Speaker encourages Toledo grads to overcome challenges


Thousands of students graduated from the University of Toledo today, moving the tassels on their mortar-board caps from the right to the left.

The second of two commencement ceremonies at the university started at 2 p.m., for students in the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science, and Human Services, and in the College of Adult and Lifelong Learning.

The speaker, Jeffrey Wadsworth, is president and chief executive officer of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the world's largest nonprofit research and development organization.

The morning commencement speaker, Sandra Pianalto, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, spoke to students of the colleges of business and innovation; natural sciences and mathematics; visual and performing arts; and languages, literature, and social sciences.

Ms. Pianalto told the students, who with family and friends packed the Savage Arena, she was proud of them for overcoming any challenges they faced and staying on course to graduate.

As an immigrant -- at 5 years old, she moved with her parents from Italy to America -- she faced struggles, but was able to overcome them, she said.

She offered four rules to be successful: get comfortable with being uncomfortable; there is no substitute for hard work; know your strengths and your passions, and to get respect, you must give respect.

A total of 3,041 students were eligible for graduation.