Dr. Gene T. Harris to Address Ohio Dominican University Graduates
Columbus, OH (43219) – Gene T. Harris, Ph.D., Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Columbus City Schools (CCS) will be the keynote speaker for Ohio Dominican University’s 97th commencement exercises. The Spring Commencement Ceremony will take place at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Alumni Hall, 1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219. More than 350 students will receive their degrees during the event. ODU also will confer a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa upon Dr. Harris.
“We are pleased to present Dr. Harris with this honorary degree in recognition of her commitment to educational excellence, her strong administrative leadership and her dedication to community service,” said ODU President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D.
Dr. Harris is serving her tenth year as superintendent of the largest school district in Ohio. CCS has more than 51,000 students and 7,000 employees in 118 schools. Under her leadership, the district has made significant gains in academic achievement. For example, during her tenure, CCS’s graduation rate increased from just over 50 percent in 2001 to 85.1 percent for the Class of 2011.
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman called Dr. Harris the “best superintendent this city has ever seen.” The Buckeye Association of School Administrators named her the 2012 Ohio Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Harris’s commitment to building and expanding innovative academic programs has been recognized on a national level. U.S. News and World Report ranked 12 of the district’s high schools among the nation’s best in its 2010 America’s Best High Schools report. One of the schools received a Silver Award and 11 others earned Bronze Awards.
Dr. Harris is a member of the Columbus Rotary Club. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Ohio University and Action for Children. She also is a Sunday school teacher and trustee of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.
Ohio Dominican University is a four-year private liberal arts institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic and Dominican tradition. The University has nearly 3,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 43 majors as well as seven graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and learning.