Richard Montgomery II stands and smiles widely after receiving his doctorate in educational administration.
One of the many cell phones being held up to video-record the spring commencement ceremony in the University of Toledo’s Savage Arena on Saturday belonged to Nichole Addis.
Ms. Addis was there to celebrate her friend Jessica Prange’s achievement, earning a degree in social work.
“She’s going to do great things with it. She wants to go in with helping children. I think she’ll make a difference,” Ms. Addis said of Ms. Prange, 23, a Whitmer High School graduate.
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The university this month is graduating 2,711 people, including 1,941 for bachelor’s, 554 master’s, and 124 doctoral degrees, respectively, as well as many others for education specialist, certificate, and associate degrees.
Doctoral candidates rise during spring commencement exercises at the University of Toledo. This month, UT graduated 124 with doctoral, 1,941 with bachelor’s, and 554 with master’s degrees.
Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, gave the keynote address at the morning ceremony for the colleges of health sciences, adult and lifelong learning, social justice and human service, and education.
Commencement speaker Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, is bestowed an honorary doctorate in public administration degree from Joseph H. Zerbey IV, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees and president and general manager of The Blade, center, and Lloyd Jacobs, university president.
G. Rangaswamy, chairman of the Chandra Group in India and managing trustee of the GRG Trust, was speaker for the afternoon ceremony at Savage for the colleges of natural sciences and mathematics; business and innovation; communication and the arts; and languages, literature and social sciences.
Afterward, graduates and families high-fived and shot pictures.
“This actually happened,” exulted Jonathan Glowczewski, 31, of Toledo. “It’s not a dream, it’s not a mirage, it actually happened.”
He was with two former co-workers from the UT admissions office, where Mr. Glowczewski had worked as a student.
“I had a lot of barriers I had to overcome,” Mr. Glowczewski said.
Now, armed with his degree in social work, he wants to work in the county’s Youth Treatment Center or Child Protective Services.
Joslin Smith, 15, and a student at Whitmer High School, congratulates her sister, Cortney Carney, right, also of Toledo, as she receives her bachelor’s degree in social work.
Bernard Reedy, 22, of St. Petersburg, Fla., earned a degree in criminal justice but plans to enter the NFL draft to become a professional football player. Mr. Reedy played wide receiver, and punt and kick returner for the Rockets.
“I felt it was great,” he said of the graduation ceremony. “You got to see a lot of faces of people you went to school with since freshman year.”
Walking out with her degree, along with her husband and two small children was Kari Warden, 25, of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Her husband, David Warden, is to graduate with his medical doctor degree from UT later this month.
Ms. Warden said the campus’ early learning center helped her with caring for her 2-year-old son and 8-week-old daughter.
“It was difficult, but I felt like I got enough teachers that were understanding of my situation so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” said the graduate of adult and lifelong learning.
“She got summa cum laude,” pointed out her husband.
Ms. Wince-Smith used the story of glassmaking for industrial, entertainment, artistic, and now solar energy purposes — and Toledo’s role in making glass — to urge graduates to be risk-takers.
“The story of glass in the city of Toledo and its great university captures the very essence of why innovation matters,” Ms. Wince-Smith said. “Each and every one of you, from scientists and engineers to artists, doctors, and philosophers must contribute to building an innovation society, culture, and economy. You are all glassmakers.
“You must illuminate our world with the light of your minds with the knowledge you have learned,” she said.
The university kept things moving with two diploma receiving lines, shown on split video screens in the arena’s scoreboard.
UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs welcomed the graduates to the status of loyal alumni.
“The best way to demonstrate that loyalty, of course, is participation in our capital campaign,” he said. Later, he told them: “You and UT are linked forever — your success is our pride.”
Ms. Wince-Smith received an honorary doctorate in public administration. She was assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy under President George H.W. Bush and was assistant director of international affairs and competitiveness under President Reagan.
Mr. Rangaswamy is a founding trustee of PSG and Sons Charities, which manages six colleges, including a medical school and hospital. He is the founder and secretary of the Coimbatore Zoological Park and Conservation Centre in India, focusing on ecological restoration, conservation, education, and research.
Graduation Grand Marshal William Free was taken by ambulance to ProMedica Toledo Hospital after he passed out briefly while on stage before the commencement ceremony began.
Mr. Free, 80, a full-time English professor, said some tests were done and he was sent home in good condition.
Other UT colleges holding commencement this weekend are engineering, nursing, and pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. Law college commencement will be May 11, and the college of medicine and life sciences May 30.