Today's Update: Friday, May 12, 2023

May 12, 2023

Dear Student Life team,

Happy High Five Friday!

I want to start by giving congratulations to all the graduates and their families who celebrated a tremendous moment of pride this past weekend at Commencement. The rain held off and it turned into a beautiful day to celebrate our Class of 2023! The entire ceremony was simply spectacular and was a touching reminder and affirmation of why we do what we do as a Student Life team.

There’s a lot of work that goes into getting 9,000+ students in the right spot at the right time during Commencement. High Fives to Daren Lehman for his leadership in organizing our volunteer effort, Tanya McDay, who helped with materials for the event, and everyone who helped out in some way, including Maureen Cahill, Dave DeAngelo, Susan Hagos, Dan Huffman, Tanisha Jenkins, Taylor Koon, TJ Logan, Jenn Miller, Kailee Missler, Jen Pelletier, Tiffany Quattlebaum, Erica Regan, Tom Reeves, Brad Seaholm, Cassie Smith, Sean Stewart, Tracy Stuck, Tashana Tatum and Kellie Uhrig.

A colleague from the Commencement Events team nominated Jenn Miller, Daren Lehman, Sean Stewart and Tracy Stuck for their help chalking and re-chalking Commencement lines in the rain. Here is what they said, “(Sunday) started out rough, but there are certain people around campus that you see, and you feel better just by knowing they are there to help you. I know the chalk we re-did was washed away by the rain but knowing that you were guiding lines to get them in the stands is comforting.” High Five, all!  

Commencement was the happy ending to a phenomenal Commencement Week. High Five to everyone who helped at or participated in the various events. I am Scarlet and Grateful for all who made the week special and possible.

While our graduates were celebrating, many students were busy moving out of various residences on and off campus. High Fives to everyone who helped with the move-out process in residence halls throughout our campuses and those who supported students in the off-campus area. 

And speaking of celebrating the end of the year, let’s also celebrate the end of finals week! High Fives to the entire Disability Services team and volunteers from across Student Life who helped to administer 2,100 accommodated final exams, including: Angela Adams, Chris Antjas, Sarah Beam, Austin Borreson, Alyssa Cannella, Jennifer Chilman, Matt Couch, Teri Cugliari, Ben Daleiden, De’Garrica Ditmars, Katie Duffy, Madison Eagle, Aisha Echols, Chrisse Edmunds, Marjorie Freggens, Mary Kate Gallagher, Noah Gilbert, Danny Glassman, Toni Greenslade-Smith, Henry Griffy, Erin Grogan, Morgan Hammonds, Peter Hansen, Tierra Heath, Kristen Hill, Mackenzie Hogan, Dan Huffman, Julie Humbel-Courtney, Tanisha Jenkins, Hosanna Josephat, Sarah Juttner, Rebecca Kapusta, Kacy King, Taylor Koon, Abbey Kunce, Emilia Louy, Ryan Lovell, Mandie Maxwell, Courtney McCrary, Lori Nahem, Tara Nord, D’Arcy Oaks, Kim Pachell, Jen Pelletier, Erica Regan, Tori Rehr, Sydney Rubin, Connor Ruetz, Julie Sanzone, Julie Schultz, Shyam Singh, Aubrie Smith, Jordan Smoot, Janet Steinbacher, Erica Szeyller, Nancy Thompson, Kim Traverse, Kellie Uhrig, Beth Ullum, Debbie Ward, Angie Wellman, Ryan Wilhelm, Aalyshia Williams, Mollie Workman, and Hannah Worley. It was a true team effort to provide our students with this valuable support during what can be a challenging and stressful time.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to give a High Five to all those special people whose support, encouragement, challenge and love has kept us grounded and made us better humans....including my own favorite human and mom, Suzy.

Lastly, I want to thank the entire Student Life team for ALL the ways you have made our students feel cared for, welcomed, appreciated and supported throughout this year. Every year comes with unique challenges, opportunities and achievements, and of course this one was no different. I hope you find time to celebrate and reflect on those moments of pride and accomplishment in the work we do together to help students engage, learn and thrive.

Have a Scarlet and Great weekend!


Melissa S. Shivers, PhD

Senior Vice President for Student Life
The Ohio State University