Defiance College announces commencement details

May 9, 2023

DEFIANCE, Ohio - Defiance College will celebrate the class of 2023 with the annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m., at the Karl H. Weaner Center. A combined 118 associate’s, bachelor's, and master's students will receive their diplomas during the ceremony.

Giving the commencement address is Mr. Robert Morton, Superintendent of Defiance City Schools. Morton has been a building principal for sixteen years, the last twelve at Defiance High School. He assumed the responsibilities of Superintendent of Defiance City Schools in August of 2019. Mr. Morton has served on several boards, including Defiance Chamber of Commerce, Sherwood State Bank, YMCA, Defiance Baseball Association, Berkshire Homeowners Association, and Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention Center.

Carolyn M. Small, Faculty Emerita, will be awarded the Doctorate of Humane Letters during the ceremony. Small began her career at Defiance College in 1964 as an instructor in music theory and organ. Her involvement with the College grew over the years, and she became a classroom instructor, as well as gave private music lessons. Carolyn was honored as Defiance College's Distinguished Faculty Member for the 1991-92 academic year, and was awarded Professor Emerita status in 1995. In 1998, Defiance College created the Carolyn M. Small Honors Program in her honor, to provide opportunities for all qualified Defiance College students, regardless of major, to participate in an honors curriculum.

Also participating in the ceremony are Lauren Criblez, student, leading the responsive reading; Reverend Jim Brehler giving a brief meditation and scripture reading; Michael Miller, alumnus and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, presenting the Bronze and Silver Pilgrim Medals; Grant Johnson, student, providing the senior class address; Dr. Agnes I. Caldwell, Defiance College Vice President of Academic Affairs; and Dr. Richanne C. Mankey, Defiance College President. Musical selections are provided by Ryan Mays, Audio Visual & Academic Technology Coordinator; the Defiance College Choir; and Desire Walker, student.

In award ceremonies prior to commencement, several students, faculty, and staff were recognized for outstanding academic and service-related accomplishments. Graduating with honors through the Carolyn M. Small Honors Program are Kylie Brinkman, McKenzie Cooper, Lauren Criblez, Marissa Esposito, Grant Johnson, Brianna Snider, Garrett Snyder, and Parker Tilse. Dr. Clarissa Barnes was named Dr. Richard Stroede Distinguished Faculty for the 2022- 2023 academic year, and Grant Johnson was awarded as Highest Ranking Senior Scholar. Service-related awards were presented to Alivia Kruczkowski (Charles J. Ping Community Service Award and Gerald E. Mallott Outstanding Senior Service Award), Dana Peterson (Wanda May LeMaster Service Award), Adam Tobin (John Trautman Award), Bridgette Winslow (Outstanding Staff Service Award), Dr. Mollie Sorrell (Outstanding Faculty Service Award), Alesia Yakos-Brown (Harold McMaster Life in Action Award), and Andrea Agler (Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year).

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based 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. DC has created a unique career readiness program called Jacket Journey to help students learn career skills in and out of the classroom. The four pillars of its mission guide the College: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve.