Chatfield College held its 45th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m., honoring 74 graduates at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cincinnati, OH.
The ceremony included students from Chatfield’s campuses in St. Martin and Over-the-Rhine who either completed the requirements for graduation or will complete the requirements during the summer session.
Two graduates, Mariah Powell from the St. Martin Campus and Emily Scott from the Over-the-Rhine Campus, were given Julia Chatfield Distinguished Student Awards. This award is designed to recognize a graduate at each campus based on nominations submitted by the faculty and staff. Besides a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, the student must exhibit the determination of Julia Chatfield by turning obstacles into opportunities, is friendly, inclusive and supportive in dealing with others and displays leadership qualities.
Reverend David Long ’96, gave the commencement address and was presented with the Chatfield’s Dean Agatha Fitzgerald, OSU Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given each year to an instructor who exemplifies the academic spirit and values of Chatfield College.
Reverend Long received his Associate of Arts from Chatfield College in 1976 and his Bachelor of Arts from Wilmington College, Cum Laude, in 1978. He went on to receive a Master of Divinity Degree in 1982 from Asbury Theological Seminary. He was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1982 and received a commission into the United States Army in 1986.
Reverend Long was invited to teach at Chatfield in 2011, where over 40 years earlier he had begun to follow his dream, and has since served as an Adjunct Instructor of Religion and Philosophy at the St. Martin campus.
Reverend Long served four different Churches in Ohio over a 30 year period. During a four year period of that time he was chosen as Mission Chairperson to educate over 1000 Ohio Churches to support various Emergency Relief and Outreach Programs. This involved visiting over 10 different Countries, numerous US inner city ministries and Appalachian poverty programs.
As an Army Reserve Chaplain, he volunteered to serve in 1990-1991 as an Active Duty Battalion Chaplain during Operation Desert Shield Desert Storm. During his deployment he provided religious support to over 1600 troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. During combat Long was called to support a mortuary unit during the February 1991 Scud missile attack in Dhahran which killed more than 27 soldiers and wounded more than 100. During the post war time period he helped reestablish contact with the Kuwait Christian Churches and organized food relief to many of the refugees in the country and was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions.
In 2003, Long was called to serve again on active duty as a Special Operations Forces – Civil Affairs Officer in the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq. While serving on the Civil Affairs General Staff, he was selected to serve as the Interim Iraqi Government minister responsible to rebuild the Youth Sport Programs and to reestablish the Iraqi Olympic Program with the International Olympic Committee. LTC Long also worked with the Higher Education Ministry helping to reestablish US Fulbright Scholarships. He also met with both Christian and Muslim leaders in Iraq to establish an ongoing dialogue. He was awarded his second Bronze Star for his meritorious actions during this campaign.
Reverend Long retired from the Military in 2007 and returned to his hometown of Mt Orab, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Roberta. Besides teaching at Chatfield, he enjoys restoring old cars and working on his family genealogy. He continues to serve in his community and works weekly with the disabled.
Chatfield was also pleased to have three commencement legacy stories within the Class of 2016: Aluara Meeker and her mother, Kimberly Fisher ’03, who is also a Chatfield faculty member; Holly Pegan and her mother, Dawnita Pegan ’03 and Olivia Morgan, who is the fourth in her family to graduate from Chatfield, following Ethan ’07, Everett ’10, and Avery ’13.
If you missed the ceremony. you can watch it here.