Professor Emeritus to Speak at Ashland University’s Winter Commencement

Professor Emeritus to Speak at Ashland University’s Winter Commencement

12/5/12 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald Rinehart will present the address at Ashland University’s winter commencement ceremony to be held Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. at Kates Gymnasium in the Physical Education Center on the AU campus.

Dr. Rinehart is a man that many people recognize throughout Ashland. Receiving his bachelor of science in education in 1959 from Ashland College, Dr. Rinehart continued his education at Ashland Theological Seminary, where he earned both his bachelor of divinity (1965) and master of divinity (1970) degrees. He also holds a master of education from the University of Arizona and a doctor of ministry from United Theological Seminary.

Beginning his Ashland University teaching career in the religion department in 1969, Dr. Rinehart went on to serve as religion department chair from 1975-79 and 1991-95, as Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities from 1980-88, and as a member of the President’s Cabinet from 1980-85.

Dr. Rinehart directed the Giving Institute from 1985-87 and coordinated the Festival of the Arts from 1986-88. He used his 1997 study leave to travel to Israel, where he developed a course on biblical geography and led students on two summer study abroad programs. Most recently, Dr. Rinehart developed and directed the Germany Study Abroad program from 2005-09, a program that has served more than 150 Ashland University students in nine years.

Having a profound impact on many of the students he has both taught and advised, Dr. Rinehart earned the Mentor Award from the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee three times, in addition to being nominated for Faculty Member of the Year and Outstanding Mentor by student organizations at the Annual All Campus Leadership and Service Recognition Reception.

The Office of Leadership Development and the Center for Community Service named the Dr. Donald Rinehart Honor and Integrity Award in his honor and present it annually to one who serves as a role model to students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Rinehart retired in 2007 after 38 years of service to Ashland University. He and his wife, Jan, spent the 2007-08 academic year traveling extensively, and for the past five years, he has been trying to ease into retirement, while teaching two sections of Exploring the Bible each semester.

Dr. Rinehart and Jan have three children: Melissa Hoffman, Melinda Ward and Todd Rinehart.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

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