September 16, 2011

In Memoriam: Bob Deronvil (1993-2011)

On Saturday September 10th Northwood University suffered the loss of one of its newest members. Bob Deronvil, a freshman majoring in Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management from Ocoee, Florida (near Orlando) collapsed while playing a pick-up game of basketball with friends and classmates.

Tragically, we will not have the opportunity to grow in our relationship with Bob but in the brief time that we were fortunate to know him we saw the person and character that made him a welcomed presence wherever he went, including Northwood.

"This devastating loss brings deep sadness to Northwood’s students, faculty and staff," stated Dr. Kristin Stehouwer, Executive Vice President, Chief Academic Officer & Interim Provost for Northwood Florida. "Though many of us knew him only for a brief period of time he touched our lives in many ways."

Bob was a leader in several capacities, a legacy that he not only began at Northwood but one he is well known for at Ocoee high school where he was a co-captain of the varsity basketball team and was involved in student government amongst other activities. His earthly absence will mark those who knew him in many ways but perhaps most of all for his endearing smile, the spark in his eye, and his optimism even in the face of a challenge. As his former Ocoee varsity basketball coach Jason Thorndill noted, “His favorite thing to say whenever I was discouraged or things weren't going great on the court was, 'I got this, Coach', or 'We've got this, Coach.'"

In honor of Bob’s memory, we will hold a candlelight vigil on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at the Julia M. Edwards Bell Tower at 7 p.m.

Bob, you will be dearly missed but not forgotten. You are a Northwood Seahawk forever.

On behalf of everyone at Northwood University I extend my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all those graced to know Bob, most especially his family.

2011 Commencement at Jiangnan University & Jilin University

Every commencement ceremony is a cause for celebration but this year’s Northwood BBA graduates at Jiangnan University-Lambton College and Jilin University-Lambton College share two distinct honors.

One, they are the first graduating classes in China to receive their diplomas under the new semester calendar, a process that started in the U.S. with the graduating class of December 2010 and we are very proud to see this same process in place in our partner institutions abroad, a system that our graduates helped to implement.

Two, both of this year’s graduating classes represent the second decade of very successful and growing partnerships between Northwood University and Jiangnan University-Lambton College and Jilin University-Lambton College respectively. Not only do we continue to educate the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society we but are doing so in larger numbers each year.

On Saturday, September 17th, 505 students will receive their degree from Jiangnan University-Lambton College and on September 19th 420 will earn theirs from Jilin University-Lambton College. Together, these classes bring the number of total alumni in Northwood’s history to over 46,500 and the number of active alumni throughout the world to over 40,000.

It is also well worth noting, that our relationship preceded what is now a national effort between The People’s Republic of China and the United States. In November 2009, for example, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new initiative – “100,000 Strong – which aims to solidify relations between the two countries by increasing the number of American college students studying in China. Naturally, we welcome efforts to strengthen our ties with China and it is a point of tremendous pride to know that we have been doing so for twelve years with Jilin University-Lambton College and now ten with Jiangnan University-Lambton College. 

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)