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May 05, 2015 : VIDEO: Honors Convocation at Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington: A Labor of Love
Video Above: Week of April 27, 2015 -- Transformation of Brasee Hall Gym
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – When the graduates and their families walked into the Ohio University Lancaster Gymnasium on Friday night for Honors Convocation, many were struck with how the gym had been transformed.  The gymnasium in Brasee Hall is normally used for basketball games and physical education courses, but one night a year it’s turned into an elegant setting to recognize the accomplishments of OUL’s students.
It takes about a week to get the gymnasium set up for the annual Honors Convocation.  The gym is closed for the week leading up the event, so physical plant workers can set up uninterrupted. 
  • Monday, April 27 -- OUL employees get out and set up a light bar needed to highlight the platform graduates would walk across. 
  • Tuesday, April 28 -- some chairs and the podium were set up, along with the stage backdrop. That afternoon was used to set up the platform and faculty seating.
  • Wednesday, April 29 -- the area where the musicians play had been placed on the right hand side of the stage.
  • Thursday, April 30 -- hundreds of white chairs filled the area in front of the stage. 
  • Friday, May 1 -- Building Maintenance Superintendent Mark Bateson filled the front of the platform with flowers he grew in the Lancaster Campus greenhouse. Bateson has grown the flowers each year for Honors Convocation since the greenhouse was added to the campus property in 2001. The flowers are planted outside around campus after the convocation is over.
The doors to the gymnasium opened at 6 p.m. and graduates and their families started filling the seats.  At 7 p.m. sharp, the ceremony began and all the hard work of campus employees was on display for students and their families to enjoy.

Click Here to Watch Video of Honors Convocation 2015

“It is my privilege to welcome the candidates for graduation, honorees, families, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends to the Lancaster Campus Honors Convocation,” said Lancaster Campus Dean Jim Smith. “This is a special day for all of us as we honor the accomplishments of our students and faculty.”   
abby smallAbby Brown, former president of the Ohio Student Education Association, spoke for the students.
“Over the last four years, I have grown academically and believe I am a strong leader,” said Brown. “Congrats class of 2015.  We made it!”
2014 Professor of the Year Mark Nevin made the commencement address.  The history professor talked about how these graduates are making their own history now and starting to write their own story.
 “I’m a history professor, so I live in the past,” said Nevin. “From the beginning, OUL has offered nevin speech 2 smallresidents of central Ohio affordable access to higher education and it still does. You are now part of OUL history. Carry that history with you and show people what an OUL graduate can do.”
Each year, Lancaster students who are members of the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa conduct a rigorous selection process to recognize a faculty member for excellence in teaching and the promotion of learning both inside and outside the classroom.  The student selection committee solicits nominations, gathers supporting materials, and may visit classrooms as they make their choice. Professor and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Candice Thomas-Maddox announced the winner of the 2015 Professor of the Year Award.  The award went to Theatre Director Victor Jones.
victor prof of the year smallStudents were then called up one by one to receive their diplomas.  They walked across the platform and were cheered on by their family and friends in the audience.  Each graduate was greeted by Dean Smith and Interim Associate Dean Janet Becker and Nevin.  Graduate then returned to their seats.
“We have reached that point in the ceremony that the students have been waiting for,” said Smith. “I’d like to ask our candidates for graduation to please stand.  Please move your tassels from the right to the left, signifying that you have completed your course of study.  Congratulations to all of you.”
The event ended with the new graduates and their guests singing the Ohio University Alma Mater. After the ceremony, clean up got underway and the Brasee Hall gym returned to normal.