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Published 12/20/02
Owens Corning President and CEO Addresses Life Choices With Owens Graduates During Fall Commencement Ceremony

Challenging graduates to build upon their positive choices, David T. Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Owens Corning, addressed the Owens Community College graduating class as the College held its 24th annual Fall Commencement on Thursday, December 19. The ceremonies were held in the Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus, Oregon Road.

David T. Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of Owens Corning, addressed the Owens Community College graduating class as the College held its 24th annual Fall Commencement. Serving as the keynote speaker, Brown shared with the 320 Owens graduates – including 45 from the Findlay-area Campus – and the more than 2,700 family, friends and relatives in attendance about how life is about making choices.

"By choosing to attend Owens Community College and pursue a college education each of you has demonstrated your ability to make a good choice," Brown said during his commencement address. "Now what lies ahead is an endless opportunity to make even more decisions which will determine your future."

Brown emphasized to the graduates that always having a positive attitude and continually striving for excellence can propel you toward achieving any goal throughout your life.

"We are extremely proud of our Owens Community College graduates and honored to offer such a dynamic and insightful speaker on this very special occasion," said Gary Dettling, Owens Vice President of College Advancement. "Mr. Brown’s commencement address presented our graduates with the unique opportunity to gain insight on achieving personal success from the head of a Fortune 500 company."

More than 2,700 family, friends and relatives in attendance saw 320 Owens graduates - including 45 from the Findlay-area Campus - receive associate degrees. Brown has been President and CEO for Owens Corning since April 2002. Prior to his current position, he was responsible for all operating businesses of Owens Corning worldwide serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Founded in 1938, Owens Corning has a long-standing tradition as the world leader in building materials systems and composite systems. In 2001, the company had sales of $4.8 billion. Owens Corning has approximately 19,000 employees and more than 300 facilities in 30 countries.

Before becoming COO, Brown served as vice president and president of Insulating Systems Business, which is the largest sales and profit center for Owens Corning. Among his responsibilities were overseeing the production of fiberglass, rockwool, acoustic, OEM and foam insulation at 35 manufacturing plants in North America and China. Under his leadership, all aspects of the business experienced consistent growth in sales and profits.

Brown’s professional involvement includes serving as a past board member of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association Executive Committee, National Roofing Contractors Association Advisory Board, Thermal Insulation Manufacturers Association and Executive Committee of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.

A resident of Toledo, Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Purdue University in 1970.

Joan McHugh, a Registered Nursing Technology Major from Perrysburg, was selected to represent the Fall 2002 class and also spoke during the ceremony. Joan McHugh, a Registered Nursing Technology Major, was selected as the Owens Community College class representative and addressed the graduates during the Fall Commencement ceremony.

An Honors student at Owens, she describes herself as a caring individual who is deeply devoted to her family. McHugh enjoys being a supportive parent, attending her children’s school plays, jazz concerts and athletic events. She also likes spending her time reading, cooking, cheering on the Perrysburg Yellow Jackets and babysitting her two granddaughters.

McHugh credited her academic success to the Owens faculty and staff and personal attention she received while pursuing her associate’s degree. "I can’t say enough about what the College’s faculty has meant to me," she said. "The positive influence they have had on my life is the reason I am in front of this graduating class as the commencement speaker."

The focus of her commencement speech addressed the special gifts each member of the Owens Community College graduating class brings to society as a result of pursuing a college education.

"With our gift of a college education, the Owens graduating class can look to the future with anticipation just as a child waits to unwrap a special gift," McHugh stated in her speech. "The gift is now ours to unwrap. We as future leaders have the ability and knowledge to embrace our careers and share our gifts with the rest of the world."

The daughter of Honora O’Neill and the late Raymond O’Neill, McHugh intends on pursuing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. Her goal is to someday give back to higher education, serving as a health instructor. She resides in Perrysburg with her husband, John, and their five children.

Of the 320 graduates, 86 graduated with honors and 10 of those have earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages. This brings the total of Owens Community College alumni to 20,546.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 23 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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