Northwood University 60th Anniversary

About the 60th Anniversary

October 5, 1957, one day after the Soviet Union launched the first orbital satellite, Sputnik, 26-year old Arthur Turner surmised that such a mammoth endeavor as a national space program would require well trained managers to marshal the creative talents of engineers and scientists. From this thought, the idea of Northwood University was first born. To help bring the vision to life, Arthur Turner brought in his partner, Gary Stauffer.

Highlights from Northwood's History

Take a tour of the past 60 years - click a date to read more!

On March 23, Northwood Institute opens at the thirty-six room Ammi Wright mansion in Alma, Michigan, with official incorporation following a year later, three weeks short of the first anniversary of the founding.

The first class of thirteen students graduates on May 29.

Northwood University athletics has its first formal beginning with the launch of men’s basketball, coached by Gary Stauffer.

Turner and Stauffer sign the transaction that would bring Northwood Institute to Midland, Michigan.

The Gallery of Distinction is Established with Charles Anspach as the inaugural honoree.

After only a few short months, the Midland property is transformed into a campus just in time to accept the first class of incoming students. The first building created is Dow Commons, named after Alden and Vada Dow.

Dubois Hall, Jordan Hall are also built at this time.

Northwood breaks ground on the Village Apartments.

The first Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS) is held.

The "Lincoln on the Prairie" statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington is dedicated on campus.

The Outstanding Alumni Awards are established to annually honor alumni who exemplify Northwood's mission and values.

Strosacker Library is dedicated at Northwood University, named for Charles Strosacker, who sat on the executive committee that sold the Midland property to Northwood.

The first Distinguished Women’s program is held in Detroit honoring 15 inaugural members.

The Griswold Communication Center is dedicated on campus, named for Vera Griswold.

With sponsorship support from Macauley and Helen Whiting, Term in Europe becomes Northwood’s flagship study abroad program.

The first Stafford Dinner event is held - named for the first chairman of the Hotel, Restaurant, & Resort Management Department at Northwood, William D. Stafford.

The inaugural Outstanding Business Leaders event is held at The Breakers on January 29 - with Thomas Murphy, the head of General Motors, being the prominent honoree that year.

When We Are Free introduced The Northwood Idea. Under the guidance of a host of editors since 1981, six editions have been published.

David Fry becomes Northwood University President, serving in the position until 2006.

Named for John and Hannah Church, and in honor of their parents William and Hannah Baker, the Church Family Administration Building opens.

The DeVos Graduate School of Management is born, with funding provided by Dr. Richard DeVos and his wife Mrs. Helen DeVos.

Northwood Institute becomes Northwood University.

A joint program with the Hotel Institute Montreux is established to combine swiss hospitality with American management practices. The school is located in Montreux, Switzerland.

Named for Kathryn Hach Darrow, an OBL award recipient and one of the school's most generous benfactors, the Hach Student Life Center is built to respond to the lifelong recreational, social, and educational needs of Northwood University.

Naegele Village is dedicated, named for and made possible by a generous donation from Robert and Patricia Naegele.

Keith A. Pretty, J.D. becomes Northwood University President.

The Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies opens on campus.

The Pamella and Daniel DeVos Student Development Center opens, a new athletic training facility featuring an indoor football field.

The DeVos Graduate School moves to a brand new building on campus, dedicated on May 12.

Construction begins on the North Village Apartments, the first new student housing to be built at the university in the past 37 years, located just north of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail and squaring off the northeast corner of the campus.

Northwood University opens the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center and the McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

Northwood University receives a multi-million grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to begin new academic programs focusing on data analytics and cybersecurity at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.