Press Release

Franklin Hosts its 174th Commencement Ceremony


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

Columbus, OH (September 1, 2023)

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, will hold its 174th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, at 7 p.m. (EDT), 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.

Joining the Sept. 8 ceremony will be the newest group of graduates traveling from Muscat, Oman. These new graduates earned a Franklin 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.

Commencement Speaker
In 2018, Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt was the first Black woman elected to the 10th District Court of Appeals. Prior to that, she was appointed and then elected to serve two terms on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas General Division, presiding over more than 10,000 cases on a variety of issues, from sentencing on murder and rape cases to multi-million-dollar civil litigation.
Judge Beatty Blunt uses her judicial experience to educate the public about the justice system and the importance of voting. Before the 2020 general election, the Columbus Dispatch published “Your Vote Can Change Our Criminal Justice System,” Judge Beatty Blunt’s editorial explaining the justice system and the importance of voting for the involved elected officials. She is a sought-after speaker and has served on many law-related and anti-racism panels. She is also prominently featured in the Ohio State Bar Association’s civic education series used to educate high school students throughout the state.

Judge Beatty Blunt is the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where she teaches master’s-level public policy courses. Judge Beatty Blunt is currently a member of the Ohio Sentencing Data Platform Governance Board and Alvis, Inc. board of trustees. Her many awards include YWCA Columbus’ prestigious Women of Achievement Award, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association’s Leading the Way Award, and the John Mercer Bar Association’s Impact Award.
Judge Beatty Blunt received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and her law degree from Vanderbilt University. She is married to Richard S. Blunt II, a U.S. Navy (ret.) chief intelligence specialist.

Note: The Summer 2023 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 7 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, September 8, 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