Family members and friends are invited to see 440 students graduate from Rio Grande and participate in this very special ceremony. Also, the commencement ceremony is just one of several events being held for graduating students and their family members during the week of May 1-8.
The commencement ceremony this year will begin at 1 p.m. on the green. If it rains, the ceremony will held in the Lyne Center’s Newt Oliver Arena. If the ceremony is inside, graduates will receive four tickets for their guests. If graduates have more than four guests, the extra guests will be invited to watch the ceremony on video screens inside Bob Evans Farms Hall (for guests of associate’s degree students), the Berry Fine and Performing Arts Center (for guests of bachelor’s degree students) and Wood Hall (for guests of master’s degree students).
If the ceremony is held outside as planned, graduating students may bring as many guests as they like. Graduates are asked to assemble in cap and gown at 12:30 p.m. in front of Davis Hall before the commencement ceremony.
The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be David Wilhelm, former chair of the Democratic National Committee and the 1992 presidential campaign manager for President Bill Clinton. He has also managed campaigns for several other national figures such as Vice President Joe Biden, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon.
A native of Appalachia, Wilhelm is the founder of Hopewell Ventures, Adena Ventures and New Harvest Power, all companies designed to bring sustainable job and wealth creation to the Appalachian region and the Midwest. He also currently serves as a member of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees. The Bexley, Ohio, resident is a graduate of Ohio University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
And while hundreds of students will be receiving their degrees during the ceremony, one member of the Rio Grande Family will also be receiving a degree. Don Wood, University of Rio Grande trustee and former interim president of the university, will receive an honorary degree for his commitment and service. The chairman and CEO of Don Wood Automotive, which has 12 franchises in five locations, Wood is a business and community leader in the region. He has also served in numerous positions with financial institutions in the region, and has worked in countless ways to serve the community. In 1996, he was named Athens County Person of the Year.
Wood served as the President of the University of Rio Grande from February 2009 until October 2009. He currently serves as the chair of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees.
After the ceremony, the Rio Grande Women’s Club will hold a reception on the green for all graduates and their family members.
Rio Grande will also hold several events in the week leading up to the Commencement Ceremony.
On Tuesday, May 3, the Pinning Ceremony for the graduating students in the Radiologic Technology program will be held at 6:30 p.m.
On Friday, May 6, a breakfast for graduating students will be held at 8:30 a.m., followed by graduation practice at 9:30 a.m.
Also on Friday, May 6, the Pinning Ceremony for the graduating students from the Holzer School of Nursing will begin at 7 p.m.
On graduation day, Saturday, May 7, brunch will be available for $7.95 from 10:00 a.m.- noon in The Marketplace inside the Davis University Center at Rio Grande.
For information about the commencement ceremony, call Bev Crabtree at (800) 245-7221, or visit www.rio.edu.