Coe College announces 2024 Commencement speakers

A prominent Cedar Rapids businessman and current Coe College student will address the Class of 2024 during Coe’s Commencement. Duane J. Smith, executive chairman, TrueNorth, will address Kohawk graduates as Coe College’s 2024 Commencement guest speaker. Cecilia Kintopf ’24 will address her classmates as the student speaker.

Commencement guest speaker
Duane SmithDuane J. Smith's passion for business has spurred a life filled with entrepreneurial endeavors. In addition to his role with TrueNorth, Smith also serves as chairman for Avant INS and Health Solutions. Duane also owns Duffy's Collectible Cars, a venture that marries his love for business with the thrill of fast-moving machinery.  

As president of Insurance Service Corporation, Smith represented one of the three companies that merged to form TrueNorth in 2001, creating the largest financial services firm of its kind in Eastern Iowa. The organization now spans well beyond the state's borders with 14 locations throughout the United States. 

Offering his focus, talent and energy to worthy causes, Duane serves the community as a board member, financial contributor and stakeholder. These efforts align with a personal mission to "provide value and instill confidence in others to succeed." A mentor to many within TrueNorth, Duane extends this passion to leaders and organizations throughout the Eastern Iowa Corridor. 

Commencement student speaker
Cecilia KintopfSeveral years ago Coe initiated an annual tradition of including a student speaker in the Commencement ceremony. In March, all interested seniors were invited to submit their proposed speeches to the President's Office. 

A selection committee reviewed all submissions and chose Cecilia Kintopf ’24 as this year's senior Commencement speaker. She is from Saint Paul, Minnesota and is majoring in sociology and psychology with a minor in rhetoric.

As a Kohawk, Kintopf has been involved with Student Senate, the Student Activities Committee, CoeVotes, Model UN, Flunk Day Committee, Crimson Fellows program, earned the young essay prize and has had her writing published in The Pearl.


Commencement details
Coe’s Commencement ceremony will be held Sunday, May 5, at 10 a.m. on the Stewart Memorial Library Quad.

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