Meet Our Alumni

Alum Bob Schopp ’69 stands on the field at Ponzio Stadium

For the Love of Learning

In the spring of 1965, I graduated from high school and looked forward to the end of my formal education. After four years of being force-fed information for seemingly no purpose other than regurgitation for exams, additional schooling was on the bottom of my list and the last thing I wanted for the next four…

Melissa Damaschke ’03 on a swing outside of the former Gaia’s Cradle, now the Diversity Center.

The Company You Keep

We usually think of a highway as straight. But the reality is, highways are full of twists and turns (along with the occasional bear or state trooper). My journey started with the image of a red canoe on a postcard, something rather useless in the metaphor but important in my relationship with Northland—and perhaps others’…

Pride Flag in the Ponzio Campus Center

The Story Behind the Pride Flag on Campus

As we reach the end of Pride Month, student intern Toni Alioto ’22 delves into the history of the pride flag—its creation, its meaning, and its continuous adaption to the changing landscape that is the LGBT2QAI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer/questioning, ally, intersex, +) community. The rainbow flag has become an international symbol for…

Becky Brun ’00 sits atop St. Peters Dome south of Ashland.

Half Hugger, Half Hooper

When I arrived at Northland and met my new basketball coach and teammates, it didn’t take long before I acquired the nickname “4-H’er—half hugger, half hooper.” I was the weirdo who didn’t eat meat and read books by the naturalist Edward Abbey, but I also loved shooting free throws, doing box-out drills, and practicing baseline…

How I Met My Husband, Our Illegal Wedding, and Other Adventures

I first met my husband at a Sunshine bike build. It was a warm September evening during my first week as a Northland freshman. A dozen or so students were beginning to assemble bikes from piles of parts laid out in the garage. In the yard, a variety of chilis and corn breads sat on…

Apostle Islands

A Dream Career That Started Here

How Northland Launched a Decades-long Environmental Journalism Career

Tim Carpenter ’74 led the way up the steep portage carrying a canoe on his shoulders. We were on a trip in 1972 through the Boundary Waters with Geology Professor Bruce Goetz for his five-week class Geology of Lake Superior. We had planned to go to Isle Royale but the ice stayed late that year…

Wheeler Bridge

Bridging a Passage

Bridges hold an innate magic. Spanning spaces that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible to pass, bridges give access and invite connection. How many bridges have you begun to cross only to pause at the center to take in your surroundings, to dare to peer over the edge, to consider the possibilities between here…

Northland College alum Scott Griffiths runs the SPARK program in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Fanning the Flame

Scott Griffiths '97 takes everything he's done in life and wraps into a package for teens.

You know that look someone has when they’re in love for the first time? The permanent half-smile like they’re recalling a joke from the night before, the easy laugh, lightness of step? That’s the look Scott Griffiths ’97 has. He glows. For one, he’s married to Kellie Pederson ’98, a ray of sunshine herself. The…

Portrait of April Stone, a Northland College alum

A Deeper Weave

April Stone '95

“I knocked forty-six years off that tree,” April Stone ’95 says, pointing back to her house. She’s referring to the pale, bark-less core of a black ash log atop a sawhorse. April lives at the southeastern corner of the Bad River Reservation, her house tucked in beneath an umbrella of healthy hardwoods. April separates black…

Northland College alum Halee Kirkwood holds books inside bookstore.

Where the Love Is

Halee Kirkwood '15 connects community through literature.

If Halee’s life were a book, it would be magical realism—one filled with dragons to slay, charming characters, and chance encounters gripped with meaning. Halee Kirkwood ’15, who uses the pronouns they/them/theirs, is an adjunct professor at Hamline University, editor of the literary journal Runestone, teacher at the Loft Literary Center, a poet and writer,…