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Northwood University Graduates 257 Students at Winter Commencement

December 16, 2016

Ceremony will be held Saturday, December 17 at 2:00pm in Bennett Sports Center’s Riepma Arena

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN, DEC. 16, 2016–  Northwood University will host a winter 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday at Bennett Sports Center in Riepma Arena on campus in Midland, Michigan.

There are a total of 257 degree candidates, including 62 candidates from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management. A total of 115 candidates will graduate from Northwood’s adult degree program.

The ceremony will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday. Midland’s David Kepler will speak, and he will also receive an honorary doctorate. The honorary doctorate is Northwood’s highest honor, and recognizes Kepler’s dedication to business and community service. The award is given to leaders who have won recognition in business, their professions, fine arts, education and religion.

Kepler is the former Executive Vice President of The Dow Chemical Company for Business Services; Chief Information Officer, and Chief Sustainability Officer. He is currently a member of the board of directors of three public companies: TD Bank Group, Teradata Corporation and Autoliv.

Kepler was appointed to the U.S. National Infrastructure Advisory Council and also served on the e-Michigan Advisory Council He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of California, Berkeley Foundation. He and his family have made numerous investments in Midland, including Midland Brewing Company, Cottage Creamery, and the Lazy Turtle Ranch.

In addition, Northwood will honor Kathleen Vertin with an honorary doctorate. Vertin, a Marine City, Michigan, native, was responsible for bringing a taste of culture to the Blue Water community. She and her husband have established two professional theater venues in downtown Marine City and, in the process, sought to fill an educational void in K-8 arts programming. She established the Riverbank Performing Arts Academy, which focuses on teaching life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, enhances communication abilities, and develops confidence that carries over into all areas of life.

Vertin, a Northwood University alumna, is also a former member of the Northwood Board of Trustees. She is recognized for her commitment to enriching her community in addition to her successful 20-year career in the automotive and aerospace tooling industries and her role in finance and strategy at Visoneering, Inc.

For more information about Northwood’s winter 2016 commencement or to watch a livestream of the event, please visit

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