Distinguished Women Gala a Success

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Several Northwood University students share their perspectives.

Every year Northwood University hosts its signature Distinguished Women’s Gala to award and recognize the contribution women make to their communities, businesses, volunteer agencies and public and private sector services worldwide. Recipients of the Distinguished Women awards serve as role models and are encouraged to become involved with the University and students in a variety of meaningful ways. These women have very successful careers, some of which are offered as majors at Northwood.

The celebration began on Friday, October 19, at Northwood University in the Lambert Commons building. Northwood allows students to gain experience and assist with the event. Sophomore Kourtni Smith, a fashion marketing and management major, commented, “As a student of Northwood University, I can honestly say this event is like no other. It was an honor and privilege to meet these lovely ladies.” Students in the hospitality management program helped cater the luncheon on Friday with Chef Katie Schma, a 1978 Northwood alumna from the Michigan Campus. Junior Sara Frederickson, a hospitality management major, stated “It was a surreal experience working at the luncheon and just doing what I love most.”

On Saturday, October 20, the fashion marketing and management students also had the chance to help the haute couture fashion designer, Pat Ker-Tigrett, display her latest collection at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, the location for the Gala. Junior Christina Monroy, a fashion marketing and management major, shared, “It was an honor assisting the wonderful Pat Kerr. It is always intriguing to work with a designer who has established their exclusive style and, as a student, acquire an insight as to how their creativity becomes more than just a vision. I learned from Pat the importance of passion in a collection. Without passion, it cannot be yours. The Distinguished Women event was an opportunity for growth in my knowledge of the fashion industry and for that I am grateful.” Some students even had the privilege to introduce the awardees and they did so with honor and dignity. Junior Alex Von Hassler, a management major, remarked, “I thought this event was very educational and the stories very inspiring. I really love how Northwood handled everything professionally.”

This event made it possible for students to receive one-on-one contact with the many faces of success. Not only are these students able to say they attended the Distinguished Women’s Gala but they also gained mentors and a sense of inner peace with the fact that it doesn’t matter how old, how young, nor your gender—anyone can be successful with hard work, determination, passion and networking.