December 6, 2013

The “Seen and Unseen” Benefits of Student Scholarships

With the attention surrounding activities like holiday shopping and baking and cooking and visiting and…, it’s easy to overlook some of the most valuable things in our work and lives. As the Thanksgiving season reminds us, we have much for which to be grateful at Northwood University, especially the student scholarship programs which impact us in so many ways.

A Gift That Truly Keeps on Giving

Student scholarships at Northwood are among the most important investments we can make. In addition to securing the education of many of our students, they are an asset to our University and the communities we serve.

A prime example of the exponential power of student scholarships can be seen in three important and growing programs at Northwood: the Blum Family Scholars Association and the Smith Scholars on our Florida campus, and the Naegele Scholars Society on our Michigan campus.

In each case, countless lives have been changed for the better in very tangible ways. Many who thought a college degree impossible are busy pursuing a Northwood education. Students whose degree options were previously limited are now able to pursue a second major and/or a minor. Others are able to cover a larger portion, if not all, of the expenses associated with pursuing a college degree. And, as some of our alumni reminded us during the Annual Naegele Scholars Luncheon this past week, others who would have been doing something else today are now leading businesses and organizations literally around the world.

While efforts like these are generally recognized, their full impact often goes unnoticed. As the French economist Jean Baptiste Say pointed out, our actions produce two types of results: “that which is seen and that which is unseen.” And what often goes unseen with scholarship programs like these is the multiplier effect. As Dr. Timothy Nash noted, “It’s not just the scholarships, it’s all they make possible. They drive demand for everything from food, housing, and new construction on our campuses to retail goods and services in our communities. And once these students graduate, they go on to increase Gross Domestic Product worldwide.”

When we invest in Northwood students, we invest in ourselves and the institutions on which we rely for our well-being—today and tomorrow.  So although the Thanksgiving holiday may be behind us, the philanthropic leadership of the Blum Family, Dr. Maureen Smith, and Dr. Patricia Naegele reminds us, the time for giving thanks is always.

Have a great weekend.


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