By AARON YNCLAN, Staff Writer
University of Michigan-Dearborn has announced that Nathan Forbes of The Forbes Company and award-winning writer Lolita Hernandez will address the graduates of the winter 2014 semester.
A member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Young Presidents’ Organization, Nathan Forbes is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and the managing partner for The Forbes Company, a corporation that develops, manages, and owns a multitude of shopping centers across Michigan and Florida.
Throughout his life, Forbes has invested in numerous organizations. He was part of an investment group that bought Quicken Loans from Intuit Inc. in 2002 and the technology-oriented corporation Fathead LLC in 2006. In 2005, Forbes was part of the investors group that purchased the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers and renovated the city’s Quicken Loans Arena “The Q,” alongside the Cavaliers practice facility, the Cleveland Clinic Courts. He also operates as the team’s Vice Chairman.
Forbes is a Principal for Rock Gaming, who successfully supported a state constitutional amendment that legalized casino gaming in Ohio in 2009. Currently Rock Gaming owns and operates various casinos in Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, with locations under construction in Baltimore, Maryland.
Forbes also serves on the Board of Directors for the Karmanos Cancer Institute, and has been honored for his leadership in the Detroit area as a Detroit Newsmaker of The Year finalist.
Born and raised in Detroit, Lolita Hernandez has authored two chapbook collections of poems, Quiet Battles and snakecrossing. She wrote Autopsy of an Engine and Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant, a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins Award winner, and her collection of short fiction, Making Callaloo in Detroit, is expected from Wayne State University Press in spring 2014.
Hernandez has read her work for several international events, including the 2005 Windsor, Ontario, Canada Book Festival and the 2006 Houston Arts Festival. Her work also appears in various scholarly publications.
Though she has worked as an educator for universities like Wayne State University Labor School and Detroit College of Business, Hernandez also spent over three decades at General Motors working in the UAW-GM Quality Network. There, she became the first woman to earn a UAW journeyman card in Experimental Product Engineering Layout and Assembly at the Cadillac Engineering facility before retiring in 2006. She still maintains membership in the UAW’s Local 160 Retirees Chapter.
Hernandez has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Vermont College of Norwich University, a B.A. in journalism from Wayne State University, and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan. For years she served on the UM-Dearborn Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Board, two of which were spent as it’s Chair. She also assisted UM-Dearborn students in creating writing workshops for an after-school mentorship program she developed for middle school girls in Southwest Detroit.
Currently, Hernandez is a lecturer in the Residential College Creative Writing Department of the University of Michigan.
The commencement will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 27, with Nathan Forbes addressing the College of Business, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and College of Education, Health, and Human Services; Lolita Hernandez will speak before the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters at the 3:00 afternoon ceremony. Additional speakers will include students Zidong Li and Wedad Ibrahim, alumni Nancy Gioia and Kim Lahti, and professors Julie Taylor and Deborah Smith Pollard, as well as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kate Davy and Chancellor Daniel Little.