March 23, 2012

Founders’ Day

Two hundred forty-seven years ago, on March 22, 1765, Great Britain’s Parliament passed the Stamp Act, taxing all legal documents and periodicals in the American colonies. It was a decision that not only impeded commerce and made it more costly, but it was one that would ultimately fuel the fight for American independence by America’s founding fathers. One of those founders, Patrick Henry, had just recently been appointed to the colonial legislature. Braving controversy and even charges of treason, Henry rose before the assembly and delivered a stirring speech opposing the Stamp Act.

Ten years and one day later, on March 23, 1775, Henry once again courageously stood to speak. This time it was before the Virginia Provincial Convention, where he uttered those famous and timeless words echoing Cato’s critique of an earlier empire and power-hungry leader in Julius Caesar, saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”

One hundred ninety-four years—to the day, in fact—after Patrick Henry’s speech, Arthur Turner and Gary Stauffer dared to strike out on their own by establishing Northwood Institute that blossomed into Northwood University. And the vision that guided their work stems from the very same philosophy that informed and inspired Patrick Henry and America’s founding fathers. This philosophy understands the “opportunity society” can only grow in a culture that appreciates, protects, and practices the values of freedom, liberty, enterprise, and personal responsibility.

Today, we do well not only to look back on our founders with deep admiration and appreciation but even more to take notice of how we have served, and continue to serve, this same vision. While other business schools are training students to climb professional ladders, we at Northwood are educating students to become proven business leaders who know how to manage and lead as circumstances require.

Through initiatives such as the 2012 Summer Semester which offers students a significant tuition discount, and Seamless Enrollment-Flexible Delivery, we are ensuring this same vision will guide, nurture, and educate students for generations to come by adapting it to the needs of 21st century learners. Like the good gardener who succeeds by pruning, feeding, and cultivating, we are ensuring our place and influence by practicing the values of the innovative university, no different than our founders did in striking out from the norm 53 years ago today.

As we celebrate Founders’ Day at Northwood University, our Officer Team and I want to thank each of you for all you do and sacrifice to make Northwood University the successful institution it is.

Have a great weekend!


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