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Distinguished Alumni Address 2012 Graduates

As Muskingum University celebrates its 175th year, undergraduate and graduate commencement exercises featured addresses by five distinguished alumni.  On May 3, master’s degree candidates at graduate commencement heard Elizabeth Topping Mainiero ’57.  On May 5, William T. Dentzer, Jr. ’51 and Mrs. Celia Hill Dentzer ’52 addressed the Baccalaureate service.  Undergraduate commencement exercises featured Nikhil Deogun ’91 and Dr. Allison Kimmich ’91.

Graduate Commencement: Elizabeth Topping Mainiero ’57

ELIZABETH TOPPING MAINIEROElizabeth Topping Mainiero has played a pioneering role in shaping the library for the information age, fundamentally enhancing the way these vital resources serve citizens of all ages. 

Throughout her forty-year career in library leadership, her groundbreaking initiatives spanned the full range of library services and administration.  She dedicated her efforts to improving libraries’ ability to serve their constituencies, manage their organizations, construct new facilities, and engage in long-range planning.

Ms. Mainiero launched an integrated library system in 1978 –the second of its kind in the nation and the first east of the Mississippi River. She convinced libraries across New England to invest in shared emerging computer technology – linking their circulation and collection data, transforming local resources into regional ones, and widening public access to library materials. Her efforts led to many “firsts” in federal library grant funding and paved the way for today’s internet-based consortia. 

She was one of the first to recognize the library’s emerging role in providing opportunities for conversation and social interaction, complementing the long-standing library tradition of quiet study and exploration.  When she engaged nationally-known architect Cesar Pelli in 1994 for the Greenwich Library’s addition and renovation, she included informal gathering and work spaces for library patrons in the facility’s program – the precursor to today’s “internet cafes.”

An English major at Muskingum, Ms. Mainiero earned her Master of Library Science from Carnegie Mellon University.  She currently consults with libraries throughout New England on building programs and long-range plans.  She shares her talents with educational organizations, serving on the Board of Governors of St. Timothy’s School (Stevenson, MD) and as a trustee of St. Gabriel’s School (Milford, CT), and the Whitby School (Greenwich, CT).

She and her husband Vincent Mainiero reside in Milford, Connecticut, where they enjoy spending time with their four children – Morrow, Lisa, Bonnie and Kimmo – and their 10 grandchildren.   They are frequent travelers to historic and nature sites such as Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, Africa, Malta, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt.  A formerly licensed private pilot, her interests also include photography, scuba, skiing, boating, and hiking. 

Ms. Mainiero’s daughter Bonnie Long Gorman ’88, her mother Clara Bentley Topping ’27, and her aunt Kathryn Bentley Schaefer ‘27 are fellow members of the Long Magenta Line.

Baccalaureate: William T. Dentzer, Jr. ’51 and Mrs. Celia Hill Dentzer ’52

WILLIAM AND CELIA DENTZERWilliam T. Dentzer, Jr., Class of 1951, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.  While at Muskingum, he was Student Government President, college orator, and debate team member.  Throughout his distinguished career, he has helped shape our national economy. He is the founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Depository Trust Company, and he served in high-level federal and state government posts under U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and New York State Governor Rockefeller. 

As a deeply-committed, long-time member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees, Bill Dentzer’s leadership and stewardship has helped shape this institution’s future in significant ways, ensuring Muskingum’s continued hallmark of educational excellence, which comes to fruition in the daily lives of our students and alumni and those whose lives they touch.

Celia Hill Dentzer, Class of 1952, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  She was Women’s Activities League president, Class Secretary, May Queen, and a cheerleader while at Muskingum.   She was born in India to missionary parents, and the experience of her early years profoundly shaped her life-long commitments to the Presbyterian Church. In her Larchmont, NY community she has been Clerk of Session, President of The Woman's Club, and President of her P.E.O. chapter.

Celia Dentzer’s dedication to serving others is embodied in the life she has led in full partnership with her husband, rearing five children, and together they have served Muskingum, the Presbyterian Church, our nation, and the world.

Together they chose for our students the words of wisdom from I Thessalonians – “test everything; hold fast that which is good” –engraved on the cornerstone of the Walter K. Chess Center. Their voice and their example of leadership and service will resonate with Muskingum students for generations to come.

Undergraduate Commencement: Nikhil Deogun ’91 and Dr. Allison Kimmich '91

NIKHIL DEOGUN AND ALLISON KIMMICHNik Deogun is the Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief Business News, CNBC, overseeing Business Day content, coverage and production. Deogun joined CNBC in 2010 as Managing Editor, Business News.

Deogun joined CNBC from The Wall Street Journal, where he was the Deputy Managing Editor, a position he had held since July 2008. Deogun oversaw all financial coverage for the news organization and directed the Journal's international network of bureaus and correspondents. Prior to this, Deogun was editor of the Money & Investing section, where he oversaw coverage of Wall Street, banking, hedge funds, private equity, mutual funds, financial markets, investing and personal finance. From March 2004, Deogun was Deputy Chief of the Journal's Washington bureau. In this role, he focused on overseeing business and regulatory coverage in addition to shepherding investigative projects. Deogun joined The Wall Street Journal as a reporter in Atlanta in 1994 and moved to the New York bureau in June 1999 where he covered mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance for the paper's Money & Investing section. Deogun later spent three years as editor of the Media & Marketing section where he oversaw coverage of entertainment, publishing, advertising, consumer products, fashion, retail and other industries.

Deogun grew up in Calcutta, India and attended the Doon School in India. He earned a bachelor's degree and graduated summa cum laude from Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. He then receiveda master's degree from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. He is married to Allison Kimmich and has two children.

Allison Kimmich serves as the National Women's Studies Association executive director, which she joined in 2004.  Under her leadership, NWSA has grown into an international network of nearly 2,500 members with professional development, research, and advocacy initiatives to support women’s studies and women’s center professionals.

Dr. Kimmich serves as the public voice for NWSA and has represented the Association by organizing a convening of women’s studies faculty at the invitation of the White House Council on Women and Girls.  She has also been invited to serve as an expert on a Department of Education-sponsored roundtable on higher education and civic engagement.  Her efforts to advance diversity at NWSA were recognized when the National Council for Research on Women awarded NWSA its Member Center Diversity and Inclusion award in 2010.

She previously served as the director of pre-college programs at Barnard College, where she developed a Young Women’s Leadership Institute and taught feminist theory in the undergraduate women’s studies program.  She has also worked as the assistant director of the Women Involved in Living and Learning (WILL), an academic and co-curricular program at the University of Richmond. 

Dr. Kimmich grew up in Chardon, Ohio and earned a bachelor’s degree in English and French from Muskingum University.  She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in women’s studies from Emory University. She is married to Nik Deogun and has two children.