FirstMerit and Dow Corning Leaders to Address Northwood University Graduates

Sandra E. Pierce
Robert D. Hansen

FirstMerit Vice Chairman and Chairman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan, Sandra Pierce, and Dow Corning CEO and President, Robert Hansen, will address the members of Northwood University’s graduating class of 2014 on Saturday, May 10. Pierce will address graduates during a morning ceremony at 10:30 AM while Hansen will address graduates during an afternoon ceremony at 3 PM. Both ceremonies will take place in the Bennett Sports Center at 4000 Whiting Drive in Midland.

According to Northwood University President & CEO Keith A. Pretty, the timing for Pierce’s and Hansen’s commencement addresses could not be better.

“Who better for our graduates to learn from, especially as they take the next step in their lives and careers, than leaders who are driving the economies of Michigan, the nation and the world?” stated Pretty. “Both Pierce and Hansen have a wealth of experience from which to draw and each is leading in industries that are as vital to us locally as they are nationally and globally.”

As part of the day’s ceremonies, both Pierce and Hansen will receive honorary doctorates and be enshrined into the University’s Gallery of Distinction. A native of Detroit, Michigan Pierce is an alumna of Wayne State University and serves on the boards of Barton Malow Enterprises and Penske Automotive Group, the Detroit Financial Advisory Board and the Henry Ford Health System amongst others. Hansen is a graduate of Valparaiso University and serves on the board of directors for the American Chemistry Council, the Midland County United Way and Valparaiso University and is a member of the executive committee of the Society of Chemical Industry.

Northwood University’s 2014 spring class includes over 740 students, 645 from its undergraduate degree program and 101 from its DeVos Graduate School of Management.


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 two full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida and mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. 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 China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.