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Press Release

Franklin Hosts 157th Commencement Ceremony

Columbus, OH (December 18, 2017)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, will hold its 157th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 2 p.m., during which the University’s newest 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.

Jane Grote Abell is board chair of Donatos Pizza and Jane’s Dough Foods, a $200 million, 54 year-old family-owned and operated restaurant, franchisor and manufacturing company. In addition, she is the Donatos brand ambassador and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company. As an author and expert in the field of culture, Abell is a frequent speaker at both industry conferences and universities. In 2015, Jane released her first book, The Missing Piece: Doing Business the Donatos Way, the story of a classic American family business, and an insightful account of Jane’s lifelong education in leadership, authenticity and running a values-based business.

She has a strong history of demonstrating the ability to create vision and empowering people to help make it a reality through sound strategic leadership. She is a thought leader who has a credible voice in decision making, financial direction and problem solving. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Abell has provided over 30 years of transformational leadership in growing brands, corporate and financial governance, operations, marketing, human resources, acquisitions, crisis management, franchising, strategic business development and philanthropic endeavors.

As co-founder and secretary of the board of trustees of the nonprofit Reeb Avenue Center, which houses 14 nonprofits that focus on education and workforce development, Abell has raised $16 million to create a new model for lifting people out of poverty. In 2014, the YWCA named Abell to its Academy of Women of Achievement and Columbus CEO  magazine recognized her as CEO of the Year. In addition, Franchise Update magazine lists Abell among its Top 24 Women in Franchising.

Also addressing the graduates will be Christopher Lyons.  Lyons has enjoyed a diverse career in mental health and social services, since graduating from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2008. He has provided direct care services to a wide range of individuals, from infants to older adults in both residential and community-based settings. In addition, Christopher has worked alongside senior-level administrators in multiple organizations to evaluate systems of care to develop more effective programs and policies, not only for the individuals served, but also for the staff members who provide service.

With his Franklin MBA, Christopher plans to build upon his previous experience and pursue a career in developing the person-centered, data-driven tools needed to help companies engage and support their staff.

Christopher currently lives in Columbus with his girlfriend, whose support has been a constant, motivating force throughout his time at Franklin.

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.

News Type

  • University