On a Friday evening in February, Northwood University alumni and friends gathered to review three business presentations from student organizations and departments at the school’s Midland, Michigan campus. The cohort had one goal: determine which project would receive the $10,000 prize.“This is the first time a small group of alumni has made such a significant impact on a Northwood project of their choosing,” said Julie Adamczyk, executive director of alumni relations at Northwood University. “This project really embodies who we are at Northwood by nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, and through our support of one another.”
Northwood’s Alumni Project 100 is a development initiative intended to put the power in the hands of the donors. For the inaugural meeting, 62 Northwood alumni and friends met—some in person, and some online—to vote for the program they believed needed funding the most. The process will repeat each semester for the next three years.
When live voting concluded at this year’s inaugural event, the university’s Fashion Marketing and Management department took home the prize with 39 percent of the vote. The money will be used to purchase visual merchandising and computer aided design software, which is intended to help students design professional-level portfolios and better prepare them for jobs in a competitive field.
“We are so excited to have the opportunity to bring more digital fashion and retailing education into Northwood’s program,” said Melodie Davis-Bundrage, chair of the fashion marketing and management department at Northwood. “Being given this through Project 100, and having alumni recognize how important this is to our students, makes it really special.”
From a field of 19 submissions from across the university, three projects were selected from a field narrowed by the Alumni Leadership council, a volunteer group that advises the Northwood Alumni Department. In addition to the fashion software, Northwood’s renowned Mock Trial team and the Signature Events team rounded out the top selections.
The next Project 100 meeting to award monies will be at the North American International Auto Show alumni weekend on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Friends and alumni of Northwood University can learn more about joining the initiative at: https://connect.northwood.edu/pages/alumni100.