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April 3, 2013

Northwood University moves Troy campus

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

In the midst of March Madness, Northwood University President and CEO Keith Pretty reminded the crowd celebrating the university’s move to a new site in Troy March 21 that legendary basketball player Larry Bird attended the school.

“He didn’t get a degree from us, but with his Northwood experience … he’s owned a lot of businesses,” Pretty said.

Northwood University opened a new 8,000-square-foot facility at 1500 W. Big Beaver, in the Rehmann Building, which is down the street from its previous site on Big Beaver. Previously, the university shared space in a facility with the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. Pretty thanked DADA for its past support.

Pretty explained that Northwood was on the second floor of the DADA building in Troy for 15 years, and that Northwood offers a degree in automotive marketing.  About two years ago, federal building regulations for educational institutions changed, which would have required a total tear-down and build-out in the space the university occupied on the second floor of the DADA building if Northwood had stayed there. 

“It would have cost a few hundred thousand to do that,” he said. “It forced us to look at other places in the market for first-floor space, which didn’t require the same standards. DADA is still our partners,” Pretty said. “Lots of Northwood grads own dealerships.”

“We wanted to be in Troy,” Pretty said. “We’re very proud of our Michigan roots.”

The college’s main campus is in Midland. The private, nonprofit and accredited university operates three full-service campuses: in Florida, Texas and Midland. The college offers degree programs in eight states and online classes. The DeVos Graduate School, founded in ’93, offers day, evening and weekend programs in Michigan, Texas and Florida. In addition, the college offers study abroad opportunities in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

“We are all business,” Pretty added.

“It’s a very special MBA program,” Lisa Fairbairn, dean of the DeVos Graduate School, said. She explained to the crowd that the curriculum is problem-based, where students tackle complex issues with the aim to fulfill opportunities and solve problems.

“Thank you for your commitment to Troy,” said Jordan Kotubey, vice chair of the Troy Chamber of Commerce and a Northwood grad. 

The university’s new spot features conference room space available for use. “We built the facilities to be used by community organizations,” Pretty said.

“It’s a great university in a great city,” Troy Mayor Dane Slater said.

For information about Northwood University, visit www.northwood.edu.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.