Photo of NMC student cheerleaders

See a timeline of major college events and achievements.

NMC students play in the snow outside a college sign
Photo Galleries

Browse a photo gallery from each of our decades.

Logos of NMC University Center partner universities
UC 25th Anniversary

The NMC University Center celebrated 25 years in 2021.


“In every way, the Northwestern Michigan College is a people’s college. It was conceived in a regional desire for education and is being financed from the pockets of the poor and rich alike.”


These words were part of an “opening day” story about NMC in the local newspaper — and they describe the whole mission and spirit of the institution, then and now. NMC was established because the citizens of northwest Michigan wanted the benefits of higher education for their children and themselves.

Citizens’ commitment and involvement has distinguished NMC from the beginning. “It’s a can-do college,” one of our trustees has said. “Always has been.” From the college’s earliest home in borrowed facilities at the local airport, NMC moved in 1956 to a spacious 100-acre campus under the pines and today has facilities at four additional locations in the Grand Traverse area.

NMC has become a source of “education” in the largest sense, a source of meaningful new knowledge, skills and experiences. This is our mission, after all, to “provide lifelong learning opportunities to our communities.”

Under the Pines: The Third Twenty Years book coverThree volumes of NMC history have been published (the links below are to PDF versions of the books):

A Colorful Cast book coverPublished in 2014, A Colorful Cast is a retrospective chronicling the rise of visual arts in the Grand Traverse region and the legacy and rich history of the NMC Art Department. It is available for $29.95 in the Dennos Museum Store.

View film footage from 1973

Access the NMC Archives

Want to see more?

NMC hymn

NMC music director Jeffrey Cobb recorded an instrumental version of a mysterious NMC hymn. Other than its composer, L. Marguerite House, little is known about its origin and use.

Our northland home, we sing to thee,
Northwestern by the Bay

The scarlet of your sunset,
Against a sea of grey
We cheer your colors, let them wave,
And bring our college fame
Northwestern by the Bay,
All honor to thy name