BGSU honor achievement at commencement

Nearly 2,500 degrees were awarded during the ceremonies

Degree candidates at Bowling Green State University’s commencement ceremonies May 17 and May 18 heard from alumni who have gone on to distinguished careers in business, journalism and athletics.

The Bowling Green campus hosted three ceremonies, all in the Stroh Center. The Friday night event was comprised of the Graduate College and the colleges of Business and Health and Human Services. Giving the commencement address was John Starcher Jr., president and CEO of Bon Secours Mercy Health. As the leader of one of the largest health care systems in the country, he oversees the development of system strategies and operations for 43 Mercy Health and Bon Secours hospitals and more than 1,000 sites of care across Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from BSGU in 1993 and a J.D. from the University of Toledo.

The Saturday morning commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Musical Arts featured an address by Mizell Stewart III, award-winning reporter, top newsroom editor in three states, radio and television broadcaster and corporate news executive. Stewart is a senior news executive for Gannett and the USA Today Network, as well as an adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the founder of Emerging Leaders LLC, a leadership development consulting firm focused on mid-career professionals. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from BGSU in 1994 and a master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University.

The colleges of Education and Human Development and Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering held commencement Saturday afternoon. Dean Pees, a two-time Super Bowl winning coach, addressed the candidates. A 1972 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in education, Pees has taught and coached football for 46 years at all levels: high school, college and the NFL. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. Before his 15 years in the NFL, Pees spent 25 years as a college coach and six years as a high school teacher and coach.

BGSU Firelands’ commencement ceremony took place Saturday night. Jacob Smith, congressional staff assistant for U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur covering veteran services, military, IRS and postal service casework, addressed the candidates. Smith served in the U.S. Army from 2000-04 as a field artilleryman and was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, with the 1st Armored Division as a sergeant from 2003-04. He earned an associate degree from BGSU Firelands in 2007, as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2009 and a master’s degree in public administration in 2011, from the Bowling Green campus.

Of the total 2,493 degrees awarded over the weekend, 907 were with honors. The Graduate College awarded 486 degrees, including 456 candidates for master’s degrees and 30 for doctorates.

Those graduating included 104 international students from 24 countries.