BGSU to hold commencement May 9, 10

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University will celebrate its 279th graduation in three ceremonies in the Stroh Center on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10. A total of 2,260 diplomas will be awarded on the Bowling Green campus.

Of this year’s graduating class 62 percent are women and 19 percent are students of color. The youngest graduate is 18 and the oldest is 79. There are 92 international students, representing 27 countries.

Commencement exercises for the Graduate College and the colleges of Health and Human Services; Musical Arts; and Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering will begin at 7 p.m. Friday. The speaker for the ceremony will be entrepreneur Laurence Benz, who earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from BGSU in 1984 and is the founder and President/CEO of PT Development LLC, a private-equity fund with holdings in physical therapy, health-care consulting, education, occupational medicine, medical trustee and receivership, pharmacy, and information technology. He was also the founder of Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team, a private practice outpatient physical therapy provider with more than 30 clinics in Kentucky and southern Indiana. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in private practice physical therapy, education, and marketing.

On Saturday, commencement ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences and BGSU Firelands will be held at 9 a.m. BGSU will present an honorary degree to commencement speaker Brenda Hollis, a 1968 graduate who, after two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa, earned a law degree from the University of Denver and served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 1998 with the rank of colonel. Hollis then joined the International Criminal Tribunal, serving as expert counsel and eventually lead prosecutor in historic cases, from the prosecution of dictators Charles Taylor of Liberia to Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia. In February the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed her prosecutor of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Celebrating commencement at 2 p.m. will be the colleges of Business Administration and Education and Human Development. Jacien Steele, a 1977 graduate, will give the address. He is a senior lead tax partner in Deloitte’s Business Tax Services Group and the leader of the Deloitte Tax Executive Transition Lab program. He previously served as the U.S. regional leader for the Global Strategic Clients program, coordinating and facilitating client service with other geographic regions of the world for the tax practice. Steele has been responsible for the planning and execution of the Deloitte Strategic Tax Conference, conducted annually for the most significant corporate tax clients of the firm. He has more than 35 years of experience serving large public companies in the manufacturing, service, and consumer business sectors. He is a member of the CFO Program Leadership Team and is on the faculty of the Deloitte Next Generation CFO Academy.

BGSU Firelands will also hold ceremonies on Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cedar Point Center. Sandusky attorney Dennis Murray Jr. will address the candidates. A partner in Murray and Murray Co. LPA, he specializes in commercial litigation, legal malpractice, antitrust, securities and investor fraud. He served as a Sandusky County Commissioner from 2005-08 and again in 2014. He also served as ex officio mayor in 2008 and 2014. Murray was elected to two terms in the Ohio House of Representatives for the 80th District, where he served from 2009-12.