Financial Gift Brightens NMU Tree

Monday 20, 2017

Northern Michigan University will unveil a more radiant tree for its 30th annual lighting, thanks to a gift from alumnus and Board of Trustees Chair Scott Holman (’65 BS). The pine on the north side of the University Center will be illuminated with 18,000 new LED lights, compared with last year’s 400. Holman funded the full project cost of about $5,000.

“I am happy to make this donation to spruce up this year’s Christmas tree with energy-efficient LED lights,” Holman said.

Buildings and grounds attendant Donald Korpi and his student assistants put the lights on the tree and conducted a pre-test in preparation for the event. President Fritz Erickson and Wildcat Willy will lead the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, as part of an expansive celebration running from 4-8 p.m. at the University Center.

“We’re going to revive the tradition of an official tree lighting, when the president invites people outside to witness the moment when the lights are turned on,” said Elizabeth Peterson, sales manager of Simply Superior NMU Catering and Events. “With this being the 30th anniversary of Lighting Up the Holidays, we thought this would be a nice time to bring it back. The tree will stay lit for the entire season and will be a nice way to showcase NMU. We invite people to visit campus to take a look. It will be really spectacular to see.”

The celebration is a free kickoff to the season for NMU families, students and community members. Activities range from photos with Santa and crafts to face painting and music and dance performances. For more information, visit

Jill Vermeulen
Student Writer

Tree during pre-lighting test