Class of 2021 discovers key components for a successful career during 184th Commencement

Graduates take a selfie

Considering all of his professional accomplishments, what Mike Salvino ’87 shared should not have come as a surprise to anyone attending Marietta College’s 184th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 1st.

The President and CEO of DXC Technology shared his keys to a successful career, which included three critical stages. To get things started is the first five years after graduation.

“Your objective should be to learn as much as you can and prove your value,” Salvino said. “This means always going the extra mile, beating deadlines, arriving before (and leaving after) your supervisor, and always being accessible.”

Then he talked about the next five years of a successful career.

“You need to be on the way to becoming a subject matter expert,” he said. “What do I mean? You want to take what you’ve learned and start to focus your experience into developing an expertise so that people will come to you as an authority in your field.”

After the first decade, Salvino emphasized that how quickly you rise and how far you go in your career is based on the individual’s judgment.

“During the first 10 years you were developing your work ethic, gaining experience and establishing professional expertise,” he said. “Now the rest of your career will be dependent on your judgment, which is a function of how good you are at applying everything you’ve learned to solving problems and making good decisions.”

Salvino, who serves the College on its Board of Trustees, was recognized for his successful career and his commitment to his alma mater. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by President Bill Ruud and Provost Janet Bland.

“As the President and CEO of DXC Technology, Mike Salvino leads a talented team that serves more than 6,000 private and public-sector customers in 70 countries, and he is recognized as one of the nation’s finest leaders,” said President Ruud. “We are proud of Mike’s accomplishments and how he represents Marietta College and The Long Blue Line. He remains a devoted and faithful supporter of his alma mater, and it was an honor to have him speak to our graduates.”

Salvino also brought gifts for the Class of 2021. Each graduate received a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1 computer.

Marietta College welcomed approximately 175 graduates into The Long Blue Line as President Ruud and Provost Bland handed out diplomas in front of approximately 800 family and friends at the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center. The College limited the number of people who could attend the ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Xiaoyue Zhang, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Studies, was the class valedictorian, while Katie Kitchen (Marietta, Ohio), who earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both English and Political Science, was the salutatorian.

The Jewett Orations, which remain a traditional part of Marietta’s Commencement, was won by Leah Seaman (Philippi, West Virginia), who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Studio Art and Communication, with “Trust the Process, Create a Masterpiece.”

“When we approach the blank canvases in our lives, whether it be our collegiate careers, our athletic callings, or our professional vocations, we never truly know just how much time, effort, and energy will be required of us,” Seaman said. “There is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with beginning a new chapter or a new work of art. Yet if we put faith in the notion that the creation process will get us from start to finish, regardless of our doubts and fears, then we just might come out the other side with our own Mona Lisa. 

Jaclyn Mulvain (Columbus, Ohio), who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication and Public Relations, finished second and shared her speech, “The Final Draft,” with the Commencement audience.

“Please remember to stop, look around, and breathe it all in one final time and remember why you chose Marietta, why you continued to stay, and most importantly where you’re going,” she said. “Thank your professors, your friends, and of course your family for helping to get you across that finish line. Marietta might just be a small college along the Ohio River, but I feel confident speaking for all who are here when I say it has left a big impact on our hearts and in our lives.”

Rounding out the top four finishers in the Jewett Oration were:

  • Third place — Sadie Johnson (Bloomington, Indiana), Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy, “Stories from My Second Home.”
  • Fourth place — Audrey Albright (Moraine, Ohio), Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, “Bittersweet.”

The College also recognized 26 students as Pioneer Scholars — individuals who scored in the top 20 percent of their class on the ETS Proficiency Exam. This year’s Pioneers Scholars are: Maya Bousamra (Glenshaw, Pennsylvania), Victoria Clarchick (Avella, Pennsylvania), Ian Darling (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Kathryn Dreas (Covington, Kentucky), Lauren Eakle (Whipple, Ohio), Patrick Elliott (Marietta, Ohio), Bryce Gandee (Vincent, Ohio), Grace Gebhart (Zanesville, Ohio), Peyton Hall (Sardis, Ohio), Justin Harvey (Canal Winchester, Ohio), Gage Herb (Marietta, Ohio), Daniel Hiser (Marietta, Ohio), Kaitlyn Lafferty (New Concord, Ohio), Stephanie McAfee (Belpre, Ohio), Dayna McDougle (Marietta, Ohio), Ryan McGuinness (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), Kathryn McIlroy (Circleville, Ohio), Sarah McNeer (Liberty Township, Ohio), Allison Murphy (Zanesville, Ohio), William Rafferty (Moorestown, New Jersey), Isabel Romain (Orrville, Ohio), Courtney Shine (Akron, Ohio), Grant Swan (Gibsonia, Pennsylvania), Vivian Thomas (Williamstown, West Virginia), Albright and Kitchen.

The Class of 2021 honored one faculty member — Dr. Michael Morgan, Associate Professor in Political Science, as he was presented the Outstanding Faculty Award.

With 36.31 percent participation, the senior class made a gift of $2,673.92 to The Marietta Fund — surpassing their goal of $2,021. The presentation of the check was made virtually by Catherine Gattis (New Marshfield, Ohio), Joshua Loudon (Streetsboro, Ohio) and Brittany Martin (Marietta, Ohio).