Covelli to speak at YSU’s fall commencement, earn honorary degree

Staff report


Sam Covelli, whose company is the world’s largest franchisee of Panera Bread restaurants and employs more than 35,000 people, will receive an honorary degree and will speak at Youngstown State University’s fall commencement at 2 p.m. Dec. 18 in Beeghly Center.

Covelli is owner/operator of Covelli Enterprises, headquartered in Covelli’s hometown of Warren. The company operates more than 260 Panera bread bakery-caf s in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida and Ontario, Canada.

He also operates five O’Charley’s Restaurants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida and nine Dairy Queen stores in Northeast Ohio.

Olivia Johnson, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, will be the student speaker.

During her studies at YSU, Johnson has traveled to several countries, including South Africa, the Bahamas, Guatemala and Belize. She was the recipient of the John and Anna Stephens Scholarship, the Kristen A. Beckman Memorial Scholarship and the Dr. John R. White Scholarship. She was the president of the Anthropology Colloquium for the 2015-16 academic year.

Johnson hopes to advance to graduate school to earn a doctorate in archaeology.

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