ADRIAN — An Emmy award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker from Chicago will be this year’s spring commencement speaker at Adrian College for the college’s 2022 spring graduation, which begins at 3 pm Sunday, May 1.
Howard Reich, who spent more than 30 years as a newspaper arts and jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune, will address more than 300 graduating AC students during the commencement exercises, which, in following tradition of the college, will be staged outdoors in Commencement Plaza along Adrian College’s campus mall in the heart of campus, weather permitting.
In addition to inviting 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, a news release from Adrian College said.
At least 20 colleges and universities in the United States—including Siena Heights University—will honor President Zelenskyy for his 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,” Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking said in the release. “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.”
“The suffering, anguish, death and separation that the people of Ukraine have experienced is unconscionable,” SHU President Sister Peg Albert said in a release from the university. “Through all of this, Zelenskyy has resolutely defended his country from him and forged forward to preserve his nation and all that it stands for. His heart-felt compassion and unwavering courage from him are not witnessed too often in our world today. ”
Siena Heights will bestow on Zelenskyy the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during its commencement ceremonies on May 7–8.
Reich, who attended Northwestern University following high school, began freelancing articles on music for the Chicago Daily News. It was in 1983, the release said, when he was hired full-time by the Chicago Tribune. After his three decades as the newspaper’s jazz critic, Reich was appointed as the newspaper’s classical and opera critic.
I have recently retired from the newspaper in 2021.
In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Reich has also authored books that reflect his decades of expertise on jazz, classical music, opera, the arts and Holocaust-related issues. All are nonfiction, the release said, and each originated in the pages of the Chicago Tribune. Some of his stories of him have even been developed into documentary films.
“Prisoner of Her Past” and “For the Left Hand,” were two acclaimed films Reich created in conjunction with Chicago-based Kartemquin Films. “Kenwood’s Journey,” which won an Emmy Award, was produced by the Chicago Tribune.
“For the Left Hand” was a documentary film that Adrian College showed on campus April 12 during a public event. The film focuses on the story of Norman Malone, a physically disabled pianist, who has a natural talent of playing the piano but is completely paralyzed on the entire right side of his body. Malone’s life story and his musical journey were featured in an article by the Chicago Tribune when he was 78 years old.
This will be the first year since 2019 in which commencement at Adrian College returns to Commencement Plaza. The 2020 graduation ceremonies were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic and were conjoined with the 2021 commencement exercises last spring, in Docking Stadium, to adhere to pandemic restrictions and social distancing.
MacLaren, a resident of Ottawa Hills in Ohio, will attend Adrian College’s May 1 commencement. Zelenskyy, the college’s other honorary degree recipient this year, will receive his award in absentia, the release said.
MacLaren began his working career with Sylvania City Schools and in 1966, he was hired by Toledo City Schools to serve as vocational director for distributive education. After spending more than 16 years in education, MacLaren made a career change, the release said. He began working in real estate and development, which eventually led to his involvement in hotel management.
In 1979, I started MacLaren Management LLC, a property management company. He now 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 Boulevard at 425 Industrial Drive.