December 9, 2011

In Giving, We Receive

The holiday season entails many traditions, one of which is service to our surrounding communities. Consistent with our philosophy and mission, Northwood University students, faculty, and staff have been busy—and remain so—serving a variety of important causes and constituencies during the weeks heading into the holidays.

Seahawks Walk for the American Cancer Society & Fund Student Scholarships

On November 4, students, faculty, and staff from our Florida Campus participated in the American Cancer Society’s “Light the Night” Walk which provides support for those battling Leukemia and Lymphoma. This is, as EXCEL Program director Carol Wagmeister put it, “a big event in the West Palm Beach community.” In addition to taking part in the walk itself, Northwood students volunteered their time and energy in the set-up.

Following this, the Florida Campus got busy planning for another American Cancer Society event: On March 30, 2012, the Seahawk Campus will serve as the host site for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life which fondly remembers those who have lost their battle with cancer. Our student community service organization, “Seahawks in the Community,” is taking the lead in getting all of our students, including all of our student organizations and athletic teams, along with faculty and staff, to coordinate and execute a successful and highly attended event. I look forward to sharing more with you on this later.

From Veterans Day through Thanksgiving week, Florida students produced and collected nearly 200 handmade “Thank you” cards that were delivered on Thanksgiving to veterans being treated at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. As one might imagine, this expression of gratitude and appreciation touched them deeply. Mary Phillips, chief of Voluntary/Recreation Therapy Service at the VA Medical Center, wrote to say, “…we thank you for your thoughtfulness and support…The Medical Center is grateful to have groups such as yours that make a difference for our veterans.”

On December 2, Dominique McClain Barteet, creator and inventor of the Onesole interchangeable shoe and finalist on ABC’s The Shark Tank, headlined The Friends of Northwood, Palm Beach Chapter’s Annual Noel Luncheon. Held at the Brazilian Court Hotel, the 2011 Noel Luncheon marks the 32nd year that the chapter has raised scholarship funds on behalf of Northwood students.

In concert with our students and benefactors, the Florida faculty and staff are donating non-perishable food items at their annual holiday party this year. All of the items collected will support Feeding South Florida, a non-profit organization that serves the hungry in the West Palm Beach area.

Timberwolves Partner with Salvation Army & United Way, Send Video Greeting to Our Military

From November 1-16, Circle K hosted an off-campus food drive in partnership with local retailers, Family Fare and Pizza Sam’s, in support of The Open Door, an area program that serves 45,000 meals annually free of charge. In all, they collected 117 food items and $50 which helped prepare the soup kitchen in time for the holiday season.

This past Tuesday, December 6, Circle K organized a “Holiday Video to Soldiers.” Students, faculty, and staff were invited to stop in and share their personal “Thank You’s” and inspirational messages that will in turn be sent as a show of support to the men and women who put everything on the line in the fight for freedom.

On Wednesday, December 7, Northwood University's Emerging Leaders hosted their annual Salvation Army Christmas Party for 35 area children. Students spent one-on-one time with children over dinner, games, and crafts. Performances by the Timberwolf dance team and cheerleaders were capped off by a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus complete with gifts.

Later today, December 9, Circle K, Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Alpha Chi Omega will share their time and talent in support of the Dow Garden’s Annual Christmas Walk—a season favorite for those in the Midland community.

The Michigan Campus is also partnering once again with The United Way of Midland County to support its Sharing Tree program. Northwood students, various student organizations, and faculty and staff helped The United Way by purchasing gifts that will ensure those in need have something with which to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

Knights Adopt Area Families, Feed Those in Need, Spread Christmas Cheer & Warmth

On Thursday December 8, the Student Government Association (SGA) on our Texas Campus hosted its annual ice skating party. The proceeds from this year’s event will support three area families adopted by the SGA.

As Abby Babbitt, director of Leadership and Character Development, explained, “The students wanted to do something that included the entire family. This allowed them to do much more and make certain that their Christmas celebrations are just that.”

Once again, the entire Texas Campus worked with the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program to distribute holiday greeting cards to service members, veterans, and their families across the country and abroad. This year they surpassed their goal and will mail over 1,000 holiday cards to our service men and women. 

The Texas Campus is also coordinating a fundraiser benefiting the Cedar Hill Food Pantry through direct monetary donations and the collection of gently used items for re-sale at New-2-You, a store which donates the proceeds of all its sales to the pantry. Every dollar raised will purchase four meals for those in need.

Many of our student Knights are also spreading Christmas joy and cheer by caroling at area senior citizen centers—an all too important, but often overlooked and forgotten, element of our community.

A Final Thought

I hope that you will not only join me in commending the charitable efforts of our students, faculty, and staff system wide, but that you will consider sharing some of your time, talent, and treasure with our surrounding communities, especially if you have not had an opportunity to do so yet this year. As we at Northwood attest, in giving, we find that in some mysterious and meaningful way, we also receive.

Have a great weekend.


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