Ohio Northern University 2024 commencement speakers, honorary doctoral degree recipients announced (2024)

A federal judge, Pfizer’s vaccines medical director, and a Methodist bishop, are Ohio Northern University’s spring 2024 commencement speakers.

The HonorableStephanie L. Haines, JD ’95, will be featured at the Pettit College of Law ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m.;Dr. Patrick Garman, BSPh ’91, will participate in the Raabe College of Pharmacy ceremony to be held on Sunday, May 19 at 9 a.m.; andBishop Gregory V. Palmer, will address undergraduate ceremony guests and graduates on May 19 at 2 p.m.

The ceremonies will be held at King Horn Sports Center’s field house.

All three commencement speakers will receive honorary doctoral degrees, as will ONU alumnus Jim Halderman, BSEd ’68, an educator, entrepreneur, and advocate for sustainability.

Ohio Northern University 2024 commencement speakers, honorary doctoral degree recipients announced (1)HonorableStephanie L. Haines, JD ’95-Law Commencement

Judge Haines has devoted her career to serving her country and upholding the law. She is currently a U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, appointed to the federal judgeship by the U.S. President and confirmed with a unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate.

After graduating from Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law in 1995, she clerked in the Court of Common Pleas in Somerset, Pa., before serving her country in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and the U.S. Air Force/West Virginia National Guard. She also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of West Virginia and the Western District of Pennsylvania before being appointed as a U.S. District Judge in 2019.

Ohio Northern University 2024 commencement speakers, honorary doctoral degree recipients announced (2)Dr. Patrick Garman, BSPh ’91-Pharmacy Commencement

Dr. Garman enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army where he achieved more with a pharmacy degree in the military than anyone who came before him. He is currently the vaccines medical director for Pfizer, a position he assumed after retiring from the Army with the rank of Colonel.

Garman received a pharmacy degree from ONU and his military career, which spanned 30 years, was marked by many milestone firsts for a pharmacist. He commanded a 101-bed full spectrum Army hospital and health-system in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He mobilized the 1stArea Medical Laboratory unit that deployed to Liberia during the world’s largest Ebola outbreak in 2014. He directed the Department of Defense’s Military Vaccine Agency, and served as a Medical Brigade Executive Officer during a year-long deployment in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom, where he earned a Bronze Star. He served as the Deputy Joint Staff Surgeon for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.

During his army career, Garman furthered his education with an MBA, PharmD, Ph.D., and Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. After retiring from the U.S. Army with the rank of Colonel, he became the vaccines medical director for the pharmaceutical and biotech giant Pfizer.

Ohio Northern University 2024 commencement speakers, honorary doctoral degree recipients announced (3)Bishop Gregory V. Palmer-Undergraduate Commencement

Bishop Palmer has modeled the strength, passion, and joy of faithful Christian leadership throughout his 46 years serving the United Methodist Church.

Growing up in Philadelphia, he was a child of the church, as his father was a pastor. He received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School. In 1977, he was ordained a deacon and went on to serve churches in Ohio and North Carolina as a pastor and district supervisor.

In 2000, he was elected to the episcopacy and ordained a bishop. He served in Iowa and Illinois before being assigned to the West Ohio Conference in 2012. Through his leadership, he’s had a major impact on the world of United Methodism, yet never lost touch with his congregation.

His dedication to higher education has been a hallmark of his episcopacy. He served as president of the General Board of Higher Education for four years, which coordinates and oversees the relationship of the United Methodist Church with 107 affiliated colleges and universities.

Ohio Northern University 2024 commencement speakers, honorary doctoral degree recipients announced (4)Jim Halderman, BSEd ’68

Mr. Halderman, educator and entrepreneur, is also receiving an honorary doctoral degree at the undergraduate commencement.

A car enthusiast from his early childhood, he built his first electric vehicle — and Ada, Ohio’s first — when he was a student at ONU in the 1960s. This kickstarted his lifelong passion for alternative energy.

After graduating from ONU in 1968, he worked as a high school industrial arts teacher, then joined the automotive program at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, where he taught for 30 years before retiring in 2005. He wrote 18 automotive technology college-level textbooks, and patented an electronic transmission control device. An exceptional educator, he has presented at numerous technical seminars to national audiences, and received accolades like Regional Teacher of the Year from General Motors.

At his alma mater, Halderman is seeking to make ONU a hub for sustainability in the Midwest by championing and funding key projects like electric vehicle charging stations; an innovative lab and think space called the Halderman Sustainability Lab; and electric equipment and vehicles.

Ohio Northern University 2024 commencement speakers, honorary doctoral degree recipients announced (2024)


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