This article was originally published on December 19, 2021.
Maize and blue pride — along with bouquets of flowers, balloons and excited smiles — filled the UM-Dearborn campus as Chancellor Domenico Grasso presided over the first indoor Fieldhouse Commencement in two years.
Family, mentors and friends safely gathered to celebrate their Class of Fall 2021 graduates. See photos here.
The university hosted five ceremonies and conferred 762 degrees over the weekend. The three Dec. 18 ceremonies recognized graduates of the College of Education, Health, & Human Services; the College of Business, and the College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters. The two Dec. 19 ceremonies lauded graduates of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Grasso, knowing the amount of support that was needed to get to this day, encouraged graduates and campus leaders to give a moment of appreciation to their loved ones. He also said the effort and commitment to their education is a testament to their determination and ambition.
“Class of 2021,...there was no way the pandemic would defeat you. I know you will all carry those attributes with you as you head toward the bright futures you have ahead of you,” Grasso said.
That confidence and excitement for campus’ Wolverines was felt around the world. Commencement Keynote Speaker Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty and 2008 College of Business alumna, spoke to graduates from Dubai, U.A.E., to share the importance of combining passion and purpose. “Success is not about who has the fattest bank account or who has achieved the most. It’s about who, at the end of this pursuit, feels fulfilled. I truly believe in you and look forward to seeing everything that you do.”
Others cheered on the grads from livestream feeds from YouTube and Facebook. Albert Dib wrote, “Congratulations from the Class of '77 CASL.” Elaine Brannon added, “Yeah! Over here in Nevada screaming my head off!” And Jayner Bryant shared a few kind words, “Enjoy your day with love.”
Class of Fall 2021 Student Speaker Victoria Johnson said there have been many divisive actions and rhetoric at the national and international levels during their college careers. But she wanted to mark the occasion by talking about unity.“We are all humans, we are all part of one world and we all came to this university with the same goal in mind: To be where we are right now,” Johnson said. “Yesterday we were students. And today we are graduates. Here’s to us, the University of Michigan-Dearborn Class of 2021. Congratulations and Go Blue!”
Over the course of the five events, Chancellor Grasso presented 11 students with their respective college’s Dean’s Medallion (see the CECS/COB winners and the CASL/CEHHS winners) and one student with the campus-wide Chancellor’s Medallion. Grasso said Jowan Yousef Nabha, a CEHHS student, was selected for the coveted Chancellor’s Medallion because of her character, vitality, intellect, integrity, academic record and altruism.
Standing on the stage, Grasso remarked how all members of this graduating class have the knowledge to succeed in building a better tomorrow. “Now the moment you have worked so hard to achieve — you may turn your tassels from right to left.”
As they shifted the rope on their mortar boards, parents, grandparents, spouses, children, mentors and friends clapped, cheered and snapped photos as the newest UM-Dearborn Wolverine graduates joined the family of 644,000 Michigan alumni.
Article by Sarah Tuxbury.