Commencement Speakers

RGardnerSenator Randy Gardner ’81 ’87

Senator Randy Gardner, the Ohio Senate Majority Leader, has served northwest Ohio in the Ohio General Assembly for nearly 33 years.

During his time in the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives, Senator Gardner has maintained a 100 percent voting record on bills, amendments and resolutions – more than 10,300 consecutive votes since 1985.

Gardner serves as chair of the Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, where he has advocated for enhanced state support for public education while encouraging efforts to make higher education more affordable in Ohio. Gardner received the Accomplished Graduate Award from BGSU’s College of Education and Allied Professions. He received his Bachelor of Science in education and his Master of Arts in political science from the University.

Senator Gardner’s numerous honors include the Andrew Carnegie Award from the Ohio Library Association, Legislator of the Year from the Ohio Disabilities Council and induction into the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society. A former high school history and government teacher, Gardner was named a Martha Holden Jennings Teaching Scholar before becoming a state legislator.

Gardner and his wife Sandy, residents of Bowling Green, celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this summer. Two of their three children are graduates of BGSU. Their son Brooks received his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2013 from the College of Business Administration and their daughter Christina earned her bachelor’s degree in dietetics in 2015 from the College of Health and Human Services and her master’s degree in food and nutrition in 2017. Their youngest son, Austin, completed his master’s degree in education this summer at the University of Findlay.