The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College is preparing to host the 142nd commencement ceremony. Each year, Rio invites a commencement speaker to offer the graduating class words of wisdom as they begin their lives after higher education. The Spring 2018 commencement speaker will be Ohio Senator Bob Peterson. The senator represents the 17th Ohio Senate District, which consists of Gallia, Jackson, Fayette, Highland, Clinton, Pike and Ross counties, as well as portions of Vinton, Lawrence and Pickaway counties. He also serves as the President Pro Tempore of the state senate. Peterson said he is grateful for the opportunity to speak to this spring’s Class of 2018.
“I’m honored to have been asked to be the commencement speaker this year. This event is something the graduates and parents have been looking forward to, and I hope my advice can be helpful to them,” Peterson said. “Learning is something that doesn’t stop after college. My college career made an impact on my life. It gave me an opportunity to discover who I was and who I wanted to become. I’ve always been so impressed with Rio. I think it’s a first-rate institution and I’m excited to be a part of this ceremony.”
Peterson is a native of Fayette County, and an eighth generation farmer on his family farm and served as president of the Ohio Farm Bureau for five years until 2010. As a senator, he is involved in several committees dedicated to a wide range of topics including agriculture, tax reform, veterans’ affairs and public safety. Peterson has also earned numerous awards for his service efforts in the Statehouse. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture with a focus on agriculture economics and animal science from The Ohio State University and is also a graduate of both the institution’s honors and LEAD programs. Rio President Dr. Michelle Johnston said she is excited to hear his words of wisdom for the graduating class.
“We are all very pleased to have Senator Peterson address our graduates at the upcoming 142nd Commencement,” Johnston said. “With a successful career in agriculture and politics, Senator Peterson has a wide range of experiences to share with these students, providing them with motivational advice as they prepare for the challenges of living a fulfilling life, reaching pre-professional and career goals, and being responsible citizens in their communities.”
The Commencement Ceremony will take place Saturday, May 5 at 1:00 p.m. with 334 students set to walk across the stage.