Kent State University congratulates its new graduates. The university held its Spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies for the Kent Campus on May 9 and May 10 at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MAC Center). This spring, Kent State conferred 3,820 degrees, including 2,811 bachelor’s degrees, 860 master's degrees, 144 doctoral degrees and five educational specialist degrees.
Across the university's eight-campus system, 4,551 students graduated from Kent State this spring, including those receiving associate degrees.
The 6 p.m. ceremony on May 9 was for those receiving their master's and doctoral degrees. The speaker for this ceremony was Jerry Sue Thornton, Ph.D., president emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College. She served as president of Cuyahoga Community College, the largest and oldest community college in Ohio, from 1992 until her retirement on June 28, 2013. During her tenure, the college became a leader in educational innovation, workforce training and economic development. She is recognized as "one of the 50 most influential people in Northeast Ohio."
Three baccalaureate ceremonies took place on May 10.
The 9 a.m. ceremony was for those receiving their bachelor's degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Nursing; the College of Public Health; and the School of Digital Sciences. Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Kent State alumna, served as the speaker for this ceremony. She is newly appointed to her current position as of July 2013, previously serving as the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health since January 2011. Plouck holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Kent State.
The 1 p.m. ceremony was for those receiving their bachelor's degrees from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; the College of Business Administration; and the College of Communication and Information. The speaker for the afternoon ceremony was Richard Brandt, Kent State alumnus, international consultant, advisor, accomplished public speaker and current director of the Iacocca Institute in the Office of the Vice President of International Affairs. Brandt has been the director of the renowned Global Village Program for Future Leaders of Business and Industry for 15 years. Brandt served in various vice presidential positions during a 25-year career at AT&T and Lucent Technologies. He has forged a new educational relationship between Lehigh University and Kent State, enabling students to attend a Global Village program each summer.
The 5 p.m. ceremony was for those receiving their bachelor's degrees from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design; the College of the Arts; and the College of Education, Health and Human Services. The speaker for the evening ceremony was Love Goel, chairman and CEO of GVG Capital Group, a global investment firm known for its digital and operating expertise. He also serves as board chairman of the digital committee at Lojas Americanas, the world’s number one ranked multichannel retailer and Brazil's largest retail chain. Goel is a current chairman of the advisory board at Kent State's Fashion School.
In addition, a commencement ceremony for those receiving their doctoral degrees from Kent State's College of Podiatric Medicine takes place May 16 at Cartwright Hall. The speaker for the afternoon ceremony is Allan Boike, D.P.M., a graduate of the college (then known as the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine) who currently serves as the director of the Podiatric Medical and Surgical Residency Training Programs and section head of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in the Foot and Ankle Center of the Orthopaedic and Rheumatology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Starting July 1, Boike will begin serving as dean of Kent State's College of Podiatric Medicine. Boike has more than 25 years of experience in treating foot and ankle problems. He recently served on the board of directors of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.
For more information about Kent State's Commencement, visit www.kent.edu/commencement.