March 1, 2013

The Depth of the NU Value Proposition

The significance of a Northwood University education is at an all-time high. As highlighted in last week’s message, Northwood has more specialty degree programs—programs which cannot be easily duplicated—than ever before in our history, with even more in the works. And while this development is both timely and exciting, it’s only part of our unique value proposition in today’s market.

Starting today March 1, for example, and running through Sunday March 3, students on our Florida campus will host the 25th Annual Auto Show of the Palm Beaches. Managed entirely by over 150 students serving on the Show’s Student Executive Board, the Auto Show of the Palm Beaches is expected to attract over 20,000 visitors to view more than 300 displays.

Guests will see the very latest in both domestic and import automobiles including Ford Motor Company’s first plug-in electric hybrid, the C-MAX Energi. In addition, South Floridian auto dealer, author, and consumer advocate Earl Stewart and Auto Trader manager Tori Morandi will explore the topics of ethics in business and emerging automotive trends as part of Auto Show

In turn, our Texas campus will host its 12th Annual Auto Show on March 27. “Catch the Experience,” a one-day show featuring over 30 automobiles, is part of our Founders’ Day Celebration in Cedar Hill. The event is planned largely by students representing our Fashion Marketing; Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management; Aftermarket Management; and Automotive Marketing & Management programs in Texas.

Like any event of this kind, both Auto Shows offer students a unique and valuable opportunity to partner with and learn directly from industry experts and professionals. As Associate Professor Timothy Gilbert, chair of the Automotive Marketing and Management Department and coordinator for the Auto Show on our Florida campus, observed, “The Auto Show experience creates a pivotal link for our students with both the dealers they will be serving and the public they must satisfy. It is an amazing experience for students to plan, organize and execute an event of this magnitude.”

And as you may already know, our students’ experiential learning opportunities do not end there. Another example can be found on our Michigan campus when tomorrow, March 2, Northwood students, faculty, and staff will gather in Bay City, Michigan with supporters and friends from around the state for the 38th Annual Stafford Memorial Dinner. Like our Auto Shows, the Stafford Dinner is planned and completed by a board made up entirely of Northwood students. Preparations for “A Night at Sea” started in April 2012 and will culminate tomorrow in a fun-filled evening complete with a cruise ship setting. In addition to the applied learning and industry experience it provides our Hospitality Management majors, the Stafford Memorial Dinner is also a venue for our students to showcase their talent and creativity on other fronts. Junior David Valentine, for example, will entertain guests on the piano while freshman John McGrane will showcase his skills as a professional fruit carver. And if that was not enough, the Stafford Memorial Dinner also serves as a scholarship fundraiser which directly benefits Northwood students in at least two ways, first through the proceeds that go to the Stafford Memorial Dinner Scholarship Fund, and secondly by broadening our students’ understanding of the nature and importance of engaged philanthropy—a value we hold in very high esteem at Northwood.

Our success on this front is vital, especially for the students we serve. By building on our strength as a leader in experiential education, our place as a destination point in business education and our roots within key industry sectors across the globe will only grow stronger—and so will the unique value proposition of a Northwood University education.

Have a great weekend!


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