A Legacy for Students at the Place They Call Home
Cam and Sandy Howes are one of the few couples who can claim they moved south to come to Marquette when they arrived 30 years ago—and now they are giving back to the community they call home with a legacy gift to Northern Michigan University.
When Cam moved from England to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon, he had every intention of returning to his native country. Those plans faded quickly after electing to attend graduate school at the University of Toledo—where he met Sandy, who was also a graduate student.
After graduation the Howes moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they both found teaching positions—Cam at the University of Manitoba and Sandy in the Winnipeg public school systems. But soon thereafter Cam was offered a position at Northern Michigan University in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department. The Howes didn’t know it then, but a move to Northern Michigan University would be the move they now call home.
For the last 30 years, Cam has been an important part of the Marquette and NMU community. He’s been both the dean of professional studies at NMU and served as a Marquette city commissioner. His family has been deeply involved with the community, and NMU has always supported that.
“The highlight for me,” stated Cam, “was I was always in the right place at the right time with a great group of people to work with. You’re very rarely, if ever, told no at Northern. If you have an idea, you can give it a try: If it works, great; if it doesn’t, that’s fine too.”
The Howes have fond memories of their time at NMU. Cam remembers the fall football games on old Memorial Field, strolling around campus with Rick Comley with their pockets bulging as they handed out tickets for hockey matches when NMU first created its now rich hockey program. He recalls the electric campus atmosphere when Ohio State or Michigan would come to town. And he describes the view from his office window as the construction of the Superior Dome took place.
Cam’s fondest memories, though, come from helping students. “We are both interested in helping students, especially students having financial problems, in getting back to school,” he said. “Sandy’s a member of a philanthropic education organization, so we thought any gift that we gave we’d want to help enable students to go to school.”
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