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

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU Faculty Earn Doctorates image

OCU Faculty Earn Doctorates

OCU Faculty Earn Doctorates image

Published: February 8, 2011

Ohio Christian University seeks qualified faculty of the highest caliber. In the fall semester, four OCU faculty earned doctorates. Congratulations to Drs. Jacob Dodson, Sylvia McDonald, David Uhl, and Kelvin Webb. These faculty lead the way in demonstrating life-long learning for their students. Dr. Jacob D. Dodson has been an adjunct faculty member since 2009. He earned the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Christian Theology from Regent University. He also holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Ashland Theological Seminary. Dr. Dodson has contributed articles to the
Ohio Christian University seeks qualified faculty of the highest caliber. In the fall semester, four OCU faculty earned doctorates. Congratulations to Drs. Jacob Dodson, Sylvia McDonald, David Uhl, and Kelvin Webb. These faculty lead the way in demonstrating life-long learning for their students. Dr. Jacob D. Dodson has been an adjunct faculty member since 2009. He earned the Doctor of
Ohio Christian University seeks qualified faculty of the highest caliber. In the fall semester, four OCU faculty earned doctorates. Congratulations to Drs. Jacob Dodson, Sylvia McDonald, David Uhl
Dr. Jim Smith

OCU Professor is Published

Dr. Jim Smith

Published: November 30, 2010

Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these topics as he holds three graduate degrees and is a licensed counselor as well as an ordained minister.  Smith states, "The connection to be part of this collaboration was brought about by God." OCU
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for
Hallmark Year for Ohio Christian University Accreditation image

Hallmark Year for Ohio Christian University Accreditation

Hallmark Year for Ohio Christian University Accreditation image

Published: April 6, 2010

Ohio Christian University was visited March 29-31 by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits all universities in Ohio. The visiting team gave OCU a glowing report. The team met with administrators, staff, trustees, and students along with alumni and community leaders. This is the third team to visit Ohio Christian University this year, with the Ohio Board of Regents recommending 10 years of reaccreditation and the national Teacher Education Accreditation Council recommending full accreditation approval of Ohio Christian University's Teacher Education program. Students can now
Ohio Christian University was visited March 29-31 by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits all universities in Ohio. The visiting team gave OCU a glowing report. The team met with administrators, staff, trustees, and students along with alumni and community leaders. This is the third team to visit Ohio Christian University this year, with the Ohio Board of Regents recommending 10
Ohio Christian University was visited March 29-31 by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits all universities in Ohio. The visiting team gave OCU a glowing report. The team met with