August 30, 2013

The Last Days of Summer 2013

This past week has been an especially busy time for our University as students returned to classes on Monday on our traditional campuses; we held Opening Convocations on our Florida and Texas campuses, and will hold Opening Convocation on Tuesday, September 3 in Michigan; and we enter a new academic year. We’re fortunate as a University to be able to offer our students the opportunity to learn and grow as productive people in our global community as we teach them the skills they need to succeed in life—skills that are captured in our Mission Statement, Core Values, and Code of Ethics.

Today also marks the beginning of what has come to be known as the last summer holiday weekend. In the north, people begin to pack up and close summer homes, and store boats and water-toys that will be replaced by snowmobiles and skis. Those in the south start thinking about “cooler” weather (70s and 80s as opposed to 100s and above!) and welcoming back the “snowbirds” who move from the north to warmer climates in the fall and winter. 

The Labor Day holiday has many connotations for most people but the observance itself was actually first proposed as a holiday in 1882, was officially recognized by the state of Oregon in 1887, and was made a federal holiday in 1894. The original intent of Labor Day was to recognize workers in the first days of organized unions, when many laborers fought against the perceived and real injustices of company owners and management. While workers in many countries today still suffer at the hands of management, we in the United States have come to realize the value of ethical capitalism, entrepreneurism, and free-enterprise. We recognize the benefits of management and labor working together to make society better for all of us.

As you and your families gather to celebrate this “last summer holiday”, take time to think of the reason for its observance and be thankful for the freedoms and benefits we enjoy as citizens of the United States.

Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day holiday!


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