Fall Graduate Degree Commencement
Friday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m.
The 6 p.m. ceremony on Friday, Dec. 16, recognizes graduates receiving their master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. The speaker for this ceremony is Andrew J. Sonderman, ’73, J.D., president of Suburban Natural Gas Company. Sonderman has spent more than 30 years providing legal representation to energy companies, both public and private. Throughout his career, Sonderman blended his legal expertise with a wealth of knowledge of the public utilities industry and the regulated natural gas business in particular. He has represented utility companies before numerous state and federal agencies, as well as managed legal and technical staff.
Sonderman, who graduated from Kent State with a bachelor’s degree in political science, began working at Columbia Gas System’s natural gas distribution companies just two years after receiving his law degree from the Ohio State University. His career at Columbia spanned 24 years, as he climbed the ladder from counsel to eventually assuming the positions of general counsel and secretary of energy distribution utilities. He left Columbia Gas in 2003 to go into private law practice, where he used his vast experience in the public utilities industry to represent energy companies across the U.S. In 2011, he became director at the Columbus law firm of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter. In 2015, he found his way back to his natural gas roots when he was named president of Suburban Natural Gas Company, a privately owned public utility providing retail service in Central and Northwestern Ohio.
He has been active in the American Gas Association, chaired its legal committee and was a charter member of the board of directors of the Gas Industry Standards Board, which is now known as the North American Energy Standards Board. He also served on the Strategic Planning Committee of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation.