Northwood University

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Northwood University
Northwood Logo, fiftieth anniversary
Former names
Northwood Institute
TypePrivate university
Established1959; 64 years ago (1959)
FounderArthur Turner, Gary Stauffer
Endowment$90.0 million (2020) As of June 30, 2020 [1]
ChairmanJennifer Panning
PresidentKent MacDonald[2]
Undergraduates2,116 (Fall 2021)[3]
Postgraduates306 (Fall 2021)
CampusSuburban, 90 acres (36 ha)
ColorsNU Dark Blue & NU Light Blue
Sporting affiliations
Mascot"Woody" Timberwolf

Northwood University (NU) is a private university focused on business education with its main campus in Midland, Michigan. Opened in 1959, more than 33,000 people have graduated from the institution.[4]


Northwood University opened as Northwood Institute in 1959 by Arthur E. Turner and R. Gary Stauffer. One hundred students enrolled at the new school, which was initially located in a 19th-century mansion in Alma, Michigan. Northwood Institute moved to Midland, Michigan, in 1961.[5]

The Jesuits operated a seminary known as West Baden College at the former West Baden Springs Hotel, in Orange County, Indiana, from 1934 until June 1964, when declining enrollment forced the closure of the facility. They sold the property to a Michigan couple, who in turn donated it to Northwood Institute, which operated a satellite campus of their business management school under the great dome on the property from 1966 until 1983, when it was closed.[6] During the same time frame during which the Indiana campus was opened, a Northwood facility was also established in Texas, which continues to serve students in the Southwest United States.

Midland's Church Family Administration building

In 1982, David E. Fry became president of the school. The Florida residential campus was added and the academic curricula was expanded. The school was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[7]

In 1993, the name was changed from Northwood Institute to Northwood University and The DeVos Graduate School of Management was created. A joint program with the Hotel Institute Montreux was established in 2001 to combine Swiss hospitality traditions with American management practices. The school, located in Montreux, Switzerland was Northwood University's first international venture. University College program centers were expanded for a total of 40 locations in eight states and program centers were begun in Bahrain, People's Republic of China, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland.

In October 2007, Keith A. Pretty was named Northwood's third President and CEO. Kent MacDonald became president in 2019.[2]

In 2014, Northwood announced that it would close its residential operations at its Texas location, while continuing to expand its adult degree program and graduate program there.[8] A year later in 2015, the university sold its Florida location to Keiser University.[9]


Northwood focuses on business education. Its most popular undergraduate majors, based on 2021 graduates (including by distance learning), were:[10]

Business Administration and Management (343)
Accounting (108)
Marketing/Marketing Management (79)
Vehicle & Vehicle Parts & Accessories Marketing Operations (47)
Finance (39)
Management Science (24)
Sport & Fitness Administration/Management (22)


Current campuses[edit]

Michigan Timberwolves[edit]

Hantz Stadium in Midland

The athletic teams of Northwood University's Michigan (main) campus are called the Timberwolves. The campus is a member of the NCAA Division II ranks, primarily competing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) since the 2022–23 academic year. The Timberwolves previously competed in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) from 1972–73 to 1986–87, and again from 1992–93 to 2021–22.

Northwood competes in 16 varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Club sports include men's ice hockey.

On April 29, 2021, Northwood announced that it will leave the GLIAC to join the G-MAC in July 2022.[11]

Former campuses[edit]

Texas Knights[edit]

The athletic teams of Northwood University's Texas campus were called the Knights. The campus was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); primarily competing in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) for the 2013–14 academic year. They also competed in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) from 1998–99 to 2012–13.

Northwood–Texas competed in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports included baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and track & field; while women's sports included basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and track & field.

Florida Seahawks[edit]

The athletic teams of Northwood University's Florida campus were called the Seahawks. The campus was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); primarily competing in the Sun Conference (formerly known as the Florida Sun Conference (FSC) until after the 2007–08 school year) from 1994–95 to 2014–15.

Northwood–Florida competed in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports included baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, and tennis; while women's sports included basketball, cheerleading, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Beacom, Ron; News, for the Daily (24 August 2019). "Meet Northwood University's new president". Midland Daily News. {{cite web}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  3. ^[permanent dead link] = August 12, 2015
  4. ^ Northwood University: About Us-History
  5. ^ Peterson's Four-Year Coilleges by Thomson Peterson, page 2101-2104, Northwood University
  6. ^ French Lick Resort website: History-West Baden Springs Hotel
  7. ^ Higher Learning Commission
  8. ^ Wirtz, Ralph (5 March 2014). "Northwood closing residential operations in Texas". Midland Daily News. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  9. ^ Keiser University to take over Northwood University's West Palm Beach campus
  10. ^ "Northwood University". U.S. Dept of Education. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  11. ^ "Northwood University Athletics Changing Conference Affiliation". Richland Source. April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  12. ^ "Driver Robb Brent Career Statistics -". Racing Reference. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  13. ^ "ARCA Racing Series Driver - Robb Brent 36 - Driver Information". Robbbrent Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  14. ^ "Mound Visit with Rob Childress". Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  15. ^ "Outstanding Business Leaders Archives". Northwood University. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Dan DeVos".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Full Biography". Congresswoman Candice Miller. Archived from the original on 2016-05-07. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  18. ^ "Jerry Pettway Stats |". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  19. ^ "Deborah Renshaw". Women In Racing. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  20. ^ "Chris Wilson". Retrieved 2018-08-27.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°37′50″N 84°16′43″W / 43.63056°N 84.27861°W / 43.63056; -84.27861