Xuan Zhang (Left), Rongheng Li (Middle), and Haoyei Xie (Right) celebrated their graduation on Saturday. Aaron Ynclan/MJ
Xuan Zhang (Left), Rongheng Li (Middle), and Haoyei Xie (Right) celebrated their graduation on Saturday. Aaron Ynclan/MJ
Xuan Zhang (Left), Rongheng Li (Middle), and Haoyei Xie (Right) celebrated their graduation on Saturday.
Aaron Ynclan/MJ

By AARON YNCLAN, Staff Writer

This past Saturday, hundreds of family, friends, professors, and guests came together to celebrate and honor the graduation of nearly 400 University of Michigan-Dearborn students and the accomplishments they have achieved.

With Chancellor Daniel E. Little presiding over both ceremonies, the morning commencement consisted of graduates from the Colleges of Business, Engineering and Computer Science, and Education, Health, and Human Services while the afternoon was devoted to the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters.

Speakers included members of the University of Michigan Board of Regents, faculty professors, and graduates Brendan Gallagher and Pamela Yaacoub who were chosen to speak on behalf of the student body during the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively.

Special guest speakers Lizabeth Ardisana and Paul Anger provided the longest as well as the most insightful speeches, regaling the audience with stories of their own life experiences and how their paths have led them to the lives they live today.

Ardisana emphasized the strength of Michigan residents and a message that “we don’t give up in Michigan, we don’t give up in Detroit, we don’t give up at the University of Michigan.”

Ardisana and Anger applauded the accomplishments that the graduates have achieved and offered their congratulations to the “leaders and the best.”

Aaron Ynclan/MJ
Aaron Ynclan/MJ

In addition, six students received special recognition as they were presented with the UM-Dearborn Chancellor’s Medallion. Chancellor Little said these students were chosen from their respective faculties as “particularly outstanding, exemplifying the qualities of intellect, character, and integrity that each faculty prides in it’s graduates.”

The students honored include Vijay Natarajan and Andrew Schigelone of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Talal Alriyashi of the College of Business, Sarah Pinto of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and Elizabeth Bastian and Joseph Miszcak of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters.

Finally, with an ending chorus of “The Victors” from the Galliard Brass Ensemble, each commencement ceremony was complete and the attendants, who until that point were known as University of Michigan-Dearborn students, turned their tassels and officially became known as University of Michigan-Dearborn graduates. This is an accomplishment that cannot be understated, as these men and women have now become part of an even larger world that exists beyond the borders of our campus. They have laid deeper paths for future graduates and generations to follow, and these incredible men and women will play a pivotal role in what direction the future will take.

Congratulations Fall 2013 graduates, congratulations friends and family, and congratulations leaders and the best. Thank you for lighting the way so that the rest of us may follow.