Internet celebrity, Pulitzer Prize winner among speakers for commencement

Judson Laipply, who gained fame for his Internet video “The Evolution of Dance,” is among six speakers who will address graduating students on main campus during spring commencement exercises.

Also speaking will be Tom Orchard of Westerville, an executive with UBS Wealth Management; Henry Fogel of Chicago, president and CEO of the American Symphony Orchestra League, and BGSU seniors Janna Carpenter of Bowling Green, Chanel Griffith of Jamaica, N.Y., and Matt Lefeld of Coldwater.

At BGSU Firelands, the speaker will be syndicated Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Six students earning associate degrees will graduate with distinction, and two students will graduate with high distinction for academic achievement during the commencement exercises, at 7:30 p.m. Friday (May 4).

Four separate graduation ceremonies are planned Friday and Saturday (May 5) at Anderson Arena in Memorial Hall. The graduating class of more than 2,000 students represents 72 Ohio counties, 38 states and 19 nations.

Graduate College

Laipply, who earned a master's degree in education at BGSU in 2000, will speak at 7 p.m. Friday during the Graduate College commencement ceremonies. Among those graduating at that time will be 12 candidates for doctoral degrees and 282 candidates for master’s degrees.

A motivational speaker and “inspirational comedian,” Laipply, a Cleveland resident, has performed at more than 500 events and shows, including the Creative Emmys, the NBA Finals and “Good Morning America,” as well as at countless schools and corporations such as Verizon, American Airlines and Sony. His “Evolution of Dance” became the most-watched video in Internet history when it surpassed 100 million views in less than nine months. He has since founded “Let's Dance Media,” a company that explores the use of new media and creative content.

Undergraduate degrees

On the undergraduate level, 111 bachelor’s degree students are expected to graduate summa cum laude, a recognition given to those who maintain a grade point average between 3.9-4.0 on a 4.0 scale. Magna cum laude honors will be given to 143 students for maintaining averages between 3.76-3.9, and 259 students will receive cum laude recognition for maintaining grade point averages between 3.5-3.75.

Tom Orchard, a native of Lima and 1975 BGSU alumnus, will speak to graduating students in the College of Arts & Sciences during ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Orchard is a licensed New York Stock Exchange supervisor and NYSE registered representative, Chicago Board of Options Exchange registered options principal and Chicago Board of Trade associated person. He is senior vice president of investments and senior portfolio manager for UBS Wealth Management. He is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advocates, the Dean's Council and the BGSU Presidents Club, and has served in various capacities for the Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Area Salvation Army.

Chicagoan Henry Fogel, president and CEO of the American Symphony Orchestra League, will speak to students graduating in the College of Musical Arts and the College of Education and Human Development at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Prior to joining the American Symphony Orchestra League, Fogel spent 18 years as president of the Chicago Symphony. He also previously served as executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and as orchestra manager of the New York Philharmonic. Business Week magazine named him one of the five best managers of cultural organizations in the United States in 1990.

Speaking at the 4:30 p.m. commencement for students in the colleges of Technology, Business Administration, and Health and Human Services will be degree candidates Janna Carpenter, Chanel Griffith and Matt Lefeld.

Carpenter is a bachelor's degree candidate majoring in visual communication technology in the College of Technology. An Alumni Laureate Scholar, she has been involved in a number of organizations, among them the President's Leadership Academy, Student Alumni Connection, University Ambassadors, Mortar Board national honor society and the Bowling Green Black Swamp Players. Named to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, she plans to further her education in the area of printing management.

Griffith, a senior in the College of Health and Human Services, is a bachelor's degree candidate in criminal justice. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society, the University Honors Program, the Law Society, the Criminal Justice Organization and the Academic Honesty Committee. She also has served as president of the Black Student Union, scholarship chair for Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and a peer facilitator for BG Experience. Griffith plans to attend law school at George Washington University.

A student in the College of Business Administration, Lefeld is a bachelor's degree candidate in business administration with a specialization in supply chain management. A four-year letterman on the Falcon basketball team, he was named an Academic All-American during the 2006-07 season. He also has served as chapter president for the Institute of Supply Management and served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee his sophomore year.

April 30, 2007