Lumberjack Love
Lumberjack Love
Vol. 17 Edition 4  |  September 29, 2020
Lumberjack families meeting virtually.

Presidential Family Weekend Address

Dear Parent,
We are excited to welcome our Lumberjack families to our Virtual Family Weekend 2020.
One of our oldest traditions, Family Weekend has been an opportunity for families to visit with students after they have had a chance to settle into campus, attend classes, meet friends and professors, and take in the full experience of campus life.
This year, to keep families, students, and our communities safe, we have transitioned our Family Weekend to a virtual experience. We are excited to welcome parents who have made this a tradition over the years and families who are new to NAU. We also hope that through this format, we will be able to reach new families who were not able to join us in the past due to distance or other circumstances. We are excited you will be able to join us virtually!
The creativity and resilience our organizing committee – made up of students, faculty, and staff – has shown assembling these virtual events is a reflection of our Lumberjack spirit, and we hope you join, participate, and leave feeling a newfound sense of excitement.
This year’s Family Weekend will kick off with a virtual celebration on Friday Oct. 2 of Hispanic Heritage Month, hosted by the Office of First-Generation Programs and the Office of Inclusion.
Other events include an “Away” 5K, NAU’s Recognition of Academic Achievement ceremony, a virtual mind-reading show, and a speed caricature sketching event. We are also accepting recipes for a Fall 2020 "Recipes from Home" cookbook that will be shared in the Oct. 13 Backpack newsletter. If you are in town, we invite you to come by the University Starbucks on Oct. 3 as teams will be handing out home-made treats until we run out.
For a full schedule of events, to register, and to plan your weekend activities, visit the Virtual Family Weekend website.
We very much look forward to joining you online, receiving your recipes, and seeing you support your students through our virtual weekend!
Very best,

Rita Hartung Cheng

NAU President

Virtual Family Weekend Schedule of Events

We are so excited to welcome you to participate in virtual Family Weekend 2020. Enclosed in this edition of the Backpack are the details about the virtual events taking place this weekend. Please visit the Family Weekend website for updates and registration information as well as the complete list of events.
NAU faculty participating virtually outdoors.


First-Gen Friday
The Office of First-Generation Programs, in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion, invites you to join us to celebrate National Latinx Heritage Month from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Hear from first-generation NAU alumni, staff, and faculty; and network, ask questions, and celebrate the Hispanic/Latina/o/x first-gen college student identity!
Check the Family Weekend website for registration information.
NAU student running on a treadmill.


Annual Campus Recreation Family Weekend “Away” 5K

We are making plans for a little friendly virtual competition where you can run, jog, or walk the course of your choice and share your time and route with the Lumberjack family. Prizes will be awarded for:
  • Best Lumberjack Route Experience
  • Most NAU Spirit
  • Most Creative Route
Check the Family Weekend website for registration information.
The Recognition of Academic Achievement ceremony
This is a virtual celebration of those students who have carried a minimum of 30 academic units and whose GPAs were in the top 10 percent of NAU’s class at the end of the spring 2020 semester. This virtual celebration will be available for everyone to view on the NAU Social YouTube channel beginning Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. AZ/MST.
Registration is required for student participation/recognition. Students have been notified if they are eligible to participate via an email invitation. For questions regarding this event, please contact
Home-Made Treats
Since we know you’d spoil your Lumberjack with delicious food if you were here, Parent and Family Services will be giving away a special Family Weekend sweet treat to Lumberjacks. We’ll be out on the Pedway near the University Starbucks on Saturday, Oct. 3 starting at 11 a.m. until we run out. 
NAU staff attending a virtual event.

Saturday Evening Entertainment Events

Speed Sketchers Virtual Caricatures
Join fellow Lumberjacks and families as we bring an amazing Speed Sketcher caricature artist virtually to campus! Using Zoom video services, we will create an event where attendees can join us and raise their hand "digitally" to let the artist know they would like their caricature drawn. The artist will upload the digital caricatures to a site where you can download your drawing for print or social media.
Check the Family Weekend website for registration information.
Virtual Mind-Reading Show
Participate in this virtual performance by Mark Toland, a master mind-reader and mentalist. Remotely, using Zoom video service, Mark can entertain folks with his mind-reading skills. These types of performances might be just the thing to help keep your student’s mind off the world around them, connect with others, and keep them focused on their studies.
Check the Family Weekend website for registration information.
Text Breakers Virtual Game Show
Text Breakers hosts this hilarious game show virtually! Play on any laptop, tablet, or mobile device – just download the Zoom app! Once you log in, you'll see everyone else who's playing in a video group chat. Steve, your show's host, will then explain the game rules including how to text in your answers. Fun games you'll play include Trivia, Guess the Picture, Fill in the Blank, and so many others. All answers are texted in from your phone and shown on the screen for everyone to see and laugh at together.
Check the Family Weekend website for registration information.
NAU students wearing NAU face coverings.

Events Available All Weekend

Recipes from Home
Share a little piece of your family with us! Parent and Family Services is collecting our Lumberjacks' favorite recipes from home. Share a family recipe with the NAU community in our Fall 2020 "Recipes from Home" cookbook. Want to submit a recipe? The submission deadline is Oct. 3 at 10:00 p.m.. A PDF of the cookbook will be shared in the Oct. 13 edition of The Backpack newsletter.
NAU Spirit Wear
Visit the NAU Bookstore online and stock up on Lumberjack t-shirts, hats, NAU face-coverings, and other spirit items to rep NAU pride in your community. Your Lumberjack would love a Bookstore gift card or an NAU sweatshirt to stay cozy and warm as the temperatures drop. 
Care package from home.

Supporting your Lumberjack from Home

Creating a Care Package from Home
Nothing’s better than a care package from home. Here are some ideas to support your student from a distance:
  • A Taste of Home: Your best cookies, a postcard from a local restaurant, and a photo of the family dog will warm your Lumberjack’s heart and fill their tummy.
  • Digital Gifts: An e-gift card, email updates, or a funny e-card are quick and easy ways to connect.
  • Holiday in a Box: Fall holidays are coming up and some fun decorations will lift your Lumberjack’s spirits.
  • Smooth Transition: Help your student get that all-important sleep with a gift of earplugs, sleeping mask, and chamomile or sleepytime tea.
  • The Essentials: Everyone needs to stock up on detergent, soap, shampoo, and first-aid essentials - always appreciated when living on a student budget!
Show your Lumberjack Love
  • Send a gift card to a restaurant near campus or to DoorDash for a special meal delivery. (Look at a Google Maps for restaurant ideas.)
  • Schedule a Family Weekend video chat over coffee Saturday morning.
  • How about a gift card for one of our grocery stores near campus, including Walmart, Target, Safeway, Sprouts, or Whole Foods?
  • Encourage friends and family to send your student a Happy Family Weekend card, email, or text.
  • Post some photos of your student over the years on Instagram or Facebook.
NAU Resilience Project campaign to improve student well-being and health.

Resilience Project

Kristen Natonie, Health Promotion
We are excited for you to be a part of the Lumberjack family. The start of this semester is one for the history books due to the global pandemic, and there might be some apprehension with the start of the new semester. However, NAU is dedicated to the success of your student, and to helping them build the skills they need to be successful. The NAU Resilience Project is a new program specifically designed to improve student well-being and to support their success.
What is the NAU Resilience Project?
  • An online module that helps students learn to manage their stress in healthy ways. It features videos, skill-building tools, and interactive resources.
  • Research-based and developed to support student wellness at NAU.
  • Helps build a sense of belonging to NAU.
  • Connects students to campus and community support resources.
Why is this project important?
  • Students at NAU report that stress, sleep, and anxiety are their top three health barriers to academic success.
  • This project facilitates a better experience and better outcomes for students who might be struggling in the face of challenges or adversity.
How can students access the project?
  • Login at:
  • Available September 2020.
  • Students can return to the project and its resources throughout their NAU career.
Partner with us to share the benefits of the NAU Resilience Project with your student. For any additional information about the Resilience Project, please contact or
NAU is committed to the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff and follows CDC’s recommended guidelines on COVID-19. Not every photo in this e-newsletter will precisely represent these guidelines, as we aim to accurately present the NAU experience for you and balance that need with imagery that reflects the COVID-19 policies we have in place. Visit for our current campus health safety guidelines.
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