May 12, 2022
On Campus


Wittenberg Community Celebrates Diversity and Connections

Wittenberg’s William A. McClain Center for Diversity hosted the second annual Hitimu: Multicultural Graduate dinner honoring the University’s multicultural students as one of many celebratory events leading up to the 172nd Commencement exercises.

Approximately 20 graduating seniors were recognized on May 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning at the Hitimu (meaning ‘graduate’ in Swahili) event in front of friends, family, and the Wittenberg University community.

The event featured a welcome from Debbie Beausejour, associate director of the McClain Center for Diversity, followed by greetings from Corrine J. Carthell, associate dean of students and director of the McClain Center for Diversity, and the invocation by Ashley Clarke, Upward Bound academic career and education coordinator. Other speakers included President Michael L. Frandsen, Casey Gill, vice president for student development and dean of students, and Jason Gregory, Wittenberg class of 2020.

“Thanks for being a part of this wonderful celebration. We congratulate about 20 of our diverse seniors and welcome them into our Tiger alumni family in just a few short days,” Carthell said. “We are extremely proud of all of you!”

Two seniors spoke about their Wittenberg experience: Zarek Porter, a psychology major from Columbus, Ohio, who served as the Concerned Black Students president, and Saqib Rasheed, a biology major from Springfield, Ohio, who served as the American International Association senator. Porter was also named this year’s winner of the William McClain Leadership award during the celebration. He plans to continue his education in grad school at the University of Cincinnati pursuing sports psychology.

“We are proud of the leader you have become,” said Beausejour of Porter. “It has been a pleasure to watch you grow and work in CBS and all your student organizations. We are sure your name will live on here after you leave. So proud of you and cannot wait to see what all you accomplish in the years ahead.”

All students received a Kente or Latinx stole that they can wear at graduation and were recognized for their work in the various student groups throughout their time at Wittenberg. Students included Jeremaih Mensah of Lehigh Acres, Florida; Mykaela Freeman of Covington, Kentucky; Emma Menjivar of Moreno Valley, California; Logan Hunter of Beavercreek, Ohio; Erika Henry of Springfield, Ohio; Vanessa Cabrera, Erika Jackson of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Antavia Horne of Plain City, Ohio; Taylor Benford of South Euclid, Ohio; Nehaal Patrick of Middletown, Ohio; Cheyenne Ross of Cincinnati, Ohio; Tatyana Mays of Dayton, Ohio; Taiylour Kirkwood of Schererville, Indiana; Julio Novarini of West Palm Beach, Florida; Jennifer Barron Estrada of Farmington, Michigan; and Makayla Craft of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; along with Porter and Rasheed.

Dinner and a dessert reception were catered by Parkhurst Dining. DJ Heartbeat and Sons of Thunder provided musical entertainment throughout the evening.

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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