Author Archives: The Northern Tradition

Student Staff Spotlight: Lydia

Our second graduating senior this year is Lydia Henning, our Website and Digitization Specialist. For those of the readership that have had the joy of visiting us in person this year, they have Lydia to thank for Whiteboard Wednesdays. It is her accomplishments with our online exhibition websites, however, that she values the most from her time with the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives.


The original!

Lydia spent four years as a Graphic Communications major; a scheduling snafu lead her to switch her major to Spanish. It was a natural second choice, since Lydia has been taking classes in that language since before preschool, and spoke Spanish with a close neighbor and her grandmother. Even with years of practice, though, Lydia says “I find my Spanish has improved exponentially since I have two Spanish classes on the same day of my school week this semester. I recommend immersion to learn any language.” She has been to Mexico twice, and looks forward to going again.

Lydia on living in the Upper Peninsula:

“Marquette is a great city, away from the bustle of major highways of the Lower Peninsula, and with more abundant natural beauty! I have enjoyed the lakes and ponds and rivers of Da Yoop, fly fishing with my boyfriend, who I met at NMU- in the library, actually. I also work there, as a student assistant. I love going to the numerous coffee shops around town, and walking to the shoreline of Gitche Gumee every so often. Many agree it’s much nicer here in the warmer months… so do I! I like the winter and snow, though. Saying, stay warm! to people is my favorite goodbye phrase in the winter.”

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Lydia with a big boat. The man in the red shirt is the author’s brother!


Lydia with some pretty leaves!

Originally from Fowlerville, Michigan, Lydia hopes for a career in museums, as a curator, exhibit designer, or interpreter, or maybe all three! She has been volunteering at the Marquette Regional History Center, and looks forward to many other opportunities. Stay warm, Lydia! Stay warm, Stefan!


Stefan and Lydia. Author’s brother not pictured. Or is he?

This post was written by Emily Wros.


Student Staff Spotlight: Stefan

As the 2017-18 academic year comes to a close, we at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives have to say goodbye to our graduating seniors: Stefan Nelson and Lydia Henning. So we’ll be bidding a fond “hail and farewell” to them by giving each of them their own sendoff here on the blog. This week’s spotlight is on Stefan.


Stefan Nelson came to Northern in the fall of 2014 after graduating from Stillwater Area High School in Stillwater, Minnesota. According to him, he chose to attend Northern for three reasons: “First off, it had the major I was interested in – Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Secondly, it was a medium-sized school, not huge like some of the big public schools in MN, WI, ND, and elsewhere where I’d looked at. Thirdly, there was a tremendous amount of opportunities to do things in the area. I could hike, bike, shop, fish, walk to downtown from campus, or drive for a few minutes and be in the woods. This was pretty unusual for almost all of the other schools I’d looked at that had been in cities with large suburban areas surrounding them.” In regards to why Stefan chose to major in Fisheries and Wildlife Management: “I chose Fisheries and Wildlife Management as my major after taking AP Environmental Science in high school. I had a great teacher who was actively participating in environmental science but also wildlife in his professional and personal life with his peregrine falcon breeding program.”


Outside of school and working in the Archives, Stefan enjoys hanging out with friends; going out to eat; enjoying good weather in the outdoors in the form of hiking, biking, (ice) fishing, skiing, hammocking, and camping; and going to the PEIF. He’ll carry with him a lot of memories when he leaves Northern: “I know I’ll always remember the great professors at NMU, the fishing, hanging out with friends, the parties, night hikes, and other spontaneous activities I got to do. All of this would’ve been extremely hard to do anywhere else but here.”


Stefan (right) and friend

After graduating from NMU, Stefan plans to go to graduate school to conduct research in the natural resource field on wildlife or fish ecology, dispersal and distributions, interspecific and intraspecific interactions, or population management. As of the date of this blog post, he is still waiting to hear back from four schools on six different projects, and has heard back from four already that have selected other candidates. Stefan would like to be able to apply the knowledge he’s learned at Northern and pair it with the summer experiences he’s gained over the last three years. Career-wise, Stefan would take a job working for a state, federal, or private agency in a wildlife science, research, or management position.


Stefan (left) and friend

In closing, here’s Stefan, in his own words, talking about what working in the Archives has meant to him: “Working at the Archives for four years has been a great experience for me. I’ve enjoyed being able to learn about the vast breadth of resources available to the public here at the Archives. It’s also been cool to have been the first male Senior Student Assistant. I’ve been able to practice interacting with members of NMU staff and the public, drive a full sized (green) van, perform historical research, practice good data entry and management, plan and organize public events, learn what an archives is, how it works, what kind of records it keeps, and how records retention works, among other things. I appreciate having worked with some amazing coworkers who have supported me with both work and non-work related things, and for the opportunity to work a job on campus that’s taught me so much about the history of NMU, Marquette, and the UP in general. Thanks to Marcus, Glenda, and all the student assistants!”


This post was written by Lucas Knapp.

The Fantastics

As I pondered what I should write my blog post on, I thought of all the fun photos I have looked at and remembered seeing The Fantastics. The Fantastics were a band here at NMU from 1971 to 1976 composed of 14 students. They were called, “Northern’s Musical Ambassadors,” and were characterized by wearing matching outfits and go-go boots. The Fantastics were very successful on campus, performing at different events, and popular outside of campus as well, performing as USO shows within the states, and internationally. They made a couple albums from various music companies. In 1973 The Fantastics were recipients of the Department of Defense Certificate of Esteem.

The 1973 campus yearbook, the Peninsulan, said of the Fantastics

“Northern Michigan University’s Entertainment Ambassadors, the “Fantastics,” have performed over one hundred times since their first appearance in December of 1970. The multi-talented young men and women have received rave notices following their performance not only in Michigan, but over a four state span. The secret to their success lies in the fact that they do all types of music. Stylistically, they are the 50’s, 60’s, and the 70’s all rolled up in one enthusiastic explosion of the finest in the sounds from the past three decades.

“In January of 1973, the “Fantastics” will be entertaining our American Forces in the Caribbean, as USO representatives selected through the Department of Defense and the National Music Council. The tour will last five weeks and will include performance in Cuba, Central America, the Panama Canal Zone, South America, Trinidad, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.”

Please enjoy some photos of NMU’s Fantastics!


If you are interested in hearing the Fantastics, I have included a link to one of their songs on YouTube: click here for The Fantastics!

This post was written by Eliza Compton.