Marian University to award record 965 degrees at commencement ceremonies

by News Release | May 02, 2019

commencementINDIANAPOLIS – Marian University will award a record 965 degrees at its commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4 at the new arena/convocation center on its west side campus. A record 798 undergraduate and graduate students will receive bachelor and master’s degrees at the university’s 82nd Commencement Ceremony. An additional 167 future doctors will graduate from the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM), the largest of the medical school’s three graduating classes.

The university will hold two separate ceremonies, the first at 10 a.m. for undergraduates and the second at 3 p.m. for graduate students and MU-COM.
James P. Hallett, chairman and chief executive officer of KAR Auction Services, Inc. and owner of the Indy Fuel hockey team, will deliver the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony. Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marian County Public Health Department and associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine Infectious Diseases Division, will deliver the commencement address at the graduate and MU-COM ceremony.

Marian University will confer honorary degrees during both ceremonies. Recipients at the undergraduate ceremony are:

James P. Hallett
Recipient of Doctor of Business

James P. Hallett has more than 40 years of experience in the automotive industry. He serves as chairman and chief executive officer of KAR Auction Services, Inc., a global Fortune 700 company that helps the world’s largest auto manufacturers, financial institutions, insurance companies, and dealer groups buy, sell, and trade used vehicles. 

Hallett joined the company in 1993 as president of ADESA Canada and relocated to Indianapolis in 1996 to serve as president and chief executive officer of ADESA. He was the architect behind the merger of ADESA and Insurance Auto Auctions that resulted in KAR Auction Services, Inc., in 2007. He assumed his current role in 2009. A lifelong hockey fan, Hallett shares his enjoyment of the sport as owner of the Indy Fuel.

Tom Morales
Recipient of Doctor of Business

Following 23 years of success working with landmark companies including Procter & Gamble Company, Union Carbide Corporation, and Donaldson Company, Inc., Tomas (Tom) Morales decided to explore his dream of launching a business that would blend his pride in his Mexican heritage with his Hoosier roots. With a goal to build a bridge between the Indianapolis business community and the growing Hispanic population, Morales co-founded Morales Group, Inc., in 2003, a staffing agency that has successfully placed more than 50,000 associates throughout the Midwest.

In addition to his leadership role at Morales Group, Inc., Morales currently serves on the boards of Elevate Indy, Youth with a Mission, and the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Development Board. He has also served on the boards of the Immigrant Welcome Center, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Franciscan Health Foundation. Morales was also a commissioner of the Metropolitan Development Commission and was appointed by former Governor Mitch Daniels as a commissioner of the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana. In addition, he lectures all over the country on immigration issues and is a passionate advocate for the Hispanic community.

Charles Edward Welch III ’68 and Mary Leahy Welch ’68
Recipients of Doctor of Philanthropy

Charles (Chuck) Edward Welch III graduated from Marian University in 1968. He served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1969-73. Chuck spent 38 years working at General Electric in Human Resources. During his time with the company, he was manager of corporate employee communication and a company negotiator in seven successful national contract negotiations with General Electric’s largest labor unions.

Mary Leahy Welch was also a 1968 graduate of Marian University and held a long career at General Electric. For 20 years, she held roles in corporate marketing with the company as a conference and program manager. She oversaw corporate meetings and planned and managed sales and incentive meetings along with high-level customer events in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South Africa. Mary was a member of the Board of Trustees for 10 years and is currently a member emerita.

In 1989, Chuck and Mary joined with close friends and classmates Len and Sue Strom to establish the Welch-Strom Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship fund has grown to over $1 million and has paid over $500,000 in awards to 44 Marian students since 2000.

Len ’68 and Sue ’68 Strom
Recipient of Doctor of Philanthropy

After graduating from Marian University in 1968, Len Strom began his business career with General Electric, serving 15 years with the company. After, Len joined BLACK+DECKER as chief human resources officer for 20 years. In 2005, he went to work for the Archdiocese of Baltimore as the executive director of human resources until his retirement in 2011. His work with the Archdiocese of Baltimore still includes an ongoing role as a 20-year member of the archbishop’s Board of Financial Administration. He also is a member of the Marian University Board of Trustees.

Sue Strom graduated from Marian University in 1968 as well. After graduating, Sue held a 25-year career in education, teaching high school English and French. She also worked in positions as a learning specialist and head of learning services. Sue is currently a founding member of the Women’s Education Alliance and serves on the organization’s Board of Trustees.

Len and Sue met the first week of school at Marian University in a biology class. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last August. For both Len and Sue, raising a family is their greatest achievement. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Honorary degree recipients at the graduate and MU-COM ceremony are:

Virginia A. Caine, M.D.
Recipient of Doctor of Public Service

Virginia A. Caine, M.D., is the director of the Marion County Public Health Department and associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine Infectious Diseases Division. She previously served as past president for the American Public Health Association.

Dr. Caine set up the first nationwide physician educational program regarding AIDS for the National Medical Association. She led the process to create Indianapolis’ first integrated HIV healthcare delivery system and was principal investigator for the Ryan White Title III funds, which established the first HIV/AIDS clinics in the major city hospitals, 10 community health centers, and the resource for community-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs. She was also instrumental in reducing the black infant mortality rate to its lowest level ever in the history of Indianapolis.

Dr. Caine is chairman of the board of trustees for the National Medical Association and current chair of the Infectious Diseases Section, board member for the Center for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Editorial Board, chair of the Managed Emergency Surge for Healthcare Coalition, member of the National Biodefense Science Board, co-chair of the Jump In for Healthy Kids Advisory Committee, founding member of the Indiana Health Information Exchange, and board member of the Indiana Latino Institute.

Dr. Caine has earned a national reputation and received many awards for her dedication to improving public health. She was named the National Medical Association’s 2010 Practitioner of the Year and received two Indiana Governor’s Sagamore of the Wabash awards.

State Representative Tim Brown
Recipient of Doctor of Public Health

State Representative Tim Brown, M.D., was elected as a state representative in 1994 and serves House District 41, which includes portions of Montgomery, Boone, and Tippecanoe counties. He has worked on various legislative initiatives, many of which focus on healthcare. He recently retired as an emergency room physician St. Elizabeth Hospital in Crawfordsville.

Representative Brown was appointed as chairman of the Public Health Committee and the Statutory Committee on Ethics. He is the chairman for the House Ways and Means Committee, member of Indiana State Medical Association, board member of the Franklin Methodist Retirement Community, and was the treasurer for the State Medical Association for four years.  

Representative Brown has received several awards for his commitment to serving the community as a legislator and physician including Outstanding Legislator for Indiana Medical Association, Outstanding Achievement Award for AIDS, and Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Ophthalmology Association in 2005 and Indiana Public Health Association in 2006.

About Marian University Indianapolis

Founded in 1937, Marian University is proud to be the only Catholic university in Indianapolis and central Indiana. In 2019, Marian is serving 2,431 undergraduate and 1,164 graduate students earning degrees in the arts, business, education, engineering, math, medicine, nursing, ministry, and the natural and physical sciences. The university’s high-impact, experiential curriculum is designed to provide hands-on, collaborative learning opportunities for students from 45 states and 23 nations. Marian climbed in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Midwestern rankings to be named #10 Most Innovative Regional University, #24 Best Value University, and #38 Best Regional University. Marian University opened its College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013, making it the first new school of medicine in the state of Indiana in over 110 years. Marian’s national champion varsity athletic programs include the 2012 and 2015 NAIA Football National Championship, the 2016 and 2017 NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship, and more than 40 USA Cycling national championships.

News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
Stokley Mansion, Room #1

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