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April 3, 2020

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Commencement ceremonies

Commemorates landmark moment as Ohio Northern University students earn college degrees

Ohio Northern University will celebrate the crowning achievement in the lives of its students during upcoming commencement exercises in the King-Horn Sports Center Field House. ONU President Daniel DiBiasio will preside over the ceremonies. The Raabe College of Pharmacy and undergraduate colleges, as well as the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program, will hold their ceremonies on May 12, and the Pettit College of Law commencement is scheduled for May 19.

Approximately 637 students are earning their degrees from the University this academic year, including 139 from the College of Pharmacy, 62 from the College of Law and 436 from the other three colleges.

The College of Pharmacy commencement exercises will be held at 9 a.m. on May 12. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m.

The student speaker will be Molly Wheeler of Sylvania, Ohio.

The keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient will be Richard P. Keyes, a 1992 graduate of the College of Pharmacy who is president and CEO of Meijer. Keyes joined Meijer in 1989 as a pharmacy team member in Columbus, Ohio, while attending Ohio Northern.

A 30-year Meijer veteran, Keyes was appointed president in 2015 and was named the first non-Meijer family member CEO in January 2017 after holding various leadership positions in pharmacy and store operations, as well as supply chain and manufacturing. The retailer operates more than 240 supercenters in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. 

Meijer employs more than 70,000 members.

Prior to his appointment as president and CEO, Keyes was executive vice president of supply chain and manufacturing, a role he had held since 2006. Previously, Keyes spent 15 years in retail operations, starting in pharmacy, before becoming a store director, market director and regional vice president.

Keyes serves on ONU’s Board of Trustees. In 2018, he received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

The undergraduate and MSA ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 12. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.

The undergraduate speaker will be Logan Hill of Ridgeway, Ohio, a musical theatre major with a communication studies minor.

The keynote speaker for the undergraduate and MSA ceremony will be Michael C. Kaufmann, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1985 from Ohio Northern. He will also be awarded an honorary degree.

Kaufmann is chief executive officer of Cardinal Health, a global, integrated health care services and products company that is ranked among the top 15 on the Fortune 500.

Before being named CEO in 2018, Kaufmann served as chief financial officer for Cardinal Health, overseeing all financial activities for the company, including external reporting, investor relations, tax strategy/planning and capital deployment, as well as global sourcing for both the pharmaceutical and medical segments.

During his 28 years at Cardinal Health, Kaufmann has served in a range of leadership positions across operations, sales and finance.

Prior to joining Cardinal Health, Kaufmann had a successful career in audit and consulting with Arthur Andersen.

Kaufmann, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University, is the vice-chair of the ONU Board of Trustees and a past member of the Dicke College of Business Administration Advisory Board.

Also receiving an honorary degree will be Karen (Keyse) Fields and Daniel B. Walker.

Fields, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from ONU in 1978, is medical director of Clinical Pathways and Values-Based Cancer Care at Moffitt Cancer Center. It is one of the largest NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. She is a senior member of the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Department and a professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences in the College of Medicine at the University of South Florida.

Fields began her career in Tampa, Fla., as a founding member of Moffitt’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and eventually became director of the program. She has done extensive research in the field of bone marrow transplant. Fields served as chief of medicine at Moffitt Cancer Center and was responsible for developing Moffitt’s cancer network throughout Florida.

After graduating from Ohio Northern, Fields earned her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She completed fellowships at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Florida Health Sciences Center in Jacksonville, Fla.

Walker, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from ONU in 1971, is executive vice president of Kokosing Industrial in Westerville, Ohio. It is a division of Kokosing, one of the largest contractors in the Midwest.

Walker has worked at Kokosing since 1976, playing an integral role in the growth of the company’s business units from a volume of $57 million a year in 1983 to $800 million per year today. He has held the positions of president of McGraw/Kokosing Construction Inc., senior vice president of Kokosing and president of Kokosing Industrial.

During his nearly 50-year career as a civil engineer, Walker has overseen the construction of dozens of industrial and commercial facilities.

He is an original member of the ONU Smull College of Engineering’s Advisory Board and is current chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, having served the board in some capacity for the past 20 years. He received the ONU College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017 and the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.