Commencement 2016 Set for May 7, May 22 for Law School | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


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      Commencement 2016 Set for May 7, May 22 for Law School /

      By Troy King ‘16

      With less than a month of classes left in the 2016 spring semester, Capital University soon-to-be grads, parents and guests should be prepping for the upcoming Commencement ceremonies to be held on Capital’s Bexley campus in May.

      The main campus graduation ceremony will take place at 2 pm Saturday, May 7, in The Capital Center Field House. Families and guests are encouraged to arrive early, as there is no reserved seating, and to please enter through the west doors closest to Main Street. Tickets are required for admission. Family members who are unable to attend can view the ceremony live online at Webcast coverage will begin at 1:55 pm. Beginning a week after Commencement, a video of the ceremony will be available there to view on demand. For ticket information and other details, visit

      The Commencement ceremony for Capital University’s Law School graduates will be held at 2 pm Sunday, May 22, in Mees Hall on Capital’s main campus.

      Keynote Speakers

      Jane Grote Abell

      Jane Grote Abell
      Founding member of Donatos Pizza and chairwoman of the board


      Capital is honored to welcome Jane Grote Abell, founding member of Donatos Pizza and chairwoman of the board, as the keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient for the main campus Commencement May 7. Janet E. Jackson, president and chief executive officer for United Way of Central Ohio, will deliver the keynote address for Capital Law School’s ceremony on May 22.

      For four decades, Abell has held a variety of positions at both Donatos Pizza and Jane’s Dough Foods, which is Donatos’ food service commissary operations. In 1988, with a degree from Ohio State University in Organizational Communications and a strong passion for people, she was promoted to chief people officer, a role she continued in during the chain’s acquisition by McDonald’s in 1999. During the four years with McDonald’s, Abell served as senior vice president of development and chief people officer. In these leadership positions, she helped steer the company’s business strategy. In 2003, Abell was a major catalyst behind the decision to purchase Donatos back from McDonald’s, and in 2006 she was promoted to president and chief operating officer.

      In her current role as chairwoman of the Board, Abell remains active in advancing the chain’s mission of promoting goodwill through product, service, principles and people, while broadening her focus on work outside of Donatos. With strong roots that trace back to the chain’s first store on Thurman Avenue on Columbus’ south side, she and her family remain committed to the area’s success. The Grote family donated $1.5 million in support of a city plan to revive the South Parsons Corridor. She also founded the Reeb Avenue Center, a social-services center housing 13 non-profits that focus on education and workforce development.

      Abell is a member of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women and the co-chair for the 2015-2016 Go Red Campaign with her husband, Tom Krouse. She is a founding member of the Ross Leadership Institute, serves on the boards of Reeb Avenue Center, Action for Children, Experience Columbus and I Know I Can, and has received a number of awards and recognitions, including the YWCA of Columbus Women of Achievement Award and Columbus CEO Magazine’s CEO of the Year award.

      Janet E. Jackson

      Janet E. Jackson
      President and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio


      Janet E. Jackson is president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio, one of the largest United Way organizations in the country. Under her leadership, United Way is mobilizing the Central Ohio community to reduce poverty. 


      Prior to coming to United Way, Jackson served six years as Columbus City Attorney and nearly 10 years as a judge on the Franklin County Municipal Court.

      Her honors and awards include: Allies of Equality Award from Equality Ohio, Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA of Columbus, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Columbus Education Association, 2013 Professional Woman of the Year by the Women of Color Foundation and Woman of the Year by the Niagara Foundation. She was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001. She also received the 2015 Mortar Board Alumni Achievement Award.

      Jackson currently serves on the Family Services Planning Committee, an advisory board for the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services. She is a board member of The Center for Family Safety and Healing, and served on the Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force. She was a member of the Columbus Education Commission and worked on education issues facing the near east side of Columbus as co-chair of the PACT education sub-committee. She was also vice chair of the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Board, served on the Installed Building Products Board, and remains active in committees that help to guide the United Way movement on the national and international level. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum and IWF Ohio.