Chatfield College to Host Graduation at Downtown Campus

For the first time, Chatfield College will be hosting its 2019 commencement ceremony at its historic Over-the-Rhine (OTR) campus on Saturday, May 18th at 9:30am. The 48th annual graduation ceremony will take place in Liberty Park, the quaint green space located beside and just north of the Chatfield building.

Chatfield College has been at the corner of Liberty Street and Central Parkway since 2015. The OTR campus immediately became an active and vital member of the OTR community, regularly hosting a variety of events, both for the college and outside groups, but never has this campus been the site of a graduation ceremony. In the recent past, commencement has rotated between Chatfield’s historic Brown County, Ohio campus, other locations near downtown, and a central location near Eastgate – equidistant to each of Chatfield’s two campuses.

“We are very excited to hold commencement this year right here in OTR! We have been an integral part of this community and its warm and welcoming culture for several years now, and we are happy to be sharing this special occasion with our friends and neighbors. And I know it will be a great experience for our graduates, of whom we are so proud,” said Chatfield’s president, John P. Tafaro.

The prospective graduates are also enthusiastic about this history-making event.  One of the reasons this new commencement venue is so exciting is that many of Chatfield’s Brown County students have not visited the OTR campus before.

Hunter Ellis, a student at the St. Martin campus who is expected to graduate, said, “I like that Chatfield will hold graduation at OTR, because it opens up the possibility for the integration and connection of the two campus where the cultures are so different. I’ve never been to that campus so it’s very exciting to me personally!”

Transportation will be provided to any graduate and family members from the Brown County Campus.  Parking is also being arranged for those who choose to drive themselves.

Elizabeth Burnside, a nontraditional student at the OTR campus, said, “It means a lot to be the first class graduating at the OTR campus. We are honored to be able to host the students from the Brown County campus and show them our beautiful campus.”

Dr. Michael Pcolinski, Vice President of Advanced Materials & Systems Research at BASF Corporation, will be giving the commencement speech.  BASF is the second largest producer and marketer of chemicals and related products in North America, and a great friend of Chatfield—providing scholarships and internships for its students. Dr. Pcolinski holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University (1986) and a doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacognosy from The Ohio State University. The title of his speech will be “An Intelligent Heart Acquires Knowledge”.

Approximately 40 graduates will walk across the stage at this graduation to receive their associate degree.  Many will be transferring to four-year colleges to pursue a bachelor’s, and others will immediately enter the workforce. A live stream will be available at


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