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Superintendent Honored By Otterbein University, Delivers Commencement Address

Dr. Dixon at Otterbein

May 10, 2022 -- Columbus City Schools Superintendent/CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon was recently honored during Otterbein University’s Graduate Class of 2022 Commencement. Dr. Dixon was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and then had the distinct honor and privilege of delivering the commencement speech to 130 graduate students in Otterbein’s nursing, business, and education programs.

“Otterbein is proud to call Dr. Dixon a friend and member of the Cardinal Nation. Her innumerable accomplishments prove that she lives by the ideals of our founders to be progressive and constantly working toward the betterment of humankind,” said Otterbein University President Dr. John L. Comerford. “We are proud to recognize her leadership and her service.”

Dr. Dixon walking at OtterbeinComerford explained that honorary degrees are bestowed to exemplary members of the broader community who model service and values that align with the University. Bridget Newell, Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Studies at Otterbein University described how Dr. Dixon’s leadership and service are making an impact.

If you follow the trajectory of her career and the work she’s done in the name of bettering the educational experience of all students. If you follow the growth and excellence of the schools and school districts she’s served. And, if you take time to understand the advocacy, respect, and care she extends to all students. You will recognize the heart of a teacher, the keen strategy of a leader, and the commitment of a tireless champion,” said Newell.

Wendy Sherman Heckler, Otterbein’s Provost and Senior Vice President, commended Dr. Dixon’s advocacy for equity in public education and her leadership in advancing her vision of the Portrait of a Graduate. Sherman Heckler added that Dr. Dixon's expertise as a member on the Otterbein Board of Trustees helps to enrich the University’s commitment to access, affordability, diversity, and inclusion.

When addressing the graduating class, Dr. Dixon spoke about the importance of embracing change. She challenged the graduates to ask themselves how they are impacting the world.

If your answer isn’t what you want to hear, change it…Be proud, but don’t let pride hinder your recognition of life as ever-changing or your ability to embrace it,” Dr. Dixon encouraged.

Otterbein University has been a long-standing higher education partner of Columbus City Schools, providing opportunities for both CCS students and staff. Dr. Dixon has also served on the Otterbein Board of Trustees for the past two years.

“We appreciate the opportunities we have had with Dr. Dixon and Columbus City Schools to imagine and enact change together," said Sherman Heckler.

Exemplifying the Power of One, Columbus City Schools and Otterbein University, along with many community and educational partners, are doing just that; enacting change together for the benefit of all students.