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Chris Bashinelli to speak at DC Commencement May 5

April 23, 2013


DEFIANCE, Ohio - One hundred and ninety-three graduates will be awarded diplomas during Defiance College’s 2013 commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5. The ceremony will begin at 12 noon on the Colonnade Green in front of the Pilgrim Library. Highest-ranking seniors of the graduating class of 2013 are Leslieann Wheeler, Montpelier and Craig Parliment, West Unity.

The guest speaker for commencement will be Chris Bashinelli, an actor/activist from Brooklyn, New York, whose TV career spans “MTV” to “The Sopranos”. He is the producer and host of “Bridge the Gap”, a travel series that fosters intercultural dialogue by highlighting stories of everyday life from around the world, and he is the founder of the socially-conscious production company, Bridge the Gap TV.

Bashinelli graduated from Marymount Manhattan College, Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts. He is an Eagle Scout; United Nations Guest Speaker; and has spoken at international youth conferences and emceed in the UN General Assembly Hall with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He is also a guest writer for several publications including the Huffington Post and Lonely Planet. Preceding commencement will be a 10:30 a.m. baccalaureate service in the Weaner Community Center during which Rev. Harold Steindam will deliver the sermon.

Rev. Steindam has been with the United Church of Christ for more than 20 years. He currently serves as senior minister and prior to this position served congregations in Upper Sandusky, Madison and New Philadelphia. He is active in the community as a member of the Rotary Club, chaplain for the Westerville Police Department and volunteering as clergy director for Westerville Area Resource Ministries. Rev. Steindam has also published four books and writes often for other publications. He and his wife, Jenny, have three grown children and reside in Westerville.

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is