Northwood University Capital Campaign

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Public Phase Announcement of "American Dream" Capital Campaign
Donna Arp Weitzman and Northwood student Francisco Chairez

Donna Arp Weitzman and Northwood student Francisco Chairez

December 14, 2012

CEDAR HILL, Texas - On December 11, 2012, Northwood University President and CEO Keith A. Pretty, joined President Kevin G. Fegan for a daylong celebration announcing the public phase of the University’s capital campaign to restore the “American Dream”.  This Campaign has a Texas component to complete a $10 million effort for construction of the DeVos Graduate School and an Event Center located on the Texas campus in Cedar Hill.

To date, approximately 54% of the construction funding has been raised for the graduate school and plans are underway to raise the funding for the event center.

Northwood understands that a significant philanthropic effort is necessary in order for the University to educate more students who understand, and are equipped to  preserve the principles and practices that gave rise to exceptionalism in America as well as in leading nations around the world. Pivotal leadership has secured gifts during the quiet phase and now is the time to transition into the public phase. A very important moment in the history of Northwood University.

At Northwood Texas, Dr. Fegan and Mr. Jeff Sullivan, chairman of the Texas Board of Governors, have been working diligently to ensure that the resources for this campus become a reality.  As part of their plan for success, they have recruited outstanding community involvement.

With the launching of the public phase, Donna Arp Weitzman, a tremendously respected community leader in the Dallas Fort Worth area, will be leading the Texas capital campaign committee as the chair to secure the remaining contributions needed to meet the $10 million goal.  She has been involved with Northwood for a number of years—including serving as a member of the Texas Board of Governors and receiving the Distinguished Women’s award in 2003.  As well, she currently services on the Texas Northwood Advisory Board

Ms. Weitzman’s vast experience in the world of financing spans over 30 years.  She has served as President and CEO of several companies that dealt with debt and equity financing for real estate projects.   

She graduated from Harvard Business School Management and Finance with an emphasis in real estate finance.  She holds a bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) and a master's degree (magna cum laude) from Midwestern University. 

Ms. Weitzman served three terms in elected office as the former Mayor of Colleyville, Texas.  And, she continues to serve on numerous non-profit and corporate boards; however, she has chosen Northwood University as one of her major nonprofit interests.

The entire Northwood University system-wide campaign goal of $80 million, of which Texas’ goal is $10 million, is the largest ever in its history.  It will transform the entire Northwood University system from a respected business school into a globally acclaimed leader in free-market thought and leadership, and in the development of executives and entrepreneurs ready to lead and guide organizations from day one of graduation.

This Campaign is about ensuring the University’s ability, as well as the ability of persons everywhere, to benefit from the sound contributions and leadership of those who will enter our workplaces and communities; who will work and live alongside us; and who will one day guide the same organizations and communities we have worked so hard to grow and advance—the very ones we, our children, and grandchildren will continue to rely upon in the years to come.

In addition to securing funding for buildings, many individuals have chosen to ensure students are able to receive their higher education at Northwood through endowed scholarships.

Four members of the Texas Board of Governors and the Texas Capital Campaign Committee established such scholarships.  Sarah and Jim Hutcheson, Susann and Michael Moore, Mari and Jeff Sullivan, and Dr. Nina Vaca are real catalysts to ensure that the academic dreams of future Northwood students will in fact be a reality.

Specific details regarding the two building construction projects include:

The Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management:

Following the same principles taught and practiced by the DeVos family and their business holdings, including: conservation of resources, sustainable design, lean management, and responsible stewardship, the two-story, 25,000 square foot graduate school will provide graduate, traditional and non-traditional students with a state-of-the art facility.  It will be flexible enough to handle the coming changes in education and prepare students for the world of tomorrow. Classrooms will provide natural light, cutting edge business technology and furniture for an optimum learning environment. 

The Graduate School is key to Northwood Texas being able to increase recruitment of graduate students. It will be a focal point on the campus with a teaching auditorium to support various guest speakers and multiple other activities. 

It will be a permanent legacy and always a part of the landscape at Northwood Texas as a place to ensure free enterprise, capitalism and entrepreneurial principles are instilled in men and women in Texas. 

Multi-use Event Center:

This premier athletic and event center at Northwood Texas will be a state-of-the-art facility to enhance a full service residential campus and cultivate student growth in quality and quantity.

This new 20,000 square foot center will serve multiple types of events, including student functions, sports, guest speakers, convocations, summer camps, concerts, and community events. Additionally, the facility will provide training and exercise areas, locker rooms, and a suite of offices for our coaches, Athletic Director, and Sports Information Director. 

Like all great architecture, these buildings will seek to inspire and remind generation upon generation of Northwood students of the unique tradition, legacy, and community to which they belong.

As mentioned previously with other donors, additional philanthropic opportunities to consider include endowments for scholarships and professorships.

For additional information or questions, contact Mary Frazier, Texas Advancement Director at or 972.293.5492. 


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.