Lima Mayor Sharetta Smith to Address Rhodes State College Graduates

Lima Mayor Sharetta Smith will give the commencement address at two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 7th, 2022 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for Rhodes State College. Nearly 300 students will graduate this year and 152 are scheduled to participate in the College’s 52nd annual commencement ceremony in business, engineering technology, information Technology, health sciences and public service.

Mayor Sharetta Smith is a Lima native with roots in this community extending across five generations and a proven leader with a passion for making a difference. She has enjoyed a successful career in public service as a lawyer, judicial magistrate, Lima’s

Chief of Staff, and has worked in the private sector managing global purchasing and logistics contracts for an electrical and mechanical distributor servicing international companies such as Procter & Gamble and International Paper. As a magistrate, Smith presided over probable cause and bond hearings, issued arrest and search warrants, and appointed counsel for indigent defendants. In 2017, she returned home to Lima and began serving as the Chief of Staff for the City of Lima. As Chief of Staff, Smith worked as a senior advisor to Mayor David Berger, supporting 38,000 citizens, administering a $38M operating budget, and managing seven departments with a combined 400+ member workforce.

With the influence of her collaborative leadership style, Lima experienced a renewed focus on neighborhood and downtown revitalization, youth development, and improvement of government operations, as well as strengthened relationships with public and private partners that have been a catalyst for development.

In 2021, Smith was elected to serve as the 59th Mayor of the City of Lima–the first woman, and the first African American mayor in the city’s 190-year history.

Following this graduation, over 19,000 people will have graduated from the College since its establishment in 1971. Rhodes State College was proud to have celebrated its 50th year of excellence throughout this academic year.