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You did it! While we can’t wait to celebrate with you in person at our special commencement ceremony on Oct. 4, we know how important today is for you. The response to the COVID-19 health crisis may have postponed this year’s ceremony, but the ODU community remains committed to celebrating and recognizing your outstanding accomplishments and contributions. .

You did it! While we can’t wait to celebrate with you in person at our special commencement ceremony on Oct. 4, we know how important today is for you. The response to the COVID-19 health crisis may have postponed this year’s ceremony, but the ODU community remains committed to celebrating and recognizing your outstanding accomplishments and contributions.

 

A Special Message from President Robert Gervasi

A Special Message from President Robert Gervasi

 
 
 
 

A Special Message from ODU Faculty & Staff

A Special Message from ODU Faculty & Staff

 
 
 
 

Panther Comments, Stories & Reflections

Shared by members of the Class of 2020

Share Your ODU Memory

Panther Comments, Stories & Reflections

Shared by members of the Class of 2020

Share Your ODU Memory

 
 

Terrin McCullough

Business Administration | Cincinnati, Ohio

Terrin McCullough

A special memory that I had in my four years at Ohio Dominican University would be being the first-ever student selected to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit. Attending the summit is something I will always remember. I had the opportunity to be in the same space with some of the top professionals in the world along with 1,000 student-scholars. I would like to thank Ohio Dominican for shaping me into a well-rounded student where I have the opportunity to attend events like this.

A special memory that I had in my four years at Ohio Dominican University would be being the first-ever student selected to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit. Attending the summit is something I will always remember. I had the opportunity to be in the same space with some of the top professionals in the world along with 1,000 student-scholars. I would like to thank Ohio Dominican for shaping me into a well-rounded student where I have the opportunity to attend events like this.

Beth Coccia

Master of Business Administration | Gahanna, Ohio

I have been pursuing my master’s while also working at ODU over the past two years. It has been very rewarding to be a student at the university where I am also an employee. I am thankful to be a part of the Panther family in two very special ways. While I loved my undergraduate experience at Kent State University, ODU was the perfect place for me to earn my MBA. The small class sizes and the availability of my professors made working full time while being a student much more manageable and overall enjoyable. I am very thankful for my entire experience at Ohio Dominican University, and I know there are only more memories to make as a staff member and now ALUMNA.

 

Payton Gilliland

Psychology | Grove City, Ohio

I have loved my time at ODU. It has provided me tons of opportunities to prepare me for my future and for entering into grad school. It was a place for me to learn and grow both academically and spiritually. I know the relationships I have built will last me a lifetime. I will look back on my time at ODU with love and gratitude.

Payton Gilliland

Erin Upp

Middle Childhood and Intervention Specialist Education | Columbus, Ohio

Erin Upp

The education, friendships, life experience, and career preparation I've experienced the past four years at ODU is something that I will be eternally grateful for! This picture is from the SPO Swing Dance during my sophomore year, one of my favorite memories spent with friends (especially these two!). I'll always be happy to be confused for Emily or Maya!

 
iheartodu

Alyssa Todd

Educational | Grove City, Ohio

The past four years have been full of new beginnings and great friendships. I am truly blessed to have been a part of this community. I look forward to what the future holds for us all. Good luck to all my fellow 2020 graduates!

Alyssa Todd

 

Lisa Lewis

Business Management | Cincinnati, Ohio

My favorite memory at Ohio Dominican is the reopening of Sr. Mary Andrew Matesich, OP Theatre. The orchestra performance was wonderful and they introduced me to a new composer (Vasks). It was at that moment, in this gorgeous theater, that I realized that ODU is part of what makes my new city home. Next stop, bachelor’s degree!

My favorite memory at Ohio Dominican is the reopening of Sr. Mary Andrew Matesich, OP Theatre. The orchestra performance was wonderful and they introduced me to a new composer (Vasks). It was at that moment, in this gorgeous theater, that I realized that ODU is part of what makes my new city home. Next stop, bachelor’s degree!

ProMusica at the Matesich Theatre
 
 

Eleni-Panayiota Velalis

Exercise Science | Westerville, Ohio

 

Spring of 2018, I was fortunate enough to go to Haiti for a Medical Mission trip with physician assistants and undergraduates. This trip transformed my life forever.

 
Eleni-Panayiota Velalis

Many Haitians are deprived of clean water and basic healthcare, but as we helped them, hope was restored to their lives. Even with dismal surroundings, the children were most happy when I would hold their hands and play with them. In that short time, I am thankful and blessed that I could make this bond, and comfort them. This trip convinced me that my calling is to be in healthcare as a physician assistant. Helping one person may not change the world, but I can change the world for one person.

Jengila Sengsourichanh

Exercise Science | Columbus, Ohio

Life at ODU has been such an inspiring experience. Every professor I've been lucky to come across has made a great impact in my life, and for that, I thank you. It was truly a blessing to come this far and now I can't wait to continue this amazing journey!

Jengila Sengsourichanh

 
Panthers
 

Timothy Heichel

Business | Mansfield, Ohio

I have truly appreciated the support, human interaction and selflessness that the entire staff of Ohio Dominican has displayed throughout the years.

Thank you to those who have made this campus a warm place and a second home.

Logan Brewer

Business Administration | Ashland, Ohio

Logan Brewer

Special memory: Sophomore year when the baseball team made up a scavenger hunt around campus

Bailey Line

Integrated Mathematics | Westerville, Ohio

My favorite memories at ODU were all made at the different events that were always going on.

Some of those include winning the euchre tournament my senior year, getting to play glow-in-the-dark capture the flag in front of Erskine, and attending the music festival my freshman year.

 

Eric Ingram

Economics & Finance | Pickerington, Ohio

My fondest memories involve sitting outside Erskine Hall and chatting with friends and professors as they passed by. From the first day that I toured the campus to now, days before I graduate, I have always felt ‘at home’ on campus. Now, though, I feel as if it's time for me to ‘leave home.’ And though I will miss my home, and my family that is staying behind, I know that I can always come back.

Nyree Haney

Business Administration | Columbus, Ohio

My favorite memory while attending Ohio Dominican University was joining a beautiful sisterhood with Sigma Gamma Rho Iota Nu Sigma Worthington Alumnae Chapter. These ladies helped me to grow and live out my calling of helping my community in the masses.

Nyree Haney
 

Elizabeth McCoy

Psychology | Ashville, Ohio

One of my favorite memories from ODU would be working with Dr. Stough-Hunter for my internship.

It was such a unique opportunity and allowed me to start working in my field!

Jillian Vogt

Political Science | Canal Winchester, Ohio

I can remember all of the fun at ODU day. During all four years, ODU Day was held in the gym, but I couldn't ask for a better end to every year!

2020

Shadena Carter

Risk Management and Insurance & Business Administration | Columbus, Ohio

What a fantastic experience to begin the process on how to contemplate the truth! I have grown into a true woman in the past 2 1/2 years I have attended here.

I got to meet some fantastic friends! Thank you ODU! 😍😍

 

Dominic Dizon

Business Administration | Grove City, Ohio

As I graduate from Ohio Dominican, I reflect on the meaning of truth and how to discern whether or not what we receive as truth is indeed factual and valid. Not only did I apply this in my everyday studies but in my everyday life. We should not look at one viewpoint but in multiple angles to make sure we understand both sides of the story before jumping to a conclusion. We should learn how to do our own research and have to validate what is indeed true and what is false.

Ohio Dominican has taught me such a valuable skill, and I will apply it as I move on from here to the real world.

Erskine To Contemplate Truth
 

Cassie Notturniano

Educational Studies | Columbus, Ohio

My favorite memory is coming back in 2017 to finish out my degree. I worked with my advisor, Dr. Fishley to figure out my first steps back and realized I still needed to take and pass the Math PRAXIS. Math has always been a difficult subject for me, and is a big part of the reason I stopped college in 2007. She told me I also had the option to take a Math class in the upcoming semester and it could count for my PRAXIS if I received a C or better in the class. I immediately freaked out, assuming there would be no way that would happen. She believed in me and pushed me when I didn't want to push myself. Not only did I pass the class, I got an A. I will always remember that.

My favorite memory is coming back in 2017 to finish out my degree. I worked with my advisor, Dr. Fishley to figure out my first steps back and realized I still needed to take and pass the Math PRAXIS. Math has always been a difficult subject for me, and is a big part of the reason I stopped college in 2007. She told me I also had the option to take a Math class in the upcoming semester and it could count for my PRAXIS if I received a C or better in the class. I immediately freaked out, assuming there would be no way that would happen. She believed in me and pushed me when I didn't want to push myself. Not only did I pass the class, I got an A. I will always remember that.

 

Peace-Love-ODU

Cameron Brandon

Business Administration & Sport Management | Cleveland, Ohio

I do not have one specific special memory as my entire experience at ODU was great!

Mercy Gonzalez

Social Work | Columbus, Ohio

I'm saddened to not be able to graduate with friends and families, but I'm thankful for the years of knowledge, experience and growth at ODU. They say that your college years are those in which you will never forget… well, looks like that will be true for us! #classof2020 – the one where we were quarantined :)

 

Dawn Marcum

Business with minors in Biology & Chemistry | Columbus, Ohio

Dawn Marcum

It is hard to say goodbye to everyone at ODU.

Over the years, the students, professors and staff have grown to be like family to me and I will always treasure my memories here. Small things like having coffee at the griff, to laughing with my friends as we study together for exams are the things that I will miss the most. I will always treasure my time here.

It is hard to say goodbye to everyone at ODU.

Over the years, the students, professors and staff have grown to be like family to me and I will always treasure my memories here. Small things like having coffee at the griff, to laughing with my friends as we study together for exams are the things that I will miss the most. I will always treasure my time here.

Lylah Edmunds

Psychology | Reynoldsburg, Ohio

 
My favorite memory of my time at ODU is probably every orientation I took part in as a Peer Advisor.
 
I made so many close friends and memories that I will take with me wherever I go!
 
 
 

Class of 2020
Senior Speeches

Enjoy the following speeches written by sisters Jillian and Rebecca Vogt for their fellow graduates on this special day.

Class of 2020 Senior Speeches

Enjoy the following speeches written by sisters Jillian and Rebecca Vogt for their fellow graduates on this special day.

 

Jillian Vogt

If you would have told me a year ago that we would be celebrating graduation online with the actual ceremony taking place in October at Homecoming and not over Mother’s Day, I would have laughed and called you crazy. But isn’t it amazing that we will have the opportunity to celebrate something as remarkable and amazing as graduation, even six months later? I clearly remember the morning I woke up and saw that graduation was postponed. I was crushed. I wasn’t upset because the ceremony somehow signified the completion of my studies. I was sad that I couldn’t walk across the stage to shake the President's hand. I was crushed that I couldn’t take graduation photos with the professor who changed my life. But mostly I just wanted to celebrate such an important moment with the people who I started this journey with. In the midst of my crying I was reminded of words from the poet Khalil Gibran. He said that “our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” Sometimes you have to surrender what you want. But, in that surrender something even greater comes to you.

Dr. Carstens once asked me if when I first came to Ohio Dominican I thought I would have done as well as I had or do as much as I did. I began to reminisce on what an amazing time I had at Ohio Dominican University. When I first came to Ohio Dominican it felt like home. Both of my parents attended Ohio Dominican, and my sister was only a year ahead of me. I felt like I was somehow in a shadow and I needed to prove myself. But, at the time I was a quiet and shy kid. Which, if you know me now you’ll find that very difficult to believe. I sat in the back row of classes and did not raise my hand. But I remember the first day of classes the spring semester of freshman year. If was my first class in my major with Dr. Carstens. With one piece of advice my life radically changed, and I’ll forever be grateful and indebted to him for it. He came in and said that college was the last place to make mistakes with abandon. I had never before heard somebody say to me, to say it’s ok to make mistakes because these mistakes help you to grow. I was, and admittedly still am, a perfectionist, which anybody who knows me will quickly agree with. However, it was the very next day I learned what he truly meant. The mistakes we make during our time as students teach us.

When I first came to ODU I was unsure of who I was or what I wanted to be. I had auditioned and been accepted to study at a music conservatory, but last minute decided to study political science. When I made that decision, I made it because I was unsure of myself. But I didn’t have the dreams I have today. I would never have thought it possible to accomplish half of the things I did at ODU. I once texted my father and said, “Hey Jimmie can I go to Rome for Holy Week?” My father responded quickly saying “of course you can.” I am rather sure he thought it was some kind of joke, because there was no way his introverted kid was going to Europe by herself with a group of people she didn’t know. But, I did. On this trip I made new friends, who will be with me a lifetime. But more importantly I learned a lesson. I learned how to leave my comfort zone. When I look back at my time at Ohio Dominican University, I find it remarkable. I am not the girl I came here as; I am surer of myself, I am far more responsible, and most importantly I know how to make mistakes and learn from them. I would not have thought it possible to accomplish any of the things I have when I first came to Ohio Dominican. But I will forever be grateful that the faculty and staff here saw my potential and helped me along the way.

It is here to 1216 Sunbury Rd where we, no matter the distance, will always return. It is here where we made memories, the good and the bad, that strengthened us. And, It is here where we cried and laughed and grew up. ODU is forever embedded into all of us. Now we go out into the world and begin the next chapter of our lives. But I promise you this, I will never forget my time here, or the friends I’ve made, and especially the family I’ve gained. I hope in fifty years when you look back on the years you spent here you smile fondly and say, “wow those were the good old days.” Let’s leave here today proud to be panthers, knowing it is forever a part of us, and accepting our mistakes for what they are, learning opportunities. Ohio Dominican class of 2020 I’m glad to have shared the happiest moments of my life with all of you.

Rebecca Vogt

I do not think any of us envisioned 2020 to be as wild of an adventure as it has been. We have had to overcome obstacles that a year ago we never would have anticipated. Yet, through all the challenges and heartache we all made it. I never would have imagined having May 9th be anything out of the ordinary. I dreamed of this day for the last five years. I am a third-generation graduate of Ohio Dominican, but more importantly today was the day my sister and I would both graduated together. Although these changes do not take away what any of us have done it is a bitter-sweet moment. During times of challenge and adversity I am reminded to live by one of my favorite Disney quotes, “have courage and be kind.”

This is much easier said than done especially right now, but it can help everyone one of us achieve happier lives. As we venture into the new world we must have courage. We must be brave as we apply for new positions, move to new locations, start families, or any other goal we have. Nothing will come easy, but we need to remember to preserve and have the courage to keep going. Remember this moment. A time surrounded by your loved ones or friends you have grown close with, whether they are near or far. Regardless if they are with you now or celebrating from afar remember this moment and the sense of community we all feel going through these difficult times together. Use this as a subtle reminder of your courage. We all came to this school for a reason and we had no idea what to expect. We were all brave then and we must maintain our courage as we venture into this new journey. This is also a reminder to focus on the work we have done and to have courage in all we do. Right now we need courage in many different ways, but we need to remind ourselves all the challenges we have previously faced.

The second part of the quote to “be kind” is probably the harder of the two. It is much easier to let the hard days get the better of us and allow ourselves to be overcome with emotions. However, we must remember everyone has bad days, everyone had hard weeks or even years, but everyone needs kindness. It makes days easier, lives happier, and experiences more enjoyable. Just think of this, if you give one small act of kindness to another person, a smile, a compliment, or even a head nod, on your next bad day they may show you an act of kindness too and help brighten your day. Kindness is free, but it gives so much joy to yourself and others. I know how hard it can be to remember to be kind. There are times where my attitude and sass get the best of me, just ask anyone in my family, but I have been trying to remember how something so small can create so much joy for others.

I want to thank you all for being an amazing group of students to spend the last five years with. We all found unique ways to make Ohio Dominican home and are classmates our family. This time as a Panther has taught me more life lessons and has given me more life experiences than I ever would have thought. I have met lifetime friends and had the most amazing opportunity to work for my dream company, The Walt Disney Company, for almost a year. I owe so much to Ohio Dominican, and I believe many of you do too, and I’m not talking about student loans. We all have so many memories and experiences that are unique to being Panthers, and that is what makes us special. During these hard times remember the joys we have all had and focus on the accomplishments we have all achieved.

In times of change and struggle we must continue to be find joy in life. Although this celebration is very different from what we all dreamed about we are luckier than others. We still have the chance to celebrate our accomplishments together, even if it is a few months later. We must all learn to find the little joys in life and spread it to others. With that said I will close with this, wherever you go in life have courage and be kind. For this will help you live a much happier and fuller life. We are all different and will all follow our own path. I hope this quote and speech offers you a small bit of inspiration as we leave here today. Thank you so much for being an amazing group of people to experience college with. I wish you all the best of luck and want to say congratulations. We finally did, but we will always remain Panthers.

 

We’re proud of you, Class of 2020!
Welcome to the Ohio Dominican alumni family.

 

Graduates, if you didn't get a chance to share your favorite memory, please use the link below to send us a note, and a photo if you have one, to be included on the Class of 2020 tribute page.

Graduates, if you didn't get a chance to share your favorite memory, please use the link below to send us a note, and a photo if you have one, to be included on the Class of 2020 tribute page.

Share Your ODU Memory