  If you can make it this Thursday, email to reserve a spot.

Correspondence from Roosevelt to Shiras re: venison

President Roosevelt looks forward to receiving some venison, an Upper Peninsula staple, and invites Mr. and Mrs. Shiras to dinner.

Prepared by Olivia Ernst.