In Memoriam - Macauley 'Mac' Whiting, Longtime Friend


Macauley ‘Mac’ Whiting was proud to support Northwood University from the very beginning and throughout the university’s development. He passed away in September and is gratefully remembered for helping pave the way for Northwood’s growth and prominence as a premier business university. Mac moved to Midland in the 1940s after graduating from Yale University and marrying Helen Dow, granddaughter of Herbert Henry Dow. He worked for Dow Chemical for 31 years, where he held several positions including general manager of the Michigan Division and president of Dow International. He also served as a member of its board of directors. He spentmuch of his time involved with local civic and charitable organizations. In addition, he was co-founder of the Macauley and Helen Dow Whiting Foundation.

Mac became involved in Northwood soon after its founding in 1959 and felt a deep connection to the school. His interest was more than academic as he became an unfailing friend and supporter. He valued Northwood’s approach to business education and the focus on the entrepreneurial spirit. And he believed in the success of founders, Dr. Arthur E. Turner and Dr. R. Gary Stauffer, along with their “Northwood Idea.”

“Mac and Helen were wonderful supporters of the school. But it was their friendship that really meant so much to us. They were family,” recalled Willa Stauffer, wife of NU co-founder Gary Stauffer. “Mac had a great sense of humor and a kind manner that made our time together a lot of fun as we worked to help Northwood grow.”

With his wife, Mac donated much of his time and resources to Northwood. The Whitings gifted a historically important property to the school in 1966 that became part of Northwood’s Indiana campus. Mac was a vibrant member of the board of trustees for 40 years. He also served on the board for the Margaret Chase Smith Library that Northwood operated in Skowhegan, Maine.

Northwood truly appreciates the impact Mac made to Northwood and treasures his many contributions. Whiting Drive was named in recognition of Mac and Helen’s generosity and dedication to Northwood for more than 50 years.

“Mac did a lot for Northwood quietly. He didn’t need attention, he just cared about the school and all of the people involved. He was an effective leader who helped Gary and Arthur make their new idea for business education a reality. Mac was an inspiration for all of us,” Stauffer said.

Mac’s quiet intelligence, thoughtfulness, and experience significantly benefited Northwood and our students. His positive energy and gentlemanly guidance will be greatly missed.

Hop To It: Alumni Make Beer a Career


Danny Ranville ('08), co-owner of Bière de Mac Brew Works in Mackinaw City, Mich., is one of several Northwood alumni who are tapping into the booming industry of craft beer.

“It’s going back to the way it once was, with small breweries popping up all over,” Ranville said. “Beer is cool. And kind of glamourous. And sexy.”

On Jan. 3, Ranville and his father opened the doors to Bière de Mac, which serves craft beers brewed on site and gourmet food prepared by a classically trained chef.

“We started with a 2.5-barrel brew system, which produces 100 gallons at a time. It takes two to four weeks to, as we say, go from grain to glass,” Ranville explained.

“We were selling out of our beer faster than we could make it by February. We said, ‘Wow, what’s going to happen in the summer?’”

What happened was continued success, followed by the acquisition of additional land for the installation of a larger brewing system that will increase Bière de Mac’s capacity eight-fold.

Mike Gross (’03) has a similar story. “A buddy and I were at a brewery in southwest Michigan. It was packed, on a Tuesday at 4 o’clock,” Gross recalled. “It started us on this long discussion about business opportunities. A discussion that started with a beer.”

Gross and his friend spent the next few weeks visiting local restaurants watching people – how much they ate, how much beer they drank – to build a business plan.

In 2016, they opened Silver Harbor Brewing Company in St. Joseph, Mich.

“It’s been very successful. In the first seven months, we surpassed our five-year business goals,” Gross said, adding that they recently broke ground on an expansion that will almost double the seating capacity.

Owning a brewery is not the only way to make a career out of beer. Andrew O’Connor (’12) is a sales rep for Bell’s Brewery, one of Michigan’s oldest craft brewers. He represents the Kalamazoo-area company in Midland, Bay, Saginaw, Genesee, and Lapeer counties, working with the regional distributorto increase awareness for the 20 different varieties that Bell’s produces throughout the year.

“It’s definitely a fun industry,” O’Connor said. “Craft beer in Michigan is still growing. We have close to 300 breweries in Michigannow. It’s competitive, but it’s not cut-throat competition. Everyone gets along. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of.”

George Boler (’10) has a similar role with New Belgium Brewing Company, which began 27 years ago in Colorado and now has a second brewery in North Carolina. Boler works with nine different beer distributors in a Michigan territory that stretches from Monroe to the Thumb and also includes the Upper Peninsula.

It is a business that continues to grow across Michigan, which brings challenges of its own.

“The hardest part with so many craft beers out there is getting customers to try your beer,” Boler said. “We are always working to figure out how to showcase a wide variety of our styles of beer.”

You could say that beer made an honest man out of Boler.

“Midway through my college career, I didn’t know what I was going to do professionally,” Boler said. “It’s nice to see that there are different options available, and lots of ways to use a Northwood education.”

Ignite Your Engines - 54th Auto Show Revs Up Midland


Header caption: Chuck Elledge, a senior from Coal City, Illinois, served as general chair of the auto show. Allison Brown didn’t mind making a monkey of herself to call attention to the Jaguar and Land Rover automobiles she was tasked with promoting.

“Any opportunity to dress up and be crazy, I love it,” said the senior from Battle Creek, Mich., wearing a monkey costume as she prowled the walkway of this fall’s Northwood International Auto Show. Music from the “Tarzan” movie soundtrack played in the background, faux foliage sprouted up around the vehicles, and a hidden special effects machine sprayed out a cloud of primordial mist.

Now in its 54th year, the Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS) continues to be a signature event for the university and the Midland community. This year more than 65 manufacturers and 500 vehicles were on display the weekend of Oct. 6, 2017.

With the theme “Ignite,” the 2017 show attracted more than 60,000 visitors. An entirely student-run event, the teams manage everything from planning to logistics to booth design to visitor interaction.

This year’s general chair was Chuck Elledge, a senior from Coal City, Ill., studying automotive marketing and management.

“I got the awesome privilege of overseeing the operation of the auto show,” Elledge said. “You have to think of everything, and then you have to deal with anything. And it’s never the things you think that will go wrong that go wrong.”

Nick Dubs was captain of the BMW team. He and the other 14 team members went with a dignified look for their display. Students wore suits as they greeted visitors, and Sinatra songs played in the background. The main attraction was a high-tech BMW i8 hybrid, on loan from a dealer in Iowa.

“This is perfect training for the real world,” said Dubs, a sophomore from from Owendale, Mich., studying automotive marketing and management. “It’s like being a manager of a dealership. We’re not allowed to sell a vehicle, but if people are interested we can give them a dealer’s information.”

Two-thirds of this year’s Northwood students took part in the auto show in one way or another, Elledge said, further proof that the impact of the auto show extends far beyond the event itself or the thousands of people it touches.


Homecoming Victory Tops Off Weekend


The Homecoming football game is the icing on the cake of October’s Auto Show weekend in Midland, and the icing is always a little sweeter when that game is a victory, as it was this year. Northwood’s dramatic, come-from-behind, 29-24 victory over Michigan Technological University left the Timberwolf faithful in great spirits, and topped off a weekend which also saw home victories for the Northwood men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and volleyball teams.

Auto Show, China Style


Header caption: About 70 vehicles are displayed around the athletic field on the campus of Jilin University – Lambton College in Changchun, China, for the 2017 auto show.

What happens when you take one of the most successful outdoor auto shows in North America and replicate it on another continent? A second, wildly successful event in China that mimics all the best of the Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS).

Northwood University International Program Center at Jilin University – Lambton College (JLU) recently hosted its eighth Changchun Auto Show Sept., 25, 2017, at the campus athletic field.

“It’s smaller in scale than the auto show in Midland, but the sprit is the same,” said Mamiko Reeves, Northwood assistant vice president and dean of International Programs. “It is run by students. Students contact the dealers, work on the displays, and work with faculty members who are there to support them.”

The show, which featured about 70 vehicles, was in keeping with the character of the JLU program, kicking off with a performance of Chinese drumming. It also included a fashion show, as well as a talent show that served as a welcome event for the year’s incoming class of new students.

“The students’ hope is to make the auto show bigger and more well known, and get even more support and collaboration from the auto industry,” Reeves said. “Northwood students in JLU are hired very quickly by the industry. The auto show is a great way for them to demonstrate their learning.

Alumni in Action


Northwood alumni and friends gather around the country to recognize fellow graduates and enjoy a variety of fun activities.

The Project 100 group met on Oct. 7 to evaluate projects and selected “Woody’s Wheels” from the Student Life Dept. for the $10,000 funding opportunity. Pictured above are Northwood SGA leaders Emily Williams and Josh Weckesser with the Project 100 certificate.

Northwood University Alumni Department has been hosting “Alumni VIP Campus Tours” this summer and fall to show off new buildings and renovations, showcasing recent investments in their alma mater. Most buildings on campus have been renovated in some way or built new in the past few years.

Alumni were invited to participate in the 2017 Convocation luncheon and program held this fall. This annual event is the formal opening of the new school year. The alumni had the opportunity to share their advice with our students on how to “be the best you” which is our theme for the year.

The Northern Michigan Alumni & Friends chapter’s successful happy hour at Northwood alumnus-owned microbrewery in Mackinaw City, Mich., may turn into an annual event. Danny Ranville explained the process of opening the microbrewery and his plans for expansion.

On Saturday night of Auto Show/Homecoming weekend, more than 350 Northwood alumni and friends gathered in Woody’s Taproom to celebrate fellowship, football, and fall fun.

NU’s Black Alumni Association (NUBAA) hosted their annual tailgate party during the 2017 Auto Show/Homecoming weekend by partnering with the Northwood Black Student Union organization and considering future events together.

Phi Beta Lambda alumni held a reunion in Midland during 2017 Northwood Auto Show/Homecoming weekend. More than 65 alumni and friends attended.

Chicago Alumni & Friends chapter gathered for their annual Chicago Cubs outing on Sept. 10 and plans another fun family-friendly event this winter.

Alumni enjoyed the Northwood suite at Great Lakes Loons games many times this past baseball season at Dow Diamond. A great time is always waiting at this amazing ball park in Midland, Mich.

Alumni in Action - Texas


Texas Crossing Over Affinity Celebration & Fort Worth Oktoberfest Northwood Texas Alumni & Friends Chapter hosted two annual events on the Cedar Hill campus over the weekend of October 20, 2018: the Fort Worth Oktoberfest and the Crossing Over event. More than 100 Northwood alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends participated in these events. Watch for the next Texas alumni event in May 2018. Attendees at the event were asked to share their thoughts:

It's a Small World - Alumni Cross Paths in Paradise


“Ohana” means family in Hawaiian, and it also nicely sums up the Prohaska family’s vacation to the islands of Oahu and Maui last summer. Mark ('93), Michelle, and their daughter Brook, a Northwood sophomore, expected their trip to paradise to be full of fun family time. They never imagined they’d find ohana on a helicopter ride. Sightseeing by air was the perfect way for the Prohaskas to experience Oahu’s natural beauty. The warm welcome and professionalism at Magnum Helicopters, the tour company they chose, made their helicopter adventure fun and safe. And when they met the pilot and company president, Richard Schuman, the family’s enjoyment multiplied in a surprising way, thanks to Northwood ties.

“We quickly found out that we had a lot in common with our pilot, Richard,” said Michelle Prohaska. “When he learned that our daughter Brook is a Northwood student and Mark is an alumnus, he laughed. Both he and his wife Diane are Northwood grads. How great is it to meet Northwood family 5,000 miles from home?”

Richard Schuman ('80) gave the Prohaskas an unforgettable helicopter tour of Oahu, including seeing stunning landscapes, paying their respects to fallen heroes at Pearl Harbor, and forging an instant friendship.

A Home Far from Home A chance meeting with Richard Schuman on an island in the Pacific made a wonderful memory for the Prohaskas. For Schuman, the time he spent with the family was a heartwarming reminder of all he gained personally at Northwood.

“Northwood and Michigan were very different from where I grew up," Schuman said. "But I made great friends and met my wife there. I also learned about free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit, which I use in my business. And I’m still making new friends through Northwood.”

Richard and Diane Schuman (Haglund) (’80), build their success on strong relationships and personal connections, a skill that Northwood’s close community nurtured.

It’s a Small (Northwood) World Northwood helps make the world a little smaller and a lot friendlier. Our alumni live and work across the globe, creating a welcoming Northwood network even in faraway places. Alumni also establish a comforting sense of family – a promise of ohana – for students.

“I was honored that day to be among two very successful Northwood alums. My heart was proud as I realized that attending Northwood is the right decision for me,” said Brook Prohaska. “My dad and Mr. Schuman showed me that working hard and going to a school I love will get me to where I need to be in my future.”

Main photo caption: Richard Schuman, Brook Prohaska, and Mark Prohaska forged a new Northwood friendship that spans the 5,000 miles between Oahu and Michigan.

Athletic Fall of Fame


Northwood celebrated the accomplishments of five gifted student athletes with their induction into the 12th Athletic Hall of Fame on on Oct. 21 at the Hach Student Life Center.

“Each of the inductees was selected based on their athletic prowess, contributions to the athletic programs, success, and character as well as their positive representation of Northwood University. We are proud to pay tribute to the long, exciting history of Northwood athletics by honoring them.” – Dave Marsh, Northwood Athletic Director

TEDDY MEBOUNOU Men's Tennis 2005-2007, 2011-2012 • Won 40 matches leading the Timberwolves to a pair of GLIAC Championships • Division II Individual title at the ITA Championships, first player in GLIAC history to earn the top ranking • 2007 GLIAC Men's Tennis Athlete of the Year • Second Northwood player to earn ITA Senior National Player of the Year • GLIAC Athlete of the Year for the second time at Northwood while earning his M.B.A. at the DeVos Graduate School

JIM SOMERS Men's Basketball 1977-1981 • Led Northwood in scoring three times in his career • Ranks eighth in school history in scoring and fourth in rebounding • In 1980 attempted 20 free throws, the record in a single contest • Leading scorer and rebounder for the 1980-81 season and tied for highest win percentage

CINDY BIERWAGEN (CHOBAN) Volleyball 1991-1992 • First Team All-District 23 junior and senior years • Two-time NAIA Mid-East Region CoSIDA All-Academic honoree • Holds four single-season school records • Two-time All-American • NU record for solo blocks in a match (nine) 1992

TANYA DARNELL (HOSPELHORN) Softball 1993-1996 • Holds the Northwood season record for hits and runs batted in • Career standards in hits, runs batted in and total bases • Holds four single-season school records • Her name appears 27 times in the Northwood record book • Ranks second in runs, second in doubles, third in triples, eighth in home runs, second in stolen bases, and fourth in batting average • Three-time All-GLIAC honoree • Named First Team All-Region senior season

AMANDA WATSON Women's Soccer 2009-2012 • Finished career with 132 points • Scored 55 career goals, 10 more than any other player • Second in school history with 22 assists • 2010 GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2010 • First Team All-GLIAC four times • Three-time All-Region honoree

Athletes in Action - Learning to Lead


Thirty-five Northwood University student-athletes with team leaders from each varsity sports program took part in a one-day leadership retreat at Eagle Village Retreat Center in Hersey, Mich., in September.

“We developed this program with three objectives in mind,” said Dave Marsh, Northwood University athletic director. “We wanted to help our team captains and others enhance their leadership skills within their teams, hopefully to see improved performance in our teams. We also wanted to help our student-athletes develop as leaders on campus and in the community as part of their overall education at Northwood. Finally, we wanted to bring all our teams together to encourage them to support each other and build relationships across programs.”

Student-athletes participated in various training exercises, including a classroom session, an outdoor mountain rescue course, and an indoor high ropes course. Sessions allowed the student-athletes to build a better understanding of how to blend different personalities and effectively communicate to achieve goals. The retreat also allowed student-athletes to understand leadership roles on and off the playing field and in their careers beyond Northwood.

Faculty Briefs


Jacob D. Augustin, assistant professor of Entertainment, Sport, Promotion Management, is currently defending his dissertation, “An Examination of the Effect of Alcohol on Sport Gambling Behaviors.” He has written several manuscripts currently in review for professional publication. Jacob has recently made professional presentations to the College Sport Research Institute, the North American Society of Sport Management, the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, and the Applied Sport Management Association. Upcoming 2018 presentations include a variety of topics, such as alcohol consumption and collegiate club athletes, market efficiency in the National Hockey League, and stadium naming rights in professional football.


Danielle M. Harris is an assistant professor of Entertainment, Sport, Promotion Management. She received her Master of Arts in Sport and Recreation Management from Kent State University and her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Bowling Green State University. Danielle graduated from the 2013 NCAA Leadership Institute and participated in the NACWAA Division II Governance Academy in 2014. In the past two years, she has been a guest speaker at the NCAA Career in Sports Forum.



Jared Kaczmarczyk, assistant professor of Accounting, began his career as a tax intern with Andrews Hooper Pavlik before becoming a staff accountant. As a staff accountant, he performed external and internal audits for various industries, including financial institutions, government, not-for- profit organizations, and manufacturing companies. He was also responsible for preparing and reviewing business and personal tax returns.

Jared received his undergraduate degree from Olivet College and a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Michigan.


Arnab Majumdar, Fashion Marketing and Management department chair, has more than a decade of experience in the fashion industry. He brings his unique experience in the fashion industry’s supply chain to the classroom using digital, social, and free-enterprise platforms to advance the needs of the industry in today’s global, high-tech environment. His goal in academia is to adapt fashion education for the 21st century for students and entrepreneurs to better cater to the needs of the future market.

Arnab has seven years of experience in academia and several years of industry experience during which he launched fashion brands and stores. His experience includes consulting, production of fashion events, and seasonal campaigns for the apparel businesses. He completed his Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island and has a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Technology from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India. Arnab is co-owner of a Chicago-based fashion business start-up, VendMyT.


Rob Safley, Adult Degree Program adjunct professor in Fort Worth, Texas, CMSgt Rob Safley was recently selected Command Chief for the 301 Air Force Reserve unit on the NAS/JRB Fort Worth base. In this position, he advises the commander on all matters relating to readiness, training, professional development, force utilization, operations tempo, health, morale, welfare, and leadership of the 1,800 enlisted members of the wing. He performs as the functional manager to the first sergeants within the wing and serves as the commander’s representative on councils, boards, and selected events within the military and civilian communities.

Gala Breaks Record for Scholarship Donations


Header caption: Mother and daughter Lindsey and Tammy Horner, both Northwood graduates, spend time together at the Gala.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Northwood University International Auto Show (NUIAS) has had a classy kickoff to Auto Show weekend in the signature event, the Auto Show Gala.

The 2017 Gala was the most successful to date, raising more than $111,000 for two scholarship endowments – the Town & Campus and the Alumni Legacy Student scholarships – while providing a festive night to more than 200 friends of Northwood.

“It is a big family reunion,” said Jennifer Williams ('83), Gala co-chair. “People love it. They love the whole atmosphere. The food. The drinks. The band. The dancing. Most importantly, the fellowship shared and coming together to support our students.”

CDK Global was the presenting sponsor for the Gala, leading the way to breaking the record for donations. CDK Global provides auto dealer software as well as solutions for truck, motorcycle, marine, and RV dealers throughout North America and beyond.

Jennifer ('83) and Graham Williams, parents of 2016 Northwood graduate Griffin Williams, chaired the event.

“We are grateful for the support of our donors, friends, and our dedicated committee that was led by Jennifer and Graham Williams,” Summers said, pointing out that work has already begun on the next Gala.

"There’s no better way to look back and pay it forward than attending Auto Show Gala," added Williams. "This event enables you to “bond” with fellow alumni and faculty and most importantly, raises monies to enable student scholarships for the next generation to attend Northwood. Great food, great music, a great time. Don’t miss 2018!”

In Memoriam - Helen Devos Philanthropy and Faith


Helen DeVos believed that both giving and serving were essential to a well-lived life. Her caring focus upheld her deeply held values of family, community, and education. Through her support, Helen shared her love for music and the arts, as well her devotion to relieving hunger, improving healthcare, and strengthening education. Helen passed away on Oct. 18, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of philanthropy and faith. Helen's son, Dick DeVos said," My family and I mourn the loss of my mother, Helen DeVos. We also celebrate her incredible life. She was amazing. As a mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher, and philanthropist, she always cared and helped develop the best in others."

Helen and her husband, Amway co-founder Richard M. DeVos, made a commitment to giving early in their marriage. As they worked hard to raise a family and build an international business together, Helen and Rich never wavered in their desire to reach out and give back. Over the years, the DeVos family has given away $1.2 billion, mainly through the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation. A multitude of community organizations – including hospitals, symphonies, universities, K-12 schools, and churches – publicly recognized her philanthropic efforts. However, Helen found a simple and selfless joy in seeing the difference that sharing her time, talent, and support could make in improving the lives of others. In 1993, Northwood was honored to present Helen with our Distinguished Women Award.

The difference that Helen and Rich made to Northwood is immeasurable. Their belief in the engaged and values-driven education that is fundamental to our vision was instrumental in Northwood Institute becoming a well-respected university with an outstanding graduate school that carries their name, the DeVos Graduate School. Helen and Rich last visited campus in May of 2016 for the dedication of the new state-of-the-art, modern Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management building.

Helen and Rich shared their personal values and dedication to Northwood University with family, too. Their sons, Dick and Dan, and granddaughter Cassie, all graduated from Northwood, where they have continued the family’s legacy of philanthropy through generous contributions to the University. The Northwood community celebrates Helen’s life of leadership, service, and generosity. She exemplified the positive impact heartfelt giving can make every day.

“The loss of our mother has been difficult for the entire family, but her legacy will live on. She was always focused on her faith, family, and community,” said her son Dan DeVos. “Being a former teacher, she was also committed to education at every level. She was a strong believer in the Northwood Idea and how Northwood graduates would make a positive impact throughout the world. We will always miss you, Mom.”

MOTOWN Cool - Custom Northwood Watch Provides Scholarships for Students from Detroit


In the glory years, Detroit was a diverse, hard-working city, powered by innovation andcreativity. Birthplace of the assembly line. Arsenal of democracy. Dynamo of prosperity, bouncing forward to a pulsing Motown beat.

Then, for reasons too complex to sum up in a few words, Detroit stumbled. For a long time, the city struggled to regain its footing, seeming to be always on the verge of falling to its knees.

But now Detroit is regaining its stride. It has a new energy, a sense of purpose, and a culture of entrepreneurship that is making things happen.

Northwood knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship, so it’s not surprising that the university is playing a part in Detroit’s renewal. In one example, a Northwood graduate is investing in the city through a fascinating urban forestry initiative (see story, Page 6). For something a little more hands-on, check out the Northwood edition wristwatch from Shinola Detroit, a new company that is making Motown’s urban cool a worldwide phenomenon.

Shinola launched in 2012 with nine assembly workers and a stylish retail store in a blighted part of Detroit. The stated goal was to generate employment in a city that desperately needed it by producing fashionable watches with an appealing brand.

The company also makes high-end bicycles, and sells an eclectic variety of products – among them leather goods, jewelry, and audiophile turntables – that can really only be linked by one word: hip. It has expanded to more than 25 retail locations (several new ones are opening this summer) around the country and also has locations across Europe.

“Since 2012, we’ve hired more than 600 people and created 200 meaningful manufacturing jobs,” the company has stated on its website, under the hashtag #rollupoursleeves. “We’re proud of what we’re building, but we know there’s more we can do, and we believe that’s true for everyone. Together, we can get there.”

Shinola marketing whiz Peter Shin spoke at Northwood in 2016 as part of Values Emphasis Week, and the natural fit between the company and the university was obvious.

“He shared the Shinola story, and talked about the Shinola brand. Ethics. Values. Purpose. Treating your customers correctly,” recalled Justin Marshall, Northwood’s Vice President of University Advancement and Alumni Relations. “I suggested the idea of a partnership between Shinola and Northwood, and creating a special Northwood watch, with the proceeds funding a scholarship program for students from Detroit. He said, ‘I like the idea. Let’s get something going.’ˮ

In true entrepreneurial fashion, something got going very quickly. Shinola agreed to produce up to 500 watches and provide them to Northwood at a wholesale price. Northwood would sell them at the retail price of a comparable Shinola watch. And rest assured, this is not your typical timepiece.

The watch face is Northwood blue. “Northwood University” is etched on the stainless steel body. It comes in a display-quality wooden box with the school’s logo burned into the top. Its Super-LumiNova hands are driven by an Argonite 1069 high-accuracy quartz movement.

“It’s a beautiful timepiece, and it’s unique to Northwood University,” Marshall said. “They are a point of pride for the alumni network – something that can be worn proudly, giving each wearer the opportunity to help others and to tell a great story."

The only place to order the special edition watch is at Northwood’s website, It comes in three case sizes, 47 mm, 41 mm, or 36 mm, and sells for $550.

“Shinola has been very generous in the terms of the agreement. They will produce 50 at a time, and when we sell those they will make us a new batch,” Marshall said, adding that more than 60 watches were sold in the first week they were available, just before spring graduation. “They will not make more than 500, and if we sell that many, we will have more than $100,000 for a scholarship endowment, which will allow many students from Detroit to benefit from a Northwood education.”

How an Urban Idea Can Grow


Northwood Alum Shares Urban Forestry Story during Values Emphasis Week

John Hantz lives in Detroit, runs a Detroit-area business, and deeply cares about the city and its people.

So he was concerned about the large number of abandoned homes stubbornly dotting the city’s neighborhoods, even as downtown and other high profile areas enjoy a renaissance. His solution: invest millions of his own dollars to buy abandoned properties from the city, clear the land and grow hardwood trees for a profit.

It worked.

After overcoming stiff resistance by a few neighbors and community activists, his Hantz Farms Detroit organization has transformed more than 2,000 formerly abandoned lots in an area on the city’s East Side, demolishing 54 vacant structures and planting more than 15,000 trees. Residents in the area have delighted in the improvements they’ve seen in their neighborhood, and the Detroit Free Press reported that the median home price in the area went from $15,500 before the project to $74,750 after.

Hantz was on Northwood’s campus during this spring’s Values Emphasis Week for a screening of the documentary movie “Land Grab,” which tells the Hantz Farms story. After the screening, he and Sean O’Grady, the film’s producer, took part in a discussion about the project and how it relates to Northwood’s values.

“What I hope happens here is that we say, ‘… A person took a risk, and that risk led to the betterment of a lot of people who lived in that square mile,’ ” Hantz says in the documentary. “This is making a difference. And it is creating hope.”

Hantz and his story were just one of several compelling programs during Values Emphasis Week, which offers a formal, yearly opportunity for Northwood students, faculty, and staff to reflect on moral and ethical values relating to their personal lives, involvement in the community, and their work in the world of business.

Values Emphasis Week originated in 1979 and is rooted in the university’s code of ethics, which provides a roadmap for students, staff, and faculty to advance their shared values. The Northwood code of ethics includes: freedom, respect, empathy, spirituality, honesty, achievement, integrity, and responsibility.

Rich Agenda

Other programs during this year’s Values Emphasis Week included:

  • Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a public policy think tank that promotes market-based solutions to fight poverty.

  • Ayn Rand Institute fellow Don Watkins, co-author ofNorthwood’s spring term Omniquest selection Equal is Unfair.
  • Northwood Founder’s Day, with the annual Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony, featuring keynote speaker Brian Calley, Michigan’s lieutenant governor.


Nairobi to Northwood


Chris Songe was doing just fine. After growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nairobi and landed a series of sales jobs in auto dealerships, selling and servicing well known international brands such as BMW, Volvo, and Renault KIA. It was the late 1990s.

But Chris is not the kind of person to settle for fine.

"I was looking at the big picture," he remembers.

How big? As big as the world, it turned out.

At a career fair in Nairobi, he struck up a conversation with someone who told him about Northwood’s world-class automotive marketing program.

"I had been thinking of going back to school. I wanted to have a successful career, and to find a job in the OEM space within developing markets," Chris said. "And I was very excited about the fact that Northwood was one of the few universities that had an automotive marketing program. I'm a car guy."

Still, Midland is a long way from Nairobi.

"I was really torn about leaving my family to come to Northwood," Chris recalled. "But it was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up."

So he headed off to the United States, not sure exactly what to expect.

"I remember two things very clearly. I was very intimidated when I got to the airport in Chicago. I was afraid I would miss my flight to Midland," he said. "The only other thing I was worried about was that I had never used a vending machine."

Fitting in at Northwood proved to be less scary than the concourse at O'Hare.

"The university did a fantastic job helping me get settled in," Chris said. "And one good thing was that there were a lot of other international students. From Holland. From Canada. I was the only student from Africa in the automotive program, but I didn't feel like I was the only guy who was away from home."

Northwood's openness to international students is a benefit to everyone, said Mamiko Reeves, Northwood assistant vice president and dean of International Programs.

"When students come here from around the world, they bring fresh ideas, unique perspectives and valuable insight," Reeves said. "It all adds to the character of the university, which is a big part of what makes Northwood special, and helps advance our mission of developing global leaders."

In 1999, Chris earned his Northwood bachelor's degree in Automotive Marketing and was quickly snatched up by CDK Global, which provides integrated technology solutions to more than 27,000 auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, RV, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the world. He started as a business solution consultant, helping clients' employees learn to use the company's system, and has advanced to his current role as an implementation manager, overseeing implementation for hundreds of clients per year. Chris and his wife, Tracy, live with their two sons, George and Ian, outside Minneapolis.

"I'd like to give thanks to Northwood," Chris said. "I wish I had come here from the beginning."