Donald W. Kaatz, ’74, investor and founder of Adventure Growth, Inc., will deliver the December 2019 commencement address at Hiram College. Since graduating from his alma mater, Kaatz has enjoyed a highly successful career with personal and professional success that speaks directly to the value of a liberal arts education.
“A key indicator of a college’s success is the success of its alumni, and Hiram is particularly proud of its record of achievement in this area,” said Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., president of Hiram College. “Hiram’s alumni base is small but mighty, and it’s always a treat to have an alumna or alumnus share personal and professional stories as the commencement speaker. I believe that our graduating class will be fascinated to hear Mr. Kaatz’s story and the many ways they can put their newly minted Hiram degree to work as they jointly pursue their career and calling.”
A native of Elryia, Ohio, Kaatz graduated from Hiram College with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both economics and mathematics. He then pursued a Master of Business Administration in Management, Marketing, and Finance degree from Indiana University.
For nearly twenty years, Kaatz has served as president and chief executive officer of Adventure Growth, Inc., an investment firm focused on the biotech venture capital market. Prior to funding the company, Kaatz served as president of Tronco, Inc., a company that was co-founded by his father, the late Herbert Kaatz, in 1979.
Over the years, Kaatz has remained an active member of the Hiram community. Before assuming his role on the College’s Board of Trustees in 2011, he served on the College’s Board of Visitors for several years. He was also inducted into the Garfield Society in 2012, the highest honor Hiram College can bestow upon an individual.
Kaatz is also involved with many other professional and civic organizations, including the Lake Ridge Academy, Ducks Unlimited, L.D. Pankey Dental Foundation, Lorain County YMCA, Leadership Lorain County Alumni Association, Operation New World, Cleveland Growth Association, and the Lorain County Sales & Marketing Executives Organization. He has also been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, receiving the Silver Beaver Award in 1995 and acknowledged again in 2018 for his contributions to the Boy Scouts of Lorain County.
The commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 14, beginning at 11 a.m. in Hayden Auditorium, located in the College’s Bates Hall. A brunch reception for graduates and their families will take place immediately following the ceremony in the Kennedy Center Ballroom.