The Myers Hall bell will toll at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and again at noon on Saturday to notify the campus that the ceremony will be held in its intended outdoor location at the scheduled time of 2 p.m. If the bell does not ring, that will be a signal that the ceremony will be held in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center, with the doors scheduled to open at noon. Guests should be seated at either venue no later than 1 p.m.
Special parking and seating have been arranged for physically disabled guests. For Commencement exercises held outdoors, physically disabled guests may enter campus before noon through the drive on North Plum Street. A Wittenberg security officer will be at the driveway entrance to give instructions for parking and seating. In the event the exercises are held indoors, physically disabled guests may be dropped off in front of the HPER Center. Because of limited space in the HPER Center, seating is at a premium, so disabled guests may be seated with only one friend or family member.
Should the ceremony be held indoors, a video broadcast will be transmitted to Hollenbeck Hall. Guests without tickets are welcomed and encouraged to view the ceremony in classrooms throughout the building, including the Ness Family Auditorium.
Those scheduled for recognition during the Commencement ceremony include 27 “non-traditional” students from the School of Community Education. Twenty-seven states and five countries outside of the United States are represented within the graduating class. Undergraduate degrees to be awarded are Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music Education, in addition to one master's degree.
A total of 129 graduates will earn Latin honors in recognition of their exceptional academic pursuits. Sixty-three of them will be designated cum laude (3.5-3.69 grade point average), 23 magna cum laude (3.7-3.79) and 43 summa cum laude (3.8-4.0). Among the latter group, three students achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
The 2008 Commencement speaker is United States Congressman Dave Hobson (OH-7th District), who will be conferred honorary alumnus status at the ceremony. Hobson, who received an honorary doctorate of laws from Wittenberg in 1992, recently announced his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives after serving the 7th district, which includes his hometown of Springfield, for nine terms.
Hobson has been a strong advocate for education, securing significant funding for area primary and secondary schools as well as for area colleges and universities, including Wittenberg. In 2005, Hobson secured $1 million in federal dollars to expand and enhance research partnerships in computational science between Wittenberg, the Ohio Supercomputer Center and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Two years earlier, his vision and leadership helped secure $1 million in federal funds, which aided in the completion of the university's state-of-the-art Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. Wittenberg recognized Hobson by naming the three-story glass atrium and focal point of the 47,000-square-foot expansion of the center in his honor.
Hobson is the ranking member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which he formerly chaired, and serves as a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Additionally, Hobson's service includes serving as chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, as a member of the Veterans Affairs/Housing Subcommittee and as a member of the Budget Committee. Prior to being elected to Congress, Hobson served in the Ohio Senate from 1982-1990, where he was the president pro tempore, the second-highest-ranking official, majority whip, and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.
In addition, Bob and Lynn Noble Ness, Wittenberg classes of 1963 and 1964 respectively, will be conferred honorary degrees. Bob Ness, chairman and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based ODW Logistics, Inc., has held leadership positions at Wittenberg for decades, including president of the Alumni Association and membership on the Board of Directors from 1980-97. He currently serves as chair of the university's Benjamin Prince Society, in addition to being a dedicated volunteer for various organizations in his Upper Arlington, Ohio community. Lynn Ness, a former teacher in the Columbus Public Schools, has held key volunteer roles with the Boys Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Buckeye Boys Ranch. She also helped spearhead a new initiative for spouses of Wittenberg Board members, and she has joined her husband in taking a leadership role at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. They are the parents of three Wittenberg graduates.
Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Robert Gantt
Send a Message
• Book-Delivering Prof Named Ohio Professor of the Year
• Senior Class Selects Livestrong President & CEO Doug Ulman As 2011 Commencement Speaker
•Communication Program Honored Nationally With Top Award
• Wittenberg University Art Students Finalists For Scholarship Award