Endowed scholarship honors health and physical education chair's legacy

Contact: Chris Hybels

Dr. Roger Zabik

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—An endowed scholarship fund has been established to provide financial aid to students in Western Michigan University’s Department of Human Performance and Health Education.

The Dr. Roger and Elizabeth Zabik Endowed Scholarship will honor the life of Roger, an exercise physiology professor and former chair ('79-'94) of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now Department of Human Performance and Health Education) who died in 2018. The scholarship will provide financial support for students in the department, with preference given to those who demonstrate financial need.

"Dr. Zabik was instrumental, along with his colleague Mary Dawson, in establishing the undergraduate and graduate programs in exercise science. His thoughtful leadership and guidance impacted the initial curriculum and subsequent change to a full fledged major," shares Dr. Timothy Michael, graduate coordinator of exercise science. "Along with this, he and Dr. Dawson were able to begin to build a fully equipped exercise physiology and biomechanics labs.  Prior to these achievements, he was instrumental in ultimately bringing all the faculty under one roof within the Student Recreation Center. We are thrilled that Roger and Elizabeth have left this endowment to remember Roger’s lasting legacy to WMU and to future students who will benefit from such a gift."

While students in the exercise science program benefit from the College of Education and Human Development's generous $500,000-plus scholarships along with scholarships for the HPHE department, this specific group of students has historically only had one scholarship designated solely for them. This scholarship will now bring aid to on average two exercise science students a year. 

To learn more about the life of Dr. Roger Zabik, read his obituary on the Kalamazoo Gazette's website.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.