Dan Gaydou has seen UM-Flint through many roles. As a student in the early 1970s, it was a place that stretched his view of the world and thoroughly prepared him professionally.
As a media executive, including in Flint, he has seen the university grow on campus and within the community.
And as an alumnus, UM-Flint has remained a source of pride.
“It is my alma mater and it is my city,” he said. “I take to heart that my city has been and will always remain Flint.”
Gaydou, president of MLive Media Group, graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He remains connected to the university, recently speaking at a School of Management event entitled “News Media in the Age of Digital Transformation.”
“I’ve watched the university evolve and grow, particularly with the influence on the town and Flint’s activity and vibrancy. It has become part of the fabric of Flint,” Gaydou said.
The university played an active role in his life, too.
Gaydou grew up in Flint, graduating from Flint Northwestern High School in 1969.
He decided to follow in the footprints of his oldest brother who attended UM-Flint and became a certified public accountant.
“The courses at UM-Flint were perfect for what I was looking for. It was close. It was affordable,” Gaydou said.
He quickly found out that faculty were supportive, and focused on preparing students for the professional world. His accounting professors diligently helped him prepare for the CPA exam. And his teachers overall challenged his thinking.
“I formed a much more inclusive and broad view of the world,” Gaydou said.
Gaydou became an accountant after graduating, and then shifted to work as an assistant controller for the Flint Journal in 1975. This began his professional ties to the newspaper, which remains to this day. He has held numerous roles within the newspaper or its parent company, including publisher of the Flint Journal from 1987 to 1995, and as president of MLive Media Group since 2011.
During his career, he has watched campus expand downtown, and strengthen its community outreach initiatives.
“It’s a place. It’s all the buildings. It’s activity. It’s young people. It’s a critical mass. It has brought a certain amount of panache to the area,” Gaydou said.
Gaydou said he’s enjoyed interacting with current UM-Flint students and learning about how the School of Management has evolved.
“I’m very proud of the School of Management for what it has become. It has robust programs. It’s a great education and just a really wonderful value. It’s real life preparation.”