Follow Christ, Lead the Way
OCU Graduates Celebrate Commencement at the Morning Ceremony

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, Ohio Christian University held its 66th Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. A record 810 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates participated a total of four ceremonies: three in Ohio and one in Georgia earlier this month.

Kelvin J. Cochran of Atlanta, Georgia, was the 2016 Commencement speaker. Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Cochran followed his childhood dream and became a firefighter in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he was appointed Fire Chief of the Shreveport Fire Department in 1999. In 2008 he was appointed Fire Chief for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department under Mayor Shirley Franklin. In August 2009 he was appointed by President Barack Obama to head the United States Fire Administration in the Department of Homeland Security. In June 2010 he was recruited back to serve as Fire Chief under Mayor Kasim Reed and served until January 2015.

Kelvin is a member of the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia where he serves as a deacon and teacher/facilitator. He has been married to Carolyn Marshall for thirty-two years. They have three adult children and one granddaughter.

Mr. Cochran’s speech to the graduates addressed the importance of dreams in reaching one’s full potential, saying, “Dreams provide the schematic – the road map – for our future.” Cochran also emphasized that hard work and dedication are crucial components for achieving those dreams.

“Dream big dreams and rehearse those dreams throughout your life. God is not afraid of big dreams. After all, he’s the one who places them in our hearts,” he said.

The crowd came to its feet to honor the life and legacy of Josias Rodriguez, whose parents were awarded an honorary degree in his name. Josias was a ministry student at OCU in 2013, when he was tragically killed in a hiking accident. Each year the community comes together for a 5k run in his memory. All proceeds from the annual event towards the Josias Rodriguez scholarship fund.

Each year, OCU Honor Graduates are selected by the faculty. These graduates represent all the ideals of Ohio Christian University and must have distinguished themselves in academic achievement, Christian service, and leadership potential. Six 2016 Honor Graduates for the traditional program were selected, representing each academic discipline: Nancy Ann Wilcox, Religion; Whitney Condit, Psychology; Alyse Copeland, Music; Jacob Gideon, Business and Government; Joshua Harshbarger, General Studies; and Allyson Jones, Teacher Education. Kay Ringhiser was chosen as the Honor Graduated representing the AGS program.

View photos from the 2016 Commencement Ceremonies on Facebook or join the OCU Alumni Network on LinkedIn.

Articles of Interest

Dr. Melvin Maxwell - photo by Tom F Watson, used with permission

Dr. Melvin Maxwell Graduates to Glory

Dr. Melvin Maxwell - photo by Tom F Watson, used with permission

Published: July 4, 2020

Melvin Maxwell was known as a powerful man of God and prayer warrior by those who knew him. On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Dr. Maxwell graduated from this life to his eternal home and was united with his Savior whom he loved. He was born in Georgetown, Ohio, on November 15, 1921, and grew up during the Great Depression. Though his mother died at an early age, his father was a godly man and raised him and his brother Millard to follow Christ no matter how hard the situation. On August 25, 1942, Maxwell married his wife, Laura. They had three children together: Lawrence (Larry), John, and
Melvin Maxwell was known as a powerful man of God and prayer warrior by those who knew him. On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Dr. Maxwell graduated from this life to his eternal home and was united with his Savior whom he loved. He was born in Georgetown, Ohio, on November 15, 1921, and grew up during the Great Depression. Though his mother died at an early age, his father was a godly man and
Melvin Maxwell was known as a powerful man of God and prayer warrior by those who knew him. On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Dr. Maxwell graduated from this life to his eternal home and was united with
Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Published: March 19, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to contribute in a way that ensures that students have access to the materials they need to succeed in their courses. This is especially important with the transition to online learning. The company
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses
Ohio Christian University Front Sign

Ohio Christian Prepares for Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

Ohio Christian University Front Sign

Published: March 13, 2020

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) international outbreak, Ohio Christian University (OCU) has taken strides to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty through a variety of measures, including moving classes online and canceling events on campus. The health and safety of our OCU family is our utmost concern and we’re committed to doing all that we can to ensure that we follow the guidelines set out by our state and national leaders in response to this developing situation. Our athletics programs are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) international outbreak, Ohio Christian University (OCU) has taken strides to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty through a variety of measures, including moving classes online and canceling events on campus. The health and safety of our OCU family is our utmost concern and we’re committed to doing all that we can to ensure that we
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) international outbreak, Ohio Christian University (OCU) has taken strides to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty through a variety of
Education Summit Draws Local and State Representatives image

Education Summit Draws Local and State Representatives

Education Summit Draws Local and State Representatives image

Published: November 30, 2019

On Friday Nov. 15, teacher education students and professionals gathered on the campus of Ohio Christian University where they discussed Ohio’s new “Each Child Our Future” education plan. The event featured government and education professionals with insight on the new plan and how it will affect education now and in the future. The Ohio Department of Education’s vision for the plan is for each child to be challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path, and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society. The plan
On Friday Nov. 15, teacher education students and professionals gathered on the campus of Ohio Christian University where they discussed Ohio’s new “Each Child Our Future” education plan. The event featured government and education professionals with insight on the new plan and how it will affect education now and in the future. The Ohio Department of Education’s vision for the plan is for
On Friday Nov. 15, teacher education students and professionals gathered on the campus of Ohio Christian University where they discussed Ohio’s new “Each Child Our Future” education plan. The event
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted Speaks on Campus image

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted Speaks on Campus

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted Speaks on Campus image

Published: November 8, 2019

Almost 100 people gathered in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at Ohio Christian University to attend a Rural Development Forum on Oct. 31. The event was organized by The Montrose Group LLC and the keynote address was made by Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. The morning consisted of a number of panel discussions addressing economic development and challenges facing rural communities. The panels were chaired by local business leaders, academic professionals, and state and local representatives. Ohio Christian University’s Chief Relationship Officer, Craig Brown, also
Almost 100 people gathered in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at Ohio Christian University to attend a Rural Development Forum on Oct. 31. The event was organized by The Montrose Group LLC and the keynote address was made by Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. The morning consisted of a number of panel discussions addressing economic development and challenges facing rural
Almost 100 people gathered in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at Ohio Christian University to attend a Rural Development Forum on Oct. 31. The event was organized by The Montrose Group

Archived Articles of Interest

Ohio Christian University Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day image

Ohio Christian University Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Ohio Christian University Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day image

Published: January 18, 2019

On January 21, Ohio Christian University will close to honor the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his essential leadership in achieving victory in the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle for which he ultimately sacrificed his life.   This day offers an opportunity to consider the wisdom and enduring importance of Dr. King’s contributions to establishing and maintaining liberty, freedom, and equality for all -- regardless of race, religion, or gender, not only in the United States but everywhere worldwide. Some of King’s insightful and profound observations to recall on his
On January 21, Ohio Christian University will close to honor the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his essential leadership in achieving victory in the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle for which he ultimately sacrificed his life.   This day offers an opportunity to consider the wisdom and enduring importance of Dr. King’s contributions to establishing and maintaining liberty,
On January 21, Ohio Christian University will close to honor the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his essential leadership in achieving victory in the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle
New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

Published: January 2, 2019

2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one.
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference
Behind the Scenes: Inside Festival of Carols image

Behind the Scenes: Inside Festival of Carols

Behind the Scenes: Inside Festival of Carols image

Published: December 3, 2018

By Amber Ginter ‘19 Behind the scenes, behind the curtains of this year’s Festival of Carols, the perspective is different for the eyes of this observer, who happens to be part of the creative moment team.  The choirs warm their vocal cords until their voices float in glorious harmonies across the auditorium. The actors labor in hectic preparation to perform with excellence and seeming effortlessness. Learning choreography with live choirs singing was a challenge that Movements from the Heart (MFTH), the creative movement team, met in the practice time afforded before the first
By Amber Ginter ‘19 Behind the scenes, behind the curtains of this year’s Festival of Carols, the perspective is different for the eyes of this observer, who happens to be part of the creative moment team.  The choirs warm their vocal cords until their voices float in glorious harmonies across the auditorium. The actors labor in hectic preparation to perform with excellence and seeming
By Amber Ginter ‘19 Behind the scenes, behind the curtains of this year’s Festival of Carols, the perspective is different for the eyes of this observer, who happens to be part of the creative
Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun'

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her hands-on approach with her students who can then pass it on to their students once they are in the classroom. “We always try to have fun,” she said. “I want my students at OCU to enjoy what we’re
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes
Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which technology has changed in their lifetimes. They can recall YouTube videos that were so influential a few years ago but have run their course. Likewise, many jobs like telemarketer, paralegal, and
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s