Undergraduate commencement features address by Dennis D. Grant ’62 and baccalaureate speech by Sylvia Rapp Sabia ’72
University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 10,
featuring an address by 1962 alumnus Dennis D. Grant. The baccalaureate
address was delivered by 1972 alumna Sylvia Rapp Sabia. Bachelor of
arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees
As an attorney with Bailey Cavalieri LLC, Mr.
Grant focuses his practice on labor and employment law. He is a frequent
and sought-after presenter for legal professional development seminars
and has taught labor and employment law for The Ohio State University
and for Capital University’s Paralegal Institute. Mr. Grant has received
multiple recognitions by his peers, including as a Best Lawyer in
America, Ohio Super Lawyer, and Ohio Top Lawyer. He has twice been named
the Professional of the Year in Labor and Employment Law.
Mr. Grant has served on the Muskingum University
Board of Trustees since 1972. He is a member of the Board’s Executive
Committee, currently serving as secretary and previously as vice chair.
His leadership has helped shape Muskingum for the future, impacting the
lives of generations and generations of students. He was a 2012
recipient of a Muskingum Distinguished Service Award, the university’s
highest alumni honor.
An enthusiastic outdoorsman, Mr. Grant shares his
skills in hunting, fishing, and trap and skeet shooting as a hunter
education instructor. He has served as secretary and a director of the
Ohio Hunter and Trapper Education Instructor Association.
Mr. Grant earned his bachelor of arts degree in history cum laude and his Juris Doctor degree
from the University of Michigan Law School. He and his wife, Martha
Brouwer Grant, a 1962 Muskingum alumna, reside in Columbus. They are the
parents of Craig Grant, Wendi S. Bootes, and Doug Grant.
In his commencement address, Mr. Grant told the
students, “The Muskingum alma mater refers to ‘a life more abundant,’
and your time here has prepared you for exactly that. You will encounter
challenges, to be sure, but your Muskingum experience has given you the
tools you need to meet those challenges.”
In recognition of his achievements, the university bestowed upon Mr. Grant 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
Sarah C. Linn ’14 represented the class of 2014.
The charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Associate
Professor of Biology Dr. Shelley Amstutz-Szalay and the charge from the
Board of Trustees was presented by 1962 alumnus and Board Chair Harold
baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. In her address, Ms. Sabia
said, “Today, you are at a crossroad with dozens of choices to make.
Don’t ignore the modern world, but also be sure to follow the ancient
path: Read, pray, learn and study.”
In recognition of her lifetime of work, Ms. Sabia was granted an honorary doctor of science degree.
Sylvia Rapp Sabia is a native of rural
Zelionople, Pennsylvania, where she was raised in a strong United
Presbyterian tradition. Attending a Muskingum choir performance at her
church led her to enroll following her graduation from Seneca Valley
She earned her bachelor of science degree in biology magna cum laude.
She served as president of Beta Beta Beta and was elected to the sophomore
women’s honorary Cwens (now
Lambda Sigma) and the Senior Women’s Honorary. She
received the Fourth Year Award for Superior Scholarship and her name is
engraved on the plaque of honors which hangs in Montgomery Hall outside
of the President’s Office. She was an active participant in many aspects
of campus and residence hall life.
Ms. Rapp Sabia earned her master of physical
therapy degree from Duke University. She became the first full-time
physical therapist at Highlands Medical Center/Jackson County Hospital
in Scottsboro, Alabama, where she enjoyed a 32-year career before
retiring in 2005.
She continues to serve others through her
leadership in the Scottsboro Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where she
has contributed her time and talents as a deacon, elder, assistant
organist, Chancel Choir member, and director of three hand bell choirs.
She expresses her lifelong love of sacred music as a vocalist, pianist,
organist and hand bell player and her hobbies include birding, crafting,
scrapbooking and baking.
She is married to Arthur A. Sabia, Jr., a civil
engineer and graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of New York
University. They reside in Scottsboro and are the parents of Susan
Elizabeth Sabia, who sang the baccalaureate benediction. She currently
attends the University of Montevallo, majoring in speech pathology.
Megan E. Duke ’14 read the scripture lesson for baccalaureate and R. Jordon Estose ’14 led the Collect.