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Friday, December 18, 2009

Author, speaker getting BGSU degree 35 years after she started

Rebecca Tirabassi first came to Bowling Green before most of this weekend's bachelor's degree candidates—and some faculty—at BGSU were born. But she will close the undergraduate chapter of her life right along with them.

Tomorrow (Dec. 19), Tirabassi will receive a bachelor of liberal studies degree, with a concentration in communications and telecommunications, 35 years after she initially enrolled at BGSU. She will also speak at the graduation ceremony for students in the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Development, beginning at 10 a.m. in Anderson Arena.

As Tirabassi detailed in her first book, Life of the Party, she began binge drinking in high school, and the self-destructive behavior continued at BGSU, which she left during her sophomore year. But her life turned around following a spiritual revelation, and she went on to become a youth worker, certified life coach, author of numerous books and professional speaker, sharing her story in hopes that others would learn from her mistakes.

The Berea native "returned" to BGSU several years ago after learning about its online bachelor's program in liberal studies, in which she was among the first students. She lives in Corona Del Mar, Calif., with her husband, Roger, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Bowling Green.

Fall commencement actually begins at 7 p.m. tonight (Dec. 18) in Anderson Arena, where nearly 200 students from the Graduate College, along with undergraduates from the colleges of Business Administration, Health and Human Services, Musical Arts, and Technology, and BGSU Firelands, will graduate.

Tonight's speaker will be John Meier, chair and chief executive officer of Libbey Inc. and a 1970 MBA graduate of BGSU. An honorary doctor of science in public health degree will be awarded to alumnus Ned Baker, who in 1991 helped found the Bowling Green-based National Association of Local Boards of Health.

in the news

Scott Hamilton donates $500,000 for hockey scholarship
- WTOL, WTVG, WNWO, The Blade, Sentinel-Tribune, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, USA Today

Alumna Jennifer Higdon gets second Grammy nomination

BGSU is rooting for alumna Jennifer Higdon, who earlier this month got her second Grammy nomination. Her "Percussion Concerto" was nominated for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. "Sometimes I feel like I live in a dream," Higdon wrote in an email.

The same week, she was at the Kennedy Center in Washington for the premiere of her "Piano Concerto" with soloist Yuja Wang and the National Symphony.

"Definitely a highlight of the year, with these two events," she added.

Previously, Higdon's album of her compositions "City Scape" and "Concerto for Orchestra" was named the Best Classical Engineered Album. Released in 2004 on Telarc, the recording was also nominated for best classical contemporary composition, classical album and orchestral performance.

After graduating from BGSU in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in flute performance, Higdon received master's and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Pennsylvania and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she is now on the composition faculty. Her work has been commissioned and performed by orchestras across the country, and she has received many prestigious awards and fellowships.

Her teachers at Bowling Green included Dr. Marilyn Shrude, Dr. Wallace DePue, Judith Bentley and Robert Spano, who directed the Bowling Green Philharmonia from 1985-89.

Enrollment update

On Nov. 30, the Office of Residence Life began accepting initial housing payments from students admitted for fall 2010. The process began two months earlier than in previous years and has been well-received by our admitted students and families. As of today, 253 incoming students have made their initial $200 housing payment, another early indicator that BGSU is making strides toward increased enrollment for fall.

Zoom News is provided as a service to BGSU faculty and staff.

December 18, 2009