BGSU alums to address grads at weekend ceremonies


Degree candidates at Bowling Green State University’s commencement ceremonies Friday (May 4) and Saturday (May 5) will hear from alumni who have gone on to distinguished careers in business, writing and academia.

The Bowling Green campus will host three ceremonies, all in the Stroh Center. The 7 p.m. Friday event will comprise the Graduate College and the colleges of Business and Health and Human Services. Giving the commencement address will be John Gawaluck, who received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BGSU in 1973. He recently retired from EY, formerly Ernst & Young, after 41 years. He is now a consultant/instructor for EY’s manager-level technical accounting/auditing courses and is an adjunct graduate school accounting professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

The 9 a.m. Saturday commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Musical Arts will feature an address by Beth Macy, who earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism in 1986. She is the author of the Lukas Prize-winning “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town.” In 2016, she published “Truevine: A Strange and Troubling Tale of Two Brothers in Jim Crow America.”

The colleges of Education and Human Development and Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering will hold commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, who earned a Bachelor of Science from BGSU in 1981 and a doctorate in education from BGSU in 2007, will give the commencement address. She is the associate provost for student engagement and success at Mount St. Mary’s University.

BGSU Firelands’ commencement ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Justin Harris, law director for the city of Sandusky, will address the candidates. He received his Associate of Applied Science in 2000 and his Bachelor of Applied Health Science in 2001, both from BGSU. Caylie Shover ’16, a candidate for a Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences, will serve as the student speaker.

Of the total 2,341 degrees to be awarded this weekend, 666 are with honors. The Graduate College will award 496 degrees, including 454 candidates for master’s degrees and 42 for doctorates.

Those graduating include 109 international students from 33 countries.

With this commencement, BGSU will present one honorary degree. James Bailey, who had a distinguished career in the banking industry, will be honored at the Arts and Sciences commencement with an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Bailey played a key role in marketing credit cards, introducing ATMs and developing other innovations part of today’s cashless economy.