James H.B. Kaye

President of Northern Normal from 1904-1923


       James H.B. Kaye was born in England in 1862 and came to the United States in 1883, where he attended the University of Michigan as an instructor and fellow. He later received his master of arts degree from Albion College and became an instructor there. After serving in a variety of educational roles in schools around Michigan, he became the second principal (and later the president) of Northern State Normal School. As Northern’s longest-tenured president, he presided over significant campus expansions, like the building of what would later be named Kaye Hall, as well as the development of the first athletic field on campus. During his time as president, he saw Northern grant its first bachelor’s degree and the student population more than double. Although Kaye Hall was torn down in 1972, President Kaye’s legacy lives on in Kaye Street near NMU’s campus.

Portrait of James H.B. Kaye