BGSU to honor achievement at commencement May 17, 18

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

The Bowling Green campus will host three ceremonies, all in the Stroh Center. The 7 p.m. Friday event will comprise the Graduate College and the colleges of Business and Health and Human Services. Giving the commencement address will be 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.

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John Starcher Jr.

The 9 a.m. Saturday commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Musical Arts will feature 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.

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Mizell Stewart III

The colleges of Education and Human Development and Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering will hold commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday. Dean Pees, a two-time Super Bowl winning coach, will address 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.

dean-pees
Dean Pees

BGSU Firelands’ commencement ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Jacob Smith, congressional staff assistant for U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur covering veteran services, military, IRS and postal service casework, will address 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.

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Jacob Smith

Of the total 2,493 degrees to be awarded this weekend, 907 are with honors. The Graduate College will award 486 degrees, including 456 candidates for master’s degrees and 30 for doctorates.

Those graduating include 104 international students from 24 countries.

Because of construction, guests are encouraged to follow signs that will direct them to the Stroh Center from both directions of I-75. The University will also have signage directing guests toward I-75 North and South when leaving the commencement ceremonies. Additional information can be found on the commencement website.