Learn about what Northern was like before the protests began and what factors contributed to sparking student rebellion.
In 1965, President Edgar L. Harden resigned over an argument with a Board of Control member. The next day, he retracted his resignation. Did student protests contribute to his decision?
Most university students in the country opposed the policies in Vietnam. This was not necessarily the case at Northern.
In the spring of 1967, students protested a variety of issues including housing, dress codes, food, and other campus issues.
In July of 1967, a history professor named Robert McClellan was fired for dubious reasons. Students and faculty rallied to his support and throughout 1967-1968 there were a string of protests, meetings, and court cases which culminated in McClellan's re-instatement.
In December of 1968, the Black Student Union held a sit-in at an important basketball game to protest the treatment of African American students at Northern.
The Job Corps was a federal program created to help poor teenagers and young people who had dropped out of high school gain the skills to have a job. In December of 1968, the Faculty Senate urged President Jamrich to not seek renewal of the Job Corps, which cased a bit of controversy.
In the spring of 1969, Vietnam protests heated up again on campus when an ROTC program opened at Northern. Nation-wide Vietnam moratoriums in the fall of 1969 also led to protests in Marquette.
In December of 1969, the Black Student Union held a sit-in in Dean Allan Niemi's office, again to protest the treatment of African American students at Northern. The largely peaceful protest led to the trial of the "Marquette Six" in the spring of 1970.
President of Northern Michigan University from 1956 to 1967.
President of NMU from 1968 to 1983.
The interim President of Northern during the 1967-1968 school year.
Dean of Students and later Vice President of the university during the protest era.
Head of the NMU Board of Control from 1967 to 1969
A history professor at Northern in 1965.
The head of the history department in 1967.
An English professor at Northern during the 1960s.
President and student senator in ASNMU student government.
Student leader of the spring 1967 protests.
Six African American students who were charged for the sit-in in Dean Niemi's office.
Student who sparked off the sit-in in Dean Allan Niemi’s office
This is a complex story that involves not only the student body but Northern faculty, staff, administration, and the Marquette community. The motivations for protesting and for resisting the protests were complicated, and the purposes were sometimes blurred.
This exhibition site was created to aid and to inform. Please explore the links and resources provided.
We would love to hear from you so that we might add your opinions and memories to this site, as well as to our records.
This site was lovingly created by the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives using primary sources that can be found in our collections.
The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives manages on-campus office records and houses historical manuscript collections pertaining to the central Upper Peninsula. Our department is utilized by the campus and local communities as well as internationally for administrative, scholarly, and genealogical research.
© 2015 Prepared and designed by student employees Annika Peterson, Anne Krohn, and Kelley Kanon