Northwest Foundation Announces Scholarship with Cannon Motor Company

Published 12:09 pm Monday, March 27, 2023

“Nobody beats a Cannon deal” is a household phrase in the Midsouth thanks to Michael Joe Cannon, owner of the Cannon Motor Company car dealership franchise.

Cannon Motor Company opened its doors in 1956 as a used car lot by Michael Joe’s father, Joe Bob Cannon. Joe Bob passed the torch to Michael Joe, who has grown the company to 19 franchised stores and three used car lots, including one that Michael Joe’s son, Tyler Cannon, manages-the Ford Lincoln dealership in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Michael Joe is a native of Calhoun City, where he played football on his high school team long before the well-known slogan. After high school, he attended Northwest and played college football there in the late 1970s but had to take a break due to a knee injury, returning in the fall of 1980. Later Michael Joe came back to coach football at Northwest in the mid-1980s, which he recalled as a rewarding experience.

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“Got a chance to watch young boys become young men before our eyes,” Michael Joe said.

Michael Joe has been married 38 years, and during those years of marriage, he would learn how to manage life, marriage, and kids, all while developing his business, dealerships, and his own customer service style.

“Treat everyone like they’re our only customer,” Michael Joe said.

When it came to this scholarship, Michael Joe wanted to find something to give back to his alma mater that had given him such a good experience.

“I’ve always wanted to do something for Northwest,” Michael Joe said, “It’s always been close to our heart.”

He said a lesson he would leave with students or alumni today is to be a leader and make all the relationships you can. Relationships are currency that never go out of style.

Despite a busy schedule, Michael Joe has continually shown up for his relationship with Northwest. Patti Gordon, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, said Michael Joe has always been a generous supporter of the athletic program here and makes it back to campus to attend events.

“Cannon Motors sponsoring this scholarship is just another example of his dedication to his alma mater and also wanting to see Northwest students succeed,” Gordon said. “We are appreciative of his generosity and passion for Northwest.”

The Cannon Motors Annual Scholarship is for students who maintain a 2.0 GPA and are enrolled in the Automotive Technology or Collision Repair Technology program. Scholarship recipients will receive $2,000 per school year.