UM-Dearborn
(Logo courtesy of UM-Dearborn)

By MARIA KANSO, Staff Reporter

Unlike previous years, the University of Michigan-Dearborn will have its winter commencement at Ann Arbor’s Crisler Center on Saturday, May 1.

Ray Metz, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student life, said that the best option of all the facilities they considered for this year’s winter commencement was the Crisler Center, knowing that it was once hosted there in 2001.

The ceremony is usually held in the Fieldhouse at the UM-Dearborn campus, but the limit of three guest tickets for each graduate received immense negative feedback. By hosting the commencement at the Crisler Center, graduates will have the opportunity to share their experience with more people.

“The one thing we know is that by allowing students to not have to really put a strong limit on how many people will attend, it will grow from an audience of 2,000 to up to eight or nine thousand,” Metz said. “It will feel like a different, bigger event.”

Chancellor Daniel E. Little will preside at the ceremony, which starts at 2:30 p.m.

A luncheon will take place before the commencement where Chancellor’s Medallions will be presented.

During both the preludes and the processional, music will be played by the Galliard Brass Ensemble, including Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar.

Introductions will be presented by Catherine A. Davy, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The speaker for the greetings on the behalf of faculty for this year’s commencement is associate psychology professor Robert W. Hymes, and student government president Bradley Pischea on behalf of the students.

“It’s great that we were able to move the ceremony to Crisler. It means students are able to share their moment with more people. It means that we all get to graduate together,” said Pischea, a criminal justice major at UM-Dearborn. “I am excited at any opportunity I have to share what is so special about the UM-Dearborn community.”

Richard Haddrill, executive vice chairman of Scientific Games, will give the commencement address.

Haddrill, a UM-Dearborn alumnus (BSA, 1974), served on the board of directors of seven public companies and ran 20 offices in Europe and Asia. He was a partner and managing partner at Ernst and Young, as well as the chief executive officer of Baly Technology.

Karen Holland, special events coordinator at UM-Dearborn, believes Haddrill’s presence would send a message of “follow your dreams,” which would resonate with most of the graduates.

An honorary Doctor of Laws degree will be presented to Michael Brown. Brown is the CEO of City Year, a non-profit organization focused on recruiting young people for the help and service of schools in need. City Year alumni service hours have reached more than $29 million and $71 million in scholarships through American Corps National Service Trust. Brown was also awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award for his philanthropic contributions.

The honorary Doctor of Laws degree is honored upon a request from the university for acknowledging a specific person for his or her contributions. The Honorary Doctoral Degree is mostly presented at U-M Ann Arbor, but rarely at the Dearborn and Flint campuses.

“It doesn’t happen very often, so it’s a very special thing that we have an honorary degree being given out at the Dearborn campus,” Holland said.

This year’s reception will be held outside of Crisler Center, and joint between the different colleges.

“The biggest contribution that the University of Michigan-Dearborn makes to Southwest Michigan and to the state of Michigan is the graduates, and there’s a real push from provost on the academic side to try to increase the numbers of students who are not only attending here, but graduating,” Metz said.