The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise

...Inspiring creativity in enterprise to drive human progress


The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise integrates creativity and free enterprise through intentional and mindful cultivation to realize inventions, innovations and new business opportunities in entrepreneurship and family enterprise.

Focus Expertise

Focused Expertise

"In early 2012 all Northwood University alumni were surveyed. 34% of the survey respondents own part or all of their own business and 58% consider themselves entrepreneurs."

The Center focuses on four areas:

  • Family Owned Business
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • New Business Development

This focused expertise allows the Center to provide cutting-edge leadership in the integration of free market creativity, innovation and strategy with entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial practices.

Through the Center, businesses and organizations can access creative and strategic free market tools for business and have the opportunity to renew existing businesses and build viable new enterprises. To facilitate this work, ABDCCE spearheads collaboration with global entrepreneurial support organizations and actively participates in the global academic communities focused in these areas. Further, the Center leads the creation of relevant training modules, workshops, seminars and “must attend” global events, both physical and virtual.

The Center is a think tank for businesses and entrepreneurs, providing tools, expertise and programming and internships to effectively empower today’s students to creatively address tomorrow’s business challenges. The Center’s events and programming consistently include the integration of entrepreneurial creativity and innovation dimensions. The Center hosts seed-fund business startup competitions, concept development workshops, and one on one student support from entrepreneurs in residence, creating a network where student’s entrepreneurial ideas for enterprises can be supported and accelerated.

The Center for Creativity & Enterprise

A resource for the University, students, faculty, alumni, and community businesses, the Center for Creativity & Enterprise uniquely equips Northwood to meet it's mission to develop free enterprise leaders and reach it's goal to become one of the foremost institutions in developing leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs.

The physical structure known as the Center for Creativity & Enterprise (Whiting Home) is a creative and inspiring environment. The Center is a vital part of how the university advances its mission and is a key center for business and organizational teams, faculty and students to convene, discover and innovate.

Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise Entrance

The Alden B. Dow Creativity Center is housed in the Macauley Whiting Residence. The home was built for Macauley and Helen Whiting in 1947. Mrs. Whiting is the granddaughter of Herbert and Grace Dow and the niece of Alden B. Dow, who served as architect for the house.

Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise Front Door

The land that the Whitings selected for the site of their home was a five acre parcel on the very edge of town. The land supported many mature, hardwood trees and a graceful roll down to a creek. Alden Dow considered those features when he sited the house on the land. The front of the house follows the horizontal plane of the land while the trees provide a backdrop for the design. The rear elevation, most of which is glass, opens the house to the landscape. Retaining walls, terraces, and graduated stairs follow the contour of the landscape and lead to a creek.

The most outstanding feature of the house is the front door. The door design incorporates numerous tree species from all over the world collected by the Whitings in their travels. The door was designed by Alden Dow and constructed in the architectural studio workshop by Ted Gwizdala, Mr. Dow's master woodworker.

In the early 1970's, the Whitings moved from Midland to Idaho and they donated the house and property to the City of Midland. Several years ago the Herbert and Grace Dow Foundation acquired the property and leased the space. Currently, it houses the Northwood University Alden B. Dow Creativity Center and Marketing & Communications.

Alden B. Dow

Alden B. Dow Alden B. Dow (1904-1983) was born in Midland, Michigan, on April 10, 1904, the son of Grace A. and Herbert Henry Dow, founder of The Dow Chemical Company. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan and earned a degree in architecture from Columbia University in 1931.

During the summer of 1933, young Mr. Dow studied and worked with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Wisconsin. In Wright, he found a kindred spirit. Their sharing of interests strengthened Mr. Dow's own work and philosophy.

Returning to Midland, he opened his own architectural offices in a studio/home of his own design. Today, the firm is known as Dow-Howell-Gilmore Associates, Inc.

During his career, Mr. Dow was commissioned to design homes, churches, schools, college campuses, business complexes, art and civic centers and the entire town of Jackson, Texas. His home designs, which were especially appealing to the aesthetically sensitive, earned him 60 commissions in Midland, Michigan, as well as numerous others across the United States.

Among his many awards and honors, Mr. Dow received the 1937 Diplome de Grand Prix for residential architecture. He was named a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1957. Northwood University conferred an honorary doctorate on him in 1969. In 1983, crowning the achievements of his 50 year career, Mr. Dow was named architect laureate of his home state of Michigan.

Alden B. Dow maintained a lifelong interest in creativity. His selection in 1982 as the first recipient of the Frank Lloyd Wright Creativity Award reflects this enduring commitment.

Way of Life Cycle

Way of Life Cycle

Writings on Creativity By Alden B. Dow

"An Architect's View on Creativity." Creativity and its Cultivation. Harold H. Anderson (Ed.). New York: Harper and Row, 1959. 30-43.

"Appreciating Architecture." Appreciating the Nine Fine. William G. Harkey (Ed.). Midland: Northwood Press, 1977. 17-37.

Reflections: Midland. Northwood Press, 1970.

General Office

Phone: 989.837.4478
Fax: 989.837.4468

Physical Address: 2203 Eastman Road, Midland, MI 48640
Mailing Address: 4000 Whiting Drive, Midland, MI 48640

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Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise Contact Information

John Gustincic

Director, Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise
Assistant Professor, Accounting

Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise Board Members

Tim Faley, Ph.D. MBA Managing Director Zell- Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan
Dave Hatfield, MBA Owner, The Hatfield Group, specializing in New Business Development
Jim Hop, MBA NU Chair and Professor, Entrepreneurship, MI
Craig McDonald Director, Alden. B. Dow Home & Studios
Jennifer McFarland NU Associate Professor
Ron Sekarack NU Professor, Entrepreneurship
Caryn Shick, MBA Consultant, entrepreneur and founder of Incuba8
Chip Reeves Dow Corning Business & Technology Incubator
Keith A. Pretty JD, President and CEO, Northwood University
Dr. Kristin A. Stehouwer Chief Academic Officer, Northwood University