The Upper Peninsula is truly a unique piece of the regional American patchwork. Its location, resources, climate and natural beauty have all nurtured a diverse and hearty human populace. It makes sense that Northern Michigan University would reflect the region’s same values of hard work, ingenuity, openness and what the Finns call SISU (an internal strength sometimes confused with stubbornness). At the same time, Northern Michigan University, in its brief 120-year history,  has left an indelible mark on the land, its people and institutions of the Upper Peninsula. NMU’s graduates have taught and coached in the region’s school districts, run its municipalities and businesses, managed its forests, revitalized its waters, expanded tourism and have created through literature and art a better cultural appreciation for the land and its people.

This website is dedicated to this symbiotic relationship between the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University. The two live close together but not always in harmony. For this reason, we’ve used the Anishinaabemowin term “Maamawi Ozhigi” which translated into English means “Together We Grow.” This title expresses our aspiration for our lives in this common place. The articles within will look at how the people of the Upper Peninsula have helped define the university and vice versa. The articles have been written by NMU alumni, students, faculty and staff members. They incorporate not only the history of the region and university but the stories from members of the NMU community about their experiences at the university and in the U.P.

Because the relationship between the region and its people is always changing, and because there are so many stories to tell, this website will continually change and expand as well. There are three main sections to the site. The first, "What is the Upper Peninsula" looks at the history of the region and the university itself. The second, "The University for Everyone," looks specifically at the connections between NMU and the region. The third, "Living in the Upper Peninsula," is still being developed and will include opportunities for students, alumni and staff to interact through blogs about the region's way of life.


The sunset from the point of view from a kayak in the water

What is the Upper Peninsula?


Jamrich at sunset

The University for Everyone


A group of students in the distance at wetmore

Living in the Upper Peninsula