June 15, 2012

A Unique Perspective on a Job Well Done

One of the privileges we all have as colleagues at Northwood University is to see and hear about the real and lasting difference Northwood is making in the world. An experience I had earlier this week serves as a great illustration of this.

While I was waiting to talk with Michael Patrick Shiels, Michigan’s Big Show radio host, the following, featuring alumna Vanessa Gant who completed her studies at our Adult Degree Program Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was aired:

Listening to Vanessa’s articulate and glowing explanation of the Northwood difference being broadcast to listeners throughout Michigan, of how we enable people like her to discover the leader within themselves, filled me with such a sense of pride in how we are educating our Northwood students. It was so encouraging to hear the positive attitude of one of our graduates and it is a moment I will not soon forget. The interview that followed was equally compelling.

Michael Patrick Shiels hosted his radio show from a celebrity golf outing, which benefited Gary's House operated by Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, at Cape Arundel Golf Course in Kennebunkport, Maine in honor of President George H.W. Bush’s 88th birthday. Shiels’s guest list included past Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as well as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Dale Petroskey, former Assistant Press Secretary to Ronald Reagan and now Vice President of Public Affairs for Occidental Petroleum.

Much of the interview and discussion during our time on the air focused on leadership, and in particular that of former President George H.W. Bush. In the course of the conversation, both Shiels and Petroskey expressed high praise for Northwood University, highlighted our growing presence throughout the United States and the world, and reminded everyone listening this was not the first time the 41st President of the United States and Northwood University had been spoken of in the same light. The previous occasion was in President Bush’s 1990 video tribute to Northwood University (then Northwood Institute) as part of our Outstanding Business Leaders celebration that year. During his remarks, President Bush highlighted many of Northwood’s values. Among the most noteworthy he mentioned is the kind of graduates who leave our university, leaders who “contribute more than their management skills,” men and women who “benefit the communities where they live.” In the spirit of the day’s events, Shiels nominated President Bush as “The Northwood Leader of the Day” on his radio network. This is a recording of that segment: 

Everything that morning highlighted the energy we at Northwood University create to garner such honest and genuine praise from leaders outside the University. All that stemmed naturally from the hearts and minds of those on the show that morning.

This was just another clear example of the lasting impact we are having on countless lives around the globe. It was truly a gifted moment and one made possible by each and every one of you who work tirelessly to ensure our success and that of the students we teach and mentor to enter the world. Thank you for all you do, and for giving our students the opportunities to become the world’s future leaders.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640