April 15, 2022
On Campus

Commencement Speaker Announced

Class of 2022 is ready to ‘Raise Cane’ as it welcomes entrepreneur Tim McCarthy ’02 as keynote speaker

As soon-to-be Wittenberg graduates prepare to celebrate “25 Days Until Graduation,” they do so knowing that Tim McCarthy, class of 2002 and former owner of the Raising Cane’s Ohio franchise, will be the class’ keynote speaker during the 172nd Commencement exercises scheduled for Saturday, May 14, in picturesque Commencement Hollow.

From English major to entrepreneur, social change advocate, and philanthropist, McCarthy has close to 20 years of experience in the business world, having spent many years building and focusing on RCO Limited, the Ohio Franchise Partner of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers founded in November 2003. Built up to be the largest franchise organization within the Raising Cane’s system, McCarthy and RCO Limited became known for their impressive results as well as the way they advocated for and supported their employees. To date, Ohio has 36 Raising Cane’s locations and is a chain that does well with several key groups including college students. McCarthy had been eyeing Springfield for a franchise for some time and opened up at 1335 W. First Street, bravely in the middle of the pandemic, in February 2020. Located in a place easily accessible to his alma mater, the new location reflects McCarthy’s entrepreneurial spirit as the establishment feeds Wittenberg students’ stomachs and minds with Cane’s special recipe and sauce.

Motivated by the social impact made possible by a successful business, and desiring to make this impact on a larger scale, McCarthy and his business partners purchased WorkPlace Impact (then WorkPlace Media) in 2013. In July 2017, Cara Zale, a social capital investment company, was born. Through Cara Zale, McCarthy and his partners publicize that they are focused on “Growing Great Businesses and Developing People who Create Social Change.”

McCarthy, who lives in Worthington, Ohio, is often a guest lecturer, sharing his experiences in building businesses with students at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, where he earned his MBA. He has been mentioned or featured in articles in Business First, Franchise Times, The Daily Reporter, The Lantern, Crain’s and The Columbus Dispatch. After the recent sale of the Raising Cane’s Ohio franchise, he currently serves as chair of The Business of Good Foundation based in Mentor, Ohio, and has helped to develop TheBusinessofGood.org and their practice of “Serving Those Who Serve the Very Poor.” He also hopes to encourage budding entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs to continue their development of community and national projects, as those are the sources of America’s future potential success.

Wittenberg is planning for traditional Commencement Exercises beginning at 11 a.m. with access to the venue to be restricted until 9 a.m. All guests must be seated by 10:30 a.m.

“Our class is remaining resilient,” said Avery Adams, senior class president and a political science major. Adams, from Ripley, Ohio, who is also a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and works at Thomas Library. She plans on attending Northern Kentucky University for a master’s degree in public administration. 

“We are excited about the sense of normalcy we are feeling as we are hopefully coming out of COVID and nearing the end of our last semester. The campus atmosphere has not been the same since our spring semester of sophomore year, and we are excited to finish out our college experiences the way we had hoped we could. The pandemic had a large and lasting impact on all of us, and it wasn't always easy to be a student during COVID times. However, we have all remained strong to get us to this point.

“There are varying levels of excitement being felt by the senior class as we head into the home stretch,” Adams continued. “We finally have the opportunity to forge our own paths, taking what we learned in our time at Wittenberg as a guide. It's so exciting to see the various paths we take, whether it be continuing  education, finding a job, or taking a year off to further find yourself! The opportunities are limitless.”

For more information on Commencement 2022, click here.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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