Ohio Dominican to Award Honorary Degrees to Schottenstein, Fr. Bouchard

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2009-05-05

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio Dominican University’s 91st commencement ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, immediately following the baccalaureate ceremony at 9:00 a.m. in Erskine Hall’s Matesich Theatre. The commencement ceremony will be conducted on the Oval outside Erskine Hall on the University’s main campus, 1216 Sunbury Road. Approximately 400 students will have degrees conferred upon them as they are joined by hundreds of family and friends. Fr. Charles E. Bouchard, former president of the Aquinas Institute of Theology, will deliver the commencement address.

During the commencement ceremony, the University will award ODU Trustee Bob Schottenstein with an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane Letters. Schottenstein has served as a trustee for the University’s Board since October 1993. In that capacity, he has served on numerous committees and has been instrumental in providing leadership to the University’s strategic planning.

Schottenstein is chair of the board, chief executive officer and president of M/I Homes, Inc., one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, based in Columbus, Ohio. He holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and a law degree from Capital University Law School. He is married to Jeri Block and they have four children. “Bob has been a true friend and supporter of Ohio Dominican,” said Seiffert. “He has been a valuable trustee and a contributor to many projects and initiatives of the University. We are pleased to honor him.”

Fr. Bouchard also will receive an honorary degree – Doctor of Divinity. During his time as president, the Aquinas Institute tripled its degree programs; added four certificate programs; geometrically grew its student body; and established a permanent home in a new building. Additionally he has several published works and has led presentations and seminars nationally and internationally. Fr. Bouchard grew up in Superior, Wis. After attending a diocesan seminary in La Crosse, Wis., he attended St. John’s University, a Benedictine school in Collegeville, Minn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in French. He then went on to the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis for his theological training before being ordained in 1979. He earned a doctorate in moral theology from the Catholic University of America, and became an associate professor of moral theology at Aquinas in 1986. Three years later, he was appointed president. He served in that post for 18 years, and retired in December 2007.

“Fr. Bouchard has had an active and productive life of service and leadership in his community and church,” said Ron Seiffert, ODU Interim President. “We are proud to award him an honorary degree for his accomplishments and service to the Dominican community.”