Northwood University

Date and Location

Saturday, December 15, 2018

1:00 p.m.

Bennett Sports Center, Riepma Arena

4000 Whiting Drive

Midland, Michigan 48640

Michigan Commencement Map


Next Steps

Career Advancement Center

Northwood University is excited to inform you about the Northwood Career Services Network – a premiere Career Services tool for current students and alumni! As Northwood University continues to strive for excellence in all that we do, offering a world-class, free-enterprise business education, it’s our goal in the Career Advancement Center to provide the resources, services and support you need to reach your maximum potential.


To stay in touch, be sure to fill out an Alumni Information Update Form. This will help you stay connected with Northwood University and your fellow classmates. The alumni office can help you connect with a local alumni chapter group, keep you informed with what’s happening on campus and invite you to special alumni events held around the country!

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Northwood University Alumni Group (The Official)

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The Gallery of Distinction

Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
Northwood University
President and CEO

The honorary doctorate is the highest award a university can make to an individual who has contributed to society in a meaningful way. On the following pages are listed those individuals Northwood University will recognize this year. They join a “Gallery of Distinction” of past honorary degree awardees who are listed in the back of this program. It is an honor and a privilege to recognize the men and women whom Northwood has vested with degrees during the past 57 years. Through their accomplishments, ideals, and support, our communities have become better places and our nation has benefited. These leaders have won recognition in business, their professions, fine arts, education, and religion. Their involvement in the thrust of The Northwood Idea will continue forever. In observance of one of Northwood’s finest traditions, all recipients of honorary degrees are presented with personal academic regalia. Every year they are invited back to participate in the commencement processional, enjoy social events, and renew old friendships. Northwood University salutes all the members of the Gallery of Distinction and pledges to them the dedicated continuation of The Northwood Idea into the 21st century.

Winter 2018 Speaker

Jim Fitterling

Chief Executive Officer, The Dow Chemical Company
Chief Operating Officer, DowDuPont Materials Science Division

Jim Fitterling is the chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Company and chief operating officer for the Materials Science Division of DowDuPont, a nearly $80 billion holding company comprised of The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont with the intent to form independent, publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty products sectors.

As a member of Dow’s most senior leadership, Fitterling has played a key role in developing and executing Dow’s strategy to invest in a market-driven portfolio of advantaged and technology-enabled businesses that create value for our shareholders and customers.

Fitterling has executive accountability for all of Dow’s businesses excluding Dow AgroSciences. He also oversees operations including Environment, Health & Safety and Sustainability, Manufacturing and Engineering, and Supply Chain, as well as Research & Development. In addition, Fitterling has a strong commitment to diversifying the Company’s global talent and actively serves as the Executive Sponsor for Dow’s African American Network.

Fitterling joined Dow in 1984 and served in a variety of Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain positions before being named Commercial Director for Liquid Separations, Dow Pacific in 1994. He was appointed Global Business Director for Liquid Separations and President and CEO of FilmTec Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company in 1998. In 2000, he was named General Manager for Dow Thailand and Managing Director for the SCC-Dow Group of joint venture companies.

In 2002, Fitterling was named CEO of The OPTIMAL Group, affiliate of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Malaysia's state-owned oil corporation and The Dow Chemical Company. He added responsibility for the Southeast Asia and Australia region in February 2004. He also served as the Vice President of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) and was the Dow Representative to U.S. ASEAN Business Council.

Fitterling was named business vice president for Polyethylene in December 2005; president, Basic Plastics in March 2007; vice president of Corporate Development in April 2009; senior vice president of Corporate Development in April 2010; executive vice president of The Dow Chemical Company & president, Plastics & Hydrocarbons in August 2010; and executive vice president of The Dow Chemical Company & president, Corporate Development & Hydrocarbons in March 2011. Fitterling assumed additional executive oversight of the Company’s Chemicals & Energy Division in August 2011, in addition to his existing executive role for Corporate Development and Hydrocarbons. In September 2012, he assumed executive oversight for Feedstocks, Performance Plastics. Fitterling was named vice chairman, Business Operations in 2014. He was named vice chairman and chief operating officer in 2015 and promoted to president and chief operating officer in February 2016. In September 2017 Fitterling was appointed to his current role of chief operating officer of the Material Science Division of DowDuPont and in February 2018 he was named chief executive officer-elect of The Dow Chemical Company. He became chief executive officer of Dow in July 2018.

Fitterling is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers, The Chemical Financial Corporation, and the Sadara Chemical Company. He is also a member of the American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable.

In addition, Fitterling is widely recognized for his advocacy and work supporting LGBT non-discrimination and LGBT+ workplace equality and has been named as one of the Top 10 Leading LGBT+ executives in the “OUTstanding in Business” list published annually by The Financial Times.

In 2016, he was inducted in the Great Lakes Bay Region Junior Achievement Hall of Fame for his business and community leadership accomplishments. He has also received the Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering from the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering.