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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. 33 | May 6, 2009


Commencement updates

—by NAU Public Affairs

Commencement ceremonies and receptions will be held this weekend, and the weather is expected to be gorgeous, with highs in the upper 70s.

New information is now available for relatives and friends who are planning to attend.

With thousands of people on campus this weekend, traffic will be congested. Off-campus construction on Lone Tree Road, just east of campus, and on Butler Avenue, north of campus, most likely will add to any delays. The NAU Police Department (NAUPD) is working with the city of Flagstaff to reroute traffic where possible. The best advice is to be early and be patient.

Travelers going north on Interstate 17—and those traveling along I-40—may want to park on the southwestern end of campus where you will find large lots and shuttles to the ceremonies.

Streets on and around campus will have directional signs (see PDF map).

NAUPD is advising drivers who need assistance or have passengers needing assistance to park in the Skydome’s handicapped area, even if they do not have a handicap sticker for their vehicles. Dropping off handicapped or elderly guests outside of the dome and parking elsewhere will cause unnecessary delays.

Health Updates

A lot of media attention recently has been paid to swine influenza A, H1N1, also known as swine flu.

Tests have come back negative on a 19-year-old NAU student who health officials originally thought was a “probable” case of swine flu. The student is fully recovered, and the 24-hour phone bank that was established last week has been discontinued.

However, with the disease still spreading in parts of Arizona, health officials are asking relatives and friends who may be traveling to Flagstaff that if they are experiencing any signs of flu to please avoid the ceremonies and watch NAU’s webcast.

See the full schedule of events at

Tuition Payment Plan

—by Jaime Smith, Office of the Bursar

Do you have a student enrolling in fall ‘09 classes? Do you want to budget tuition expenses?

Have your student sign up for the tuition payment plan! The payment plan offers the opportunity to budget tuition expenses with an interest-free, predictable monthly payment option. If your student has enrolled in fall '09 classes, encourage him or her to sign up for the tuition payment plan early, before August 1st, to ensure the lower service fee rate of $70.

If payment is not received by the payment due date or the request form to be enrolled in the tuition payment plan is not submitted by the payment due date, the university will place your student in the payment plan automatically and the service fee will be $100. Students who are automatically placed on the payment plan are not eligible for the $30 savings.

Students who enroll in fall ‘09 classes after August 1st must pay for classes the same day they enroll or submit the tuition payment plan enrollment form the same day they enroll in classes to avoid the $100 automatic payment plan service fee. For further details about your student’s due dates, he or she should review the Student Center in LOUIE, and look under Finances > My Account > Account Inquiry > Charges Due.

Visit the Office of the Bursar for information and to sign up.

Ernest Calderón Elected President of the Arizona Board of Regents

Ernest Calderon

Phoenix attorney and Morenci, Ariz., native Ernest Calderón has been elected president of the Arizona Board of Regents effective July 1.

Calderón is an alumnus of Northern Arizona University, where he served as president of the Associated Students in 1978-79, and a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law. He is a former president of the State Bar of Arizona, former chairman of the Catholic Community Foundation, past Valley Leadership (metropolitan Phoenix) Man of the Year and was Arizona’s first Harry S. Truman Scholar. He has served seven Arizona governors by appointment.



Important Dates For Students

May 7

Native American Convocation

May 7

Hispanic Convocation

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.



Jul 10–
Jul 26

The Odd Couple
A Town and Gown Summer Theatre Production
Clifford E. White Theatre
July 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



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 English.


Bicycles on Campus

Celebrate bicycling and bicycle safety in May! Northern Arizona University continues to promote a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly campus with numerous bike and pedestrian trails and even a loaner-bicycle program.

Running through the center of campus is the pedway — a thoroughfare with lanes for both cyclists and pedestrians. Many students choose to have a bicycle on campus — it is one of the quickest ways to get around and a great way to see the beauty of campus.

If you plan to be on campus during graduation this weekend, you may find the pedway the quickest way in and out of the Skydome, and with spring flowers and trees blossoming, it is certainly one of the most scenic routes.


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.