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Ice cream queen Jeni Britton Bauer to speak at Summer Commencement

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Jeni Britton Bauer, owner of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which was mentioned by Forbes Travel Guide correspondent Claire Gibson in her article ‘Five Secret Foodie Cities.’ Credit: Lantern file photo

Jeni Britton Bauer, owner of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which was mentioned by Forbes Travel Guide correspondent Claire Gibson in her article ‘Five Secret Foodie Cities.’ Credit: Lantern file photo

Graduating just got a little sweeter.

Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Columbus’ Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, will be speaking at Summer Commencement, Ohio State announced in a news release Wednesday morning.

Britton Bauer studied art and art history at OSU, and in 1996 she opened Scream Ice Cream in North Market, according to the release.

“Scream was like practice, an education of sorts,” Bauer told The Lantern in a 2010 profile.

The first store under the Jeni’s moniker opened in 2002, “(sparking) the artisan ice cream movement more than a decade before it would become a top food trend,” according to the company’s website.

“When I opened Scream, I had pink hair. I was definitely a crazy artist. It was sort of my fun place,” Bauer said. “(For Jeni’s), I wore a starched white shirt every day with a starched apron and brown hair.”

But the company still maintains an out-of-the-box appeal, known for it’s hand-made, non-traditional flavors, such as Atlantic beach pie, darkest chocolate or riesling poached pear sorbet.

From its humble Columbus beginnings, Jeni’s has picked up top reviews from writers across the country, appearing in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post.

Jeni’s now has 23 stores in eight cities, according to its website, ranging from Chicago to Los Angeles to Nashville, Tennessee.

Britton Bauer is also the author of two cookbooks: “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home” and “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts.”

Commencement is set for Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Schottenstein Center. Approximately 1,500 degrees will be awarded during the ceremony, according to the release.

OSU will present the Distinguished Service Award to Raimund Goerler, a retired university archivist and author of “The Ohio State University: An Illustrated History,” and John Litchfield, an adjunct professor of food science and nutrition.

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