Otterbein University has selected Senator Sherrod Brown, (D-Ohio) and his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Connie Schultz, to address the class of 2014 at the University’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, in the Rike Center on the Otterbein campus in Westerville. Otterbein will present Brown with an honorary doctor of public service degree and Schultz with an honorary doctor of letters degree.
A native of Mansfield, Ohio, Senator Brown was elected to his first term in the United States Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2012. Prior to being elected to the Senate, he served seven terms in the House of Representatives from Ohio’s 13th District (1992-2006); as Ohio’s Secretary of State (1983-1991); and in the Ohio General Assembly (1974-1982).
Since January of 2007, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown—a champion of middle-class families in the Senate—has held more than 200 community roundtables across Ohio’s 88 counties with students, local leaders and business owners, entrepreneurs and educators, workers and families to find ways to rebuild our economy. He has forged a reputation in Washington as a tenacious defender of the middle class, and a strong voice for workers, families, fair trade, and civil rights.
Schultz, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, was a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer for 18 years. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her columns on social justice in 2005, and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Her body of work has focused on the underprivileged and issues of social justice.
She resigned from the Plain Dealer in September 2011 to avoid a conflict of interest in her husband’s re-election campaign, but remains a nationally-syndicated columnist with a regular feature in Parade Magazine. She is a frequent essayist and commentator for numerous publications and websites.
Brown and Schultz reside in Cleveland, Ohio, and have three daughters, a son, and two grandsons.