October 4, 2013

Auto Show Demonstrates Growing Value of Northwood Brand

Like Northwood University’s Outstanding Business Leaders Gala in Florida and the Distinguished Women’s Gala in Texas, the Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS) in Michigan is an incredible opportunity to showcase who we are and the “try it on” education that sets us apart from the competition. As those in attendance saw firsthand, our Golden Anniversary Auto Show last weekend did just this and a lot more.  In fact, our Michigan Auto Show set a new record for attendance, reaching the 60,000 mark in its 50th year.

A key part of the NUIAS’s success each year is the number and quality of the “All Star” speakers we feature, and here again the 2013 Auto Show excelled. Among the many industry experts on hand was Dr. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America—one of our Commencement speakers this past spring—who gave the keynote address for this year’s program. In addition to presenting an incredible learning opportunity for our students, events like these are the catalyst for building relationships that give rise to a number of the businesses that drive our economy. Alumni such as Jim Koons,’73 (Jim Koons Automotive Companies) and Tammy Darvish, ‘85 (Vice President of DARCARS Automotive) and friends such as Colin Brown (JM Family Enterprises) are all examples of Toyota automotive retailers whose involvement in the Auto Show  resulted in new and exciting opportunities for them, their businesses, our alumni, and our University as a whole.

This year’s Show was also a huge success with regard to our alumni engagement efforts. An estimated 300 people entered the ranks of “new” or “renewing” alumni donors through various fundraising opportunities taking place this weekend, including: the Northwood Gala, Homecoming sponsor VIP passes, and Woody’s Taproom. Beyond that, our alumni enjoyed a number of related events throughout the weekend, everything from our annual “Alumni and Friends Tailgate,” an alumni hockey game and dinner, and an economic seminar, to Timberwolves football and men’s and women’s soccer.

From top to bottom, the 2013 NUIAS was a huge success—and it all points to the growing value of the Northwood University brand, especially in the communities and regions we serve. On behalf of everyone at Northwood University, congratulations to all our student, faculty, and staff leaders who made this year’s Auto Show truly “one to remember.”

Have a great weekend!


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