Honoring Exceptional Volunteer Leadership with the University of Michigan
Last week, the University of Michigan honored my grandfather with The David B. Hermelin Volunteer Fundraising Award. For those of you that know my family, we are extremely big University of Michigan supporters. While the Zatkoff family has alumni from just about every university in Michigan, our hearts are with the University of Michigan.
My grandfather, Roger Zatkoff, played football for the University before going on to play for the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. In fact, Roger Zatkoff was a member of the 1957 Lions World Championship team (that was the “Super Bowl” of its time). Here you can see a great picture of that team:
My grandfather is number 57 in the very back row. Don’t let his height fool you; he was actually one of the tallest members of the team. However, rumor has it that right before the photo was taken, everyone played a joke on him by standing on their tippy toes! He was always known to give 110% at practice and during the games.
Back to the recent Award:
The University of Michigan (U-M) has honored 37 individuals with The David B. Hermelin Volunteer Fundraising Award since the award’s inception in 2004. On Nov. 9, U-M recognized three new honorees: Ari Spar (AB ’89), Charles Woodson (’97), and Roger Zatkoff (ABED ’64).
The award was created to honor the late David Hermelin (BBA ’58, HHLD ’00), a Detroit-area entrepreneur, philanthropist and former U.S. ambassador to Norway, who was a dedicated friend of the University. Hermelin graduated from U-M’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 1958 and received an honorary degree in 2000.
This year’s recipients exemplify Heremlin’s dedication and volunteer their time and resources to better the Michigan community.
A football scholarship brought Roger Zatkoff to the U-M in 1949. He became a Green Bay Packer and Detroit Lion before completing his U-M degree. For more than three decades, Zatkoff has helped to build the U-M Club of Greater Detroit, which provides more than $70,000 in scholarships to nearly 20 students each year.
Zatkoff and his wife, Elaine, established the Roger and Elaine Zatkoff Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide need-based support for a School of Kinesiology undergraduate assisting the women’s lacrosse team. He created the Zatkoff Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for Women’s Volleyball, providing financial assistance for a student athlete through the Department of Athletics. Recently, he established the Gary and Ann Moeller Scholarship Fund to provide support for Detroit-area undergraduates.