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Published 12/11/2003
421 Owens Community College Students to Graduate During Fall Commencement, Dec. 18

Four hundred twenty-one candidates for graduation, including 54 from the Findlay- area Campus, will receive their degrees during the 25th annual Fall Commencement at Owens Community College on Thursday, December 18. The commencement will be at 7 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center on the College's Toledo- area Campus.

Steven L. Mickus Steven L. Mickus, President and CEO of Mercy Health Partners, will serve as the keynote speaker for the College's Fall Commencement.

"Owens Community College is honored to have such a prominent speaker join in celebrating the hard work and achievements of our graduating class," said Gary Dettling, Owens Vice President of College Advancement. "Mr. Mickus is a leader and visionary within Northwest Ohio's health care community, and will provide students, families, staff and faculty with a very insightful message on such a special occasion."

Mickus has been President and CEO of Mercy Health Partners and Senior Vice President of Catholic Healthcare Partners since March 2001. Mercy Health Partners is a not for profit health system, dedicated to improving the healthcare of people in the Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan communities with emphasis on its 150- year old mission of caring for all in need.

Headquartered in Toledo, Mercy is composed of seven hospitals including St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, St. Charles Mercy Hospital, St. Anne Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Tiffin, Mercy Hospital of Willard, Mercy Children's Hospital and Mercy/MCO Rehabilitation Hospital at the Coghlin Pavilion. Mercy Health Partners also operates numerous clinics and outpatient locations including centers for health promotion, an outpatient surgery center, Mercy College of Northwest Ohio and the critical care transportation network that includes St. Vincent and Medical College Life Flight, the first air ambulance service in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, which now operates four helicopters.

Mercy Health Partners is a member of Catholic Healthcare Partners, one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the United States and the largest in Ohio. The system consists of more than 100 corporations serving the health needs of people in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and contiguous states. Five Catholic organizations co-sponsor Catholic Healthcare Partners.

Prior to his current position, Mickus previously served as the President and CEO of the Mercy Health Partners' Metropolitan Hospital Division. His responsibilities included managing St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, St. Charles Mercy Hospital, Riverside Mercy Hospital, Mercy Children's Hospital, MCO/Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, Mercy College of Northwest Ohio and United Health Partnership Hospital Consortium.

Mickus came to Toledo in June 1995 to assume the position of President and CEO of St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. Before joining St. Vincent, he served 18 years in various administrative capacities at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the last eight years as that institution's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

A native of New Jersey, Mickus holds a master's degree in hospital administration from George Washington University. In addition, he earned bachelor's degrees from Pennsylvania State University and Nazareth College. Mickus is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and also a member of its teaching faculty. He and his wife, Gwen, reside in Sylvania and have three children.

Kent Keck Kent Keck of Leipsic, a computer-aided drafting technology major, has been selected as the Owens Community College class representative and will address the graduates during the Fall Commencement ceremony.

An Honors student at Owens, Keck describes himself as an energetic and outgoing individual who is deeply devoted to his family and friends. Having a passion for music, he volunteers his time providing technical assistance for Leipsic High School band and choir concerts. Keck also participates in the Leipsic community band and choir. Among his favorite hobbies are hiking, backpacking, camping and snowboarding.

Active in the community, the 2001 Leipsic High School graduate is a mentor to 20 boy scouts serving as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 222. Each Sunday and Thursday, Keck's musical talent can be heard as he plays saxophone for the Praise and Worship Team at Voice to the Nations Ministries Church in Findlay. In addition, he is a member of Owens' Society of Manufacturer Engineers and the Epsilon Pi Tau International Honor Society.

Keck credits the educational success he has achieved to his supportive parents and College's Industrial and Engineering Technologies faculty. "I can't say enough about what my parents and the faculty have meant to me," he said. "They have been a guiding light in my life and are the ultimate reason I am standing in front of this graduating class as the commencement speaker."

The focus of his commencement speech will address how each graduate has traveled down a different road in pursuit of a college education from Owens Community College. Although the paths have been different, each member of the Fall Semester 2003 graduating class has arrived at the same destination, which culminates in graduation. Such an achievement represents an ending, but also a beginning to yet another of life's journeys.

"Graduating from Owens Community College is a beginning of a new chapter within our lives," Keck states in his speech. "Each of us will now once again travel separate path ways as we look to enter the workforce or continue educational aspirations. With either direction chosen, learning will always be an important part of our development as a person."

The son of Gary and Marty Keck, he intends on pursuing a career as a computer- aided drafting technician within the mechanical or civil engineering industries.

More than 2,700 family, friends and relatives are expected to attend the Fall Commencement, which is open to the public and media.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 26 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 40,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, 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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