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HUD Secretary Fudge urges graduates to make a difference

1,716 degrees, certificates awarded at summer commencement

At The Ohio State University’s 2023 summer commencement Sunday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, an Ohio State alumna, encouraged the graduates to effect positive change.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, an Ohio State alumna, encouraged the graduates to seize opportunities to give back.“Class of 2023, your generation has the power and the potential to leave this world better than you found it,” Secretary Fudge said. “You have access to technology and information that we never had at your disposal, and it will allow you to do anything you choose to do. At every step of the way, Ohio State has given you all the training and preparation you need to make a difference, to make the best choices for yourselves and your community.”

Secretary Fudge, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Ohio State, credits her time at the university for preparing her for a life of public service. Before her appointment as secretary, she represented the 11th Congressional District in Ohio from 2008 to March 9, 2021.

In 1999, Secretary Fudge was elected the first female and the first African American mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, a position she held for two terms. She began her public service career in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. She earned her law degree from the Cleveland State University-Cleveland Marshall School of Law.

“On this campus, I got my first real taste of civic service,” she said. “As a Buckeye, I truly began to understand the power of choices. Every chance I got to make a choice to serve, to give back, I chose that path. It is the rent we pay. No matter what you do in life, I ask that you take time to help someone who is less fortunate than you.”

During the ceremony, professor emeritus James S. King and retired university registrar Brad A. Myers received Distinguished Service Awards in recognition of their years of academic excellence at Ohio State.

Of the 1,716 degrees that were awarded Sunday, 244 were doctorates, 568 master’s, 19 professional, and 885 undergraduate and associate degrees and certificates.

In recognizing the graduates’ accomplishments, Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa Gilliam noted that family and community support was key to their success.

“We are very honored that so many family members and friends are here today to share this joyous occasion,” she said. “The day belongs to all of you.”

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