Northwood University Announces the Distinguished Women Class of 2012

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Women honored for their commitment to free enterprise, philanthropy

CEDAR HILL, Texas, September 21, 2012 – Northwood University continues its annual tradition of recognizing women for their enormous contribution to their respective communities.   Herb Weitzman and his wife, Donna, who was awarded this honor is 2003 hosted a media event Thursday, September 20 to announce the Class of 2012 Distinguished Women.  This program was created 43 years ago by the Northwood University Board of Trustees.  As with previous years, the Class of 2012 represents the values which Northwood espouses for its students: commitment to free enterprise, the partnership of arts and business, and the management of global commerce. 

Northwood University Distinguished Women Class of 2012 (full bios and photographs are available):

  • Gail Ayers of Lawrence, Kansas
  • Gray Hawn of Austin, Texas
  • Donalyn Kling of Laguna, California
  • Charlene Lake of Dallas, Texas
  • Lynn McBee of Dallas, Texas
  • Cynthia Pasky of Detroit, Michigan
  • Jocelyn Straus of San Antonio, Texas
  • Kimberly Schlegel Whitman of Dallas, Texas

These extraordinary women were nominated for their success in business as well as their commitment to improving the world through their volunteer and philanthropic activities.

“Every year the class of Distinguished Women is impressive on many levels, and this year is no exception,” stated Dr. Kevin Fegan, Northwood Texas President.  “We are proud that our students have these outstanding women as role models who inspire through their life experiences, their initiative, and their dedication to give back to the community.”

The Distinguished Women’s Award is bestowed at a two-day celebration which will be held October 19 and 20.  Highlights of the Celebration Weekend include a Forum Luncheon on the Texas campus with previous Distinguished Women honorees as panel speakers; the Texas Board of Governors Mentoring Round Tables with students:  an Eggs & Economics breakfast session open to students and the local business and leadership community, and an evening gala where the 2012 Distinguished Women will receive their award in the form of a unique bronze medallion and citation.

Following the Celebration Weekend, the 2012 honorees will join fellow Distinguished Women from around the country, who together form an important and meaningful part of the Northwood University community through mentorship, internship, class presentation and providing scholarships.   In the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, 44 women have received this honor and participate in fulfilling the mission of Northwood.

The 2012-2013 Distinguished Women’s Endowed Scholarships provide three female students at all three campuses to achieve their higher education goals.  The recipients are:  Lisa Nguyen in Texas; Glenique Knowles in Florida; and Kaitlin Dault in Michigan.


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.