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Gordon Gee Selected as Fall Commencement Speaker

Prominent academic administrator is currently president of West Virginia University

Gordon Gee, former president of the Ohio State University, has been selected as Cleveland State University’s 2017 fall commencement speaker. Gee, currently the president of West Virginia University, will discuss the continued importance of higher education to societal and economic development as well as the ways universities need to transform to meet the needs of the 21st century student. He will also receive an honorary degree as part of commencement exercises.

“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Dr. Gee during his second tenure as president of OSU and his energy, drive and dedication to the power and importance of education are an inspiration,” notes Ronald M. Berkman, president of CSU. “I am very honored that he will be addressing our graduates and look forward to hearing his insights on how colleges and universities can continue to meet their mission of training and inspiring our next generation.”

Gee was originally named president of West Virginia in 1981 at the age of 36, making him one of the youngest university chief executives in the nation. He would go on to lead the University of Colorado, the Ohio State University, first from 1990 to 1998 and then from 2007 to 2013, Brown University and Vanderbilt University, before returning to West Virginia in 2013. He has also held numerous state and national leadership posts including chairing the Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission and the American Council on Education’s Commission on Higher Education Attainment. In addition, Gee is the author or co-author of 11 books, including Law, Policy and Higher Education, published in 2012.

Maggie Jackson, longtime professor and chair of the School of Social Work at CSU, will also receive an honorary degree during the ceremony in honor of her 30 years of service to the University, which included development of a joint Master’s in Social Work program with the University of Akron.

CSU’s fall commencement exercises will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday, December 17 at the Wolstein Center on campus.