Northwood University


The mission of Northwood University is to develop the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society.

Core Values Statement

We believe in:

  • the advantages of an entrepreneurial, free-enterprise society.
  • individual freedom and individual responsibility.
  • functioning from a foundation of ethics and integrity.
  • promoting and leveraging the global, diverse and multi-cultural nature of the enterprise.

Core Purpose Statement

The core purpose is to develop leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs with the character and skills to drive personal, organizational and societal success.

Outcomes & Attributes

Code of Ethics

The community of students, faculty, and staff of Northwood University affirms this code of ethics as the behaviors that advance our shared values. Freedom: We will exercise personal freedom while ensuring others be immune from arbitrary interference on account of condition or circumstance, ensuring that freedom will be constrained only by our responsibility for its consequences. Respect: We will treat all others with consideration for their circumstances and with thoughtful regard for their value as human beings. Empathy: We will endeavor to understand the feelings, thoughts, and notions of others in order that compassion and fairness of our actions may result. Spirituality: We will seek the spiritual development necessary for our happiness and growth and encourage an environment that supports this growth for all. Honesty: We will embrace truthfulness, fairness, probity and demand the absence of fraud or deceit in ourselves and others with whom we act. Achievement: We will exercise our skills to create high achievement and applaud the high achievement of others. Integrity: In all our actions, we shall be guided by a code of behavior which reflects our values, unimpeded by circumstance, personal gain, public pressure or private temptation. Responsibility: We will be accountable for the care and welfare of others and responsible for the intended and unintended consequences of our actions. A university education is more than the courses offered and the experiences made available. It is the architecture of those elements designed to create defined results. As a learning community, we focus our efforts on the accomplishment of the following outcomes and attributes.

Our graduates:

1. Understand the tradition of freedom. 2. Have a broad practical understanding of their chosen field. 3. Are familiar with the ideas driving enterprise leaders. 4. Communicate effectively in speech and writing. 5. Understand complex global issues. 6. Have a constant attraction to new ideas. 7. Can explain their personal values. 8. Understand the aesthetic, creative, and spiritual elements of life. 9. Are effective self-evaluators. 10. Are action oriented. 11. Are skilled at detecting and solving problems. 12. Seek lifelong education.

The Northwood Idea

We view a Northwood University education as an investment in your future. Any person who devotes time to a Northwood education gives up the opportunity to devote that time to all the other pursuits he or she might engage in during that time.

The Value of The Idea

We believe that competitive, productive effort can overcome obstacles, solve problems, and achieve goals; that human beings can make a difference in the world in which they live; that political and economic freedom is of paramount importance in releasing creativity and productivity; that sacrifice--savings--is a necessary prerequisite to progress; that equality of opportunity based on contribution and inequality of reward using the same criteria are not only appropriate but the necessary conditions; in a system not forced into conformity with some master plan; that it is the differences among us that make us interesting and useful to each other; in the freedom to fail. We must be free to bear the positive and negative consequences of our actions; that in a competitive system, all who participate benefit from it; we dedicate ourselves to the elimination of artificial barriers to equal opportunity for all human beings. Racial, religious and sexual barriers are anathema to us; that an understanding and appreciation of the arts and humanities is a primary source of human enrichment in the lives of productive human beings; that education is never something that one person can do to another. It is, rather, something two people do together. This means that an educational institution is, primarily, a facilitator of knowledge. We practice a healthy skepticism of large and powerful government because we think history has clearly demonstrated that such structures move rapidly from being of the people toward being over the people, and freedom is lost in the balance. Our intolerance of monolithic power is consistent across the business, labor, and government spectrum. We suspect, furthermore, that as a society we cannot gain from the establishment of legal monopolies except in a very few and constrained circumstances. This is The Northwood Idea.


On March 23, 1959, two young men with an idea, a goal, and a pragmatic philosophy to encompass it all, broke away from their careers in a traditional college structure to create a new concept in education. Their visionary idea became a reality when Dr. Arthur E. Turner and Dr. R. Gary Stauffer enrolled 100 students at Northwood Institute, using a 19th-century mansion in Alma, Michigan, as a school building, a small amount of borrowed money for operating expenses, and a large amount of determination. Northwood was created as the world was changing. The Russians had launched Sputnik and America was soon to follow. Stauffer and Turner watched the race to space. They envisioned a new type of university-one where the teaching of management led the way. While the frontiers of space were revealing their mysteries, Stauffer and Turner understood all endeavors - technical, manufacturing, marketing, retail, every type of business - needed state-of-the-art, ethics-driven management. Time has validated the success of what these two young educators called "The Northwood Idea" - incorporating the lessons of the American free-enterprise society into the college classroom. Dr. David E. Fry took the helm in 1982 and then Dr. Keith A. Pretty in 2006, each continuing the same ideals as Stauffer and Turner, never wavering from the core values, the University grew and matured. Academic curricula expanded; Northwood went from being an Institute to an accredited University, the DeVos Graduate School of Management was created and then expanded; the Adult Degree Program and its program centers expanded to over 20 locations in eight states; international program centers were formed in Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland; and significant construction like the campus Student Life Centers added value to the Northwood students' experience. New endeavors such as Aftermarket Studies, entertainment and sports management and fashion merchandising along with a campus partnership in Montreux, Switzerland, demonstrate an enriched experience for all our students. With a clearly articulated mission to develop the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society, Northwood University is expanding its presence in national and international venues. Professors are engaged in economic and policy dialogue; students are emerging as champions in regional and national academic competitions. At all campuses and in all divisions, Northwood University is energized and is actively pursuing dynamic programming and increased influence. Northwood University educates managers and entrepreneurs - highly skilled and ethical leaders. With over 35,000 alumni and a vibrant future ahead, The Northwood Idea is alive and well.



4000 Whiting Dr

48640 Midland, Michigan, USA

Keystone Scholarship

Discover the options our scholarship can give you