Musician, philanthropist to speak at YSU commencement


YOUNGSTOWN — Grammy-winner Bill Bodine and Brian Wolf, who directs the Marion G. Resch Foundation, will address Youngstown State University students at this spring’s commencements May 5.

The university’s board of trustees approved a resolution to present the speakers with honorary degrees during committee meetings today.

The full board will likely approve the measure at Thursday’s meeting.

Bodine began his professional music career in Youngstown before moving to Los Angeles.

He has toured and recorded with several musicians including Van Morrison, Olivia Newton-John and Cher.

He composed a Grammy-winning song for the jazz group Manhattan Transfer.

He has also worked on television included eight years in the house band for "Star Search" and two seasons on "The New Gong Show."

Bodine established the Tony Leonardi Memorial Jazz Scholarship Fund at YSU’s Dana School of Music.

Wolf serves as the executive director of the Marion G. Resch Foundation, a Youngstown foundation established in 2000 in the memory of the local philanthropist.

It focuses on students in the tri-county area and has given more than $2 million to YSU.

Wolf graduated from Liberty High School and served as principal of Poland Seminary High School from 1986-2003.

Wolf will speak at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony for graduates of the Williamson College of Business Administration, Beeghly College of Education, and College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Bodine will speak at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony for graduates of the College of Creative Arts and Communication, Bitonte College of Health and Human Services and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

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