Highlights from the Class of 2024 Commencement Celebrations and Ceremonies

Posted May 03, 2024

Many students in the Class of 2024 graduated high school in 2020 and didn’t have an in-person commencement ceremony. On Sunday, April 28, Otterbein University gave the Class of 2024 a commencement to remember! Otterbein granted more than 450 bachelor’s degrees, 65 master’s degrees, and 26 doctor of nursing practice degrees at two ceremonies on Sunday. The new alumni represented 22 states and 11 countries.

Undergraduate Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony

The first undergraduate ceremony of the day began at 10:30 a.m. in the Clements Recreation Center. Amanda Marie Marchi ’24 offered greetings on behalf of the Class of 2024 and Dee Hoty ’74, acclaimed Broadway actress and proud graduate of Otterbein’s Department of Theatre and Dance, delivered the commencement address.

Among those crossing the stage was Haruki Tada, an international student from Japan, who came to Otterbein to play baseball without ever seeing in campus. His mother came all the way from Japan to watch the final games of his college baseball career and see him cross the stage. He will be returning to Japan, where he already has a job lined up utilizing his sport management and finance knowledge.

Read Haruki’s story >

This year’s youngest graduate was Becca Morrison, a psychology major from Fairview Park, OH, who celebrated her 20th birthday on Sunday with the entire Class of 2024! By taking College Credit Plus courses at Cuyahoga Community College, she earned her associate of arts degree at 17 years old — before she graduated from high school. She entered Otterbein with a junior status. In her two years at Otterbein, she was a member of the Cardinal Pep Band, Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, and Alpha Lambda Delta/Phi Eta Sigma Honor Societies; the lead Peer Mentor for the First Year Experience program; a Resident Assistant; and the co-leader for Otterbein’s interfaith group. She is attending Kent State University this fall to pursue her master’s degree in higher education administration and student affairs.

Read Becca’s story >

Graduate School Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony

The Otterbein Graduate School commencement was held at 2:30 p.m. in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall. Students were awarded their advanced degrees, with many having their dissertations and final research projects announced.

Philanthropist Dwight Smith addressed the graduate candidates with a story about kindness and paying it forward. He founded Sophisticated Systems, Inc., in 1990, and served as president and CEO of the Columbus company until his retirement in 2023.

Other Commencement Highlights

Commencement weekend saw many unforgettable moments and memorable scenes. See our coverage of commencement in our photo galleries and videos by following the links below.

Congratulations to ALL the graduates of the Class of 2024. We can’t wait to see what your futures hold!