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Robert L. Betz

Aug. 15, 2007

Dr. Robert L. Betz, a longtime teacher and counselor at Western Michigan University, died Aug. 9 in Kalamazoo. He was 75.

Betz, who retired in 2000, was an instructor at WMU from 1961 to 1962. After completing a doctoral degree in education at Michigan State University, he returned in 1963 as an assistant professor of counselor education and counseling psychology.

An expert in the psychotherapy of adults, Betz served half time from 1986 to 1997 as the first formal director of the University's Center for Counseling and Psychological Services in Kalamazoo. The center provides practical training for graduate students while offering affordable mental health services to southwestern Michigan residents.

Betz's also contributed to the community by serving on the board of Gryphon Place and other community organizations and founding and serving as the first president of the Kalamazoo County Personnel and Guidance Association.

During his 37 years with WMU, Betz directed several large grant projects; wrote dozens of articles, headed and help lead numerous professional organizations, and was a consultant for a variety of schools, hospitals, companies, agencies and foundations. He received such honors as the Best Article Award from the American Association for Specialists in Group Work, the State of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award," and the Distinguished Professional Service Award from the Michigan Association for Counseling and Development.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, in the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick St. Burial with military honors will follow in Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert and Diane Betz Scholarship Fund at WMU or to Gryphon Place.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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