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Black History Month observances include Stafford Dinner, “The Loyola Project” screening

February 7, 2022

The Northwood University community is observing Black History Month in a variety of ways.

“Northwood University is proud to be a facilitator of Black History Month observances, as we value the contributions and achievements Black Americans have made throughout our nation’s history — and those contributions have been significant,” said Northwood University President Kent MacDonald.

Events include an educational campaign at the Strosacker Library/Learning Commons; observances from our Athletics DIG (Diversity Inclusion Group) and Softball Team; our 47th annual Stafford Dinner, which honors the late William Stafford, a Black American who was the first chairman of the Hotel, Restaurant & Resort Management Department at Northwood Institute; and Northwood alumni participating in a red-carpet premiere of the “Loyola Project,” a documentary about “The Game of Change.” To extend the importance of Black History Month, Northwood is bringing that documentary to campus for a public showing in March.

Northwood University’s physical campus is including homages to honor historical Black figures. Two quotes from Booker T. Washington and Sojourner Truth are inset in the concrete pathway between two of our historic buildings, Jordan Hall and Griswold Communications Center. A quote from Rosa Parks will be placed on Northwood’s new fountain at the heart of campus and revealed in May at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The quotes read as follows:

  • “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” — Booker T. Washington

  • “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” — Sojourner Truth

  • “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” — Rosa Parks

The following includes more details about upcoming Black History Month observances facilitated by Northwood University.

Stafford Dinner set for February 26

William Stafford

The Stafford Dinner was created in memory of Mr. William D. Stafford, the first chairman of the Hotel, Restaurant & Resort Management Department at Northwood Institute (now the “Hospitality Management” program). From 1969 to 1972, Mr. Stafford shared his knowledge about the hospitality industry and incorporated it into the curriculum.

From the very early days of the program’s beginnings, Stafford educated generations of students who have transformed their lives and the lives of others through their leadership of the hospitality industry.

The annual Stafford Dinner introduces students to hands-on skills and real work experience as they step out of the classroom and provide our guests with an amazing evening. These students have planned, prepared and implemented this evening’s festivities. We salute both Mr. William Stafford and Mrs. Ethel Stafford for their guidance, support and passion for both the industry and the students.

This year’s event will be held at 5 p.m. February 26 at The H Hotel, 111 Main St., Midland. The evening’s theme is island paradise, and our students are creating a relaxing, warm ambiance for attendees to come in island cocktail attire for a combination of plate-served meals and strolling stations of culinary delights, along with a silent auction to raise funds for hospitality program scholarships, and fun activities like pineapple bowling and a limbo challenge — plus professional performers.

To donate or register, visit the Stafford Dinner web page.


In the Strosacker Library/Learning Commons

The Strosacker Library/Learning Commons is posting informational slides on its TV that highlight achievements of Black Americans from past to present. Campaign organizers also are working on a display of books regarding black history.

The Loyola Project

An image from the ‘Game of Change’ that is the focus of a new documentary, “The Loyola Project,” which will be aired in a number of exclusive colleges, including Northwood University.

Northwood University is proud to be one of just 63 college campuses from around the country that will host a screening of “The Loyola Project,” a documentary exploring what has become known as the “Game of Change.”

In 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Loyola Ramblers of Chicago broke racial barriers in college basketball on their way to a national championship. Loyola’s most memorable game that season was against an all-white team from Mississippi State that was forbidden by its governor to leave the state to play against black athletes.

Few beyond the Loyola family and die-hard college basketball fans know their story. Now, 60 years later, the legend is reexamined by Loyola basketball player and co-captain Lucas Williamson. Woven together with archival footage and interviews, the legacy of the 1963 Ramblers is revisited at a time when the struggle for racial equality remains relevant.

Northwood alumni — including Jeff Stauffer, son of founders Gary and Willa Stauffer — will be attending a red-carpet premiere of “The Loyola Project” on Feb. 10 in Chicago. As part of Northwood University’s commitment to Black History Month, we have arranged to bring the screening to campus for all our students, staff, faculty, alumni and the general public.

If you’d like to see this tale of one of the most transformational tales in sports and civil rights history, please come to Griswold Lecture Hall at 4:30 p.m. March 24. You can register for the Loyola Project Screening online.


Northwood Athletics observing Black History Month

The Athletics DIG (Diversity Inclusion Group) has erected two banners in Riepma Arena in observance of Black History Month.

The Athletics DIG (Diversity Inclusion Group) is doing an athlete takeover for Northwood social media accounts to discuss what Black History Month means to its members. The group also has a “Throwback Thursday” series to highlight former Black student athletes who have shaped Northwood athletics to what it is today. Lastly, the group has erected two banners in Riepma Arena in observance of Black History Month.

The Northwood Softball Team also is taking part in Black History Month observances this year. Head Softball Coach Gregg Sauve reports his team is having players give presentations about different historic Black figures prior to each practice.

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