The University of Findlay will hold spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 3, in the Koehler Complex. The graduate ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., and the undergraduate ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. No tickets are necessary to attend the ceremonies.
Nearly 700 degrees, including doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s, will be awarded. In the fall, the University awarded 196 degrees, and those alumni have been invited to walk in the May ceremony, as well.
The University will welcome two guest speakers. Darin E. Fields, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs will be the speaker for the graduate commencement ceremony, and UF alumna Jeanne Kelly, founder and executive director of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, will be the speaker for the undergraduate ceremony.
From 2009 until he joined UF in 2013, Fields was vice president for academic affairs, dean of the faculty and Sarah B. Cochran Professor of English at Bethany College in West Virginia. Prior to his post at Bethany College, Fields was dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and was chair of the Division of Humanities at Wilkes University. While serving there, Fields was awarded both the Carpenter Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award and the Outstanding Faculty Award.
Fields has a Ph.D. in early American literature from the University of Delaware; an M.A. in English from the University of Delaware; and a B.A. in English from the University of Arizona.
Kelly’s career of more than 35 years has produced a unique blend of experience as a vocal performer, teacher, conductor and music administrator. Her organization is dedicated to providing an excellence, accessible and sustainable artistic environment for older adults over 55 years of age, either beginning, intermediate or advanced levels, who seek arts education and performance opportunities under a professional artist.
Kelly graduated from the University with a degree in voice performance and piano, and she earned a master’s degree in voice performance from the Peabody Conservatory. Kelly has performed major roles with the Baltimore Opera, Opera Delaware, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Annapolis Opera and the New York City Opera Education Department.
Her expertise in vocal technique has been of benefit to many students, including those at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Hood College, the United States Naval Academy and the Levine School of Music. Kelly also has conducted workshops for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Kelly also served as director of the Women’s Glee Club at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and she was the first director of the Levin School of Music, Arlington Campus. She founded Encore in 2007; the program has grown to 13 chorales in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, serving more than 650 singers, plus a growing affiliate network of Encore chorales across the country.
The University’s traditional Arch Ceremony will immediately follow both the graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies at approximately 10:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., respectively, at the Griffith Memorial Arch. The Arch is named for Caddie A. Griffith, Class of 1909. She headed the Findlay College department of English from 1914-16 and 1917-18, before going on to serve as dean of women at Franklin College, Indiana, and Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio. She died in 1923.