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Undergraduate commencement 2015 features address by John W. Gardner ’68 and baccalaureate speech by
D. Craig Nordlund

Muskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 9, featuring an address by 1968 alumnus John W. Gardner. The baccalaureate address was delivered D. Craig Nordlund. Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred.

JOHN GARDNERJohn W. Gardner achieved a distinguished career in financial management for the manufacturing industry. He retired as chief financial officer for Noble Composites, Inc., in Goshen, Indiana and previously served as chief financial officer for Fabwel, Inc., in Elkhart, Indiana.  Both companies, market-leading producers of gel-coated exterior panels for recreational vehicles, have since been acquired by Crane Composites.

Mr. Gardner graduated from Muskingum with a bachelor of arts degree in history.  He served in the United States Air Force as a captain and instructor navigator and earned a master of business administration degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  He began his career as a certified public accountant and served as a partner at McGladrey & Pullen, now known as McGladrey LLP.

He is a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of First State Bank, a locally-owned independent bank serving the Indiana communities of Middlebury, Goshen, Elkhart, and Mishawaka.

Mr. Gardner and his wife, Therese, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary by bicycling across America together.  Over an eight-month period, they journeyed from Santa Barbara, California to Saint Augustine, Florida.  Mr. Gardner then continued on his bicycle tour from Fort Myers, Florida to Saint John’s, Newfoundland, while Mrs. Gardner accompanied him by vehicle.

In his commencement address, Mr. Gardner told the students, “You made a great decision to come to Muskingum, and now you stand at the threshold of a new life.  Use all of the skills you learned here, in the classroom and outside the classroom, to make the world a better place.”

In recognition of his achievements, the university bestowed upon Mr. Gardner 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.”

Danielle N. Crown represented the class of 2015. The charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Associate Professor of Communication Eugene Alesandrini and the charge from the Board of Trustees was presented by 1962 alumnus and Board Chair Harold W. Burlingame.

The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. In his address, Mr. Nordlund said, “Everywhere, the world is in need of repair.  Now is the time to start giving back.  We all have a moral obligation to help others, and make the world a better place.”

In recognition of his lifetime of work, Mr. Nordlund was granted an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

CRAIG NORDLUNDD. Craig Nordlund, a corporate attorney for advanced technology industries, served leading Silicon Valley companies for more than 35 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from Stanford University and his law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School.

Mr. Nordlund retired as the senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Agilent Technologies, Inc., the world’s premier measurement company serving the analytical needs of the telecommunications, electronic, life science and chemical fields.  He became Agilent’s first general counsel in 1999, and led the company’s global legal functions in intellectual property law, legal policies, compliance, commercial law, employment law and merger and acquisition support.  He also served as an officer and director of a number of Agilent’s subsidiary companies. 

Before joining Agilent, Mr. Nordlund served Hewlett Packard Company for more than 20 years in legal leadership positions including corporate secretary.  He began his career as an attorney with the Palo Alto, California law firm of Ware & Friedenrich (now DLA Piper).

He is a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of First Tech Federal Credit Union (formerly known as Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union), and the Board of Directors of Silicon Valley FACES, a human relations organization committed to ending bias, bigotry, and racism.

Mr. Nordlund and his wife, Sally Nordlund, are the parents of Courtney ’05, Michael and Laurie.  They are active volunteers for a number of church, school and community organizations.

Lauren A. Thomas ’15 read the scripture lesson for baccalaureate and Stephen D. Fondriest ’15 led the Collect.