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Mentors and Role Models

While attending a Detroit Economic Club (DEC) event this past week I was reminded how opportunity often presents itself when we least expect it, including in the form of mentors and role models. As a college athlete playing tight end, Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders of the Detroit Lions was a hero and role model for me, especially for the hard work, determination, and excellence he displayed on the gridiron each season. And much to my surprise, I had the good fortune to meet him in person for the first time when I found myself seated next to him at a DEC event this past Wednesday.

As the saying goes, “What are the chances?” Yet, happenings like this are the very reason why we do what we do at Northwood University. A key part of our job is getting our students and graduates involved in organizations like the DEC. By immersing them in experiential learning opportunities we not only open the door to industry-ready knowledge and skill sets but also to the mentors, role models, and professional networks essential for success. What many call “chance” and “good luck” in life and work is in fact the product of connecting with the right people and the right networks. And as my experience this week reminds us, you never know who you might meet in the process.

Speaking of role models, Northwood University lost a great friend with the passing of John Blundell on July 22. A leading advocate of authentic libertarian ideas in both his native England and here in America, Blundell made a positive impact at Northwood both through his system wide lectures and books such as Ladies for Liberty, our Omniquest selection in summer 2013. To say he and his influence in the world will be missed is an understatement. May he rest in peace.

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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