October 25, 2013

DeVos & DW Celebrations Highlight the Scope of the NU Value Proposition

This past weekend Northwood University hosted system wide celebrations honoring the 20th Anniversary of our DeVos Graduate School of Management. This weekend, the festivities continue as we honor the 2013 class of Distinguished Women at a Gala in Dallas, Texas. Both events are examples of our commitment to the people and principles making a positive difference in the world, but both also serve as reminders of the depth and breadth of the value proposition that sets Northwood apart from other business schools today.

The DeVos Graduate School: 20 Years & Counting

The idea for a graduate school at Northwood University started over 24 years ago with Drs. David Fry, Edgar Madden, and Robert Serum. Following a lot of planning and hard work, the idea came to fruition in the fall of 1993 when we offered our first MBA classes. In 1994, following a significant grant from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, our very unique graduate school took on the name of a very unique entrepreneur and a longtime friend and supporter when it became the Richard M. DeVos Graduate School of Management.

Twenty years—and a great deal of success—later, the DeVos Graduate School is a leader in graduate management education, with over 2,000  alumni directing businesses and organizations around the globe. True to our roots, and the school’s namesake, the DeVos Graduate School is an institution on the move with the launch of the new Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree and several other programs in the pipeline. In addition, we have exciting plans for our DeVos facilities system wide, and we look forward to sharing more with you on this front in the months ahead.

What is significant now, however, is not only the 20 years of existence and success we are recognizing—as well we should—but the opportunity to which these celebrations point in the quality education we offer. As we engage others in our respective circles—business, family, neighbors and friends, or fellow association members and volunteers—we should share with them all our DeVos Graduate School has to offer in helping them maximize their success and the success of the organizations they lead.

The 2013 Class of Distinguished Women

In 1970, following the inspiration of Northwood co-founders Drs. Arthur E. Turner and R. Gary Stauffer, our Board of Trustees established the Distinguished Women's (DW) Award “to recognize the enormous contribution women make to communities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public and private sector services world-wide.” The DW awards are presented annually, and the list of honorees to date is truly a “Who’s Who” of leaders worldwide.

The members of the 2013 Class of DWs are remarkable in numerous ways and not merely for their respective accomplishments, although these are certainly quite significant. Like past honorees, our 2013 DWs are pillars of effective leadership reflective of our unique philosophy which celebrates the value of free and creative individuals at work in a free and creative society.   

The 2013 Northwood University Class of Distinguished Women honorees includes: 

  • Patricia Chambers - Fort Worth, TX
  • Margaret Peale Everett - Sherman, CT
  • Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk - Dallas, TX
  • The Honorable Congresswoman Kay Granger - Ft. Worth, TX
  • Harriet Miers - Dallas, TX
  • Linda Orlans - Troy, MI
  • The Honorable Mayor Mary Roche - Indian Wells, CA
  • Lorraine Schultz - Bloomfield Hills, MI

Like our DeVos Graduate School anniversary celebration, our 2013 Class of DWs is a prime example of the compelling story we have to share at Northwood - a concrete demonstration of our long-standing dedication to creating new and better opportunities for all people.

As Dr. Richard DeVos observed not long ago, Northwood is truly different. “It is the spirit of the school,” he observed. “It isn’t just what you learn. It’s what happens to you there. Northwood is a unique place.”

How right he was and how proud we should be in sharing this with others.

Have a great weekend!


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