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Press Release

Franklin Hosts 152nd Commencement Ceremony

Columbus, OH (May 18, 2016)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, will hold its 152nd Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 2 p.m., during which more than 650 degree candidates will receive their diplomas. This commencement ceremony will take place at The Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St. in downtown Columbus.

Commencement has always been a time of celebration. For Franklin University, the event marks a tremendous sense of achievement for students who completed their degrees often while juggling work, families and more. The University is proud to honor the achievements of this newest class of graduates and invites the community to join in the celebration.

Of special note for the 152nd Commencement Ceremony, Franklin is proud to announce the graduation of its first Health Information Management (HIM) student, as well as Benjamin Sturdon, graduating this weekend with both his high school diploma and associate degree.

Commencement Speakers
Keynote speaker Thomas C. Barbee’s career as a Wendy’s franchisee spans more than 40 years, during which time he owned and operated up to 32 restaurants in Iowa and Illinois.

Founded in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, Wendy’s is the world’s third-largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy’s system includes more than 6,500 franchise and company restaurants in the United States and 29 other countries and U.S. territories worldwide.

Barbee was a 12-year member of the Wendy’s Franchise Advisory Committee and served two years as the committee’s president, representing franchisees across the country. He also served six years on the Wendy’s National Advertising Committee and was elected to the Wendy’s Hall of Fame in 1998.

Barbee is currently a board member for the Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball organization, which is a Class A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. He previously served five years as the board’s president. He also serves on the board of trustees at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A board member and past chairman of Four Oaks, a statewide organization that serves children and families across Iowa, Barbee is the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Voluntarism in Iowa.

A Vietnam veteran, Tom served in the U.S. Air Force for four years. He attended The Ohio State University before earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Franklin University. He has been a private pilot for 35 years and is member of the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), a nonprofit organization dedicated to general aviation.

Tom is semi-retired and resides in Coralville, Iowa, with Joretta, his wife of 50 years. The couple has three sons and six grandchildren.

Also addressing the graduates will be Robert Garrett, graduating student speaker receiving his Master of Healthcare Administration. 

Robert Garrett began his career in healthcare in 2003, first as EMS lieutenant and captain of a volunteer fire and rescue department and then in skilled nursing and rehabilitation care. He holds several professional credentials including: Emergency Medical Technician- Intermediate, Physical Therapist Assistant and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

Originally from Chillicothe, Ohio, Garrett currently lives in Circleville with his wife. Robert credits his wife, for being his support system through his educational journey; Franklin University, for the skills he has learned and the doors that have been opened for him; and his mother, who helped fuel his passion to improve the quality of healthcare.

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite course options at over 25 Midwest locations and is an innovator in providing personalized online education. The University offers applied in-demand undergraduate, master’s and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. The University also offers several academic programs internationally, including its top-ranked MBA, through agreements with partner institutions.

Franklin University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and holds specialized accreditations for specific academic programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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