Northwood University



Saturday, May 12, 2018

Traditional Undergraduate & BBA/MBA Graduates - 10:30 a.m.

Adult Degree Program & DeVos Gradaute School - 3:00 p.m.

Bennett Sports Center, Riepma Arena

4000 Whiting Drive

Midland, Michigan 48640

Michigan Commencement Map



Thursday, May 10, 2018

2:00 p.m.


Trinity Church

1231 E Pleasant Run Road

Cedar Hill, Texas 75104

Texas Commencement Map


Next Steps

Career Advancement Center

Northwood University is excited to inform you about the Northwood Career Services Network – a premiere Career Services tool for current students and alumni! As Northwood University continues to strive for excellence in all that we do, offering a world-class, free-enterprise business education, it’s our goal in the Career Advancement Center to provide the resources, services and support you need to reach your maximum potential.


To stay in touch, be sure to fill out an Alumni Information Update Form. This will help you stay connected with Northwood University and your fellow classmates. The alumni office can help you connect with a local alumni chapter group, keep you informed with what’s happening on campus and invite you to special alumni events held around the country!

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Northwood University Alumni Group (The Official)

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The Gallery of Distinction

Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
Northwood University
President and CEO

The honorary doctorate is the highest award a university can make to an individual who has contributed to society in a meaningful way. On the following pages are listed those individuals Northwood University will recognize this year. They join a “Gallery of Distinction” of past honorary degree awardees who are listed in the back of this program. It is an honor and a privilege to recognize the men and women whom Northwood has vested with degrees during the past 57 years. Through their accomplishments, ideals, and support, our communities have become better places and our nation has benefited. These leaders have won recognition in business, their professions, fine arts, education, and religion. Their involvement in the thrust of The Northwood Idea will continue forever. In observance of one of Northwood’s finest traditions, all recipients of honorary degrees are presented with personal academic regalia. Every year they are invited back to participate in the commencement processional, enjoy social events, and renew old friendships. Northwood University salutes all the members of the Gallery of Distinction and pledges to them the dedicated continuation of The Northwood Idea into the 21st century.

Texas Speaker

John Pappanastos - Commencement Speaker

President and Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Financial Group (EFG)

John Pappanastos joined Enterprise Financial Group’s (EFG) Board of Directors in February 2006, and was named the President and Chief Executive Officer in February 2007. In his seven years at the helm, Pappanastos has more than tripled the company’s revenues, and diversified the operation with four new market channels: lenders, retail automotive agents, independent call centers and property and casualty insurance agents. Under his leadership, EFG rolled-out one of the most successful and nationally-recognized programs in the retail automotive industry, Hyundai Assurance. The program, launched across more than 700 dealerships in 37 days, is a private label of EFG’s exclusive WALKAWAY vehicle return product and enabled Hyundai to grow unit sales by 8 percent while the industry declined overall by 21 percent.

Prior to joining the EFG Companies, Pappanastos served in multiple senior capacities for BellSouth Corporation, including strategy, finance, product development and operations. John brings an excellent mix of strategic thinking and executions expertise. He has an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Alabama, an MBA from Georgia State University, and holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst.

Michigan Morning Ceremony Speaker

Richard J. Garber - Commencement Speaker

President, Garber Management Group

In 1980 at age 25, Dick became one of the youngest dealers in General Motors’ history when he took the helm of the company in its 73rd year of operation. Over the past 35 plus years Dick has grown the business under the umbrella of the Garber Management Group; it now operates in four states (Michigan, Illinois, Florida and New York) and includes 18 new vehicle dealerships representing 16 manufacturers.

The business also includes Gateway Financial Solutions, currently purchasing Retail Installment Contracts in 15 states and is one of the largest used vehicle lenders based in the State of Michigan. In addition, the organization includes an independent used vehicle business operating under the name RightWay Automotive Credit, with over 30 sales locations in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia and soon Missouri. In total, the organization employs over 1700 people and generates over $1 billion in annual revenue. Garber Management Group is currently one of the top 13 largest privately held companies in Michigan outside of Detroit.

In the tradition of his grandfather and father, Dick has made service to the community a major priority in his life. He has been an active participant and contributor to numerous community organizations and non-profits providing leadership, service and financial contributions. As a life-long resident of Saginaw, giving back to the community that has long been loyal to Garber Automotive has always been extremely important to him. In 2017, Dick received the Governor’s Lifetime Humanitarian Award, for his philanthropy in the Great Lakes Bay region; the award was presented by Governor Rick Snyder.

Outside of the automotive industry, a unique opportunity arose in 2002 to make a contribution to the community in the sports arena. At the encouragement of Hockey Legend Wren Blair and former Mayor Paul Wendler, Dick Garber became owner and Governor of an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) franchise, now the Saginaw Spirit which has completed its 16th season at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw.

Dick is a 1978 graduate of Northwood University and has been honored as one of Northwood University’s Outstanding Business Leaders and received the Outstanding Alumni Award. He joined the Northwood University Board of Trustees in 2014.

Michigan Afternoon Ceremony Speaker

Ed McBrien - Commencement Speaker

Chief Operating Officer, Manhattan Beer Distributors

Ed is Chief Operating Officer for Manhattan Beer Distributors, the largest single-market beer distributor in the United States. Manhattan Beer generates annual revenue of more than $1.1 billion, sells to over 25,000 retail customers, employs 1,850 people and represents more than 350 different brands. In his role as COO, Ed is responsible for all aspects of the business. Manhattan Beer was named Wholesaler of the Year by Beverage Industry magazine in 2016.

Ed joined Manhattan Beer in 2015 after a long and successful career on the brewery side of the beer business. Before joining Manhattan Beer, Ed was President, Sales and Distributor Operations for MillerCoors. In that role Ed was chiefly responsible for revenue, profit contribution, share growth and network strategy. At the time, MillerCoors was the second largest brewer in the U.S., with annual sales of $7.5 billion, more than 30 brand families, and 9,000 employees.

Prior to MillerCoors, Ed was Chief Revenue Officer for Coors Brewing Company. In 2008 Coors and Miller Brewing Company merged and Ed was appointed President of the Western Division for MillerCoors. He was then promoted to President, Sales and Distributor Operations in 2010. Ed’s extensive background also includes a number of sales positions at Procter & Gamble for 13 years prior to joining Coors.

Ed serves on the Board of Trustees for Northwood University, Midland, Michigan and is a member of the Church Council at Holy Trinity Lutheran, New York, New York. He was also President of the Board for Coors Distributing Company in Denver and served on the Board of Directors for Colorado’s branch of Volunteers of America, the Chicago Advisory Board for Project C.U.R.E. (the leading volunteer distributor of medical supplies across the world), and the Chicago United CEO Council (promoting multiracial leadership development).

Ed earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Northwood University and was Senior Class Valedictorian as well as the Academic Athlete of the Year. He and his wife, Ann, have two children, Katie and Matt.