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Contact: Jessica Novak
Office of Marketing and Communications




Date Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2014
Topic: Lakeland commencement is May 10, Judge Joseph Gibson to deliver keynote
Printer Friendly Version: Lakeland commencement is May 10, Judge Joseph Gibson to deliver keynote
Lakeland will hold its 47th annual commencement exercises Saturday, May 10.

More than 3,000 thousand friends and family members of the graduates are expected to attend the ceremony at an outdoor pavilion on the Kirtland campus.

The honorable Joseph Gibson of the Lake County Common Pleas Court will be the keynote speaker.

Lakeland Commencement 2014 highlights include:


A total of 882 students will receive degrees

The oldest graduate is 64; the youngest are 17

Number of Post Secondary Enrollment Option Students graduating is 79 and represent 15 different high schools

During the ceremony, the college will present its highest honor, the Distinguished Community Service Award, to Raymond McGuinness for his time, energy and talents in service to the college as a long-standing member of the Lakeland board of trustees


The commencement ceremony will be broadcast on the Lakeland Cable Network on Time Warner (Channels 21 and 95) starting May 19 through June 22 from 10 a.m. to noon and 10 p.m. to midnight daily (Thursdays 10 a.m. - noon excluded).

About Judge Joseph Gibson

Judge Joseph Gibson is a life-long resident of Lake County. He grew up in Mentor-on-the-Lake where his parents owned and ran a neighborhood watering hole called Jerry's Tavern. Gibson lived in the apartment above the bar.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration from Kent State University in 1968. It was there that he met his wife Jill.

He then attended law school by going to night classes at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. While studying for his law degree, he worked at various jobs including as a fourth-grade teacher, credit manager, and then a plant personnel manager. He earned his juris doctor degree and passed the bar exam in 1972.

Gibson subsequently left his plant personnel manager position to become an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor. He served as a prosecutor for four years. He then then branched out with three other lawyers when they hung a shingle outside of a downtown Cleveland office and started their own law firm, Gibson, Caito, Harkins and Brelo.

He practiced law for 33 years during which time his firm opened an office in Mentor, which later became Gibson, Ziccarelli & Martello. At the time, he also worked for the City of Eastlake as an assistant prosecutor, and then later as law director. He also served as legal counsel for Lake Metroparks.

Gibson has been involved with numerous volunteer agencies, including the Mentor Rotary, Deepwood Center, United Way of Lake County, the ADAMHS board, Lake Health, Leadership Lake County, and the Lake County Bar Association.

From 1998-2004, he served as a member of the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievance and Discipline. In 2008, he was elected to the Lake County Common Pleas Court and has been a General Division Judge since January 2009.

At Lakeland, he has served as a lecturer on professionalism for the paralegal studies program.

In January 2015, he will be retiring from the bench. Although he has enjoyed every minute of his career, he is looking forward to the next chapter.

Gibson lives in Concord with his will Jill. They have two children, Jenny and Matt, and three grandsons, Joe, Jake and Alek.

Photo Caption: Judge Joseph Gibson
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