Opening Convocation Speaker Announced
Urbana University’s annual Opening Convocation will be held on Friday, August 17 in the Warren G. Grimes Center. All new first-year and transfer students and their families are invited and encouraged to attend Opening Convocation. At this event, students are formally welcomed to the Urbana University in a ceremony that includes the faculty in full academic regalia and a presentation of the new class of students to the President, UU administrators and faculty. The convocation speaker, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Cupp, will address those in attendance with words of wisdom to succeed at college.
Mitch Joseph ’08, Director of Campus Life and one of the coordinators for the Opening Convocation states that, “the Urbana Opening Convocation is a ceremony steeped in tradition and meaning. It is a direct reflection of the graduation ceremony students will go through at the end of their Urbana career. We also try to reach out to community and civic leaders to share words of wisdom with our new students. I am excited and honored to have Justice Cupp joining us to share a strong message with our students, faculty, and staff.”
Justice Robert R. Cupp was elected to the Ohio Supreme court in November of 2006. Justice Cupp has had a long and distinguished career in public service. Before becoming a judge, Justice Cupp served 16 years as a member of the Ohio Senate, beginning in 1985 and ending in 2000 with the advent of Ohio's legislative term limits. Before his election to the General Assembly, Justice Cupp served as a Lima city prosecutor and assistant director of law from 1976 to 1980 and twice was elected Allen County commissioner, serving from 1981 through 1984 and 2001 through 2002.
In the Senate, Justice Cupp served as president pro tempore, the second-highest Senate leader, from 1997 through 2000. As chairman of the Civil Justice Subcommittee, and a 10-year member of the Judiciary Committee, he focused on civil and criminal justice issues. As a member of the Education Committee, he worked extensively on education and school finance improvement issues.
In addition to his current judicial service, Justice Cupp served as a member of the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management by appointment of the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer. He has been a visiting professor at Ohio Northern University, his alma mater, teaching judicial process and leadership. He is a past president of the 13-county Black Swamp Area Boy Scout Council; a member of the Lima Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow) and a past member of the board of trustees of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, serving as NCA president from July 2008 to June 2009.
Justice Cupp was born in rural Allen County and grew up on his family's farm. He earned his political science degree with high distinction from Ohio Northern University in 1973 and his law degree from Ohio Northern's Pettit College of Law in 1976. As a student at ONU, he served as president of the Student Senate.
Justice Cupp's wife, Libby, is a retired educator. They have two grown sons, Matthew and Ryan, both of whom are Eagle Scouts, and two grandchildren.