Fred Laughlin’s Retirement Party is Dec. 3 at Lobdell’s

On behalf of the GLCI staff and faculty and the local American Culinary Federation Chapter, we invite you to join us to celebrate Fred‘s 26-year career at NMC and to wish him well as he moves on to another chapter in his life:
Monday, December 3
5-7 p.m.
Lobdell’s, A Teaching Restaurant at the Great Lakes Campus
Enjoy refreshments, appetizers and a cash bar. 

Three-Volley Salute to Veterans on Monday 11/12


Out of respect for our campus community and in light of shootings that have occurred around the nation, I wanted to inform everyone that a Three-Volley Salute will be performed as part of the NMC Veterans Day Activities. It will commence shortly after the flag is raised on Monday, November 12, between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m.

The Three-Volley Salute, accompanied by the playing of Taps, is performed in honor of veterans/soldiers who are no longer with us. This is a coveted ceremony for our veterans as they honor all those who came before them, served alongside them, and gave their lives in the line of duty. These are blank rounds (gun powder in a copper casing) with no actual bullet being fired. For more information on the origin of the Three-Volley Salute, please see the attached document, provided by Scott Herzberg, NMC Military & Veteran Services/Advisor.

On behalf of all NMC veterans, please accept my sincerest gratitude for your support and continual understanding. We hope you’ll join us on Monday as we observe Veterans Day!


Timothy J. Nelson, President
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI
Phone: (231) 995-1010

Origin of the Three Volleys

The practice of firing three rifle volleys over the grave of a veteran, and at other honor military-related ceremonies, originated in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield. Once each army had cleared their dead, it would fire three volleys to indicate that the dead had been cared for and that they were ready to fight again. Three volleys fired has become a tradition to mean the dead have been cared for. It has evolved into a military salute for the deceased serving their country. Firing the three volleys is one of the highest honors to give a deceased military veteran.

NMC Marijuana Policy

NMC students, faculty, and staff:

I thank all of you who exercised your right to vote yesterday in our country’s mid-term election.  In Michigan, voters approved the recreational use and possession of marijuana covered under Proposal 18-1 and it will become law ten days after the Secretary of State certifies the election and changes the state law regarding marijuana possession in Michigan.

Please be aware of the following:

Proposal 18-1 does not change NMC policies or federal laws.  The use, distribution or possession of marijuana by students, employees or any person on college property or at college events is prohibited.

Using, distributing and possessing marijuana remains illegal under federal law.  NMC must comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.  As a recipient of federal funds, NMC takes measures to combat the use of drugs and alcohol.

Violating NMC policies may be grounds for discipline up to and including dismissal.  Thank you for continuing to adhere to college policy and federal law.

Timothy J. Nelson, President

Innovation Grants are due December 1

The deadline for the spring semester’s round of Innovation Grant applications is December 1. Applications must be submitted to your area Vice President by this date.

It is strongly recommended that you discuss your proposal idea with your Vice President before developing the full proposal. VPs do have the authority to reject an application but can also provide valuable feedback to help develop great proposals that are more likely to be successful!

Find more information about innovation grants here: Or check out the quick links on the NMC Foundation’s home page at

Please note that ALL applicants are required to do a 5-minute presentation for the committee plus plan 5 minutes for Q&A.

Hoodies for the Homeless

The third annual Hoodies for the Homeless will be held at the bookstore November 12-21. Donate a new or gently used hoodie or coat at the bookstore, and get a coupon for 30% off one regular priced apparel item. All items donated will go to the Goodwill Street Outreach program for distribution to people in need.

NMC Veterans Day Activities, November 12

Dear colleagues:

On Monday, November 12, 2018, NMC will observe Veterans Day with morning activities to mark the day with special recognition for student, faculty, and staff veterans. Please encourage and allow any veterans in your classes and offices to attend the breakfast, Walk of Honor, and Flag Raising Ceremony.

I strongly encourage the entire campus to line up along the sidewalk from the Dennos Museum Center to the flagpoles west of the Tanis Building to support the veterans taking part in the Walk of Honor that begins promptly at 9:05 a.m. Afterwards, there will be a Flag Raising Ceremony conducted by the VFW, the Traverse City Central High School Marching Band will perform the Star Spangled Banner, and Congressman Jack Bergman will address the audience.

The campus community is invited to stop by for coffee and cake that will be served in the Tanis Atrium at 10 a.m. in honor of veterans.

  • 8:30–9 a.m. – Breakfast in NMC’s Dennos Museum
  • 9 a.m. – Gather for Walk of Honor, sidewalk from the Dennos Museum to the flagpoles
  • 9:05 a.m. – Walk of Honor
  • 9:10 a.m. – Flag Ceremony, Taps and the 3 Volleys, Congressman Jack Bergman
  • 10 a.m. – Cake and coffee, Tanis Atrium

Serving those who have served us is a year-round priority at NMC, and I’m extremely proud that NMC has been ranked as the second best community college in the country for veterans by Military Times magazine. Every year, Military Times compiles a “Best for Vets” feature on colleges and NMC rose to number 2 on the two-year college list for 2019.

Thank you for giving your time to recognize our military veterans and thank them for their service.


Timothy J. Nelson, President
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI
Phone: (231) 995-1010

Important Announcement from the President

It is with mixed emotions that I provide you notice that I will retire from my position as President of Northwestern Michigan College fourteen months from now on December 31, 2019.  By providing this notification now, there is sufficient time to execute a thoughtful, inclusive search for my successor. Rest assured, I will continue to give you my all during the ensuing time.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, the college and the region. You’ve given me the opportunity to engage in activities and processes that I could only imagine when I started almost 18 years ago. About 14 months after I became president, we established a longer term vision for NMC that still guides us and our efforts.

I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved during my time at NMC. We have committed ourselves to keeping learning at the center. This provides a basis as we work to achieve our ultimate purpose, which is to provide our learners and communities with the skills, experiences and values that will help them to create social and economic wealth during their lifetimes.

We are a leader in professional development for our people, ranked in the top 6% nationally.  We have redesigned critical programs, such as maritime and aviation, and have developed first in the nation programming including our marine tech and UAS programs.  In each area of the college, people are innovating in order to assure our learners’ success in a global society and economy. We now view our community as the world and are recognized as a leader in study abroad and international delivery of specialty programs.  With your support and direction, we have completely rebuilt and renewed the physical, technical and data infrastructures of all of our campuses. As I look to the future, I am humbled to think that the people, programs and systems we have developed together, position this institution for continued success in meeting our purpose well into the future.

Together, we have accomplished a lot.  And, a lot still remains to do.

I will truly miss not being here to continue to lead current initiatives or start new projects we have on the horizon, but at NMC there will always be great people designing and implementing new and innovative projects and practices. We are blessed with a dedicated college leadership, staff and faculty.  You should have great confidence in their abilities to carry out the strategic agenda of NMC as we achieve our mission.

The Board, with more than 42 years combined experience representing the voters in leading NMC, has begun thinking about the succession process and how best to seek input from the college’s many stakeholder groups. I look forward to the next 14 months as I continue in my current role and will serve actively as an advisor during the transition period with support from the college’s long serving leadership team. Updates to this public process will be made available at

My family and I intend to remain residents of Traverse City and will actively support NMC in any way we can.  I’m not sure what lies ahead for us except I am sure we will continue to work to improve our communities. Again, I thank you for the opportunity to work with and for you and this amazing college.


NMC Veterans Day Recognition

Monday, November 12

Free breakfast from 0830-0900 in NMC’s Dennos Museum for veterans, Active Duty, Reservists and National Guard members. Following breakfast will be our annual Honor Walk to the flagpole between the Tanis and Osterlin buildings. Presentation of the colors, Taps and the three-volley salute will be performed by VFW Post 2780, The Traverse City Central High School marching band will perform the National Anthem.

Raise money for your student group AND support NMC!

Is your NMC student group looking for a way to raise money?

Members of your group can volunteer to help the NMC Foundation during the upcoming Hawk Owls Say Thanks days. Each volunteer will earn $10/hour for their NMC student group.

Activity includes explaining a thank you note writing activity to NMC students and passing out swag.

Upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, November 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Osterlin Library
  • Thursday, November 8, 7-9 p.m. at East Hall

Sign-up to volunteer here:

Information about other activities can be found here:

For more information, please contact Katharine Zurek at (231) 995-1030 or

Holiday Art Fair

Art fair photoThe annual Dennos Museum Holiday Art Fair will open Thursday, October 25, 5–8 p.m. and continue Friday through Sunday, October 26–28, throughout the museum.  Fine arts and crafts from 50 Michigan artists, Christmas and Chanukah gifts, arts and crafts kits and more are just a few of the enticements for holiday shoppers. Hours will be Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 1–5 p.m.

NMC employees and students can get a 10% discount on purchases when they mention their NMC connection at the time of purchase.

Learn more here »

Sad News

Mike Oberlin, a longtime Social Science instructor, passed away at 66 years old from health-related issues recently while traveling in Ecuador. He was a wonderful, caring person who taught psychology for NMC for the last 21 years. In  addition to his dedication to his students, he had a great passion for traveling with his wife Merri to foreign lands. He will be greatly missed.

A Colorful Cast – The Rise of Visual Arts in Traverse City

Celebrate the rise of visual arts in the Grand Traverse Region and the legacy and rich history of the NMC Art Department in the reformatted second edition of this retrospective, A Colorful Cast.

Stewarded by Paul Welch and Ann Swaney and authored by Heather Shumaker, A Colorful Cast highlights the men and women who created a wave of visual arts in the Grand Traverse Region and celebrates the role that NMC and its Fine Arts Department played in building regional interest in visual arts. The galleries, the studios, and the festivals that now draw thousands to our region, all were influenced by the vibrant learning environment of the College and the artists who have gathered and learned here.

Copies of A Colorful Cast are $29.95 and are available at the Dennos Museum gift shop, Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City, Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids, and through the NMC Foundation by calling 231-995-1021 or purchasing online here. Proceeds from the sale of A Colorful Cast will go to support visual arts scholarships at Northwestern Michigan College.

The printing of this reformatted edition was made possible by the diligent efforts of Ann Swaney, Adriana Beddoe, Tom Gorsline, and project coordinator and underwriter Peg Jonkhoff.

Bookstore Move

The bookstore will be closed August 2-7 to move to the Health & Science Building. We will reopen on Wednesday, August 8, in Health & Science Room 101. All online book orders submitted during that time will be processed on August 8.

Mitel Phone Training Classes

Voice Systems Administrator David Gates plans to offer additional training on the various features of our phone system in response to staff requests.

Two sets of phone training classes are being planned: A full class for new staff, and a semi-advanced class for experienced staffers. The classes would be given in the large conference room in Founder’s Hall and scheduled as needed. New user guides will also be made available.

For more information, contact David at 5-1110 or

Help students move in Friday, August 24!

Calling ALL faculty, staff and students – help our Hawk Owls on move-in day, Friday, August 24! Sign up for a shift, get a t-shirt, be a friendly face – many hands make light work, so let’s give our new and returning students a warm welcome!

Sign up and log in using your NMC email address here.

Sign up solo, with a colleague, or your entire team. Please feel free to sign up for more than one shift and don’t hesitate to share this sign-up link with other NMC faculty and staff.

Questions? Feel free to contact Meg Young at

Thank you in advance for the time and consideration!