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commencement procession with bagpipes

Tiffin University Celebrates 131st Commencement

Tiffin University celebrated its 131st annual commencement on Saturday, May 4 at the Heminger Center. The class of 2019 included 355 graduates receiving master’s degrees and 422 receiving bachelor’s degrees.

Dr. Lillian Schumacher, Tiffin University President, welcomed and congratulated the new graduates by declaring them officially “Dragons for life.” She recognized the members of the Class of 1969, Romanian MBA graduates, international students from 18 countries, veterans and active military members. She congratulated all of the graduates and shared advice from Mahatma Gandhi, “If you choose to, you can be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Tiffin University Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Tim Paradiso congratulated the graduates, on behalf of the Board of Trustees. He said “There is nothing more satisfying than watching you achieve your academic goals.” He went on to say “Keep in touch with us. We want to hear from you, we want to hear what is going on. We want you to be a Dragon for life.”

Tiffin University Board of Trustees member Dan Reineke introduced the graduation speaker, Joseph R. Hinrichs. Reineke said he has personally witnessed Hinrichs’ forward thinking and generous spirit. He said, “Joe is the real deal. A man of strong values, and supporter of his community.”

Joe Hinrichs is president, Automotive of Ford Motor Company, effective May 1, 2019, reporting to Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. In this role, Hinrichs leads Ford’s drive to strengthen its Automotive operations and deliver a sustainable global EBIT margin of 8 percent. Hinrichs has responsibility for Ford’s global business units – North America, South America, Europe, China, and the International Markets Group. He also oversees both the Ford and Lincoln brands.

Hinrichs started his address by letting the crowd know that he grew up in Fostoria and had roots only 18 miles away from Tiffin University. Hinrichs said he was so happy to be “here to celebrate you, the graduates. Congratulations.” He said that their degree is a major accomplishment and proof of their skills. “But you must challenge yourself continually to get better every day, to lead and serve others around you.”

Hinrichs said in sporting activities, there is a team and a team effort. He said everyone knows the elements that make a good teammate. “These are the people who live like a professional athlete. They sleep, they workout, they eat well and have a personal life. Just like them, you have to invest in yourself, body mind and spirit, to make yourself the best every day.”

He said good teammates want to see the team succeed. “Positive energy is infectious, but so is negative. You must have a positive attitude, no matter how hard things are.” He said always be a positive teammate, never negative.

Hinrichs went on to say “Leadership is about service. If you have the opportunity to lead, you have the expectation to serve others. You must be willing to share and be willing to help out.” Everything in life is done with other people. Running a company, living in a community, working in business. The opportunity is to become a better teammate and it takes work.

Hinrichs said “Today is not the end, it is just part of a fabulous success story. Don’t stop learning, contributing and growing. This is the just the beginning of the next phase of your journey. He encouraged graduates to challenge themselves to be constantly learning and growing and always be better. Be a great teammate. Love and be loved. Create good energy. This is the opportunity in front of you.” He added “Just remember, to lead is to serve. Leadership is about services. Create a positive environment. Be a great teammate. Challenge yourself to be better.”

After speaking, Hinrichs was presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, presented by TU Professor Dr. Bonnie Tiell and confirmed by Dr. Schumacher.

Student Leadership Award – Ruby Santiago, presented by Dean of Students Mike Herdlick

Scholar Athlete Award – Allie Miller, presented by Professor Kevin Cashen

Provost’s Award – Schuyler Turner, presented by Provost Dr. Peter Holbrook

Special Recognition of Distinguished Military Graduate Award – Lt. Mackenzie Butler, presented by President Dr. Lillian Schumacher

Degrees were then presented to the students.

View photos of Commencement

Watch video of Commencement

Take home graduation day stats:

4,000 (approximately) – Total number of people involved in 2019 commencement (including guests)
758 – Graduating students
555 (approximately) – Students who walked
1 – Associate degree
422 – Graduates receiving their bachelor’s degrees
355 – Graduates receiving their master’s degrees
115 – Graduates receiving their master’s degrees with distinction (4.0 G.P.A.)
232 – Graduates receiving their bachelor’s degrees with honors (3.5 G.P.A.)
18 – Different countries represented

Over 1,100 unique devices were remotely engaged and tuned in from across the world via, with an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 viewers.