University of Michigan
News for Faculty and Staff

April 21, 2018

Campus, units to celebrate bicentennial Spring Commencement

April 25, 2017

Campus, units to celebrate bicentennial Spring Commencement

Topic: Campus News

The University of Michigan's Spring Commencement ceremonies will celebrate the bicentennial-year graduates with a unique Michigan Stadium event that features voices from the past and the present, Oscar-winning musicians and special alumni awards.

The event, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Michigan Stadium, will include presentations by an array of university leaders, faculty members and graduating students. A presentation directed toward future classes of U-M graduates will be shared by current U-M students.

Among other ceremony offerings, guests will get to watch a multimedia performance that will include portions of historic commencement addresses delivered live by current university dignitaries.

The event will also include a musical performance by alumni Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the songwriters who this year won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for the song "City of Stars" from the movie "La La Land."

Instead of bestowing honorary degrees, the university will honor 20 alumni — 10 at each commencement ceremony during 2017 — with a special Bicentennial Alumni Award. The awards were designed to highlight the excellence and impact of recent graduates and reflect a desire to acknowledge the university's past contributions and herald the future achievements of the Class of 2017 and future classes.

Spring Commencement Bicentennial Alumni Award recipients:

• Candice Yee-June Chang (Bachelor of Science, '01, architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Bachelor of Fine Arts, '01, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, graphic design), creator behind the public art piece “Before I Die.”

• Christopher Paul Curtis (Bachelor of Arts, '00, general studies, UM-Flint), author of “The Watsons Go to Birmingham,” recipient of the Newberry Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor.

• Abdul M. El-Sayed (Bachelor of Science, '07, political science and biology, LSA and Medical School), former Detroit Health Department executive director and health officer.

• Carol Jantsch (Bachelor of Fine Arts, '06, SMTD). principal tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

• Cynthia Koenig (Master of Science, '06, School of Natural Resources and Environment; Master of Business Administration, '11, Stephen M. Ross School of Business), founder and CEO of Wello, an award-winning social venture that co-creates disruptive innovations designed to provide better, more reliable access to safe water.

• Annie Maxwell (Bachelor of Arts, '00, LSA; Master of Public Policy, '02, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy), president of Skoll Global Threats Fund.

• Babak Parviz (Master of Science in Engineering, '97, College of Engineering; Ph.D., '01, CoE), creator of Google Glass and former director at Google X.

• Benj Pasek (Bachelor of Arts, '06, SMTD) and Justin Paul (Bachelor of Fine Arts, '06, SMTD), a Golden Globe- and Oscar-winning songwriting team.

• Damon A. Williams (Ph.D., '02, School of Education, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education), senior vice president at the Boys & Girls Club of America.


Michigan Stadium opens for Spring Commencement seating at 8 a.m. All family members and guests attending the ceremony, including children older than 2, must have a ticket to enter the stadium. Security guidelines prohibit purses, bags, wristlets, cases of any size, water bottles and other select items. Cell phones, pagers and small cameras are allowed at commencement. Exceptions to some prohibited items will be granted for medical reasons only. See a complete list of prohibited and permitted items on the commencement website at


Michigan Stadium is located at 1201 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor. Stadium Boulevard between Main and Kipke Streets is closed for road reconstruction.

Parking lots near Michigan Stadium will be available for commencement parking, but they are expected to fill quickly. Additional parking is available at Pioneer High School for a $20 fee, as assessed by the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

On Thursday, U-M parking structures at Fletcher, Hill and Thayer streets and the blue area of the Palmer structure will be open at 9 a.m. for commencement guests. From Friday to April 30, all U-M parking lots and structures will be open to the public beginning at 9 a.m.

Due to limited parking near Michigan Stadium, Spring Commencement guests are encouraged to use the complimentary shuttle service to and from area hotels and parking lots. Service will begin at 7:45 a.m. and will run approximately every 20 minutes until 9:45 a.m. Buses will resume operation at the end of the ceremony. All shuttle buses are wheelchair-accessible.

To find more details about travel, parking and shuttle buses, visit

Inclement weather plan

Spring Commencement is scheduled to take place in Michigan Stadium rain or shine. If severe weather occurs, the ceremony may be shortened, suspended or concluded. If a schedule adjustment is determined necessary, instructions will be given to guests via public address announcements and video screen messages. Graduates and guests are asked to listen for announcement and remain seated until instructed otherwise. Umbrellas are not permitted in Michigan Stadium, but raincoats and ponchos are allowed.

Rackham Graduate Exercises

The Rackham Graduate Exercises ceremony is at 10 a.m. Friday in Hill Auditorium. Damon A. Williams, senior vice president at the Boys & Girls Club of America, will deliver the keynote address. The event is for those receiving master’s or doctoral degrees through the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. For more information, contact the Office of University and Development Events at or 734-647-6037.

Dearborn and Flint graduation ceremonies

UM-Dearborn’s commencement ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. April 30 at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. James R. Downing, president and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will deliver the keynote address. More about UM-Dearborn commencement ceremonies.

UM-Flint ceremonies will take place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. April 30 at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center. Shari Ballard, senior executive vice president and president of multichannel retail at Best Buy, will serve as the commencement speaker. More about UM-Flint commencement ceremonies.

More graduation ceremonies


School of Kinesiology, 4:30 p.m., Hill Auditorium, or 734-764-7280

School of Public Health, 12:30 p.m., Hill Auditorium, or 734-214-6430

The Big Ihtifal, 7 p.m., Great Lakes room in Palmer Commons

Lavender Graduation, 4:30 p.m., U-M Museum of Art


Campuswide Commencement Celebration, 2 p.m., North Ingalls Mall

Stephen M. Ross School of Business, 3:30 p.m., Crisler Center, or 734-647-0342

School of Information, 3 p.m., Power Center, or 734-647-3110

School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 4 p.m., Hill Auditorium, with Golden Globe and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, or 734-764-0592

La Celebracion Latina, 6 p.m., Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

Graduation Shabbat Dinner, 8 p.m., Hillel


Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, 2 p.m., North Campus Research Complex, or 734-647-9886

School of Education, 5 p.m., Hill Auditorium, or 734-214-6430

College of Engineering, 3 p.m., Crisler Center, or 734-763-8843

School of Natural Resources & Environment, 1 p.m., Rackham Auditorium, or 734-763-9925

School of Nursing, 1 p.m., Hill Auditorium, or 734-763-5985

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, 4:30 p.m., Rackham Auditorium, or 724-615-3893

School of Social Work, 1 p.m., Power Center, or 734-936-0961

Native Student Graduation Celebration, 7:30 p.m., Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Black Celebratory, 6 p.m., Power Center


Alfred Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, noon, Hill Auditorium, or 734-763-6518

May 5

School of Dentistry, noon, Hill Auditorium, or 734-647-4026

Law School Senior Day, 4 p.m., Hill Auditorium, or 734-764-4705

May 12

Medical School, 3 p.m., Hill Auditorium, or 734-615-4856.