Signature Events

Distinguished Women Award

The Distinguished Women Award was created by the Northwood University Board of Trustees to honor the enormous contributions of women. The award is a recognition of excellence. The recipients represent the values Northwood espouses for its own students: commitment to free enterprise, the partnership of arts and business, and the management of global commerce. The honorees serve as role models for Northwood University students.

The Distinguished Women Award is bestowed at a multi-day celebration held annually and never given in absentia. The honorees receive their award in the form of a unique bronze medallion at an evening gala.

This event creates an occasion to bring Northwood University to the attention of those who share a dedication to its principles of higher education. We encourage the Distinguished Women to become involved with the University and its students and to participate in the growth of the Distinguished Women Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Outstanding Business Leader Award

Northwood firmly believes that American business leaders deserve the highest forms of personal recognition for their contributions to this great nation and the world. 

The challenges faced by today's college student are tremendous and it is a powerful motivation for them to become acquainted with the lives and achievements of present-day business leaders. Their personal stories are proof that "it can be done" and to know them is an indispensable part of the education of America's next generation of business leaders. 

The Outstanding Business Leader Awards are presented by the Northwood University Board of Trustees. Each awardee is selected on the basis of personal achievements which typify the unique philosophy of Northwood University. Criteria used in the selection of awardees include a contribution to the philosophy of private enterprise, support of the integration of business and the arts, contribution to education, economic innovation, creative marketing ideas, community involvement, religious leadership, philanthropic contributions, as well as business success. 

Auto Show Gala

The Auto Show Gala is an annual tradition that has raised over $360,000 in endowed scholarship funds and celebrates the Northwood University International Auto Show and Homecoming weekend bringing alumni back to Midland, Michigan to celebrate. The event hosts a sellout crowd of Northwood friends, alumni and community partners; includes a live auction, and features the Simone Vitale Band for a night you’ll never forget.

Bay Harbor Symposium

Northwood University hosts this annual event for friends and family of the university and welcomes the public to the free and open symposium.