‘Edupreneur’ to address Heidelberg grads


An “edupreneur” with economic development, government, business and education experience is to speak to the 2018 graduating class during Heidelberg University commencement ceremonies.

Mary Welsh-Schlueter, the founder and CEO of the Partnership for Innovation in Education — a Cincinnati-based non-profit — is to deliver the commencement address May 13 in Hoernemann Stadium.

“Mary Welsh Schlueter’s body of work alone makes her a great choice for our graduation speaker,” Phil Ness, vice president of university advancement and marketing at Heidelberg, said. “Her Partnership for Innovation in Education tackles relevant issues. That’s very significant for today’s graduates.”

Welsh-Schlueter oversees Partnership for Innovation in Education, which provides a new and transformational learning program to help students excel in the 21st century workforce. PIE provides case-based, authentic learning programs offered to K-12 classrooms, Ness said.

“PIE is a great story by itself,” he said. “But there’s much more that Mary will bring to our students. As a product of a small liberal arts college, her unique and non-traditional experiences will resonate on a deeper level.


“I hope her message excites our students and inspires them to blaze their own trails to lead lives of purpose with distinction. I think we will all appreciate her energy and perspective.”

Welsh-Schlueter began working directing governmental economic growth policies and served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand, where she was became the highest-ranked, non-elected American serving as New Zealand’s parliamentarian director of research. She also served as a marketing, strategic and technology executive for Fortune 500 corporations, a field instructor and adjunct business faculty member at the University of Cincinnati, had management positions with Macy’s, Lipson Alport Glass Associates, Tyson Foods, ConAgra Foods, Hasbro and HJ Heinz, and served as a marketing and new product innovation consultant with Procter & Gamble Co.

Welsh-Schlueter also is an alumna of Harvard Business School, Allegheny College and Victoria University of Wellington.

Baccalaureate services are to take place May 12, featuring a sermon by the Rev. Mary Schaller Blaufuss, United Church of Christ’s Global Sharing of Resources team leader and executive for volunteer ministries.

Blaufuss coordinates ministries for disaster relief, refugees, sustainable development and justice advocacy. She oversees the national network of Young Adult Service Communities of the UCC and the Summer Communities of Service (UCC/Alliance of Baptists). Throughout her work, she has placed Heidelberg students and graduates in the UCC’s volunteer programs.

She is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, has served as pastor of congregations in southeast Pennsylvania and northwest Iowa and is the author of “Experiments in Mutuality: the UCC in Global Mission 1985-2010.”