September 2, 2011

On Monday, Northwood University will join with Americans everywhere to celebrate the dignity and value of human labor by observing our nation’s annual Labor Day holiday.

As always, it is tempting to see feast days like this simply as “time off from work.” Yet, as members of the Northwood Community we know that holidays are an affirmation of both the need to rest and celebrate as well as the work that make this rest and celebration possible; what our forebears called leisure.

The roots of America’s greatness lies in this balanced approach between work and leisure, particularly in the arena of business and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison often stumbled upon their next great discovery while they were at leisure: thinking, playing and “tinkering away” as opposed to working. As you know, these discoveries gave rise to new and better technologies which afforded us a higher standard of living, including the opportunity for more leisure.

And this sphere is not limited to entrepreneurs and inventors like Ford and Edison; it is everyone’s business. As Josh Linker notes in Disciplined Dreaming, this month’s Omniquest selection from the faculty and staff of our Florida Campus: “The concept of leveraging creativity to grow success applies regardless of who you are, what your job currently is, or where you’re positioned on an organization chart…people who explore boundaries and try new approaches in education are the ones who make a difference.”

As our nation continues to weather a tough economy in search of new and promising leadership and opportunities we would do well to reflect upon this important insight as we mark the day in our individual ways.

On behalf of the entire Northwood Community, most especially its students, I thank each and every one of you for everything you do to help educate the future leaders of a global, free enterprise society.

May you and your families have a very happy Labor Day.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)