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A Fire That Kindles Other Fires

Looking back on commencement ceremonies in Florida (May 6) and Texas (May 8) earlier this week, and ahead to tomorrow’s ceremonies in Michigan (May 10), we are reminded again by the incredible nature of our mission.

Commencement is significant not only in terms of the achievement it marks, both for our graduates and for us as a University, but even more in terms of what it means. While the task of business is to meet the market demand for high quality products and services, our job as a higher education institution is personal transformation; it’s about preparing minds and hearts to lead across markets and industries in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

As the ancient biographer and essayist Plutarch observed, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Because of all we do, 971 more fires in the form of new graduates are ready to ignite even more new flames of invention, innovation, and personal transformation around the world. These new “fires” will be added to the 50,000-plus alumni around the world whose fires are already brightly burning.

Thank you for all you do for our students and graduates! Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D. President and CEO Northwood University 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 989.837.4203

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