MARQUETTE - Hundreds of people converged on Northern Michigan University's campus Saturday for Wildcat Weekend, which brings prospective students from across the country to Marquette.
With potential students and their families coming from as far as Colorado to check out the university, NMU Director of Admissions Gerri Daniels said everyone in the university has a part in planning the event.
"It really is an all-hands-on-deck kind of thing," Daniels said. "We ask every single academic department to be ready to do this. We have about 40 current NMU student volunteers stationed around campus helping people and a student panel first thing this morning."
From left, Northern Michigan University junior biology major Kyle Flowers tells Julia Fitch, 17, and her mother, Beth Pellman, about some of the many hiking trails in the Marquette area. Fitch and Pellman spent Saturday checking out Northern’s campus as a part of Wildcat Weekend, which welcomes prospective students to the school for a day. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
Included in activities were tours of campus, presentations on various academic offerings and a meal at the Marketplace, NMU's food service facility that feeds the majority of on-campus students.
The university also had a home football game Saturday, as well as a theatre production for the students and families to see.
Daniels said although a large number of people come to the twice-annual Wildcat Weekend, the university does its best to preserve the one-on-one interaction it is known for.
"In general, the visitors that comment always comment on how friendly everybody is," Daniels said. "It's like a big surprise that it would be a friendly, welcoming place. That's just always amuses us a little, but we get that feedback all the time."
Julia Fitch, 17, a high school senior, spent the day getting to know Northern with her mother Beth Pellman. Both are from Bloomington Hills, Ill.
Pellman said she was happy with the experience, and felt good about the personalized experience offered to her and her daughter.
"I'm impressed," Pellman said. "It seems like they're trying to personalize the experience for all the different students, instead of doing it as a 'just part of the masses.'
"The academic experience seems to be important here, that it's not just a big party school. I appreciate that, as a parent."
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.