September 9, 2011

The coming week includes two important anniversaries in U.S. history: Sunday, September 11 marks the ten year anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States; Saturday, September 17 celebrates the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. While separated by many things, including time and the nature of the acts themselves, both events rank high in the history of our nation and the world.

We Remember 9-11

Tomorrow, students on our Florida Campus will team with WIRK Country 107.9 to launch a police escorted caravan of approximately 300 motorcycles to salute the victims and heroes of September 11 while raising money in support of Forgotten Soldiers.

Registration will take place from 2-4 PM in the Turner Parking Lot and at 3:30 PM Country music singer Jerrod Niemann will get the day’s events officially underway with a performance from 3:30 – 4:00 PM. Country music singer Emily Brooke will follow with the National Anthem at 4:55 PM and the Caravan will depart at 5:10 PM and travel to the Brad Paisley concert at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, Inc., a not for profit corporation whose goal is to inspire hope, strength and courage to US soldiers while they are separated from loved ones, families, and friends. Tickets may be purchased at:

In Michigan, members of our Circle K student organization hosted a memorial for the 9-11 victims this past week. Participants pinned 2,996 ribbons representing all of the lives that were lost on a memorial board that resembled the American flag once it was completed. On Sunday, September 11 they will host a memorial service in the football stadium starting at 7:00 PM. The ribbon memorial board/flag will be on display along with the names of each of the victims. Participants will release balloons into the sky and observe a moment of silence as a remembrance of the tragic events from 10 years ago.

Our Texas Campus is joining the Ready Campaign for National Preparedness Month (NPM), which was founded following 9/11 to increase preparedness throughout all U.S. communities, as part of its active role in helping the Texas Campus prepare for emergencies. The theme of this year’s NPM campaign is, “A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare.”  

In turn, the Texas Knights will remember those lost and honor the first responders, starting with a city event on Sunday, September 11 at 1 p.m. at Uptown Village in Cedar Hill. Author and speaker Carlton Stowers will speak following a group procession, singing of the national anthem, and group prayer.

On Monday, September 12, students, faculty and staff will host a wreath laying ceremony at the flag pole in front of the Hopkins building.

And to renew its commitment to prepare and plan for emergencies the Texas Campus will host several preparation events throughout the month. Training for the Campus Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will occur on September 10 and 17 and it will also host luncheons, displays and emails focused on emergency preparation as well as drills that will enable our staff and faculty to review protocol. 

A Week of Constitution Day Celebrations

Our residential campuses in Florida, Michigan and Texas – most notably our Foundations and Philosophy of American Enterprise classes – will mark the event by incorporating Constitution related material, discussions and activities in our classrooms throughout the week. Students will be given the opportunity to discuss and apply the Constitution directly to what they are studying, thereby reinforcing its indispensable role as the framework of our civil social order.

In Michigan, Northwood University’s Forum for Citizenship and Enterprise, in partnership with the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, will host three “don’t miss” events:

  • On Monday, September 12 at 7 PM in the Griswold Lecture Hall, Dr. John Agresto will deliver the keynote lecture, “Democracy, Law, and the American Constitution: What I Learned in Iraq.” 
  • On Wednesday, September 14 at 4 p.m. in the Griswold Lecture Hall an interdisciplinary panel of Northwood faculty will take up the question, “Does the Constitution Still Matter?” Professors Benedict Hughes (Humanities), Mariana Grigoras (Social Science), Dale Matcheck (Economics) and John Pafford (History) will present short remarks and then turn the discussion over to the audience. 
  • The final event on Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m. in Northwood’s NADA Hotel & Conference Center, will feature a lecture by Dr. Jeff Polet, professor and chair of political science at Hope College. Dr. Polet’s lecture, “Who Decides What the Constitution Says?” will provide historical insight into questions of constitutional interpretation and judicial review.

In Texas, Northwood will observe Constitution Day with several activities on September 15th and 16th:

  • On Thursday, September 15 Robert A. Chapman, Northwood Class of 2003 and a Service Disabled Veteran who helped manage the Saddam Hussein trial in 2005 and 2006 will speak to students, faculty and staff.
  • Our academic department is sponsoring an online Constitution Day quiz, with a prize going to the first student to submit correct answers to each question. 
  • Two insightful videos – “Key Constitutional Concepts” and “The Constitution Project Documentaries” – will be shown at various locations on campus.

“Live Free or Die”

The official motto of the state of New Hampshire, “Live Free or Die,” captures the essence of America’s enduring individualism and determination to prevail – especially against the most trying and tragic of circumstances. I invite each of you to join us as we commemorate the events of September 11, 2001 and September 17, 1787 which remind us, above everything else, that freedom is not free.

Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)