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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

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Keynote speaker Justice McGee Brown urges graduates to pursue lives of significance to others


The Chillicothe Campus saluted its most recent alumni as members of the class of 2012 prepared to make their mark on the world during the recent Recognition of Graduation event in the Shoemaker Center.

A total of 512 students earned their associate, bachelor’s and master's degrees from Ohio University while attending the Chillicothe Campus this academic year, and approximately 260 students participated in the event. Both numbers are the highest in the 11-year history of the “Recognition of Graduation” event.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown, herself an Ohio University alumna, delivered a stirring keynote address, reminding the graduates of the significance of an Ohio University degree.

“Your Ohio University diploma has prepared you for success, no matter the career field,” Justice McGee Brown told the graduates. “The best thing about Ohio University is that they see the promise in you before you do. You have stepped through the gateway to your success, and today we pause to cheer your accomplishments and thank those who made it possible.”

The justice urged students to use what they have gained during their college careers to help others and to make a difference.

“Today is a time to ponder your legacy and how you will impact others,” the justice continued. “You cannot let fears slow your pace, but you must continue your journey with faith. I left OU believing that anything was possible and determined to live a life of significance. You, in turn, have to believe in yourselves. Remember, it is the struggle that makes you strong.”

“I urge you to be significant and not just successful. Being significant focuses on others and maintaining your integrity, while success focuses only on yourself,” she said.

Elementary education graduate Karissa Carroll offered the student reflection remarks. “I chose to attend OU-C and remain a part of the community, and I am grateful every day for making that decision,” Carroll said. “I quickly discovered that Ohio University-Chillicothe was very different from most other colleges. We were not just a number; our instructors got to know each of us, and they quickly became our mentors and friends. Throughout my career at OU-C, my classmates and I were also given many opportunities to be active in our community.”

Nakia Mickey, an associate degree in Human Services Technology student, delivered the Pledge of Allegiance.

Also, local business professional, agricultural advocate and historian Martha Gerber Rittinger received the Richard Bebee Alumni Leadership Award.