Brock and Kristin Tessman with daughters outside on NMU's campus

Hello NMU Alumni and Friends,

I am proud — thrilled, actually — that this issue of Northern Magazine highlights the many ways in which sustainability is central to our mission, vision, and values at Northern Michigan University.

In general terms, “sustainability” informs my decision making as president in almost every way, from the development of our financial strategy to the manner in which we approach student and employee wellbeing. And, as you will see in this issue, the role of sustainability is most pronounced in the way it shapes our many eff orts to promote the health of our exceptional natural environment.

I am convinced that our university will only realize its greatest potential if we do all we can to take care of our natural setting, both locally and globally. 

As the father of two amazing girls, I think every day about their future and how important it is for my generation to work alongside theirs to sustain a clean and vibrant planet.

The good news is that our sustainability work at NMU is already in high gear across every part of campus, from our faculty research and academic opportunities to our student organizations and our campus operations. If you are interested in how we are driving positive change with respect to sustainability, this issue of Northern Magazine is for you.

For all the exciting sustainability work that is already underway at NMU, I know there is much more to be done. When we signed the Okanagan Charter last spring (see the story at we committed ourselves to building environmental wellbeing into all aspects of our campus, and extending our impact to our local community and beyond. We’ll live up to that commitment, by exploring ways to develop sustainability across our curriculum, helping our students and alumni launch sustainability focused enterprises, and continuing to look for more ways to reduce waste generated by our everyday operations. NMU will also benefit from the wisdom, guidance, and engagement of the Indigenous communities that have been stewards of this land since well before our founding in 1899.

Enjoy this issue, and know that your university is up to the task of tackling one of the biggest challenges of our time.

Brock Tessman, NMU President