We are honored to welcome the following distinguished speakers at Chancellor Grasso's inauguration ceremony.

Visit the Chancellor's Inauguration webpage for a full schedule of events and additional information.

Debbie Dingell

Congresswoman, Michigan’s 12th District

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents the 12th District of Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Before being elected to Congress, Dingell was the chair of the Wayne State University (WSU) Board of Governors.  An active civic and community leader, she is a recognized national advocate for women and children.

Read Congresswoman Dingell's full biography.

Jim Hackett

President and CEO, Ford Motor Company

Jim Hackett is president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company, effective May 22, 2017. He also is a member of the company’s board of directors.

Under Hackett’s leadership, together with Bill Ford, Ford is committed to becoming the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world that help people move more safely, confidently and freely.

Read Jim Hackett's full biography.

Mark Schlissel

President, University of Michigan

Dr. Mark S. Schlissel is the 14th president of the University of Michigan and the first physician-scientist to lead the institution. Schlissel previously was provost of Brown University, where he was responsible for all academic programmatic and budgetary functions within Brown’s schools and colleges, as well as its libraries, research institutes and centers. His career began as a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He moved to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California-Berkeley holding many roles, including serving as dean of biological sciences.

Read President Schlissel's full biography.

Ruth Simmons

President, Prairie View A & M

Ruth J. Simmons serves as president of Prairie View A&M. She was president and professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies at Brown University from 2001-2012. Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as one of the world’s finest research universities. She served as president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States, where she launched a number of important academic initiatives including an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college.

Read President Simmons's full biography.

Ron Weiser

Chair, U-M Board of Regents

Regent Weiser is chair of the U-M Board of Regents. Regent Weiser founded McKinley Associates Inc., a national real estate investment company, in 1968 and was its chairman and chief executive officer until 2001.  From 2001-05 under President George W. Bush, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic.

Read Regent Weiser’s full biography.

Xiang Gao

Musical performer

Recognized as one of the world’s most successful performing artists and performing art administrators of his generation, Xiang Gao’s musical integrity and virtuoso technique have gained accolades from audiences and reviewers around the world. He has also been a featured soloist performing for world leaders including two U.S. Presidents, three Chinese Presidents and King Carlos I of Spain. In 2014, he was granted the Delaware Governor’s Award for his contribution in the arts.

Read Xiang Gao’s full biography.

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