History & Archives
“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.”
TRAVERSE CITY RECORD-EAGLE, SEPTEMBER 17, 1951
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.”
- “Northwestern Michigan College: The First Twenty Years, 1951–1971,” by Preston N. Tanis, published in 1973 and reprinted in 1992
- "Northwestern Michigan College: The Second Twenty Years, 1971–1991,” by Al Shumsky, with Carole Marlatt, published in 1994
- "Under the Pines: The Third Twenty Years, 1992–2011,” published in 2013
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