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Presenting the 2018 Commencement Speakers

As the spring semester comes to a close, our commencement season draws near. Northwood University is pleased to announce three visionary leaders and proven business professionals who will honor our graduates and their families with remarks at our commencements. At the Texas ceremony on May 10th, we welcome EFG Companies’ President and Chief Executive Officer John Pappanastos. John’s extensive experience in business and particularly the automotive industry, has made EFG Companies a long-time partner with Northwood University. Under his leadership, EFG has twice sponsored the “F&I Innovator Challenge” for our entrepreneurial-minded students, which resulted in $25,000 prizes to the student winners, and a real product which went to market this past year.

In Michigan, our morning ceremony on May 12 will feature Northwood University graduate Richard Garber. Garber is likely a name recognized by many in the Mid-Michigan area, Dick is the President of Garber Management Group. His automotive group has been in operation for more than a century, and spans four states. Dick is an Outstanding Business Leader Awardee and Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award recipient who contributes much to the quality of life in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Michigan’s afternoon ceremony will feature Ed McBrien, Chief Operating Officer at Manhattan Beer Distributors, the largest single-market beer distributor in the United States. Also a Northwood University alumnus, Ed’s success in business and his service to the communities which he has lived is a true embodiment of the Northwood Idea at work.

The commencement speakers will each receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws, the highest honor our university can bestow, and will be inducted into the Northwood University Gallery of Distinction. We look forward to welcoming these inspiring leaders to deliver a message of optimism and celebration to our Class of 2018!

Have a great weekend,


Keith A. Pretty, J.D. President and CEO Northwood University 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 989.837.4203

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