August 31, 2012

One Small Step, One Very Big Impact.

Last week Saturday, Neil Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission and the first man to walk on the moon, passed away.

Known around the world for his famous first moon step on July 20, 1969, Armstrong’s impact and influence far outreach that singular monumental event. Following his career with NASA, which ended in 1971, he went on to teach at the University of Cincinnati for eight years.  His next venture was into the world of private enterprise where he ran a number of corporations while leading a largely private life.

As we move forward with the 2012-13 academic year, we at Northwood would do well to consider the role model and the impact of Neil Armstrong and those like him. He is a prime example of what we can accomplish even when, like Armstrong himself, we might be tempted to think we are “just doing our job.”

The vision, challenging academics, and servant-leadership we hold in high esteem—all of which culminate in The Northwood Idea—are guidelines for success. When put into action, they can produce everything from a new technology to methods for better serving the needs and wants of customers to endeavors once thought to be impossible, including landing on the moon.

And even though we may not think so, the small steps we take each and every day might very well reverberate far beyond anything we could ever imagine—if not from us directly as faculty and staff, then certainly through the students we teach, mentor, and serve.

Enjoy the Labor Day holiday!


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