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Northern Arizona University

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The Backpack

A news source for parents and families of NAU students


A publication of NAU Parents’ Association

Vol. 5 No. 23 | February 20, 2009

Students encouraged to provide input to improve campus.

NAU Master Plan

The University is seeking student input for the NAU Master Plan Update! How could NAU improve campus parking? Where should the university plan for more green space on campus? What’s the future for on-campus transit? Students can play a part in the university’s future by participating in one of three student forums February 23, 24, and 25.

Changing Majors

Choosing a major as a freshman doesn’t mean your student is stuck with it. Sometimes the major doesn’t turn out to be what your student expected. Life and interest changes may also prompt your student to consider changing his/her major. The Office of the Registrar and your Academic Advisor are available to help your student make any changes or additions necessary.

Your student can download the Undergraduate Major/Minor/Certificate Change Form (PDF, 35.4 KB) from the Registrar Forms page. If your student is considering a change to his/her major (including dual degree options), encourage your student to discuss his/her options with an academic advisor at the appropriate college (for major, minor, or certificate).

Please be aware that changes to a major may have an effect on your student's status in certain university programs including but not limited to: Western Undergraduate Exchange, Finish in Four, Athletics, International Students, and Honors.

Gold Axe applications due March 11

The Office of Student Life is asking parents to encourage outstanding graduating seniors to apply for the Gold Axe Award by 5 p.m. March 11.

The Gold Axe Award is presented each semester to seniors who have made outstanding contributions to the university in academic performance, service, and extracurricular activities.

The application and information can be accessed from the Student Life Awards and Recognition web site.

Athletics News

WHAT’S ON TAP: The men’s and women’s basketball programs host a rare doubleheader Saturday, February 21, starting at 2:05 p.m. against Sacramento State. The women’s tennis team is on the road for a trio of matches at New Mexico State.

  • Feb 21, Women’s Basketball, Sacramento State, Walkup Skydome, Flagstaff, 2:05 p.m.
  • Feb 21, Men’s Basketball, Sacramento State, Walkup Skydome, Flagstaff, 4:35 p.m.

More athletics news this week…

Student Spotlight

Lauren Elizabeth Klein

Name: Lauren Elizabeth Klein
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Major: Theatre Performance
Class: Senior ‘09

“The highlight of my NAU career thus far has to be participating in The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival last year in Los Angeles. Not only did we perform The Cripple Of Inishmaan in our regional competition, but I was also selected as a semi-finalist for a national acting scholarship.

“I am very excited for the upcoming production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Every aspect of this show is wonderful. From the beautiful costume designs and magnificent set design to the extraordinary talent of everyone in the cast, I think no matter who you are, you will enjoy it.”

Events and Happenings

Author and lecturer scheduled

Ellen Dissanayake, the author of What Is Art For?, will be speaking at the Cline Assembly Hall, Wednesday, February 25, at 7 p.m.

NAU School of Music brings the Vienna Boys Choir

Vienna Boys Choir

One of the highlights of the season includes a rare performance by the Vienna Boys Choir on February 28, in Ardrey Auditorium, at 8:00 p.m.

Founded in 1498 by Emperor Maximilian I, this ensemble has performed around the world. Many world-class composers and musicians developed their skills in the ensemble, including Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert.



Important Dates


Housing reapplication

Mar 1

Fourth rent payment due for the spring semester

Mar 13

Last day to drop with a “W”

Mar 16–20

Spring break

Mar 23

Early enrollment begins for continuing students


Summer session enrollment continues

Apr 24

Undergrad graduation application deadline for Fall ‘09 commencment

May 1

Instruction ends

May 4–7

Final exams

May 8

Residence halls close for spring semester

May 8–9


College of Arts and Letters
Events Highlights

All events are free unless noted. For more events and information visit Sign up for a weekly email reminder at


Films are shown at the Cline Assembly Hall at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Feb 21–22

The 3rd Annual Tournées French Film Festival

La Faute à Fidel, Sat | 3 p.m.
Persepolis, Sat | 5 p.m.
La Vie en rose, Sat | 7 p.m.
La Tourneuse de pages, Sun | 1 p.m.
Une Vieille Maîtresse, Sun | 3 p.m.

Feb 23

The Business of Fancy Dancing (2002)
Part of the Native American Film Series, celebrating indigenous film makers. Written and directed by Sherman Alexie


Feb 25

Symphonic Band
Ardrey Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Elliott Tackitt, conductor


Feb 27–28; Mar 1*, 4–7

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Clifford E. White Theatre
Curtain: 8 p.m., *2 p.m.
Tickets available at 928-523-5661


Feb 10–
Mar 26

2009 School of Art Faculty Exhibit
NAU Art Museum


Feb 24

Sherman Alexie, 7 p.m.
Ardrey Auditorium
Sherman Alexie wrote, directed, and plays a small part in the film Business of Fancy Dancing, showing Feb 23

Student Health Tip

There are so many reasons to celebrate good heath and fitness in February! February is not just about chocolate and roses, but it is American Heart Month.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. While a sobering statistic, let it serve as a call-to-action for you. The good news is that there are preventative measures such as physical activity or monitoring your weight that you can start today! The federal government recently issued guidelines suggesting that adults should be getting at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate activity ( That’s 30 minutes five days each week. The Recreation Center is ready to help your student get motivated.

Tell your student(s) to take advantage of the following FREE activities:

  • Swimming at the Wall Aquatic Center
  • Climbing Wall
  • Group Exercise Classes

This week’s tip brought to you by:
Campus Recreation Services.

University News

NAU President Talks Budget

NAU President John Haeger invites you to watch a video segment addressing frequent questions about the budget situation. You’ll find the video posted on the Inside NAU Facebook page (scroll down to the YouTube Box section).

Read more university news at Inside NAU.


Blue Gap Boy'z Photographer Demonstration NAU events this week

The Parents’ Association BackPack electronic newsletter is published weekly by the NAU Parents’ Association for parents and families of Northern Arizona University students. Please direct questions or comments to You can support the Parents’ Association by visiting our website.