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MSU-N History

About MSU-Northern

The 2004-2005 75th Anniversary Celebration
Images of 75th Events
75th Anniversary Quilt

Congratulatory Letters


What was college life like "back then?" How "good" were the "good old days?" What was your most remarkable memory of Northern? Did you meet your future spouse here? What great and wonderful stories do you have to share with us? Here are some of the memories of Northern that people shared with us.

Collage of Northern photos

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On January 25th, 2005, Deb Carver O'Neil wrote:

I have many memories from NMC. The best was meeting the man that would become my husband. That is a memory that we add to each day. I loved working at the library with Lesley Butler. We created a display about the history of NMC which enabled me to spend time with my favorite instructor, Mr. Hagener. Working on the Student Activities Board with Jack Bogacz was delightful and character building. His slide shows at the end of the year were always such a hit! I was a member of Spurs and the singing Valentines are vivid in my memory. The automotive department was especially fun because the instructor would line all of the guys up and have the man of honor stand in the middle while we sang. My roommates and friends are still a very large part of my life and I thank NMC for the education and the lasting memories.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1985, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

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On January 12th, 2005, Ray Watson wrote:

A Memorable Moment at Northern
First, it must be understood that this memory is not memorable unless one understands the time period in which it occurred.
1. There were probably no TV sets in Havre in the Fall of 1952.
2. All radio stations had live "disc jockeys" & announcers and radio was one of the main sources of entertainment.
3. William E. Lisenby, Professor of English at NMC, was also a radio announcer for local station KOJM and was head of the Radio Club at NMC.
4. Carl Lawrence was a full time announcer at KOJM and was the host of a very successful "call-in" request music show called "Spinning Bandstand" from 10:00 P.M. to 12:00 P.M. nightly. Listeners could call the station and request certain songs to be aired for themselves, friends or as a special message to a special individual. This was a nationally recognized show honored by Eugenie Baird of NYC. "Spinning Bandstand" was very popular locally because of the music played and the verbal chatter by Carl. Several members of the Radio Club helped Carl at the local transmitter by finding the songs requested and then re-filing the 78 RPM's in the station library.
5. The movie "Moulin Rouge" had just come to the theatres and bandleader, Percy Faith's, recording of "The Song from Moulin Rouge" was very popular, although the members of the Radio Club did not know what "Moulin Rouge" meant.
6. Almost all dances at the college had music performed by live dance bands which could cost between $50.00 and $100.00 per night.
7. The Radio Club decided to sponsor a dance called the "Moulin Rouge" and really make it different.
8. "The Dance" was to be formal. Ladies had to wear dresses & men had to wear ties to be admitted. A special bar was set up in a classroom & the entire event was held in the old Student Union Building. The bar would serve special concoctions of non-alcoholic drinks that could be ordered from a drink list provided at every table. All drinks and/or snacks would be served on 16" aluminum 78 RPM records used by the radio station. The orchestra was represented by musical instruments suspended from the ceiling. The actual music was provided by Carl Lawrence's "Spinning Bandstand", using what was then "cutting edge" technology. We actually had phone lines between the KOJM transmitter and the SUB so Carl could do his "talking" from the dance floor & the records requested were played from the transmitter across the river. So--the whole "Spinning Bandstand" program plus one extra hour was broadcast from the SUB while providing the actual dance music at the same time. While it does not sound very complex today, this dance required much planning plus decorating and the "technology" to make it work and it was very successful

Year/Degree: 1953, 2 Yr. college -- no degree

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On December 17th, 2004, Emmy Olson wrote:

Overall, I had a great time and lots of experiences at Northern. I enjoyed going to class, meeting new people, and especially playing volleyball. I miss college so much and definitely am thankful for the wonderful friendships I have made!

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 2004, Bachelor of Science in Business Technology

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On December 15th, 2004, Larry J. Williams wrote:

I loved the old "Goose". I learned to drive it and would go to the railroad depot to pick up arriving students. We also drove it in the parades and to football games. I recently was viewing some old 8 mm movies that I took in 1958 on the campus of NMC. There were shots of the homecoming parade and of the "Goose". My years at Northern were then -- and still are some of the best times of my life.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1961 B.S. Business Education

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On December 14th, 2004, Sharon Buell Pocock wrote:

Two most memorable memories @ MSU Northern were:

  1. First day at Northern I was in the phone booth making a call home to let my folks know I arrived safely. I couldn't get out of the phone booth because "Lance" the German Shepherd dog, who belonged to the dietician, was sitting by the door not about to let me escape! After I was finally released Lance and I became great friends.
  2. Second most memorable time was when I was a bit late getting back from a dance at the Sub and the dorm door was locked, so my friend & I figured out a way, with the help of some friendly residents, how to come up the fire escape!

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1951

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On December 9th, 2004, Sherry M. Winn wrote:

There were many fond memories of the days that I coached the Skylights. I loved every day that we practiced, because the players gave such incredible intensity to every drill they ran. I cannot single out a best moment, because there were so many highlights during the five seasons that I coached. We won five Frontier Conferences, attended five national tournaments, and won the National Championship in 1993. While the wins were significant, it was the players who made it so special. I still hear from many of them. There is not a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed for having the opportunity to have coached the Skylights. It was a special time in my life.

Alum? No

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On December 8th, 2004, Bob Knutson wrote:

Too many to list, Northern ROCKS - miss the old place

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: Diesel Tech 1987

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On December 8th, 2004, Kristine (Weyh) Dramstad wrote:

When I entered as a Freshman in the Fall of 1965, I was excited most about meeting new people and made many friends who lived on campus. I think my real major that I hoped to attain was the Mrs. Degree. I did meet my husband that year and were married in 1968. We are still married and are still in Havre. I have been at the college for 33 plus years and am very proud to be a part of Northern's legend. My husband, Rex, retired from the Havre Police Department and now works at the Customs and Border Patrol Sector Headquarters (Department of Homeland Security) in Havre. We have one grandchild and are spoiling him rotten. It truly has been a remarkable journey for me. Being a part of the many changes and advancements that have taken place over the years, the friends and co-workers that have come and gone, and the faculty and administrators I have known and worked with (and for) are memories that I will cherish forever. I would not be where I am today with out their continued support and guidance.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1967 Medical Secretary; 1994 BT Business

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On December 7th, 2004, Rich Winters wrote:

To a guy from the Eastside of Chicago, the bustling town of Havre, Montana looked like a Hollywood sound stage. Streets clear of clutter, tidy storefronts, rust free vehicles and warm, friendly people stretching from the Great Northern Beanery all the way to Beaver Creek. The Orpheum, Lyric and Havre theatres. The Hub, Owl drug, Marra's Meats, Buttreys, Super Save, Safeway, the ladies at Vita Rich Dairy, Danny's Saloon and the "scope-a-tone". Harrison Lane, Dr. Craig, Bill Lisenby, Pinky the janitor and "Gundy's" Social Studies classes. Coaches Chuck Ross, Ted Kato, Tom Reynolds, Tom Neilsen and Arnie Keck. Doc White and Ms. Ophus. Bobby Vinton's concert, the "Goose" and Michael Simeone's food service. Panty raids at Cowan Hall. Charlotte Flickinger. Adolph Klies and Ralph Frank. 2s draft status, Lee's Tavern and Dr. Jim Elliott. McClain's grocery, Father Penna, Patterson's Clothing, Blacks Jewelry, Overcasts' Northside barbershop. Angstman Motors and Clyde's In-Out drive in. Judge Leon Stallcup, Hjalmer’s and Tiger Evans' service stations. Casey the bike-riding paper boy. Homecoming victories and precarious mountain bus rides. The Mule Barn. THANKS for the memories Havre and NMC.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1968, Bachelor of Science Secondary Education

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On December 7th, 2004, Bob Olson wrote:

I had many wonderful times at Northern. One of the most memorable was when I took a Contemporary History class from Dick Vanderpool. One of Dick's requirements was that in order to get an A in his class you had to do a term paper and/or oral presentation based on your term paper otherwise you couldn't get an A even if you had a 100% average. I had an A average so I decided to do the term paper. Being a typical college student I put it off until the last week of the quarter. As a result I had to stay up 72 hours straight to get it typed up and turned in on time. I wasn't much of a coffee drinker back then but I went through more pots of coffee than I would normally drink in a month just to stay awake. I was exhausted by the time I finished the report, so I took a cold shower to stay awake and then jumped in my Corvette and headed for the college. My report was on the history of contemporary music. I gave an oral report and played some records to help illustrate some of the bands and musicians I reported about. I hadn't finished my report when the bell rang signaling the end of the class. I got a standing ovation and the class asked if they could stay and listen to the rest of the report. Dick Vanderpool said yes and many of the students stayed and listened to the rest of it. I went immediately home afterwards and slept for 17 hours straight. When Mr. Vanderpool handed back my written term paper he gave me an A+ and had a note on their that it was almost good enough for a Master's Thesis. I couldn't believe it so I went in and asked him about it. He said all I needed was a little more research and a few more footnotes. This was in 1973. Dick had his Master's Degree at this time and I asked him if he minded if I asked him a personal question. He said no, so I asked him how much he made. His answer was $16,000.00. I was only a freshman in college at the time but I knew I could be making $16,000.00 a year within 3 years without finishing college. So I quit college and worked in the paint and glass business until 1989. I had hurt my back playing football and working in the construction business only made it worse. It got so bad that I could no longer work construction. So I returned to Northern later in life and received my Degree in 1989.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1989 Bachelor of Science Education-P.E. & Business

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On December 6th, 2004, Bob Waldron wrote:

I was impressed with the curriculum at MSUN - I had no idea what a program you have there. I have been pointing this out to my high schoolers who are looking at a college to go to when they graduate.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: M.Ed. 1996

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On December 6th, 2004, Alma Shettel Seidel wrote:

Donaldson Hall was home for two years and what wonderful experiences we had with so much fun with fellow classmates. The first trip to the dining room where it was very formal was quite an experience for most of us. We had hostesses at each table who dished up our food. We all took turns being hostesses. Some of the girls served as waitresses and were dressed in matching uniforms. What a super learning experience for events that would be part of our lives in later years. Every Wednesday dinner was a dress up (nylons and dresses) affair and once or twice a year, the boys would be invited to put their suits on and join us for dinner. When I sat at the head table at the Senate Caucus Room in Washington D.C., believe me those experiences surfaced as to knowing what to do in this formal setting. We all loved Kickie, the cook, and kept in contact with her until her death many years later. She was an adopted Grandma. We would have dorm meetings and parties. The Christmas parties and serving as pixies to a dorm mate for a couple weeks made for festive tradition. There was also the kitchen in the rec room in basement where we could do a little cooking or play some table tennis. The wonderful friendships that I made over fifty years ago continue today. There is a group of NMC alumni who gather every September to renew acquaintances and relive our NMC days. I met my spouse while attending NMC but he was not a student, however he was a friend of a student who thought we should meet. While we were living in Donaldson Hall we watched with careful eyes the progress in the building of Cowan Hall. A few classes were held in Cowan Hall during our sophomore year, but probably best memories are the roller skating parties we would have in the room that is now the Little Theatre. Dr. Brockmann was president during our years and his wife taught a weaving class that I took with Mr. Bill Lisenby and others. I believe it was only offered for a short time, but it was a good experience. Our geography class was held in the farm building which was little more than a garage. It was located in the area of the farm building. The library was located in the Presbyterian church on Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street. Yes, we only had ten minutes between classes to walk to the library class and ten minutes to get to next class on campus. East Hall was used for art and music classes plus it also contained the business office. The Student Union Building was just a small building which was torn down to build present building. Dances were held there. At one of the dances, the chairman was working hard for fundraising. A set of car tires came through the auction and he decided that they would fit his car, so he bid them in. Thinking he had made a really good deal by getting these tires, he went to his car only to find his car up on blocks. The tires had been taken from his car. Basketball games were held at the old Havre High gym. We girls would walk down and cheer the team on. There were very few cars parked at the dorm. Off campus entertainment was usually at the Lyric or Orpheum Theaters located on First Street. The Lyric had a cheaper rates than Orpheum. It was quite a walk from dorm to theaters, but we would go in a group and have fun along the way. There was also the College Inn on the curve just off campus that we would occasionally visit for a special treat. Certainly I would not trade my experiences at NMC. The memories and friends are worth a million.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1954, Two year Elementary Ed and 1972 ,BS Elementary Ed

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On December 6th, 2004, Vicke (Caves) Larson Schend wrote:

As I entered into my sophomore year at NMC, I clearly remember the sadness of not returning to live in Donaldson Hall, but the excitement of moving to a brand new women's dormitory with all it's "luxuries", except for not having sinks in our rooms. With this change to the new dorm, came changes that as Dorm President needed to be lobbied to with the President and the Dean of Students. The biggest issue was letting boys come up to the various floors and into our rooms. Coming from a small rural school, I'd had no past experience in representing a large body of women to the likes of Dr. Crowley and Cindy Bryson. I always credit their gracious manner in helping me develop confidence in expressing my opinions. Thanks to NMC for everything you've done for me!

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1972 , Secretarial Diploma

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On December 6th, 2004, Carol DiNatale wrote:

I carry the fondest memories of Northern. Always will! However when I started it was Northern Montana College. From the basement of the SUB when Chad Peck and I worked on the NOMOCO into the long hours of the night, working at the Information Desk in the SUB with Denise Brewer (Hi Denise!) and Mssrs. Bill Lanier and Bill Brosmer, Dr. Gilmartin's classes, Dr. Sylvester's history classes when he would read to us from the headlines of the paper and we would look at him wondering what he was up to, Dr. Sly and I arguing about issues through the paper, Dr. Wiberg's classes, I could go on...but I think I can sum it up with the friendships and bonds that I forged and still maintain, Northern holds good memories for me. GO LIGHTS!

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1995, Bachelor of Arts in IDST Community Services

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On September 14th, 2004, Adrienne Swartz wrote:

Everything about my time at Northern was a wonderful experience. The year that sticks out the most was the year I was a cheerleader. Even though we weren't always the best team, it felt great to see the pride that we as a community hold for Northern. Another exciting time was when I was researching archives for the University Relations Department to help with the 75th Anniversary. It was amazing to see how far Northern has come and the changes that made our campus what it is today.

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 2004, Bachelor of Arts Liberal Studies

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On September 10th, 2004, Frank Kerins Interim President of NMC, 1989-1990,wrote:

This is a note to let you know that Mary and I will be unable to join in the celebration on Northern's 75th anniversary next week. We had hoped to attend; the reason for this late response is that we wanted to work out the schedule. We had even decided that we wanted to ride in the "Galloping Goose."

We do appreciate the invitation. Northern will always have a very special place in our hearts. Our very best wishes to you and everyone there on this wonderful occasion.

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On September 5th, 2004, H. Warren Gardner Interim President of NMC, 1977-1978, wrote:

My family and I recall our Havre days with great fondness, with such good friends on campus as well as in the community. It was great to be associated with and working alongside leaders such as Tom and Gail Reynolds, Charlie Clikeman, Keith Clawson, Nancy Vanderpool among others, as well as the many fine and dedicated faculty members. And we are delighted with the many changes, improvements and progress that the campus has made over the years. We realize that many of these did not come without pain, but the fact Northern is flourishing today is a great credit to you all who have provided leadership there.

Have a great anniversary and we look forward to a future visit once again to the campus.

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On August 25th, 2004, Stacy Vinberg wrote:

Just trying to fill out the "year and degree attained" portion was tough after all these years. Had to think a bit on that????? It seems like yesterday that I walked those sidewalks and sat in those classrooms, but in fact, it's been 14 years since graduating. Time gets away. My most profound memory of Northern was being an RA and working with all the other RAs at the time. Larry, Amy, Van, Tammy, Bob, Ross, Dennis, Deb -- we had a great time working those halls and late night shifts...hope all of them are doing well as I've lost contact with them. My other good memories are of the faculty and staff with whom I worked and studied. Thanks to Dr. Barber for apparently making business law so interesting to me that I went on to law school!!! I hope all of you have a great time celebrating the 75th!!

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1990 Bachelor of Technology

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On August 6, 2004, Barb Coffman wrote:

Many thoughts and remembrances come to mind (17 years worth already – yikes, no wonder my hair is getting gray).

  • the faculty and staff
  • starting the Science/Math Club - purchasing the scone booth from the Mormon church (this summer is 15 years already)
  • starting METC
  • playing in the Northern Community Concert Band, Pep Band and Brass Choir (Especially at President Merwin’s Christmas party)
  • Student Excellence Awards & Scholarships
  • short lived dorm life
  • explosions in science labs
  • some of the drives between the farm and Northern with other students
  • waiting out at the weigh station for the Northern women to return from
  • winning the NAIA Basketball title
  • funny things that happened while working with Martha Ann
  • 12 of us surviving the class from hell so we could graduate
  • making new friends that are lasting a lifetime
  • ...on and on and on

Alum? Yes
Year/Degree: 1990 A.S. Agricultural Technology; 1990 Certificate Water Quality Technology; 1991 A.S. Environmental Health: Water Quality Technology; 1993 B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies: Chemistry Concentration, Water Quality Concentration; 2001 M.E. General Science Teacher Education: Thesis Option – “Abundance of Green and Blue-green Algae in Relation to Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Total Suspended Solids of Selected Facultative Wastewater Lagoon Effluents in Montana"