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Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients


Pharmacy Commencement Speaker and Honoree 

Speaker and Honoree

Tammy (McIntire) Stefanovic, BSPh ’88, a long-time pharmaceutical executive, joined GAVIS Pharmaceuticals as president of its U.S. operations in early 2012. She was previously president of Apotex Corporation in Weston, Fla. A Canadian company, Apotex’s U.S. presence was established under her leadership.

She brings extensive experience to the GAVIS team in negotiating and developing marketing strategies to build relationships with key pharmaceutical customer segments, pricing strategy development, business development, revenue growth and acquisition integration capabilities. Stefanovic, a registered pharmacist, worked at Cardinal Health, a $10.5 billion national drug wholesaler based in Columbus, Ohio, from 1991-98.

As vice president of pharmaceutical services for Cardinal Health, Stefanovic’s focus was on formulary management and maximizing supplier revenues. Promoted to director of pharmaceutical services in 1993, she spearheaded initiatives ranging from rapid distribution programs for new products to managing incentives and sales plans for a field sales force of 150. Her demonstrated leadership abilities led to her appointment as vice president of pharmaceutical services in 1995, when she assumed responsibility for generic pharmaceutical operations and generating revenues in excess of $850 million.

Stefanovic earned her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University and Master of Science in pharmaceutical administration from Ohio State University.

At Northern, she was a member of the Mortar Board, Rho Chi and Phi Kappa Phi honoraries. Active in Greek life, she served as president of Zeta Tau Alpha, was named Greek Woman of the Year, and was a charter member of the Order of Omega Greek honorary.

Stefanovic received ONU’s College of Pharmacy Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007 and served on the Board of Trustees from 2004 through 2014. She and her husband, Randy, live in Martinsville, N.J. She has four children Nick, Olivia, Matthew and Hannah.


Thomas Gossel, BSPh ’63, professor of pharmacology emeritus at Ohio Northern University’s College of Pharmacy, served his pharmacy profession for more than 50 years as a community pharmacist and manager, educator, college administrator and consultant. He continues that service as an author of educational material.

After practicing community pharmacy full-time for five years in Lancaster, Ohio, Gossel pursued graduate study at Purdue University, where he received his Master of Science in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1972; both degrees were in pharmacology/toxicology. He joined the Ohio Northern University faculty in 1972. Over the years, Gossel served the college as chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences, chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and associate dean. He was appointed acting dean of the ONU College of Pharmacy from 1993-94, and dean from 1994-99. Following his deanship, Gossel returned to the college faculty for three years before retiring in 2002.

In collaboration with his friend and colleague, Dr. J. Richard “Dick” Wuest, professor emeritus of pharmacy practice at the University of Cincinnati, Gossel produced more continuing education (CE) lessons for pharmacists than perhaps anyone else in the country. Gossel has presented more than 1,300 seminars, lectures or workshops to pharmacists, nurses, physicians, dentists and other health professionals in 47 states and in Jamaica, in Switzerland and off the coast of Italy.

He maintained a monthly column on over-the-counter drugs in US Pharmacist for 18 years. He has authored or co-authored 723 articles for pharmacists that have been published in a variety of professional journals. He also has written three book chapters and six books. His most recent volume, “Principles of Clinical Toxicology,” is a textbook for students of pharmacy and other biomedical sciences.

At ONU, Gossel has been a leadership volunteer by facilitating donations and assisting with various aspects of the Pierstorf Museum inside the Hakes-Pierstorf Family Pharmacy Education Center. Last fall, he donated his time and treasure to write and publish From Then to Now: The Remarkable Story of Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy.

Gossel has been the recipient of ONU’s Most Professional Professor Award, the Mortar Board Favorite Professor Award, the APhA-ASP Professional Service Award, the ONU Outstanding Alumnus Award, and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Distinguished Service Award, among others. He was appointed to the ONU Alumni Endowed Chair in Pharmacy. From the Ohio Pharmacist Association, he received Lifetime Membership for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession and to the Association. Gossel was honored by his high school alma mater with induction into the Lancaster High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

Gossel and his wife, Phyllis (Black), BSEd ’63, continue to call Ada their home. They have two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.

Student Speaker

Shannon Kraus is a graduating pharmacy student from Pittsburgh, Pa. During her time at ONU, Kraus served as a resident director, president of Kappa Epsilon, vice president of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), President’s Club core group leader, President’s Leadership Dessert committee chair, and vice president of the Student Planning Committee. She was invited to join Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma and Mortar Board, and she was selected as ONU’s 2013 Homecoming queen.

Professors and mentors inspired her to present pharmacy research at five different pharmacy conferences, and she was selected for The Johns Hopkins Summer Internship Program. After graduation, Kraus plans to pursue a career in health-system pharmacy administration.



Undergraduate Commencement Speaker and Honoree 

Speaker and Honoree

Walter W. Bettinger II has been president and chief executive officer of The Charles Schwab Corporation since October 2008. Concurrent with his appointment, he was named to the Board of Directors of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

In addition, Bettinger serves on the Board of Directors of Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. and the Charles Schwab Bank. He is chair of the Board of Trustees for the Schwab-managed mutual funds and exchange traded funds. Prior to assuming his current role, he was most recently president and chief operating officer of The Charles Schwab Corporation.

He leads a workforce of approximately 16,000 full-time employees, with headquarters in San Francisco and branch offices in more than 330 locations across the United States plus London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Puerto Rico.

Bettinger’s duties include leading the development of strategies and services that assist millions of people worldwide in their efforts to save and invest – either directly, with the help of an independent investment advisor, or through a company-sponsored retirement or benefit plan. He is credited with leading Schwab through the financial crisis. Post crisis, from 2009 through 2012, Schwab grew client assets by $530 billion – $200 billion more than the growth of all four of Schwab’s primary, publicly traded competitors added together.

Under his leadership, the value of Schwab stock has almost tripled from $13.59 on Jan. 1, 2009, to $39.47 as of year-end 2016 and returned an average of 30 percent per annum to stockholders for the past four calendar years.

Bettinger has been recognized throughout his career as a leader in financial services, including:

  • In 2014 and 2016, he was recognized in Fortune magazine’s Businessperson of the Year listing. In 2016, he was ranked the No. 25 businessperson in the world.
  • In 2010, he was named by Smart Money magazine to the Power 30 of the world’s most powerful and influential players.
  • In 2009, he received the lifetime achievement award for contributions to the retirement security of working Americans by Plan Sponsor magazine.

In 1983, at the age of 22, Bettinger founded The Hampton Company, a provider of retirement plan services to corporations and their employees. The Charles Schwab Corporation acquired Hampton in 1995.

In addition to his professional duties, Bettinger is active in numerous charitable and philanthropic efforts. He and his wife, Teri, are founders of the Walt & Teri Bettinger Foundation and the parents of five children. A native of Ada, Ohio, Bettinger attended Ada Elementary and then Ada High School. (His father, Donald, spent 16 years as professor and later chair of ONU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.)

Bettinger has a strong affinity for ONU athletics: He donated the Joe and Margaret Campoli Court in December 2008 and played an instrumental role in revamping the Beverly “Bev” Daugherty Memorial Locker Room in 2005-06. He also served as a University trustee.

Bettinger attended Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in finance, summa cum laude, from Ohio University. He has also completed the General Management program offered by the Harvard Business School.

As measured by client assets, Schwab is the largest publicly traded investment services firm in the United States and one of the world’s largest financial services firms, serving approximately:

  • $2.8 trillion in client assets
  • 10 million client brokerage accounts, over 1 million bank accounts and 1.5 million retirement plan participants
  • More than 7,000 independent investment advisors


James Lehr Kennedy is an entrepreneur who has built three successful companies; an inventor who has developed the industry standard for a disaster-alert system; an artist who has created beautiful works of glass; and a philanthropist who has helped many projects, including ONU’s new engineering building, come to fruition.

The great-grandson of ONU founder Henry Solomon Lehr, Kennedy grew up in Massachusetts, but he spent every summer during his childhood visiting his grandmother Sarah Kennedy (the daughter of Henry Solomon Lehr), and aunt Mary Kennedy (the granddaughter of Lehr), who lived in Ada. He enjoyed watching the growth of campus through the years and felt honored in 1998 when ONU invited him to serve on the Board of Trustees, a position he’s held for 18 years.

Kennedy received his undergraduate degree in economics from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree in economics and MBA from Ohio State University. Right out of undergraduate school, he landed a key position at the Ohio Power Siting Board. He later worked at the Ohio Department of Energy and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio during the oil and natural gas crisis of the 1970s. He spent 20 years holding executive positions, formulating energy policy, directing regulatory affairs, testifying before lawmakers and devising energy forecasts. In the evening, he found time to teach macroeconomics at Ohio State University for 12 years.

In August 1989, Kennedy developed an idea that became Twenty First Century Communications (TFCC), his first entrepreneurial endeavor and a multimillion-dollar company.

Kennedy created the technology that enables electric companies to handle large call volumes, track power outages reported by customers and call back customers with pertinent information. He then created the alert system that gives utilities, emergency-management agencies, schools and other organizations the ability to call or text-message people within a certain geographic radius in the event of a disaster. His system has saved countless lives, alerting people about the need to evacuate during wild fires, floods, hurricanes and active-shooter situations.

In recent years, Kennedy has launched two new companies. Next Future LLC develops, markets and patents a wide range of consumer-based products, including Kennedy’s recent invention of a smartphone application that reads utility meters.

Crystal Remembrances, based in Dublin, Ohio, produces handcrafted crystal vessels to hold the cremated remains of loved ones. These elegant pieces of art provide one-of-a-kind memorials and are sold at funeral homes across the U.S.

Student Speaker

Rebecca Phlipot is a graduating biochemistry student from Marysville, Ohio. During her time at ONU, Phlipot served as a resident assistant through Resident Life, an intern in ONU’s office of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, and a research fellow in the ONU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She served as a member of the President’s Club Core Group, Student Senate cabinet, and Pi Delta Phi; vice chair of the Student Advisory Board; president of the Gamma Sigma Epsilon chemistry honorary; and vice president of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society. She also was an international projects insight trip volunteer with Solid Rock International. After graduation, Phlipot will pursue a master’s degree in management, with a concentration in marketing, at the Wake Forest University School of Business. From there, she hopes to work in a health-related industry as a consultant, using her scientific background to better market or serve a company in the health care industry.


Law Speaker Commencement Speaker


As Ohio attorney general, Mike DeWine, JD ’72, has made protecting Ohio’s families a priority.

To better protect our kids, DeWine created a special Crimes Against Children Unit to help identify, arrest and convict sexual predators. He has also increased training for law enforcement and educators to help improve school safety; fight human trafficking, child abuse, missing children and bullying; and meet the needs of foster youth.

DeWine is working to rebuild Ohio’s neighborhoods, investing $75 million from the national mortgage settlement to help demolish abandoned and blighted properties. He has also made commitments to support anti-gun violence programs and community groups that are working to repair our hardest-hit communities.

DeWine is working hard to make sure his office provides cutting-edge criminal investigation and law enforcement training services, is rooting out public corruption, and is helping to create a legal climate in Ohio that encourages businesses to invest in the state and create jobs.

DeWine has also devoted resources to fight Ohio’s prescription drug abuse and heroin problems, increased the number of criminal prosecutions in consumer fraud cases, and dramatically decreased the turnaround time for testing of DNA evidence. He has dedicated resources to testing all of Ohio’s old sexual assault kits, which is leading to the convictions of sexual predators.

DeWine has a long and distinguished career in public service focusing on protecting Ohio children and families. DeWine served as Greene County prosecuting attorney, in the Ohio State Senate, in the United States House of Representatives, as Ohio Lieutenant Governor and in the United States Senate.

DeWine earned an honorary doctorate from Northern in 1995. His daughter Alice graduated from ONU’s College of Law in 2008.

DeWine grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and married his high school sweetheart, Frances Struewing, while both were students at Miami University. The DeWines, who reside in Cedarville Township, have eight children and 22 grandchildren.

Student Speaker

Aaron Boris is a graduating law student from Ithaca, N.Y., who will earn both a Juris Doctor and an LLM in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law. Ranked at the top of his law class, Boris serves as associate editor of ONU’s Law Review and works as a legal intern for the College of Law’s Corporate Transactional Clinic in Lima, Ohio. He also served as a research assistant for professor Karen Powell investigating corporate taxation issues (international taxation, corporate taxation and tax avoidance). He spent summer 2016 as a global law and development fellow with the Kosovo Property Rights Program in Pristina, Kosovo, where he focused on the USAID goals of enhancing the property rights of women and the efficiency of property-related laws and judicial mechanisms. After graduating from ONU’s College of Law, Boris plans to return to take the New York bar exam and seek employment in the field of international law. Boris earned a Bachelor of Arts as a double major in history and PPL (philosophy, politics, and law) from Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y.