Northwood 39th Annual Stafford Memorial Dinner Planned as Winter in the Woods

Northwood University’s Annual Stafford Memorial Dinner will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 in the Hach Student Life Center on Northwood’s Michigan campus in Midland located at 4000 Whiting Drive. This year represents the 39th annual scholarship fundraising event that is planned and executed by a student executive board. The scholarship fundraiser begins with a reception starting at 5:15 p.m. with an interactive style dinner following at 6:00 p.m. during which a silent auction takes place until 8:00 p.m.

The dinner event honors the Hospitality Management department founder, William D. Stafford. He was the first chairman of the program at Northwood Institute, which became a university in 1993. Stafford used his expertise and experience from years in the hospitality industry to develop Northwood’s curriculum. Proceeds from the dinner will go to the Stafford Memorial Dinner Scholarship Fund which directly benefits the students’ educational funding.

The 39th Stafford Dinner executive board has focused this year’s event around the idea of welcoming back Northwood alumni to campus, as well as inviting potential Northwood students, families and friends to Northwood’s campus to get a glimpse of the Northwood Idea. They also are aiming to attract Northwood supporters from the Midland and Great Lakes Bay Region who want to enjoy an evening of culinary expertise. The executive board is excited to announce that the evening will feature David Santia, a premier “performance speed painter” from Detroit who combines his love for music with his artistic talent to provide exciting entertainment to a diverse audience. Santia has painted all over the country by painting “live shows” in cities such as Las Vegas and for clients like Kid Rock.

Advisors for this year’s event are Dr. Julie Tkach, Taffy Cline and Christopher Wakeman. Dr. Tkach is the current associate professor and department chair of the Hospitality Management program at Northwood University. Executive Chef Cline serves as an adjunct culinary faculty member and an industry advisor for the event. Wakeman is an adjunct faculty member and hospitality director of the NADA Hotel & Conference Center located on Northwood’s Michigan campus. All of the advisors assist the executive board in the organization and preparation for the dinner.

For more information or to register for the event, contact Dr. Julie Tkach at 989.837.4366. The public can also learn more by visiting the Stafford Memorial Dinner website at



Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.