Jim Koch is 2018 Commencement Speaker for Cincinnati State

May 2, 2018
Richard Curtis
Interim Media/Communications Coordinator
(513) 205-5857

Cincinnati State Commencement
Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Cintas Center, Xavier University, 1624 Herald Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207
Parking: Parking attendants will direct media to a space close to the Cintas Center.

Jim Koch is 2018 Commencement Speaker for Cincinnati State
Cincinnati native and Sam Adams beer founder to receive honorary degree
Jim Koch, chairman of The Boston Beer Co., will address graduates and receive an honorary degree at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday May 6.
“We are so pleased to have such a notable speaker to help celebrate a remarkable graduating class,” said Dr. Monica Posey, president of Cincinnati State. “Mr. Koch has had an extraordinary career as an entrepreneur and has also shown a great personal commitment towards helping others succeed.”

Koch said: “It’s an honor to be invited to speak at this year’s commencement at Cincinnati State College. I grew up in Cincinnati, and I know that Cincinnati State plays an important role in educating its students and preparing them for careers here.”

Koch is sixth-generation brewer. His father, Charles Koch, was a brew master at the Schoenling Brewing Co. in Cincinnati before launching his own industrial chemicals firm.

Koch attended Harvard University and earned three degrees: a Bachelor of Arts, a Juris Doctor, and a Master Of Business Administration. After working for seven years as a business consultant, in 1984 Koch pursued his dream of starting his own brewery. Following family tradition, he brewed his great-great grandfather’s lager recipe, the first batch in his kitchen, and named the beer Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It helped spark the American craft beer revolution and the meteoric rise of Boston Beer Company, which is now one of the largest craft brewers in the U.S.

In 1997, Koch’s company bought the Hudepohl-Schoenling brewery in Cincinnati and renamed it the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery. It now employs 150 people and brews a wide variety of Samuel Adams beers.

Koch, who also wrote a bestselling book about his experiences launching Boston Beer Co., said he was “especially thrilled to be able to congratulate the first three graduates of the Cincinnati State’s new brewing program.” The new program includes certificate and associate degree pathways in brewing sales and marketing, and in brewing science.

Commencement Ceremony to honor students, alumni, faculty

  • This year approximately 1,240 Cincinnati State students are scheduled to earn associate degrees or certificates from Cincinnati State.
  • Daniel Stempler will deliver the student address. A member of the 2018 graduating class, Stempler is a psychology major and active in a number of on- and off-campus organizations. He plans to attend Lindsey Wilson College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human services and counseling, and a master’s degree in social work.
  • The 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award will be presented to Michael Collins, a 2001 graduate of Cincinnati State’s Civil Engineering Technology—Architectural Option program. Collins is the vice president and director of project support for Cincinnati-based Construction Process Solutions Ltd., where he has worked on more than 60 local projects totaling more than 20 million square feet and $2.6 billion.

“Cincinnati State should be proud of Michael Collins,” said Steve Leeper, President and CEO of 3CDC, “His expansive knowledge and expertise has played a critical role in helping us complete numerous complex projects – from Union Hall to Music Hall and many others in between. He has had a profound effect on the transformation of Cincinnati’s urban core.”
Collins also holds degrees in construction management and civil engineering technologies, which he received from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. He was a member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce C-Change Class 3 and is a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Construction Connection Network.

  • The 2018 House/Bruckmann Awards for faculty excellence and service to the college will be presented to Stani Kantcheva and Tom Burns.

Kantcheva is native of Bulgaria who after relocating to the U.S., earned an accounting certificate at Cincinnati State. She became a certified public accountant working for major accounting firms before returning Cincinnati State as a member of the faculty in 2005. Her community activities include participating in the Accounting for Kids program at Cincinnati Public Schools, and serving as a volunteer for the Western and Southern Open Tennis Tournament, and Saint Agnes School.
Burns, who holds a Ph.D. in construction management from Indiana State University, joined the Cincinnati State faculty in 1987 after working with an engineering firm primarily on the design and inspection of highway bridges. Outside the classroom, he serves on numerous councils and committees, is the author of four engineering textbooks, and last summer completed his first novel, Equilibrium, a thriller set in the world of engineering.
Cincinnati State (www.cincinnatistate.edu) offers more than 130 associate degree and certificate programs in business technologies, health and public safety, engineering and information technologies, and humanities and sciences. It also offers cooperative education and custom training through its Workforce Development Center.