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Published: Tuesday, 4/30/2013

Obama headlines list of graduation speakers

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two United States senators, an Olympic fencer, and a priest are among those who will deliver the send-off addresses to college graduates across the region.

President Obama will speak to Ohio State University graduates during Sunday’s commencement at Ohio Stadium. His address requires a ticket.

Regional commencement ceremonies and speakers include:

■ The University of Toledo’s commencement events include two ceremonies Sunday at Savage Arena. At 9:30 a.m., Sandra Pianalto, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will address graduates of the College of Business and Innovation, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Visual and Performing Arts, and College of Languages, Literature, and Social Sciences.

At 2 p.m., Jeff Wadsworth, president and chief executive officer of Battelle Memorial Institute, will deliver a speech to graduates of the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science, and Human Service and the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning.

■ Bowling Green State University will hold three commencement ceremonies at the Stroh Center. A ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday will feature Kurt Ronn, founder of the recruitment firm HRworks. He will address graduates of the Graduate College, College of Health and Human Services, College of Musical Arts, and College of Technology.

A ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences and the BGSU Firelands campus will be 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Gen. Anita Gallentine, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2012, will speak.

A ceremony for the College of Business Administration and College of Education and Human Development will be 3 p.m. Saturday, featuring an address by Phil Weller, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Dallas office.

■ Robert LaClair, president and chief executive officer of Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio), will deliver the commencement address 7 p.m. Friday at Owens Community College Student Health and Activities Center on the Perrysburg Township campus.

■ Monroe County Community College will hold its commencement ceremony 7 p.m. Friday at the Gerald Welch Health Education Building. Student speakers will be Natasha Wickenheiser and Melissa Birr.

■ The Rev. Neil Kookoothe, an attorney, registered nurse, and priest, will speak 6 p.m. Friday at the Mercy College of Ohio commencement at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo.

■ Barbra Higgins, an entrepreneur and fencer who competed at the 1984 Olympic Games, will speak at the Tiffin University commencement 2 p.m. Saturday at the Heminger Center.

■ Rick Little, founder and president of ImagineNations Group, will speak 3 p.m. Saturday at the University of Findlay commencement at the Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex.

■ Siena Heights University will hold its commencement ceremony 3 p.m. Saturday in Adrian. There is no speaker.

■ Chris Bashinelli, who hosts the TV travel series Bridge the Gap, will speak at the Defiance College commencement ceremony at noon Sunday in front of the Pilgrim Library.

■ J. Denny Weaver, a Bluffton University religion professor emeritus, will speak at Bluffton University’s commencement 2 p.m. Sunday in Salzman Stadium.

■ U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) will speak at Adrian College’s commencement ceremony 3 p.m. Sunday at the Commencement Plaza in Adrian.

■ Randy Oostra, ProMedica Health System president and CEO, will speak at the Terra State Community College commencement 7 p.m. May 10 in Fremont.

■ Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) will speak at the Hillsdale College commencement 2 p.m. May 11 on the Hillsdale, Mich., campus.

■ Marcia Sloan Latta, of the consulting firm Latta Strategies, will speak 2 p.m. May 11 at the Northwest State Community College commencement on the Archbold campus.

■ Lt. Col. Harold Brown, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, will speak 2 p.m. May 12 at the Heidelberg University commencement in Tiffin.

■ Robert Manning, Mars Exploration Program chief engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will deliver the commencement address at Ohio Northern University 2 p.m. May 12 at the university’s sports center in Ada.

■ Albert Stroucken, Owens-Illinois Inc. chairman and CEO, will speak 1 p.m. May 18 at Lourdes University’s commencement at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo.



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