Alumnus Gives Advice to Ashland University Graduates

Alumnus Gives Advice to Ashland University Graduates

5/11/13 ASHLAND, Ohio – “Never forget that your family, your health and your friends are the most important priorities in your life” -- that was the advice alumnus Donald Jakeway presented to graduates during his commencement address at Ashland University’s Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11.

The commencement was held outside under cloudy skies at Jack Miller Stadium in the University’s Dwight Schar Athletic Complex.

In his speech, titled “A Walk with Destiny,” Jakeway outlined his career that took him from president of the Ashland College student body to many different places. “But everything I have done in my career I can draw a line that allows that line to come back to the thing in the middle and that is this University,” he said.

“William Jennings Bryan once stated ‘destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved’,” Jakeway said. “I find myself today full circle with my walk with destiny.”

Jakeway explained that 43 years ago he stood on the Ashland commencement stage as the president of the Ashland student body. “On that day, I took the opportunity to challenge my 350 classmates to start our own individual ‘walks with destiny’ and to do whatever we could to make a difference in the world,” he said.

“Not unlike today, the world then was a very scary place. The future held many unknowns,” he said. “Yet, I was confident that my classmates and I were ready to meet those unknowns, just as I am confident that this class of 2013 will do the same.”

Jakeway stressed that graduates should never forget that Ashland University is their home away from home and that Ashland is now a part of their families.

“Be thankful for those people who have reached out to you as mentors. Always choose to be a mentor to someone during your career and always, always lead by example,” he said. “Do not allow destiny to make you. Make your own destiny.”

Following the commencement address, the presentation of degrees was handled by President Fred Finks and Ann Shelly, interim dean of the Graduate School. A total of 646 degrees (202 graduate and 444 undergraduate) were awarded in the spring 2013 ceremony, including four doctor of education, 126 master of education, 68 master of business administration, three master of arts, one master of American history and government, 61 bachelor of arts, five  bachelor of music, 114 bachelor of science, 72 bachelor of science in business administration, 129 bachelor of science in education, 51 bachelor of science in nursing, nine bachelor of science in social work, one bachelor of fine arts, and two associate of arts.

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.###