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Commencement 2015

Spring/Summer 2015

James Kennedy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, delivered the keynote address during Tiffin University’s 2015 Commencement Ceremony on May 2 in TU’s Heminger Center. Kennedy focused on leadership and the eleven most important lessons he has learned throughout his career. He encouraged graduates to be the leaders that the world needs, noting that leadership does not require a certain type of personality or a title—it just requires someone with passion.

“I challenge every one of you graduates today to recognize leadership.”

Kennedy’s Eleven Lessons

  1. Make sure the culture and purpose of a company align with who you are as a person.
  2. Stay true to who you are and find something to ground you.
  3. Life just isn’t fair and nothing is guaranteed.
  4. You’re going to make mistakes.
  5. When you embark on something in your life keep enough objectivity to determine whether it is working and have the courage to move on if it isn’t.
  6. What matters most is what you feel about you and always be humble.
  7. Define what success means to you.
  8. Understand the influence of the spoken word.
  9. You are the CEO of your own life; life is too short to not be in control.
  10. Make the one-third of your life spent working as happy as you can because it influences the other two-thirds.
  11. Find someone you trust with whom you can go through life.

Kennedy also noted the importance of having a partner you trust to celebrate the good and console you in the bad. He acknowledged his wife Mary.

“I married my best friend 33 years ago. She has gotten me through the hard times and been my rock,” he said. “My wish is that all of you would be so fortunate.”

He congratulated the graduates and wished them luck in their future. Kennedy will retire at the end of 2015. He intends to spend more time with his wife playing golf and traveling. He would also like to consult and speak at educational programs or conferences.

Commencement 2015 Quick Facts:

  • 546 Graduates received their bachelor’s degrees
  • 490 Graduates received their master’s degrees
  • 126 Graduates received their master’s degrees with distinction (4.0 G.P.A.)
  • 124 Graduates received their bachelor’s degrees with honors (3.5 G.P.A.)
  • 104 Graduates received their associate’s degrees
  • 50 Graduates were Veterans
  • 42 Different U.S. States were represented
  • 24 Graduates received their associate’s degrees with honors (3.5 G.P.A.), and
  • 18 countries were represented at TU’s 127 Commencement on May 2.