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President of Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to speak at undergraduate commencement

May 14, 2010

Ohio Northern University will celebrate its 2010 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony in the Sport Center on Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 2 p.m.

Approximately 600 students will be awarded degrees.

Sandra Pianalto, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will address the graduating students as the guest speaker. Pianalto’s tenure with the bank spans more than 26 years. She joined the bank in 1983 as an economist in the research department. She was appointed assistant vice president of public affairs in 1984, vice president and secretary to the board of directors in 1988, and first vice president and chief operating officer in 1993. She assumed her position as president in 2003. Before joining the bank, Pianalto was an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and served on the staff of the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jennifer M. Pelton, a graduating language arts education major from Hicksville, Ohio, will serve as the student speaker.

ONU will award three honorary degrees. John H. Glenn Jr., former astronaut and senator, will receive an honorary doctorate of public service. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth in 1962 and served as a U.S. senator from 1974 to 1998. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978 and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1998, he became the oldest person to fly in space at age 77.

Ernest Boyd, who is the executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association, will receive an honorary doctorate of pharmacy. He is a registered lobbyist in Columbus and Washington, D.C., representing Ohio pharmacists. Boyd is also a media consultant on multiple pharmacy issues and is a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, Ohio Society of Association Executives, and Boy Scouts of America. He is a preceptor of ONU (sixth-year pharmacy) students and presents regularly to ONU pharmacy classes and student organizations.

Michael Smith, who graduated from ONU in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in history, will receive an honorary doctorate of public service. Smith was named president of the Washington Center in December 2004. The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credits. Smith first joined the Washington Center in 1976 when a staff of six served 300 students from 30 colleges annually. During the past 31 years, Smith served in a series of progressively responsible positions. Today, the Washington Center has 70 full-time staff and more than 40,000 alumni, many of whom are in leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the U.S. and around the world. Under Smith’s leadership as president, the Washington Center’s enrollment has grown by more than 5 percent per year for the past three years. As an active Northern alumnus, Smith has served on ONU’s Getty College Council since 1989.

A commencement chapel service will be held in the English Chapel on Saturday, May 22, at 8:15 p.m.

Commencement day activities will begin with a presentation of the Dankook award in the McIntosh Center activities room on Sunday, May 23, at 9 a.m. The Raabe College of Pharmacy hooding ceremony will take place in the ONU Sports Center at 10 a.m.

Doors to the ONU Sports Center will open for the commencement ceremony Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Guests should arrive by 1 p.m. The musical prelude will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the procession of faculty and students.

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