Giving with long-term impact


Madeline Friend, ’14 BS Environmental Science/Honors, has a “just do it” attitude, and this outlook has led to her achieving the goal to graduate with honors and without debt. However, she knows she couldn’t have achieved this alone—Maddie also credits faculty like George (“Wolf”) Gumerman in helping her accomplish her goals. Wolf is the Director of NAU Honors Program, and he provides academic guidance and mentorship to students like Maddie. After two decades of giving back to NAU, Wolf also knows he has helped make success possible for Maddie and students like her.


Scholarships inspire success

Maddie grew up in Flagstaff and learned to respect and love the Colorado Plateau’s unique landscape, never knowing it would develop into a passionate career path. She is currently a resident director for the Grand Canyon Semester, and she volunteers in the community.  Maddie loves sharing her leadership skills and environmental expertise—in fact, this year she will take her interests abroad to the Patuca River in Honduras, where she will help solve water system insufficiencies.

“I have a ‘just do it’ attitude,” Maddie says. “I value responsibility and dependability and deeply care about the environment.”

She is flattered and humbled that someone like Wolf gives back to NAU, and she is very proud to graduate absolutely debt free. “Scholarships are a huge motivator for me to always work hard,” Maddie says.

Helping students, today and forever

Wolf also grew up in northern Arizona with enthusiasm for the landscape and culture, and he truly appreciates students like Maddie who follow their passions, just as he does.

“I have the best job in the world,” Wolf says. “NAU is a great school located in the heart of an amazing landscape, and I’m able to support remarkable students like Maddie.”

In addition to 20 years of annual giving, Wolf and his wife Liz recently made a planned gift to the NAU Foundation for the Honors Program. The Campaign for NAU supports philanthropy like the Gumermans', whose contributions make it possible for NAU students like Maddie to succeed today, and other students to succeed in the future. 

“Scholarships are a huge motivator for me to always work hard.” – Madeline Friend