Emmy-award winning author, journalist, filmmaker, Reich is AC’s 2022 Spring Commencement speaker

Over three-hundred students are counting down the days until they walk across the stage and receive their hard-earned degrees during Adrian College’s 2022 Spring Commencement at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1.

This year’s spring commencement speaker, Howard Reich, will address these students from Commencement Plaza on the campus mall. Last year Adrian College held its 2020 and 2021 Spring Commencements in Docking Stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Reich is an Emmy award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker from Chicago, Ill. Following high school, Reich enrolled at Northwestern University as a performance major and after graduating, began freelancing articles on music for the Chicago Daily News. The next year, Reich started contributing arts coverage to the Chicago Tribune, where he was hired full-time in 1983 and spent his entire distinguished newspaper career. After 30 years of serving as the Tribune’s jazz critic, Mr. Reich was appointed as the newspaper’s classical and opera critic. He retired from the newspaper in 2021.

Reich is a multi-talented writer, musician, producer, and thought-leader in the United States.  He has authored books that reflect his decades of expertise on jazz, classical music, opera, the arts, and Holocaust-related issues. All are nonfiction, and each originated in the pages of the Chicago Tribune.

Some of Reich’s stories have been developed into documentary films.  Two highly acclaimed films, “Prisoner of Her Past” and “For the Left Hand” he created in conjunction with Chicago-based Kartemquin Films. “Kenwood’s Journey,” which won an Emmy, was produced by the Chicago Tribune.

In addition to inviting Howard Reich to give the honorary address, Adrian College selected two honorary degree recipients, Kenneth MacLaren, owner of MacLaren Management, LLC, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine. Both will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

MacLaren began his career with Sylvania City Schools as the Distributive Education Coordinator and Director for Adult Education. He was then hired in 1966 by the Toledo City Schools to serve as the Vocational Director for Distributive Education. In 1975, MacLaren was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award from the Ohio Department of Vocational Education for Distributive Education.

After more than 16 years in education, MacLaren made a career change. He began working in real estate and development, which eventually led to his involvement in hotel management. In 1979, he started MacLaren Management LLC, a property management company.

MacLaren has a variety of partnerships, ranging from the commercial industry to the restaurant industry, hospitality industry, real estate industry, and more. MacLaren’s latest venture is the recently completed Comfort Inn & Suites located across from Adrian College Blvd.

At least 20 colleges and universities in the United States will honor President Zelenskyy in absentia for his courageous leadership since the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. 

“Adrian College is proud to join several other colleges and universities throughout the United States to honor President Zelenskyy for his incredible leadership while his country has endured unrelenting bombing and violence from President Putin and the Russian military. It is incumbent upon higher education institutions world-wide to speak out against this unjust war and to honor President Zelenskyy for his determination, bravery, and unwillingness to surrender,” said Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking.

Adrian College’s mission statement describes the institution, founded in 1859, as a liberal arts college in the United Methodist tradition that is committed to the pursuit of truth and dignity of all people. “Through active and creative learning in a supportive community, undergraduate and graduate students are challenged to achieve excellence in their academic, personal, and professional lives, and to contribute to a more socially just society.”

MacLaren, of Ottawa Hills, OH., will attend the commencement while Zelenskyy will receive his award in absentia.

For more information about Adrian College’s Spring Commencement, click here.