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      Former Northern Michigan University president passes away

      Former Northern Michigan University President Bill Vandament

      Northern Michigan University announced on Monday that former President Bill Vandament passed away over the weekend. Vandament, 81, died on Saturday at his home in Signal Hill, California.

      Vandament came to NMU in June 1991 as the interim president but was asked by the Board of Trustees to become the full-time president in 1992. He was president of NMU during a time of substantial budget cuts but was still respected by NMU and the Marquette Community.

      "Bill Vandament was an exceptional leader of Northern Michigan University during a challenging time," said NMU President David Haynes. "I worked closely with Bill during his tenure as president, and I always admired his integrity, ability to bring people together to make strong decisions, his vision and his sense of humor."

      Students were also fond of Vandament. He would participate in student activities and even played with the pep band during hockey and basketball games, according to NMU.

      Vandament implemented the flat tuition rate, which continues today at NMU. He also had recognition plaques put up across campus for the people buildings are named after.

      "I think the relationships between the university and community was so strong when he was president, and the attitude on campus was one of pulling together," said former NMU interim president Mike Roy. "I think there were a lot of positives during that time about what the university was doing and, to a great extent, that was the way Bill did business. He was very unassuming and very easy going. He was a good mentor and a good coach for me and, I think, other people on campus, too. He was just that kind of person."

      There are no services planned, but in lieu of flowers, Vandament's family would appreciate contributions to the William and Margery Vandament Endowment Fund, Northern Michigan University Foundation, 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855.