Hanover College will celebrate its 186th commencement, Saturday, May 25, with the conferral of degrees to the 224 members of the Class of 2019. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at The Point.

Hanover President Lake Lambert will present opening remarks. Mark Levett, class of 1971, chair of the board of trustees will offer greetings from the board.

James “Rusty” Rueff Jr., an acclaimed Silicon Valley investor, adviser, author, podcast host and venture coach for startup companies, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Rueff attended Hanover for two years before transferring to Purdue. While at Hanover, he participated as part of the college’s theatre department and appeared in two plays, including “Madwoman of Chaillot” and “Love’s Labor’s Lost.”

Ian Jiles, a senior from Indianapolis, will deliver the class address.

Jiles has served the campus community as member of Kaleidoscope, Love Out Loud and Feminist Club. He is also a contributor to “Kennings,” the College’s artistic and literary magazine.

The Hanover College Choir will perform selections by Darla Eshelman and Chester Alwes, and lead the class in the singing of Meredith Willson’s “The Alma Mater.” Under the direction of Madlen Batchvarova, professor of music, the group also includes members of Hanover’s faculty and staff.

The Hanover College Instrumental Ensemble, directed by David Mruzek, associate professor of music, will perform processional and recessional medleys. The ensemble consists of Hanover students and faculty, as well as area community members and high school students.

Marshals for the commencement ceremony will be Ann Kirkland, professor of French; Dan Murphy, professor of history; and Ruth Turner, professor of political science.

Graduation activities will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, May 24, with the College’s traditional baccalaureate service in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts.

The Rev. Christopher Henry will deliver the baccalaureate address. Henry is senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.

The Rev. Catherine Y.E. Knott, Hanover’s chaplain, will perform the benediction and invocation. Madeline Rathgeber Meyer, a senior from Ramsey, and Samuel Pyle, a junior from Goshen, Kentucky, will read scripture.

The service will also feature the Hanover College Choir and an anthem by composer Josephine Poelinitz.

Live coverage of Hanover’s commencement will air at hanover.edu/live


Rueff to receive honorary degree

Courier staff report

Hanover College will present James Russell “Rusty” Rueff Jr. with a Doctor of Humane Letters during its 186th commencement ceremony. The conferral of the honorary degree is in recognition of Rueff’s leadership and support for the arts.

An acclaimed investor, adviser, author, podcast host and venture coach for start-up companies, Rueff is a native of Jeffersonville. He is a founding board director of the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition and past board chair of the Grammy Foundation in Los Angeles. He previously served as chief executive officer of SNOCAP Inc, and was an executive vice president for Electronic Arts and PepsiCo.

In addition to his roles as adviser and investor, Rueff has served, or serves now, on the corporate boards of such ventures as Glassdoor, HireVue, runcoach, Alioth Talent and The Union Social Club. He is also the co-founder of Tech for America, an organization that accelerates solutions to public problems by connecting Silicon Valley innovators with public leaders at local, state, and national levels.

Rueff is a member of the Academy of Television and Radio Sciences and the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is also a trustee and former president of the board of trustees of American Conservatory Theatre. He and his wife are the named benefactors of Purdue University’s Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art and Performance. He also serves as a member of Purdue’s School of Liberal Arts Dean’s Advisory Council.

President Obama appointed Rueff in 2014 to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for the Arts at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

At Purdue, he completed a bachelor’s degree in radio and television in 1984 and a master’s degree in counseling in 1986.

Rueff spent six years in commercial radio as an on-air personality. Starting his radio time at WORX in Madison, and ending in Indianapolis, before moving to a career in human resources at the Pratt & Whitney Division of United Technologies and PepsiCo.

He worked for PepsiCo for more than 10 years, including serving as vice president of international human resources, before leaving to join Electronic Arts, where he was executive vice president of human resources with responsibilities for global human resources, talent management, corporate services, facilities and real estate, corporate communications and government affairs.

From 2005-08, Rueff was chief executive for SNOCAP Inc., which was the pioneer end-to-end solution for digital rights and content management services. The company allowed record labels and individual artists to monetize their digital creations on websites and social media networks.

He is also the co-author of “Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business.” The work explores the social, cultural and economic forces that affect hiring and business-building. He also writes his own daily faith and work blog and is a co-host of “The Faith Driven Entrepreneur” podcast.