Kent State University December 2019 Commencement, December 14, 2019, 9:30am
From Jason Forbes
The 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14, recognized graduates receiving undergraduate degrees from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design; College of the Arts; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education, Health and Human Services; and Regional Campus Bachelor of Science in Insurance Studies degrees and associate degrees. The speaker for this ceremony was University of Tennessee Athletic Director Emeritus Joan C. Cronan. Cronan is a nationally known author, speaker, business consultant and proven leader whose success is measured through both personal and professional accomplishments. During her years at UT, Cronan expanded the women’s program from seven to 11 sports and led an academic initiative that resulted in a 98% graduation rate. She also added a community service component to integrate athletic life with civic responsibility. Her commitment to community building is also evidenced by increased attendance, corporate support, endowment growth and the expanded scope of UT’s multifaceted sports program under her direction.
Among her many honors, Cronan was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this year after serving for nearly 30 years as women’s athletic director at UT. Additionally, this year, she received both Lead1’s Homer Rice Award and the Coaches vs. Cancer Award. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics awarded her the prestigious James Corbett Award in 2018 and, in 2016, she was the first recipient of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Pat Summitt Award.
Cronan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and mathematics from Louisiana State University, where she also earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision. The United States Sports Academy awarded her an honorary doctorate earlier this year. Cronan is the author of “Sport Is Life With the Volume Turned Up: Lessons Learned That Apply to Business and Life,” which she wrote with Rob Schriver.