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Pettit College of Law to celebrate commencement

May 10, 2012

Justice McGee Brown

Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law will celebrate its 2012 commencement ceremony in the ONU Sports Center on Sunday, May 20, 2012, at 2 p.m. Approximately 90 students will be awarded degrees, and Dr. Daniel DiBiasio, Ohio Northern University president, will preside.

The ONU Sports Center is scheduled to open for the commencement exercises at 12:30 p.m. A musical prelude will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the procession of faculty and juris doctorate candidates.

John Paul Bratcher of Marion, Ind., will give the invocation, and Heather Armstrong of Elmira, N.Y., will sing the national anthem.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown will deliver the commencement address. Brown, who became the first African-American woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio in 2011, began her career in 1992 when she was the first African-American elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile division. In this position, she created the Family Drug Court and the SMART Program, an intervention program. In 2002, she retired from the court to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The Center serves children and families who are experiencing abuse. In addition to her legal career, Brown is an active community member, having served on numerous boards, including Ohio University, the Ohio State University Medical Center board, the National Council of the OSU Moritz College of Law, M/I Homes Inc., and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She also has served as chair of the United Way of Central Ohio and on the YWCA Columbus Board of Directors.

Amy Jeffries of Modesto, Calif., will deliver the student address.

Gregory L. Frost, a 1978 ONU alumnus, will receive an honorary doctor of law. Frost began his legal career as assistant Licking County prosecutor. He worked in the juvenile division, adult felony division, civil division and appellate division. While serving as the assistant prosecuting attorney, Frost maintained his role as partner at the law firm Schaller, Frost, Hostetter & Campbell. There, he handled personal-injury lawsuits, domestic-relations matters and small-business issues. In 1993, Frost was appointed to the Licking County Municipal Court, where he served for seven years before being elected to the Licking County Commons Pleas Court for 13 years. In March 2003, Frost was sworn in as judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

David C. Crago, dean of the Pettit College of Law, will give remarks. Assisted by members of the tenured law faculty, Crago will next place the academic hood upon each candidate, which will be followed by DiBiasio’s presentation of the diplomas. Armstrong will sing the musical benediction, and Kelli Vaughn of Dayton, Ohio, will give the spoken benediction.

A reception for graduates and families will take place in the College of Law immediately following the ceremony.

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