Press Release

Franklin Hosts 172nd Commencement Ceremony


Sherry Mercurio
Executive Director, Office of Community Relations
(614) 947-6581

Columbus, OH (January 9, 2023)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, will hold its 172nd Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at 2 p.m. (EST), 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 Ballroom, 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.

Commencement Speakers
Dr. Doreen Larson is the fifth president of Edison State Community College and the first female to hold that position. During her tenure, which began in 2015, Edison State opened two new campuses, fostered College Credit Plus (dual enrollment) partnerships, and increased enrollment each year, along with recording the highest levels of degree and certificate attainment.

Dr. Larson leads a college team dedicated to workforce partnerships through fully integrated career pathways, and eliminating boundaries between credit and non-credit options. As a product of this commitment, Edison State and Franklin University recently completed a transfer portal system bridging career pathways between two- and four-year programs. 

From 2010-2015, Dr. Larson was the president of Pierpont Community and Technical College in West Virginia. She served as full-time faculty both at Kent State University and Lakeland Community College. As the assistant vice president for Student Services at Lakeland, Dr. Larson facilitated one of the first Community College Alliance agreements with Franklin University. 

Dr. Larson earned a doctorate in special education from Kent State University, a master’s degree in education from John Carroll University and graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in special education.

Throughout her career, Dr. Larson, has worked to expand access and success in higher education for historically underserved populations with an emphasis on learn and earn experiences. She advocates for Edison State and all community colleges as the pathways to fulfilling the American dream. Dr. Larson is proud to note that her three sons began their college careers at community colleges, as did her spouse Len Larson. 

Also addressing the graduates will be graduating student speaker Royce Martin. Royce is a human resource professional with more than 10 years of corporate experience in a variety of industries. For the past 35 years, Royce has been an umpire in three different sports and recently earned the qualifications to referee in the Olympics.

In both roles, Royce serves as a mentor. Whether guiding young women through educational pursuits or overcoming devastating moments in competitive sports, the idea of leading and guiding people to become their best selves absolutely “fills her cup.” It was that realization that led her to pursue her M.S. in Human Resource Management.

A graduate of St. Louis University with a dual major in management and information systems, Royce also holds an associate degree in paralegal studies and spent three years teaching legal research at the American Institute in Phoenix.

Note: The Fall 2022 commencement ceremony will be streamed live for those families and friends who wish to watch the ceremony from home. A link to access the live stream will be made available on the Graduation Information page ( at 2 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, January 15, 2023.

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit, and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite 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, masters, and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. Through agreements with partner institutions, the University also offers international academic programs, including its top-ranked MBA.

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, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Franklin University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

News Type

  • University