Think back on those first days at Northwood. It was exciting, liberating, and completely overwhelming. To help our freshmen with their first-week butterflies, Northwood welcomed and invited them to #lead during Welcome Weekend and Opening Convocation.
The events outlined for freshmen – and returning students – what it means to be a Northwood University student and to #lead in all areas of their lives.
“Our academic theme, #lead, gives students a positive direction for the school year. It builds on Northwood’s continuous improvement framework of learn, engage, assess, and deploy,” said Dr. Patti Timm, academic dean. “Along with teaching, we strive to help students develop their leadership skills and use those talents to support their communities here at Northwood and wherever they live.”
The Pursuit of Purpose
At the Opening Convocation, 1,200 students, faculty, and staff gathered to meet and share the energy of the new academic year. Speaker Dale Pollak, founder of vAuto, Inc., and developer of the Velocity Method of Management™, inspired the audience with his beliefs about not pursuing happiness. Pollak’s dynamic career and life experiences taught him that true happiness comes from having a meaningful purpose, which will be different for everyone. He advised students to “Discover what means the most to you. That’s what your academic career should be all about.”
Purpose in Community
Welcome Weekend also focused on ways for new students to connect with their communities on campus and in Midland.
“We planned ways to help new students get to know each other and discover opportunities to get involved,” said Taylor Timoszyk, sophomore and student government president. “Being involved on campus and in Midland is an awesome way for freshmen to leave their comfort zones and find new friends.”
An inaugural event, the Go MAD March, highlighted the close connection between Northwood students and the City of Midland that is created through shared community service. Hosted in downtown Midland by United Way of Midland County, this was an opportunity to introduce Northwood’s Go MAD (Go Make A Difference) volunteer initiative.
“The march paired Midland-area nonprofit agencies, like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bridge Food Center, with downtown businesses. So as students visited each store or restaurant to get a treat, they also talked to representatives from local service organizations,” said Emily Korn, United Way campus volunteer manager. “Students learned about Go MAD, discovered volunteer opportunities, and, hopefully, ignited a life-long commitment to helping their neighbors.”