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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 the Office of Parent Services

Vol. 5 No. 32 | May 1, 2009


NAU has ‘probable’ case of swine flu

The Arizona Department of Health Services has said that a 19-year-old Northern Arizona University student has a “probable” case of swine influenza A, H1N1, also known as swine flu.

We are operating under normal business conditions with the consent of the county health department. The schedule for classes, final exams, convocations, and commencement remains unchanged.

The university has not seen a widespread outbreak of any flu, but continues to monitor the situation with the county and is following health guidelines from the CDC.

A 24-hour phone bank has been set up to address any questions from students or parents: 928-523-0007. More information is available at

—NAU Public Affairs

Spring Graduation Information


You made it! If your son or daughter is graduating next week, congratulations! This is a wonderful accomplishment and you are, no doubt, very proud. Spring 2009 Commencement activities begin in full on Friday, May 8, but don’t forget about some of the convocations earlier in the week and the Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday. The commencement schedule is posted online, along with information about visiting campus, portraits and videos, and caps and gowns.

The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau has a great list of hotels and motels (book early!) and dining options around the Flagstaff campus.

If you or any of your guests will require reasonable accommodation to participate in commencement activities, please contact Betty Zanot at 928-523-3312 or e-mail in the next few days to allow time to arrange the accommodation.

—Derek Hansen

Convocation Reminder

Everyone is welcome to attend the Native American (3:30 p.m. at Ardrey Auditorium) or Hispanic Convocations (5:30 p.m. at du Bois Ballroom) May 7. To accommodate visitors, please RSVP by May 1 (Native American Convocation, call: 928-523-8086; Hispanic Convocation, call: 928-523-5656).

Mother’s Day Brunch

Time to nudge a subtle hint. NAU is sponsoring a Mother’s Day Brunch, Sunday, May 10! After the graduation celebration, wake up and relax to a brunch just for you. Students can apply left over Dining Dollars toward the meal.

WHEN: May 10
TIME: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
PLACE: High Country Conference Center
RSVP: Call 928-523-9521 to make reservations
COST: The brunch is $28 per person inclusive. Kids ages 10 and under are free
CONTACT: Janis Hunt, Director of Sales at 928-523-7778 or Bob Jones Director of Food and Beverage 928-523-1051

—Derek Hansen

Residence Halls Closing

Take note! Residence halls close for spring semester by noon on May 8. Students need to have their belongings moved out before that deadline. For some, it makes sense to keep certain belongings in Flagstaff over the summer. There are several self storage options in Flagstaff to choose from. Students living in Tinsley Hall or those staying for summer terms do not need to clear their belongings. Check with Residence Life for any specific questions.

Bicycling on Campus

Bicycling on Campus

The City of Flagstaff, in collaboration with Flagstaff Biking, is offering a FREE Traffic Skills 101 course Saturday, May 2, 2009 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Thorpe Park Community Center, 245 North Thorpe Road, Flagstaff. Participants will learn how to predict and avoid crashes, on-bike skills, state bicycle laws, and more. To sign up for the course, please contact Martin Ince, Multi-Modal Transportation Planner, at 928-226-4850 or

If you or your student will be in town Saturday, May 16, you may want to use your cycling prowess to support a good cause. Synergy Total Fitness is hosting an all-day indoor cycling ride—A Healthy Spin On Life—to benefit the Northland Family Help Center. Donations are collected for how long your ride ($1 per minute). One hundred percent of the donation will support the center.

Does your student want a bike but can’t afford one? NAU continues to provide the FREE Yellow Bike Program, allowing students to “borrow” a university bicycle to get around campus.



Important Dates For Students

May 1

Instruction ends

May 4–7

Final exams

May 7

Native American Convocation
RSVP by May 1 to 928-523-8086

May 7

Hispanic Convocation
RSVP by May 1 to 928-523-5656

May 8

Residence halls close for spring semester at noon

May 8–9


May 10

Mother’s Day Brunch

May 11

3- and 12-week summer sessions begin

May 25

Memorial Day Holiday—University closed

Jun 1

First 5-week and 10-week summer sessions begin

College of Arts and Letters

Event Highlights

For a full listing of events and information visit, or subscribe to the CAL Events newsletter by sending an e-mail to

All events are free unless noted.



May 1

Viola Studio Recital
Student Ensemble Series
Ashurst Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

May 1

Season Finale Concert
Student Ensemble Series
Performances by the NAU Shrine of the Ages Choir and Chamber Singers
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 7:30 p.m.

May 1

Percussion Ensemble Concert
Student Ensemble Series
Ardrey Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

May 2

20th-21st Century Music
Faculty Artist Series
Mary Frances DiBartolo, cello;
Shelley Rich, violin;
Chen-Ju Chiang, piano
Ashurst Auditorium, 3 p.m.

May 3

NAU Symphony Orchestra featuring the 2008 NAU Concerto Competition Winners
Berlioz - "Villanelle," "Sur les Langunes," and "Absence," from Les Nuits D'Ete; Villa-Lobos - Fantasia; Mendelssohn - Concerto No. 1; Hanson - Symphony No. 2, Romantic
Ardrey Auditorium, 3 p.m.

May 4

Student Chamber Music Series
String and Piano Chamber Music Recital
Ashurst Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.



Jun 10–
Jul 26

The Odd Couple
A Town and Gown Summer Theatre Production
Clifford E. White Theatre
Jun 10-11, 17-18, and 24-25 at 8 p.m.
July 12, 19, and 26 at 2 p.m.
Tickets ($10 general admission/$8 students) will be available soon at 928-523-5661



May 1

BFA Exhibition
Beasley Gallery

Jun 2–
Jul 31

"Reflections of the Land"
Art from the Diablo Trust
NAU Art Museum


May 28–30

Summer non-fiction workshop with David Shields
Riles Building, Room 206
10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Registration is $95. For more information or to register contact Nicole Walker at 928-523-6207. Presented by the Department of Theatre.

Student Health Tip

Warm spring weather has finally returned to Flagstaff. Students are peeling off layers of clothing and basking in the sun. Exposure to sunlight—while it can be invigorating and a great source of vitamin D—can damage the skin. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can penetrate the skin and injure it, causing sunburns and suntans, both signs of skin damage. Students, especially those with fair skin, burn more easily at high altitude. Because Flagstaff is at 7,000 feet, the sun’s rays are 28-35 percent more intense here than they are at sea level. So, taking a few precautions to protect the skin, while enjoying the warmth and fresh air, may have long-term benefits. We suggest you encourage your student to generously apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher that provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to all exposed skin and to reapply sunscreen every two hours while outdoors, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Enjoy the sun and have a safe, healthy spring.

—Jo Cahill, MS, RD
Fronske Health Center


Local Flagstaff events Commencement May8-9 NAU events this week

The BackPack electronic newsletter is published weekly by the Office of Parent Services for parents and families of Northern Arizona University students. Please direct questions or comments to

To learn more about the Office of Parent Services see our website.