MARQUETTE, Mich.—Dr. John Beaumier, a retired orthopedic surgeon and Northern Michigan University alumnus, has committed $1 million to the NMU Foundation for the future Beaumier Alumni Welcome and U.P. Heritage Center.
Beaumier was born in Escanaba. He retired in 1998 from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he served as a director of orthopedic evaluation. He also was an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.
"It means a lot to me to be able to support the Beaumier Alumni Welcome and U.P. Heritage Center,” he said. “It has been my dream."
An addition and renovations to portions of the former Gries Hall first-floor space will accommodate a reception area, exhibition space for the U.P. Heritage Center (to be relocated from Cohodas Hall), instructional space, a seminar room, formal reception area, staff offices, archives storage space and an exhibit prep area. The project also will include a new rotunda entrance/façade facing Seventh Street.
“John’s generous commitment is the latest example of his enduring loyalty to Northern and fulfills his longtime desire to establish an alumni center on campus,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “With its central location and inviting entrance, this center will serve as a warm welcome to alumni and visitors. It will also provide an ideal home for the center that already celebrates the rich heritage of John’s native Upper Peninsula through engaging displays and programs.”
The Beaumier family previously contributed $1 million to create an area on campus that would feature exhibits highlighting the region’s socioeconomic, cultural and industrial heritage. The U.P. Heritage Center opened in December 2006 in the Superior Dome and in 2008 moved to its its current location.
Beaumier has maintained close ties to his alma mater since graduating in 1953. He served on the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees and was national campaign chair for the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. He is a past recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, a member of the NMU Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to football and was the featured speaker and honorary degree recipient at the university’s December 2006 commencement.
"It was an honor and a privilege to work with John Beaumier to make a vision that he has had for Northern for many years a reality,” said former interim president David Haynes. “NMU is fortunate to have an alumnus as supportive and generous as John."
The design phase for the Beaumier Alumni Welcome and U.P. Heritage Center is expected to begin this summer.