Press Release

Franklin Hosts 163rd Commencement Ceremony


Sherry Mercurio
Executive Director, Office of Community Relations

Columbus, OH (December 9, 2019)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, will hold its 163rd Commencement Ceremony of Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 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, Battelle Grand Hall, 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.

Joining the Jan. 5 ceremony will be the newest group of graduates traveling from Muscat, Oman. These new graduates earned a Franklin's MBA offered through the Modern College of Business and Science (MCBS) in Oman. Through the program, Franklin’s MBA classes are taught in English by a combination of Franklin faculty who travel to Oman, as well as local faculty from MCBS and other institutions.


Receiving an honorary degree and speaking at Franklin’s 163rd Commencement is Dr. Lana K. Uhrig. Dr. Uhrig is the vice president of nursing for Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Uhrig leads oncology nursing for Winship across the Emory Healthcare system, overseeing clinical quality, safety, outcomes, education and oncology nursing practice and research.

Dr. Uhrig is a native of southern Ohio and received her associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Shawnee State University and Ohio University. She received her MBA from Franklin University, and her master’s and a doctorate in public health from The Ohio State University.

She has served in healthcare leadership roles for more than 26 years at the following organizations: Adena Health System, the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. For the past 14 years she has devoted her time and leadership to advancing oncology care both at the bench and bedside. Since 2003, Dr. Uhrig has served as an adjunct professor in the College of Health + Public Administration at Franklin University, and most recently at the Emory School of Nursing. In 2013, she received the Franklin University Teaching Excellence Award and is a current member of the Healthcare Management Program Advisory Board.

Dr. Uhrig has a special passion for community involvement with underserved populations and in 2011, she co-founded the Hope Clinic of Ross County, a volunteer nonprofit, free medical and dental clinic, where she served as CEO and board president until her move to Atlanta. She and her Hope Clinic team received the Hometown Heroes Award from the American Red Cross for their volunteer work.

Also addressing the graduates will be Shannon J. Johnson. Driven by her interest in police transparency, procedural justice and accountability, Shannon has been a member of the Columbus Division of Police for 18 years. She is currently assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau as an investigative sergeant.

Shannon will graduate with her M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration. She enrolled in the program to expand her knowledge and skill in public policy implementation and criminal justice research. As a student in the program, Johnson explored civilian review boards and wrote a proposal for the incorporation of civilian oversight for the Columbus Division of Police. Johnson aspires to apply her degree as a post-secondary educator and to improve law enforcement through research-based policy reform.

Shannon’s passion for social justice issues was ignited during her undergraduate career at The Ohio State University. In pursuit of her bachelor’s degree, she studied how gender inequality, racism, and discrimination impact American society and entered the law enforcement profession with the desire to bring a different perspective into a traditionally male dominated profession.

Shannon is thankful for the ongoing support of her fiancé, Robert Stephens, and is the proud mother of Blaine, Braden, Caleb and Tristian.

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides on-site course options at our Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, 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, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Franklin is only one of three schools in Ohio designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. 

News Type

  • University