Skip To Main Content
Skip To Main Content

Sherrod Brown to speak at undergraduate commencement

May 11, 2011

Ohio Northern University will celebrate its 2011 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony in the Sport Center on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at 2 p.m. Approximately 600 students will be awarded degrees.

Sherrod Brown, a U.S. senator from Ohio, will deliver the commencement address. Brown, who will receive an honorary doctorate of law, has held more than 170 community roundtables across Ohio’s 88 counties with local leaders and business owners, entrepreneurs and educators, and workers and families to find ways to rebuild the economy. Brown also sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee, the Senate Agriculture Committee, and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee.

Ohio Northern also will award four additional honorary degrees. Dr. Kendall L. Baker, president of Ohio Northern University, will receive the doctor of letters. Baker has had a wide range of experience in higher education, beginning as a professor of political science and head of the political science department at the University of Wyoming. After leaving Wyoming, Baker became the dean of the Arts and Sciences department at Bowling Green State University. He next took on further administrative roles, serving as vice president and provost of Northern Illinois University, president of the University of North Dakota, and president of Ohio Northern University.

An honorary doctor of science will be presented to Lynn Edward Elfner, who has served as chief executive officer of the Ohio Academy of Science in Columbus, Ohio, since 1975. Previously, Elfner was with the Mt. Orab Local School District, Ohio State University, Ohio Environmental Council, and Ohio Office of Budget and Management. Elfner is a fellow of AAAS and has received many awards.

MaryAnn Mathile will receive the doctor of public service. Mathile, along with her husband, Clayton, established the Mathile Family Foundation as a vehicle for sharing the many blessings of their business success. The Foundation strives to foster hope, inspire change, and impact children in need. Mathile is the Foundation’s CEO, board chair and treasurer. Since 1989, the Foundation has provided more than $200 million to support nonprofit organizations serving families and children in need, primarily within the Dayton, Ohio, area.

Jack R. Ohle, president of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., will be presented with an honorary doctor of letters. Ohle graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio Northern University in 1969. He continued his education at Bowling Green State University, where he received his master’s in higher education administration, and then completed graduate work toward a Master of Divinity at Hamma School of Theology. In addition, he holds an honorary doctor of divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary. He served as president of Wartburg College from 1998 to 2008.

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 22, 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.