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Public invited to May 25 Mall Walk ribbon-cutting event

May 9, 2022

$3.5 million project aimed at preventing future campus flooding; improving campus and community connection

Northwood University invites the community to attend a May 25 ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its Mall Walk Improvement and Flood Mitigation Project.

The new development incorporates underground infrastructure to protect the campus year-round from flooding and groundwater while providing a destination at the heart of campus for the Midland and Northwood University campus community to connect.

The May 25 event will honor the generosity of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and more than 250 individual donors, all of whom made this $3.5 million project possible.

No public funds were used for this project.

“We rely upon transformational gifts to build our reputation as America’s Free Enterprise University,” said Northwood President Kent MacDonald. “We will continue to be the destination for those who believe in liberty to invest in our important educational mission.”

About 30 billion gallons of water inundated the Northwood campus in Midland from the 2020 mid-Michigan dam failures. Northwood sustained more than $17 million in damages, and the Mall Walk improvement project was born out of efforts to mitigate future damages, as this area of campus is prone to flooding because of the low level of surrounding buildings.

Critical academic spaces that will be protected from future water intrusion as a result of this project include the Strosacker Learning Commons and Library, Jordan Academic Hall, and Griswold Communications Center.

“For intimate private institutions like Northwood, it’s challenging to shut down a main academic hall when you don’t have dozens of other buildings to relocate classes,” stated Justin Marshall, vice president of advancement and business development for Northwood University. “Underground floodwater mitigation, as well as improved stormwater management and drainage, are critical for this area of campus.”

The Mall Walk improvement project also included above-ground elements such as enhanced electrical capabilities; improved landscaping; and a new fountain, firepit and walking paths, all establishing Northwood’s iconic Lincoln statue as a destination on campus.

“We are looking forward to unveiling the project to all our donors, Northwood alumni, students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire public during our upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony,” Marshall stated. “This is a community asset – a place we hope people from throughout the region will enjoy, and an intentional space for Northwood to provide social and academic programming.”

The ribbon-cutting event is set to take place at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, on Northwood’s campus, which is located at 4000 Whiting Drive in Midland. Attendees are encouraged to park by the Hach Student Life Center/Bennett Sports Center.

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