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Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 18, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 600 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. 

The Rev. Thomas M. Hall II, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, will present his message, “Where Have All the Heroes Gone?” at the Baccalaureate service. Laura E. Ellsworth, partner at Jones Day, an elite international law firm, will address the Class of 2014 as the Commencement speaker.

Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel at 11 a.m., and Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Commencement Ceremony will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.

Graduates will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal and academic journeys as they experience the day’s momentous events. The Baccalaureate and Commencement speakers will offer inspirational guidance as each member of the Class of 2014 begins a new chapter in his or her life. Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Both Ellsworth and Hall will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.

The Rev. Thomas M. Hall II

b2ap3_thumbnail_Rev-Tom-Hall-Feb-2014_20140423-200816_1.jpgHall is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.  Since being called to the church in 2009, Hall’s passion for the heart of Pittsburgh has advanced the region in spirituality and sustainability.

He is president of the Pittsburgh Downtown Ministerium and is on the board of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Hall also serves on the Bethlehem Haven Board and the Council of the Metro-Urban Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh.

A retired Air Force colonel, Hall began his military career in 1974 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy. In the military, he served as an intelligence analyst and as a headquarters staff officer. His international experience includes chairing the 15-nation NATO Electronic Warfare Advisory Committee and commanding the 11th Operations Group. Rev. Hall’s military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal. In 2004 he completed a 30-year career in the Air Force as a full colonel. 

The esteemed leader earned a Master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a master of divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Laura E. Ellsworth

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ellsworth-Photo.jpgNamed one of Pennsylvania’s “Best 50 Women in Business,” Laura Ellsworth practices as a partner at Jones Day, an elite international law firm.

She serves as the vice chair of the board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and on the boards of Imani Christian Academy, Governor Tom Corbett’s appointed Council on Privatization and Innovation, and the Allegheny Conference on Economic Development.

Ellsworth is partner-in-charge of the Jones Day Pittsburgh office. She has been involved extensively in electronic discovery and currently serves on the Jones Days’ e-Discovery Committee. Since joining Jones Day in 1992, she has practiced a wide range of complex commercial litigation including high-profile, multi-jurisdictional product liability and bankruptcy cases.

She has been named one of the best lawyers in America for commercial litigation and was recognized as a "leader in her field" by Chambers USA in 2009. Ellsworth was recognized as a "leader in the law" by the Legal Intelligencer and as one of the top female litigators in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvania Law Weekly.

Ellsworth received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1980, then graduated magna cum laude with her Juris doctorate in 1983 from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her bar admissions in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Unknown.jpgJohn Olon has joined Waynesburg University as chief financial officer, the University announced today. Olon will provide executive level direction and management oversight for financial planning, budgeting and budget analysis. 

“Mr. Olon will certainly be an asset to Waynesburg University,” said University President Douglas G. Lee. “With his experience, educational background and strong analytical mind, he will serve the Business Office and University well.”

Olon will also direct and coordinate the institution's debt financing and debt service payments, risk management and insurance and purchasing and contract services, as well as accounting and business operations, finance controls and reporting and investment oversight.

“I am happy to have been asked to join the Waynesburg family,” he said. “There is a lot of excitement here, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Olon brings to Waynesburg University an impressive background as well as an enthusiasm for Christian higher education.

With a blend of experience in both the higher education and corporate industries, Olon most recently served as the vice president of financial planning and analysis at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where he directed short- and long-term forecasting, analysis, store performance tracking, supply chain costing and competitor comparisons to promote strategic decision making and to develop earnings guidance.

Previously, he served in a variety of roles at the Education Management Corporation, most recently as vice president/assistant controller. In this role, he directed enterprise accounting operations including general ledger, revenue, fixed assets and financial reporting.

Olon has additional corporate experience as the manager of corporate financial planning and analysis of ALCOA, Inc., the world’s leading producer of aluminum, miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina.

A certified public accountant, Olon holds a master’s of science degree in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Pennsylvania State University.

He is an active member of Saints John and Paul Parish and is involved in community fundraising committees, including active involvement in support of the Anna Seethaler Hospital (TASH) in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_FireFighterCheck.jpgWaynesburg University presented the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company with a $10,000 check, the second of five installments totaling $50,000, to offset the $417,000 cost of the company’s 2013 Sutphen Rescue Pumper fire engine.

This donation, along with the first, was given in memory of Robert W. Fox, a member of the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company from 1948 to 2011, who died on May 15, 2012, at the age of 83.  Remarkably, Mr. Fox was still actively answering fire calls until 2009. Fox served in many leadership capacities within the fire company during his 62-year tenure including president for 28 years.  His father was a member of the company from 1941 to 1965, and Robert’s four sons and four of his grandsons are active members of the fire company.

Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, who served as a member of the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company for nine years, emphasized the importance of contributing to the long-term safety of the community.

“For many years, the Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company has been a key component of the community’s safety,” said Lee. “As a former member, I am proud Waynesburg University can help support this vital service to the community.”

Lee, along with Robin L. King, senior vice president for enrollment and university relations, and Mary Cummings, vice president for student services, presented the donation to Jeff Marshall, fire chief.

This donation to the fire company from Waynesburg University continues the University’s long-standing support for fire safety in the community. Previously, the University had presented the company with $50,000 for the purchase of the Fire Simulation Training Trailer and $30,000 toward a new fire truck from 2005 to 2007. 

The University also donated over $430,000 to the Waynesburg Borough for the purchase of new police cars, improvements to borough infrastructure, downtown beautification projects, contributions to the Borough Master Plan, recreational fields and parks maintenance and construction equipment. 

Waynesburg University provides over $1 million in scholarships to Greene County students and over 50,000 hours of community service to the region annually, contributed by Waynesburg students, faculty and staff. 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Jamie_Jacobs_HighRes.jpgDr. Jamie Jacobs has joined Waynesburg University as the dean of institutional effectiveness and planning, the University announced today. In her role, Dr. Jacobs provides administrative oversight for the University’s institutional effectiveness, assessment and accreditation processes.

“There is no person who could possibly be a better fit for this position than Dr. Jacobs,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Core, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Waynesburg University. “She will play an integral role in the future of our institution, and the excitement which has followed her arrival has been palpable.”

Dr. Jacobs will also be responsible for data management, grant writing, institutional documents, institutional reporting and supporting various institutional objectives.

“I am very excited to contribute to the continued excellence of Waynesburg University and am already working with faculty and staff on several exciting projects,” said Dr. Jacobs. “I feel very blessed to have been given this opportunity to be a part of the Waynesburg University community.”

With experience in administration roles and as a faculty member, Dr. Jacobs brings to Waynesburg University a diverse background as well as an enthusiasm for Christian higher education.

Prior to joining Waynesburg University, Dr. Jacobs served in various roles at West Virginia University (WVU), most recently as the director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry. As the director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, Jacobs was responsible for program operations and assessment. She also assisted with programmatic accreditation and evaluated services and recommended evidence-based practices.

Previously at WVU, Dr. Jacobs worked as a clinical therapist for the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry and an assistant professor for the Department of Political Science.

WVU repeatedly recognized Dr. Jacobs for her exceptional work as an educator. Among her many awards are the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award (2003), the Golden Apple Outstanding Teacher (2002) and the Department of Political Science Outstanding Teacher Award (2002).

Published extensively, Dr. Jacobs’ recent titles include “NGOS, the European Union and the Case of the Environment,” (with Anthony Zito) in Transition Activism in the UN and EU: A Comparative Study and “Civil Society in Argentina: Opportunities and Challenges for National and Transnational Organisation,” (with Martin Maldonado) in the Journal of Latin American Studies.

Dr. Jacobs has presented at a wide range of conferences, including the National Association of Social Workers Spring Continuing Education Conference in Charleston, W.Va., in 2013.

She holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree, both in political science from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in counseling from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.

Active in her community, Dr. Jacobs currently serves as the president of the Board of Directors for the Morgantown Dog Owners Group and on the Advisory Panel for City of Morgantown dog parks. Since 2011, she has been an associate advisor of Venturing Crew 21. Venturing, a co-ed youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for men and women aged 14 through 20, provides positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring leaders.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Doug-Lee.jpgDouglas G. Lee, President of Waynesburg University, has been named to The Pennsylvania Business Central’s Top 100 People list of 2013.

According to the Pennsylvania Business Central, the Top 100 People list includes top executives from some of the most successful companies, along with business people from all levels who have made a major impact in their community and business-to-business world throughout the past year.

“I am honored to be recognized by The Pennsylvania Business Central in this way,” Lee said. “In accordance with our mission, Waynesburg University has always placed high significance on serving the local community as well as contributing to the growth and development of the region.”

Lee was elected President of Waynesburg University by the Board of Trustees in September 2012 and took office July 1, 2013. He joined Waynesburg University as Executive Vice President in October 2009.

Prior to joining Waynesburg, Lee was a partner in the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, PLLC where he was a practice group leader in the Labor and Employment Department of the firm. He was active at Waynesburg University, being instrumental in the formation of the University’s Alumni Council and serving as the first President. He later served as a member of the Board of Trustees in a variety of leadership roles including Chair of the Academic Matters Committee and as Board Secretary.

He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, having spoken and written extensively on Workers Compensation and Labor and employment law topics.

Lee is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, served on the Greene County Planning Commission and is a graduate of Leadership West Virginia. He is an Eagle Scout and has served on the Executive Board for the Mountaineer Area Council Boy Scouts of America. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Union Rescue Mission in Fairmont, W.Va., the Harrison County Bar Association Board of Directors, the Westminster Foundation of West Virginia, and the Howe Cemetery Board. He was a volunteer fireman for more than 13 years.

Lee holds a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Waynesburg University.  

Pennsylvania Business Central, based in State College, is a biweekly business publication serving a sixteen-county region in central Pennsylvania.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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