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ADA — Ohio Northern University will celebrate its 2012 undergraduate commencement ceremony in the ONU Sports Center on Sunday, May 13, 2012, at 2 p.m. Approximately 600 students will be awarded degrees.
ONU alumnus Dr. Clayton L. Mathile will deliver the commencement address. Mathile was born Jan. 11, 1941, in Portage, Ohio. He himself paid for his freshman-year tuition at Ohio Northern and was a walk-on for the University’s basketball team. While initially a mechanical engineering major, Mathile eventually gravitated toward the business college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in business administration in 1962.
After graduating, Mathile took a job as an accountant at the Chevrolet Division of General Motors in Toledo, Ohio. That same year, he married his high school sweetheart, MaryAnn Maas. After a year at GM, Mathile accepted a management training position at the Campbell Soup Company plant in Napoleon, Ohio. Over the next seven years, he moved through the ranks of Campbell Soup, earning positions in cost accounting, inventory control and purchasing.
On June 1, 1970, Mathile became the seventh employee of Iams Food Company, a small dog-food business with annual revenues of about $500,000. After working without a title in the beginning, Clay became vice president and co-owner in 1975, president and CEO in 1980, sole owner in 1982, and chairman of the board in 1998.
With Mathile’s unique entrepreneurial spirit and an emphasis on values, Iams experienced tremendous growth and by 1999 reported sales of nearly $1 billion. That same year, he sold the company to Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion.
In 1989, the Mathiles formed the Mathile Family Foundation, a private foundation that focuses on helping children to reach their full potential. To date, the Foundation has provided more than $230 million to support nonprofit organizations that serve families and children in need, primarily within Ohio’s Miami Valley region. Then, in 1996, Mathile founded Aileron, a state-of-the-art Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold-certified facility that is open to entrepreneurs and small-business owners of all kinds to help them professionally lead and manage their companies.
Additionally, the Mathiles created the Glen at St. Joseph, which offers 36 single moms the opportunities to pursue their educational and career goals while their children attend an early-learning center on campus, and the Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition, which tackles issues of world hunger and malnutrition.
At Ohio Northern, Mathile is a Life Member of the Lehr Society, a group of individuals recognized for contributing more than $100,000 to ONU during their lifetimes. Through the years, he has served as a member of the Business College Advisory Board and the ONU Board of Trustees, co-chair of the University’s Campaign for the 21st Century, a member of the University’s planning committee, and honorary chairman of The Campaign for Ohio Northern University’s Tomorrow. The Mathiles also initiated the campaign to construct the Mathile Center for the Natural Sciences, a 95,145-square-foot, student-centered academic research and learning facility on Northern’s campus. Furthermore, the University’s highest scholarship award bears the Mathile name. Since 2004, two $30,000 renewable Mathile scholarships (funded by the Mathile Family Foundation) have been awarded each year to top scholars at ONU.
Ohio Northern also will award three honorary degrees. John H. Hull will receive an honorary doctorate of engineering. Hull graduated from Ohio Northern in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering before earning his master’s degree from Stanford University. After serving as president of Hull & Associates Inc. (a business he started) for more than 20 years, today Hull is the company’s chairman. He has been recognized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers as a board certified environmental engineer. Hull has been appointed by three Ohio governors to serve more than 14 years as vice-chairman of the Ohio Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Fund. He also has served on several boards of nonprofit organizations, including Adopt America Network and Partners for Clean Streams. Currently, Hull is a member of several advisory boards, including the University of Findlay’s Center for Environmental Excellence, the University of Toledo’s Earth, Ecology and Environment Advisory Council, and the Notre Dame Academy Advisory Board.
An honorary doctorate of pharmacy will be presented to Lucinda L. Maine, executive vice president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Maine previously served as senior vice president for policy, planning and communications with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). She also served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota, where she practiced in the field of geriatrics and was an associate dean at its school of pharmacy. Maine’s past research includes projects on aging, pharmacy manpower and pharmacy-based immunizations. Prior to joining the APhA staff, she served as speaker of the APhA House of Delegates and as an APhA trustee. She currently serves as president of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions and as a board member for Research!America. Maine is a pharmacy graduate of Auburn University, and she received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
Robert C. Smith will receive a doctorate of business administration. Smith graduated from ONU in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in accounting before earning a master’s degree from Duquesne University. Smith is an investment management expert with more than 35 years of experience in investing, finance, accounting and business management.
Megan Piersol, a senior history major from Warren, will be the student speaker during the commencement ceremony.
A commencement chapel service will be held in the English Chapel on Saturday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Commencement day activities will begin with a presentation of the Dankook award in the McIntosh Center activities room on Sunday, May 13, at 9 a.m. The Raabe College of Pharmacy hooding ceremony will take place in the ONU Sports Center at 10 a.m.
Doors to the ONU Sports Center will open for the commencement ceremony Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Guests should arrive by 1 p.m. The musical prelude will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the procession of faculty and students.