Alumni Couple Supports International Study for Future Educators

Friday 12, 2017

Joseph Prinzi (’70 ’79 BS MAE) and Nancy Prinzi (’70 ’74 BS MAE) met at NMU and agree that the university provided an excellent and affordable foundation for their careers. They are passionate about teaching and the benefits of travel. Both have gone abroad extensively and Nancy was a coordinator for the Michigan Department of Education teacher exchange program. Recognizing how an overseas experience can help transform a student personally and professionally, the Grand Haven couple has given NMU a six-figure gift to establish the Joseph and Nancy Prinzi Educational Study Abroad Scholarship.

The scholarship provides a one-time award of up to $10,000 to a junior, senior or graduate student enrolled in a study-abroad program approved through the School of Education. Students are typically responsible for covering their own expenses, such as transportation and housing, and it is often difficult to find the money to take advantage of potentially life-changing international opportunities. The scholarship will help.

“We know that a teacher's ability to bring diverse experiences to the classroom opens up new worlds,” said Joe Lubig, associate dean of the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. “A teacher who becomes immersed in other cultures has an opportunity and a responsibility to share those worlds with others. This is what teachers do. It is how we learn and how we are able to gain perspective. Having donors like Joe and Nancy, who want to invest in our teacher candidates so they can positively influence the lives of thousands of children over the course of their careers, is amazing.”

Joe Prinzi received his bachelor’s degree from the NMU College of Business and Nancy earned a bachelor of science degree in home economics. She went into teaching after graduation. He worked, variously, for family businesses and in accounting, but decided he wanted to teach and began taking graduate classes at NMU. Both ultimately earned master of arts in education (MAE) from Northern. Joe spent three years teaching in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and 22 years teaching accounting at Grand Haven Senior High School and as an adjunct professor at Muskegon Community College. Nancy taught home economics for seven years in Rudyard, Mich., and worked for more than 20 years at Careerline Tech Center in Holland, Mich., as both a teacher and a counselor. Both are now retired.

Joe and Nancy have supported the university in many ways over the years. He served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the couple donated a lead gift to establish, through the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, the George R. Carnahan Scholarship Fund.

This story was prepared by Vince Grout in the NMU Foundation.

Joseph and Nancy Prinzi