DEFIANCE, Ohio - One hundred and fifty-nine graduates were awarded diplomas during commencement ceremonies at Defiance College on Saturday, May 6. Dr. DeBow Freed, President Emeritus of Ohio Northern University and the University of Findlay, was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Prior to his distinguished career in higher education, Dr. Freed was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and was a 23-year veteran officer of the Army. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Kansas and a doctoral degree from the University of New Mexico. He was a faculty member at the U.S. Military Academy, served as dean of Mount Union College, and held three successful presidencies – at Monmouth College, Ohio Northern University, and the University of Findlay.
Upon awarding the honorary doctorate, Defiance College President Dr. Richanne C. Mankey told the graduates that Dr. Freed had a significant impact on her life, beginning when she was a sophomore at ONU and Dr. Freed was its new president.
“I was completely unaware of the impact his guidance would have on my professional and personal life,” she said. “Even though our careers took us both to different institutions, we stayed in touch. While it may not yet be apparent to you as a graduate, please consider how important the relationships you have developed with faculty, staff, and peers at Defiance College may be. They may, in fact, have a pleasant and surprising impact on your life.”
Also recognized during commencement ceremonies were Pilgrim Medal recipients Dr. Donald Knueve and graduating senior Zachary Roush. The Pilgrim Medal is the highest honor awarded by the college and recognizes specific traits in awardees – reliance in self, pride in work, courage in conscience, strength in education, and faith in God.
Knueve was a Defiance College faculty member and administrator for 36 years, retiring in 2014. He was coordinator of the college’s criminal justice program, a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Citation, and was involved in numerous professional organizations and advisory boards.
Roush, of Nashville, Ind., graduated on Sunday with honors in digital forensic science. He was a McMaster Scholar to Belize for three years and served as president of the Carolyn M. Small Honors Program. Roush was involved in many campus organizations and was a member of cross country and track teams.
Delivering the commencement address was Jeffrey Wilson, Toledo, a 1989 alumnus of Defiance College. He authored the book “Life’s Cheat Sheet” and is in the process of launching an online marketing business. He was recognized in 2016 with a Defiance College Outstanding Alumni Award.
Tory Savage, Bryan, spoke on behalf of the graduating class. Top scholars of 2016-17 are Carrie Relyea, Defiance, and Ceresa Page, St. Mary, Jamaica.
Receiving diplomas were:
Bachelor of Arts: Jordan Brown, Bryan, Ohio; Stephanie Carlson, Edon, Ohio; Jordan Core, Sherwood, Ohio; Sean Daley, magna cum laude, Lima, Ohio; James DeMeo, cum laude, Oregon, Ohio; Andrew Foore, cum laude, Swanton, Ohio; Alexander Frick, Kendallville, Ind.; Christina Gebers, cum laude, Defiance, Ohio; Corinna Gebers, magna cum laude, Defiance, Ohio; Kiera Grandey, magna cum laude, Stryker, Ohio; Nathan Height, summa cum laude, Wabash, Ind.; Amanda Heil, Defiance, Ohio; Trevor Hester, summa cum laude, Liberty Center, Ohio; Justin Homerick, Bellville, Ohio; Kevin Keefe, Jr., Arcadia; Joseph Kudela, Lorain, Ohio; Brian Kurtz, Sandusky, Ohio; Benjamin Lee, Montpelier; Devin Mangas, cum laude, Leipsic, Ohio; Truman AJ Millwood, Gainesville, Ga.;
Dave Morris, cum laude, Defiance, Ohio; Marissa Myles, magna cum laude, Holgate, Ohio; Jonathon Pascol, Defiance, Ohio; Walter Pippin III, Liberty Center; Josh Ream, magna cum laude, Convoy, Ohio; Andrew Rebottaro, Tecumseh, Mich.; Carrie Relyea, summa cum laude, Defiance, Ohio; Marisela Reyes, cum laude, McClure, Ohio; Jacob Rindler, cum laude, St. Henry, Ohio; Zachary Shook, summa cum laude, Defiance, Ohio; Michael Smith, Cortland, Ohio; Johnathan Sparks, Defiance, Ohio; Elizabeth Spiess-Frey, Wauseon, Ohio; Jacob Thiel, Hicksville, Ohio; Kelsey Tietje, magna cum laude, Deshler, Ohio; Vittorio Trifiro, Akron, Ohio; Zachary Weaver, Lincoln Park, Mich.; Cody Wilson, magna cum laude, McComb, Ohio; and Trevor Zachrich, Defiance, Ohio.
Bachelor of Science: Abbey Ash, magna cum laude, Paulding, Ohio; Seth Bauer, Findlay, Ohio; Kayla Bierley, Bradner, Ohio; Oneaka Black, St. Mary, Jamaica; David Blanch, Toronto, Ontario; Jacob Boles, Holton, Ind.; Josef Brobst, Plain City, Ohio; Cody Brown, Hamilton, Ohio; Mariah Brown, Paxton, Ill.; Jacqueline Burns, Rossford, Ohio; Samantha Butler, Hamilton, Ohio; Noelle Chester, summa cum laude, West Unity, Ohio; Michaela Clute, Onsted, Mich.; Keri Conine, Ottawa, Ohio; Brittany Coressel, Defiance, Ohio; Adam Dangler, Pulaski, Ohio; Tabitha Del Carmen, cum laude, Hemet, Calif.; James DeMeo, cum laude, Oregon, Ohio;
Emily Denhard, Troy, Mich.; Makayla Dennis, Bryan, Ohio; Matthew Devore, Van Buren, Ohio; Daniel Fabelo, Hamilton, Ohio; Matthew Feltz, Celina, Ohio; Clayton Fox, Berlin Heights, Ohio; Mallory Galloway, Marion, Ohio; Myndi Gause, Mark Center, Ohio; Alicia Geer, Deshler, Ohio; Marisa Guyton, Powell, Ohio; Quinten Harrington, Sandusky, Ohio; Colby Heeter, Bloomsburg, Pa.; Brittney Holmes, Defiance, Ohio; Dominic Holutiak, Maple Heights, Ohio; Madeline Homan, Sidney, Ohio; Sandra Hubler, Berea, Ohio; Taylor Hueston, Bryan, Ohio; Paige Huttenlocker, Jackson, Mich.; Dia Jackson, Detroit, Mich.; Zachary Kasper, Wyandotte, Mich.;
Jeremiah Krouse, Defiance, Ohio; Joshua Kuhlman, cum laude, Ottawa, Ohio; Emily Lambert, Delphos, Ohio; Elizabeth Lorenz, Defiance, Ohio; Derek Lucas, cum laude, Eaton, Ohio; Ariane Mahaffey, Porter, Ind.; Gabrielle Marretta, Tampa, Fla.; Laura Martinez, Defiance, Ohio; April McKenzie, Defiance, Ohio; Jennifer Meade, Defiance, Ohio; Drew Miller, Walled Lake, Mich.; Kayla Miller, Wadsworth, Ohio; Kenneth Miller, Royal Oak, Mich.; Gregory Mogren, Grove City, Ohio; Curtis Morris, Kenton, Ohio; Jessica Morse, Swanton, Ohio; Hope Neargarder, Union City, Ohio; Ceresa Page, summa cum laude, St. Mary, Jamaica; Katelin Patchin, West Farmington, Ohio;
Catlyn Pavel, summa cum laude, Paulding, Ohio; Nick Peters, Macomb Township, Mich.; Marcus Pompey, cum laude, Marcellus, Mich; Richard Potts, Columbia, S.C.; Jennifer Price, Defiance, Ohio; Zackary Reed, Beaverton, Mich.; Colton Relyea, Defiance, Ohio; Zachary Roush, magna cum laude, Nashville, Ind.; Tory Savage, Bryan, Ohio; Jillian Schneider, magna cum laude, Botkins, Ohio; John Seeley, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; Drew Shaffer, Bryan, Ohio; Rachel Simon, West Chester, Ohio; Erica Smay, summa cum laude, Defiance, Ohio; Jonathan Sparks, Defiance, Ohio; Arlen Stoller, magna cum laude, Haviland, Ohio; Catherine Tilman, cum laude, Miami Springs, Fla.;
Jacob Tinsley, Eaton, Ohio; Alexis Walker, cum laude, Fort Myers, Fla.; Megan Warren, summa cum laude, Mason, Ohio; Zachary Weber, Ottoville, Ohio; Jennifer Wedge, Defiance, Ohio; Cody Wiggins, summa cum laude, Howell, Mich.; Cornelius Wilcox, Tacoma, Wash.; Megan Wiles, magna cum laude, Edgerton, Ohio; Ashley Williams, magna cum laude, Leipsic, Ohio; Ashley Wilson, Wauseon, Ohio; Tom Woehnker, magna cum laude, Kendallville, Ind.; and Kristian Woolace, Defiance, Ohio.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Rebecca Kain, Orland, Ind.; Dixie Peterson, Defiance, Ohio; Nicole Roth, Ayersville, Ohio.
Associate of Arts: Korey Cook, Brittany Knueven and Natasha Woodruff, all of Defiance, Ohio.
Master of Arts in Education: Linnea Arps, Continental, Ohio; Catherine Guido, Elmhurst, Ill.; Jordan Heiliger, Goshen, Ind.; Fara Neff, Bryan, Ohio; Vickie Rhodes, Sherwood, Ohio; Sarah Sehlmeyer, Napoleon, Ohio; James Starrett, Chagrin Falls, Ohio; and Amanda Westrick, Defiance, Ohio.
Master of Business Administration: Carrie Arnold, Wauseon, Ohio; Megan Higdon, Trenton, Mich.; and Caci Hyman, Paulding, Ohio.