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Undergraduate commencement features address by Marshall C. Phelps, Jr. ’66 and baccalaureate speech by
Glenn R. Hodges ’63, M.D.

Muskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 7, featuring an address by 1966 alumnus Marshall C. Phelps, Jr. The baccalaureate address was delivered by 1963 alumnus Glenn R. Hodges, M.D.

Both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees were conferred, including the first class of those receiving the bachelor of science in nursing degree.

Mr. PhelpsMarshall C. Phelps, Jr. has distinguished himself globally in the field of intellectual property policy in the information age. His pioneering licensing strategies have reshaped the landscape of intellectual property, entrepreneurship and innovation.

His career began with IBM, where he served for 28 years. As vice president of intellectual property and licensing during the 1990s, he oversaw a portfolio of more than 40,000 patents and trademarks, and applied innovative licensing strategies to transform what had historically been a costly legal overhead function into a $2 billion annual profit center. He also served IBM as director of government relations in Washington, D.C. and as vice president of Asia Pacific operations in Tokyo.

Mr. Phelps served Microsoft Corporation for eight years as corporate vice president of intellectual property policy and strategy. Under his leadership, Microsoft emerged as one of the world’s largest intellectual property companies, with more than 60,000 patents and applications and extensive copyright holdings and trademarks.

Currently, Mr. Phelps is an executive consultant to enterprises around the world and advises the National Academy of Science as a member of its university-related intellectual property committee. He is a founding partner of Intellectual Ventures, the largest acquirer of patents worldwide, and serves on five corporate boards of directors.

His critically-acclaimed book, Burning the Ships: Intellectual Property and the Transformation of Microsoft, focuses on the ways intellectual property generates new business opportunities. He has shared his expertise as a visiting professor at leading business, law and engineering schools, including those of Cornell University, Duke University, the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Phelps has received many honors and awards, including election to the inaugural class of the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame in 2006. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Muskingum, a master of science degree in Advanced Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a juris doctor degree from Cornell University School of
Law.

In his commencement address, Mr. Phelps told the students, “Expect life to be unpredictable, embrace change and know that perseverance triumphs. The most unpredictable things in life can actually be the biggest opportunities.”

In recognition of his achievements, the university bestowed upon Mr. Phelps the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

In her remarks to the graduating class, Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele said, “Today is your day. You have worked hard and with distinction. Your Muskingum education is a cornerstone of your life, and it will continue to serve you and shape your future.”

President Steele then recognized the retirement of faculty members Dr. Linda E. Morrow and Dr. Ralph G. Hollingsworth and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Paul Reichardt.

Diana M. Biller ’11 represented the class of 2011. The charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Professor of Music Dr. Joyce Alesandrini and the charge from the Board of Trustees was presented by alumnus and Board Chair Harold W. Burlingame.

The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. In his address, Dr. Hodges stressed the importance of finding a passion in life that motivates service to others. He said, “We are here to serve all people, not just those who are like us. Think of something you can do to change the world, and then do it.”

Dr. HodgesDr. Hodges has established a distinguished practice as an infectious disease specialist and was on the faculty of the University of Kansas Medical School for more than thirty years. He served the Kansas City Veterans Administration Hospital with distinction for 22 years, including nine years as chief of staff.

After his retirement, he joined the Health Partnership Clinic of Johnson County as a volunteer physician, extending medical care to those in need in his community.

Dr. Hodges helps lead the innovative social service program offered by the Cross-Lines Community Outreach. He has served as president of the board of directors and he established the Cross-Lines Garden, which provides fresh produce for the food pantry.

He graduated from Muskingum with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry and was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant to study microbial genetics at the University of Chicago. He earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and a master of science degree from The Ohio State University, where he completed a National Institutes of Health Special Research Fellowship in internal medicine.

A dedicated alumnus, he encourages Muskingum students to pursue research explorations and seek new ways of thinking, healing, and improving human life.

Dr. Hodges and his wife, Carolyn Read Hodges ’64, are both master gardeners and leaders of the Kansas City Rose Society and the Johnson County Rose Society. They are the parents of Diane, Cheryl, Kristine, and Janice.

In recognition of his lifetime of achievement, the university bestowed upon Dr. Hodges the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

Katrina L. Housley ’11 read the scripture lesson for baccalaureate and Dorothy J. Jarchow ’11 led the Collect.