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3 alumni chosen to speak at spring commencement

The alumni, Philip Weller, Anita Gallentine and Kurt Ronn, will be speaking at the 2013 commencement ceremonies, one speaker for each ceremony.

Lisa Mattiace, the chief of staff for the University, said the speakers are chosen in a variety of ways.

The speakers who are chosen are successful individuals and have a passion for the University, Mattiace said.

Kurt Ronn, who will be speaking at the Friday commencement ceremony, graduated in 1982 with a degree in Visual Communication Technology and has become a successful entrepreneur since he graduated.

Ronn is the founder of HRworks, a national recruitment firm based in Atlanta, Ga.

During his speech, Ronn will be talking to graduates about how he believes they are put on this earth to create, which goes to show they can create their own future.

“If there are 5,000 people there, parents and students included, if one person actually heard what I had to say and took it to heart I’d be thrilled,” he said.

When asked to speak at graduation, Ronn said he was humbled.

“It’s an enormous honor to be asked to come back to the school and speak,” he said.

Philip Weller will speak at the Saturday afternoon commencement and graduated from the University in 1970 with a degree in business. He is the managing partner of the law firm DLA Piper in Dallas, Texas.

“It’s very nice to come back and be able to speak to graduates and be a part of the fabric of the University again,” he said.

Weller plans on speaking to students about how their education at the University is a good foundation for them to start their careers.

Saturday morning’s commencement will feature Major General Anita Gallentine, a 1977 graduate and former member of the University’s ROTC program.

After graduation, Gallentine served in the Air Force, working as a Nuclear Munitions Officer and later for the Air National Guard.

When Gallentine got the call asking her to speak at graduation, she was preparing for a new chapter of her life.

“I was at the Pentagon and that particular day I was getting ready to retire,” she said. “[President Mazey] caught me in my office just prior to going into my retirement ceremony.”

Gallentine said she is very honored to be asked to speak at commencement and is excited to come back.

“Being able to go back and address the soon to be graduates from Bowling Green is a really wonderful way to not only end my professional career but to also get students excited about their future that lies ahead regardless of what they do,” she said.

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