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Rhodes State College News

June 02, 2020
Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education to Address Rhodes State College Graduates at Virtual Commencement Ceremony

LIMA, Ohio, June 2, 2020 – Rhodes State College (RSC) will host a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 6, 2020, at 2:00 pm via YouTube©. At that time, Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) will address the graduates and the RSC community. Dr. Cynthia E. Spiers, President of the College, will also confer degrees upon 337 graduating students.

Commencement speaker, Randy Gardner was appointed the 10th Chancellor of the ODHE in January 2019. Prior to his appointment, he had served for 13 years in the Ohio Senate. He was chosen as Senate Majority Leader for his latest term. Gardner also served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1985 to 2000 and again from 2008 through 2012. Gardner has been recognized as the General Assembly’s foremost policy leader in higher education. For the past eight years, he served as chairperson of the Finance Higher Education Subcommittee and held that post in both the House and the Senate.

Gardner has also previously served as Senate President Pro Tempore, House Majority Leader, and House Speaker Pro Tempore. He has also been a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the panels dealing with Ohio's workforce development and budget management. Gardner received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in political science both from Bowling Green State University. Prior to his career in public service, he worked as a realtor and a high school history and government teacher. Gardner and his wife, Sandy, reside in Bowling Green and are the parents of three children.


In addition to Gardner’s remarks, graduates will hear from the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient, Rachael S. Gilroy from the Paralegal/Legal Assisting graduating class of 1994. The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed on alumni of Rhodes State College or Lima Technical College (LTC). Since 1988, this annual award has been given to an Associate Degree graduate who brings credit to him or herself and the College.

Gilroy said of her education at RSC/LTC, “From helping a young mother achieve her dream back then, assisting in an internship that ended up becoming a full-time job, to where I am now, Rhodes State played a tremendous role in my life, and I'm so very glad to be able to return those gifts to my community!”

In 2007, Gilroy attained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She also receives annual certifications from the Ohio State Bar Association, Ohio Secretary of State, Auditor of State, and the Treasurer of State. After graduation from LTC, she was employed by The Huntington National Bank Wealth Advisors Group as well as the Law Offices of Robert E. Shenk, who nominated her for this honor. She served Allen County as Treasurer from 2008 to 2013 and from 2013 to present as Allen County Auditor. Previously, Gilroy has received the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Excellence Award and the Huntington National Bank Service in Excellence Award.

Alongside Gilroy’s honor, five alumni will be inducted into the Alumni Circle of Excellence, which recognizes graduates who are doing exceptional work in their career field, community, and for the College. This year’s inductees are: Aaron M. McLaurine, Electronic Engineering Technology – 1995, Linda A. Dodge, Respiratory Care – 1999, Katy I. Murphy, Human Service – 2006, Dr. Lee Anne Sorto, Nursing – 2008, and Tracy K. Smith, Respiratory Care – 1990.

Following this Graduation, over 18,000 people will have graduated from the College since its establishment in 1971. During the ceremony, Dr. Rose Reinhart, RSC Vice President for Student Affairs, will announce each graduate’s name and it will be shown in the broadcast. This year, those graduates include three College Credit Plus students: Brianna Blair of Russells Point; Hailey Schwartz of Spencerville, and Jared Weiss of Van Wert who also received their high school diploma this spring. Prior to Commencement, graduates received a graduation gift box that included a cap, tassel, and commemorative program, so they can participate in the ceremony from home.

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