Northwood Presents Tina Van Dam with Naegele Distinguished Community Service Award, Ted and Maria Gatzaros with Honorary Doctorates

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During Northwood’s Opening Convocation on September 4, the University honored Tina S. Van Dam and Ted and Maria Gatzaros.
(l-r) President & CEO Keith A. Pretty, Maria Gatzaros, Ted Gatzaros and Dr. Timothy Nash

(l-r) President & CEO Keith A. Pretty, Maria Gatzaros, Ted Gatzaros and Dr. Timothy Nash

Tina S. Van Dam

Tina S. Van Dam

September 7, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – During Northwood University’s annual Opening Convocation on Tuesday, September 4, the University honored Tina S. Van Dam, Northwood supporter, with the Robert E. and Patricia L. Naegele Distinguished Community Service Award. The honor was presented to her by Dr. William Bateman, president of Northwood Michigan. Ted and Maria Gatzaros were awarded with honorary doctorates presented by Dr. Keith A. Pretty, Northwood University president & CEO.

According to Dr. Bateman, “At Northwood University’s Michigan Campus we annually present the Robert E. and Patricia L. Naegele Distinguished Community Service Award to a person, group or organization whose actions have enhanced the mission of Northwood University while improving the Michigan Campus and, most importantly, the quality of life for our students. This tradition began in 2005 with the first such award going to its namesakes, Northwood University Trustees Dr. Robert E. and Dr. Patricia L. Naegele, for their service to the University and their generosity of time and treasure in improving both our campus facilities and academic scholarship fund.”

Tina Van Dam volunteers with the Midland Center for the Arts, Midland Community Foundation, Music Society, Family and Children Services of Midland and the Shelterhouse. She also was the guiding hand of the Doan Historical Museum’s “Voices: Extraordinary Women of Midland County” exhibit. Van Dam has served as the first development director for MidMichigan Medical Center as well as the legal department manager for The Dow Chemical Company. This May Governor Rick Snyder appointed her to the Michigan Humanities Council. She was also a recipient of Northwood University’s Distinguished Women’s Award in 2001.

Ted and Maria Gatzaros are well known for their entrepreneurial work in the Detroit real estate market. They have greatly aided in renovating the Fisher Building and First National Building while also developing the Pegasus, Greektown Casino and London Chop House in downtown Detroit. Mr. Gatzaros has actively been a part of the boards for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Downtown Detroit Development Authority, Detroit Medical Center and as chairman for the Detroit Central Business District Association. Mrs. Gatzaros served as an exemplary elementary school teacher, served at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church and the Metropolitan Detroit Visitors & Convention Bureau. Both have generously donated time and funds to many causes including the American Cancer Society, Cornerstone Schools, Forgotten Harvest and Make-a-Wish Foundation.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.