On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the Tiffin University Community proudly celebrated its 134th Commencement Ceremony in the Heminger Center. This year, both the undergraduate and graduate classes were honored together. Rightfully so, as the occasion was also marked by the graduation of TU’s first doctoral cohort, a milestone worthy of being shared by all.
Tiffin University would like to recognize said graduates of its new doctoral program, having earned their Ph.D.’s in Global Leadership and Change. Congratulations are extended to Dr. David W. Farler, Dr. Jenipher Coppin, Dr. Kimberly Short and Dr. Kathryn A. Vogel.
The graduation began with opening remarks from Tiffin University President, Dr. Lillian Schumacher.
“Welcome to Tiffin University’s 134th Commencement Ceremony,” she said. “Let me first extend my warmest congratulations to the class of 2022. This is your day and I am beyond proud of each and every one of you, as are those joining us in the audience. Each of them –mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, friends, significant others – is here because of what you have collectively done.”
President Schumacher continued by personally congratulating the four Ph.D. graduates, highlighting the impact their achievement will have on both them and the University as a whole.
“This is such an historic moment,” she said with pride. “As this is the first time we have conferred doctoral degrees, we are counting on each of you to go forth to set the stage and the example for those to follow in your footsteps.”
President Schumacher went on to address Tyler Zimmerman, a 2022 graduate, stating she wanted to share a little surprise with him.
“Tyler, your grandfather, Billy Wilson, is here with us today as one of our honored Golden Grads. He is celebrating 50 years since his own graduation on the very day you celebrate yours. Your family wanted to surprise you by keeping his attendance a secret until now so we can all cheer for you both.”
President Schumacher asked both Tyler and Billy to stand for a round of applause before also extending congrats to Andrea Pappas and her daughter, Arianna Pappas, graduating together with their graduate and undergraduate degrees, respectively. The mother-daughter pair also stood to be recognized.
“Leadership isn’t about taking charge, but about taking care of those in your charge, to keep everyone moving forward in the interest of harmony and happiness,” he said. “The Board of Trustees could not be prouder of you. Remember us fondly and visit us often. Today truly is a great day to be a Dragon.”
This year’s commencement keynote speaker, James Morgan was then introduced. Morgan has more than 50 years of business experience and served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-1972, having concluded his naval career with the rank of lieutenant. Morgan has served as Chairman and/or CEO of several internationally recognized corporations such as Interstate/Johnson Lane, Inc., Wachovia Securities and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.
“You take this Tiffin diploma and just grow,” he began. “Grow so tall that there is no star you cannot reach. I truly believe you can, as the amazing thing about this university is that it prepares you for almost anything. This in mind, I have a few pieces of advice to offer in addition to the wonderful things they have assuredly taught you here.”
Mr. Morgan went on to share the five most important life lessons he picked up in both his personal and professional life.
Number one is to pursue a passion – do what makes you happy, he began. “Two, keep in mind that culture in the workplace is critical. Surround yourself with those who will uplift you … Three, work hard but also learn to work smart. Hard working gets you far, but smart working gets you all the way … Four, do not ever let your stumbles or failures discourage you. A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn … Lastly, find your own definition of success.”
Morgan concluded his address with the following sentiment. He encouraged each graduate to, “live your life in a way that you feel joyful and blessed and also in a way that brings joy and blessings to others. Opportunity is waiting for each and every one of you. Go out there, find and pursue your passion, and through it, make a positive difference in the lives of others. So long as you do that, you will truly be a success. Sincerest congrats to each of you.”
After speaking, Morgan was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, bestowed by Dr. Peter J. Holbrook, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. President Schumacher confirmed the award.
“In recognition of your life and career as a strategic risk taker and inspirational Servant Leader, Tiffin University confers upon you this degree of Doctor of Humane Letters,” said Dr. Holbrook.
Dr. Holbrook went on to address and congratulate the three recipients of TU’s undergraduate achievement awards, conferred to graduating seniors. The Student Leadership Award was given to Hunter William Sunberg. The Scholar Athlete Award was given to Sarah Mae Klein. Lastly, the Provost’s Award was given to Joseph Maxwell Gibbons.
The Tiffin University community congratulates its undergraduate, graduate and doctoral class of 2022 and wishes each new alumnus the best in their future professional endeavors.
The commencement ceremony was livestreamed and the recording can be viewed at tiffin.edu/commencement.
Take-Home Graduation Day Statistics
Total graduating students: 736
-Graduates receiving bachelor’s degrees: 375
-Graduates receiving master’s degrees: 357
-Graduates receiving Ph.D. degrees: 4
-Graduates receiving master’s degrees with distinction (4.0 G.P.A.): 154
-Graduates receiving bachelor’s degrees with honors (3.5 G.P.A.): 205
-Washington D.C. and U.S. states represented: 38
-Diverse countries represented: 22