Otterbein Commencement Recap: Classes of 2020 and 2021 Walk Across the Stage and Into the World

Posted May 03, 2021

In-person commencement ceremonies are a rite of passage for college graduates — but this year, they are also a sign of progress and hope. With the Class of 2020 asking for an in-person experience and the Class of 2021 ready to celebrate their success after an unusual senior year, Otterbein hosted ceremonies for both classes on May 1 and 2 in Memorial Stadium. The five ceremonies over two days were tailored to the classes and their experiences.

Each graduate received four tickets for immediate family to watch the ceremony in person, seated in pods with social distancing and facial coverings required. The ceremonies were streamed live online. You can see the complete details at

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Class of 2020

Approximately 210 members of the Class of 2020 returned to campus on Saturday, May 1, to walk across the stage. Their ceremony was cancelled in 2021, but they were not forgotten.

Katie Exline ’20 was invited to greet the class with a speech a year in the making, and Tanny Crane, president and CEO of Crane Group, addressed the class.

Class of 2021 Graduate School Ceremony

Later on May 1, more than 90 master’s and doctorate degree candidates of the Class of 2021 received their degrees. Addressing the class was Dr. Deena Chisolm, director of the Center for Child Health Equity and Outcomes Research at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, vice president of Health Services Research in the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health.

Class of 2021 Undergraduate Ceremonies

Three ceremonies on Sunday, May 2, celebrated undergraduates of the Class of 2021. Approximately 150 students attended each of the three ceremonies, which had their own student greeters and commencement speakers.

The first ceremony of the day began at 9:30 a.m. Student greeter Alex Natividad welcomed the class and their guests, and Otterbein alumnus Jeff Wilson, senior regional vice president of Radio One/Urban One gave the address.

The second ceremony began at 1:30 and featured student greeter Angel Banks and commencement speaker Corrine Burger, managing director and central Ohio lead executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The final ceremony of the two-day celebration began at 5:30 on May 2, with a student greeting by Gabby McGeorge and address by alumnus Steve Johnston, chairman, president and CEO of Cincinnati Financial Corporation.

More Commencement Videos

Congratulations to ALL the graduates of the Classes of 2020 and 2021. We can’t wait to see what your futures hold!