IN THIS SECTION
On March 23, 1959, two young men with an idea, a goal, and a pragmatic philosophy to encompass it all, broke away from their careers in a traditional college structure to create a new concept in education.
Their visionary idea became a reality when Dr. Arthur E. Turner and Dr. R. Gary Stauffer enrolled 100 students at Northwood Institute. They used a 19th-century mansion in Alma, Michigan, as a school building, a small amount of borrowed money for operating expenses and a large amount of determination.
Northwood was created as the world was changing. The Russians had launched Sputnik and America was soon to follow. Stauffer and Turner watched the race to space. They envisioned a new type of university – one where the teaching of management led the way. While the frontiers of space were revealing their mysteries, Stauffer and Turner understood all endeavors – technical, manufacturing, marketing, retail, every type of business – needed state-of-the-art, ethics-driven management.
Time has validated the success of what these two young educators called “The Northwood Idea” – incorporating the lessons of the American free-enterprise society into the college classroom.
Dr. David E. Fry took the helm in 1982, Dr. Keith A. Pretty in 2006 and Dr. Kent MacDonald in 2019, each continuing the same ideals as Stauffer and Turner, never wavering from the core values. The University grew and matured. Academic curricula expanded; Northwood went from being an Institute to an accredited University, the DeVos Graduate School of Management was created and then expanded; the Adult Degree Program and its program centers expanded to over 20 locations in eight states; international program centers were formed in Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland; and significant construction like the campus Student Life Centers added value to the Northwood students’ experience. New endeavors such as Aftermarket Studies, entertainment and sports management and fashion merchandising, along with a campus partnership in Montreux, Switzerland, demonstrate an enriched experience for all our students.
With a clearly articulated mission to develop free-enterprise leaders who drive global economic and social progress, Northwood University is expanding its presence in national and international venues. Professors are engaged in economic and policy dialogue; students are emerging as champions in regional and national academic competitions. At all campuses and in all divisions, Northwood University is energized and is actively pursuing dynamic programming and increased influence.
Northwood University educates managers and entrepreneurs – highly skilled and ethical leaders. With more than 57,000 alumni and a vibrant future ahead, The Northwood Idea is alive and well.