One hundred and forty-eight graduates were awarded diplomas during Defiance College’s 2019 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4. Howard Reich was recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Reich is an award-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the author of six books. His book “The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich” inspired the PBS documentary film “Prisoner of her Past,” which he wrote, narrated and co-produced. Reich has won an Emmy Award, two Deems Taylor Awards from ASCAP, the Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern University, the Bravo Award from Dominican University, the Anne Keegan Award and eight Peter Lisagor Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and an Excellence in Journalism Award from the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. The Chicago Journalists Association named him Chicago Journalist of the Year in 2011 and has given him three Sarah Brown Boyden Awards.

Also recognized during the ceremony were Pilgrim Medal recipients Dr. Carolyn Walters, a 1969 alumna and adjunct professor of Defiance College, and graduating senior Elyzabeth King, Mechanicsburg. The Pilgrim Medal is the highest honor awarded by the College and recognizes specific traits in awardees: reliance in self, pride in work, courage in conscience, strength in education and faith in God.

Delivering the commencement address was Dr. Terry Boyd, a 1978 alumnus of Defiance College. He is an emeritus professor at Franklin University in Columbus. In 2017, Dr. Boyd was honored by Defiance College with the Schauffler Legacy Award.

Elyzabeth King, Mechanicsburg, spoke on behalf of the graduating class.

Locally, Madysyn Creighton of Lynchburg graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree.

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is