Ratzlaff named keynote speaker at Tabor College Commencement

Dr. Aleen Ratzlaff
Dr. Aleen Ratzlaff

Tabor College has named Dr. Aleen Ratzlaff (g’74), emerita professor of Communications, the keynote speaker at its 113th Commencement on Saturday, May 6.   

Ratzlaff retired in May 2022, capping 25 years as a lecturer and full-time faculty member at Tabor. She continues to teach part-time in the Communications department.

“I value the opportunity to speak at this year’s commencement,” Ratzlaff said. “I look forward to passing on words of affirmation and challenge to the graduates as they begin another chapter in their life journey.”

After receiving her M.A. in Communications from Wichita State University in 1994, Ratzlaff briefly returned to Tabor as an instructor. She then moved to Gainesville, Fla., to teach and complete her Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Florida in 2001.

Upon completing her doctorate, Ratzlaff returned to Hillsboro, continuing to educate and guide Tabor students as they became skilled communicators through digital and print media.

“I am so pleased to have Dr. Ratzlaff serve as our Commencement speaker,” President David Janzen, Ph.D., said. “A gifted educator, speaker, writer, and beloved professor, we look forward to the words she will bring to our graduating class as they move from students to the career and opportunities God has brought before them.”

Her storytelling and research in media have been recognized nationally, including her presentation at Black Media: Reflecting on the Past and Reimagining the Future at Boston University in October 2022.

Ratzlaff is the only Tabor faculty member selected twice for the Clarence R. Hiebert Excellence in Teaching Award. She also delivered the Dr. Richard G. Kyle Faculty Lecture in 2010 and 2021.