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Office of the Provost

Wilson Hall, Room 205
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2190

Office of the Provost

Wilson Hall, Room 205
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2190

A young woman smiling, looking at a computer screen.

Commencement Videos

Congratulations to our Oakland University graduates! Click on the links below for the Commencement Ceremony videos, along with the Black Excellence Celebratory and Faculty Congratulations videos. Video links will be provided on the day of the ceremony.

Please visit our Virtual Commencement Site to download your student slide and more! 

Special department videos:
School of Health Sciences 
Department of Writing and Rhetoric (CAS)
Department of Psychology (CAS)

Undergraduate Ceremony: College of Arts and Sciences
Transcript

[MUSIC]

Welcome to Oakland University's 2021 spring commencement. All of us at Oakland University salute today's graduates for their perseverance, their passion, and their dedication for completing their degrees and meeting the most challenging circumstances of the past several months. Now, please join us as we honor our nation and come together as a community with the singing of the national anthem performed by Angela Bonello, a voice performance major from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

[MUSIC]

Thank you, Angela, for that beautiful and inspiring performance. It's a pleasure to welcome members of the graduating classes of fall 2020 and spring 2021, along with your families, friends, special guests, and colleagues. For all of us, students, parents, friends, faculty, administrators, this special moment is a time of optimism, idealism, and reflection. I speak on behalf of the Oakland University community when I say, we are so proud of you. Each generation is connected to the next generation as a link that binds a long, continuous chain. Our common link is an educational tradition constructed on the ideals of knowledge as a means to enlightenment, diversity as a means to accessibility, and fairness as a means to opportunity. Today, you stand at the gate of one of life's most important rites of passage; college graduation, the first step of many steps to come on your lifelong professional journey that we all hope leads you to good health and happiness. You must be proud of your achievements, not only today, but anytime the thought occurs to you of whether you can succeed when faced with a difficult challenge. Remember this, you can and you did. While you've been tested and challenged during your academic career at Oakland University, you've also had an extremely difficult trial during these last 12 months of an unprecedented pandemic and you have shown great perseverance and pride. Today, look at you, a success. There are no ordinary graduates in this class. Each of you has a special and a unique story to tell about your journey that has led you here today. You are extraordinary, but all of you do share this; you succeeded during what will be recorded as one of the most difficult social and economic periods in American history. I wish I could see each and every one of your faces and shake your hands, I wish I could see the expressions of pride on the faces of your friends, your relatives, and your parents, all of whom share in your sense of achievement. Before the pandemic, when we all thought of the graduation ceremony, we expected to be crowded into the arena in a very unsocially distanced way, surrounded by other graduates as they took their assigned place in a sea of black and gold. But life is filled with unexpected moments. The realities of the pandemic have changed everything and now it should be clear that it's how you respond and cope when faced with the unexpected that reflects the strength and depth of your character, and character, true character is the first and most necessary ingredient in any formula for success. On this day, your graduation day, make sure that you take many photos. The memories and images will last a lifetime and so too will the building blocks of a lifetime of learning. I'd like you to reflect on the meaning of this past year and the challenges we all face in taking responsibility of doing whatever we can to make our community and our world a better, fairer, and more humane place to live. Take the time to ask yourself, "How can I do my part to help?" Then translate your response into action. I want you to leave this graduation ceremony with this thought in your mind; you are capable of the extraordinary. Generations that have gone before you, have also been defined by challenging times: some by war, some by economic depression, some by the struggle for civil rights and human dignity. Each generation has a defining moment where they have risen to the challenge. Your time is now. I know, we all know, you will succeed in the days, months, and years ahead. Congratulations on your graduation. Today, you become part of our proud Oakland University tradition. Now, please enjoy the following honorary degree presentation, followed by our new Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Britt Rios-Ellis.

[MUSIC]

At Oakland University, we confer honorary degrees to people whose note-worthy accomplishments have a major impact on their communities, on industries, and in making the world a better place. Over the years, we've acknowledged a diverse range of recipients who individually and collectively reaffirm our commitment to scholarly, creative, and humanitarian values. Today, I am so proud to confer to Kenneth Janke, the Doctor of Science, to Thomas Kimble, the Doctor of Humanities. To Kathleen Ligocki, the Doctor of Science, to Dennis Pawley, the Doctor of Arts, and to Patrick Scoggin, the Doctor of Humanities posthumously, whose nominations have been reviewed by the University Senate Honorary Degrees Committee, recommended to the provost, and enthusiastically affirmed by me, the president.

Today, I am honored to be standing in the Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall to celebrate the legacy of our distinguished honorary degree recipients. You have contributed to the intellectual, cultural, commercial, and civic betterment of our community, and merit the honorary degrees of arts, humanities, and science honoris causa.

I had no idea what a CEO or an investor was when I was a child. I think I wanted to be a social activist, then a ballerina, and an archaeologist, and an actress. That was all when I was six.

My great grandfather was a minister. My father, his father was a minister. My father was a minister. So there was an expectation that little Tommy would become a minister also. But something happened along the way that I ended up in business and finance, accepted a job at General Motors, stayed there for 30 years as a finance executive.

My youngest remembrance of wanting to be in a professional, is I want to be a disc jockey. When I started working with my father, I discovered the field of investor relations and that's when I knew I wanted to go into that area.

Everybody working in the automobile business is always almost a pre-drawn conclusion that Denny when you graduate, you're going to go into the automobile business. Well, that's where I ended up.

My husband, Pat Scoggin, did not always want to pursue business. He wanted to go into sports journalism or be a sports analyst. A corporate insurance company recruited him out of college and he went straight into business, and then ended up at the Ford dealership in Rochester, Michigan.

When I think of the thing that I was most grateful for was the people that I worked with, people that I work for, and the people I was fortunate enough to lead. Without those people, I'd have never achieved the success that I was able to get in my career.

I've got a wonderful wife. We've been married for over 33 years. We've got three great kids, all of whom are very successful in their own right, and we're both incredibly proud of them.

My husband, Pat, would say that he is most grateful for his family. Another great accomplishment of my husband, Pat, is his OU scholars. He donated his money to put nine, going on 10, full-ride scholars through Oakland University.

I have many things to be grateful for. I've worked at big companies and small companies around the world, and probably most importantly, if COVID has taught us nothing else, that the people we love and the people who love us are the greatest asset in our life.

I'm very grateful for the ability to age with the dignity and purpose that I so much desire. I'm grateful to have a great family like Oakland University.

I think the advice I'd give to graduates first and foremost would be to find whatever they can do to be fulfilled at work. Because they're going to be spending so much time there, and if you're not happy at work, you're not going to be happy at home.

Do not be the last one to get to work and the first one to leave. Be the first one there and the last to leave, and you'll have a much better opportunity for success.

Chart your own path. Stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. Stay open to new possibilities. Stay connected to the people you care about.

I think the ability to be humble in your career. No one leader can run an organization all by themselves.

I believe his wise advice is universal. Always be honest and have integrity in all that you do. Treat people well. Adhere to the principle of the seven Ps; proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. Finally, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond.

Dennis Pawley, we honor you as an acclaimed executive and thought leader in the automotive and manufacturing industries. A dedicated servant of your community and country, a remarkably generous philanthropist, and tremendous advocate of higher education. Tom Kimble, we honor you as an exceptional business leader and as a remarkably engaged civic leader who has maintained a meaningful and impactful association with Oakland University's College of Arts and Sciences. Kathleen Ligocki, we honor you for your distinguished career leading companies to success, driving entrepreneurial technology, and impacting the automotive industry in Michigan. Kenneth Janke, we honor you as an accomplished businessman, an outstanding contributor to community organizations, to the advancement of diversity and equity in society and to the success of higher education in Michigan. Patrick Scoggin, we honor you post-humously, as an accomplished businessman, an extraordinary contributor to community development, education, and human services throughout Southeastern Michigan and beyond.

I want to take a moment to express my admiration to Kenneth, Tom, Kathleen, Dennis, and Patrick for their compassion and selflessness in all of their civic endeavors. The conferral of the Doctorate Degrees of Arts and Humanities, of Science, Honoris Causa to Dennis Pawley, Tom Campbell, Patrick Scoggin, Kathleen Ligocki, and Kenneth Janke is Oakland University's recognition of truly distinguished achievements beyond the classroom and campus, and a testament to the power of education, initiative, and vision. Congratulations to our newest doctors.

Today, we are here to honor and celebrate the students who graduate from Oakland University. I applaud you on your achievements and I encourage you to always continue the quest for excellence. You have studied with outstanding faculty and staff, you have been encouraged and supported by the faculty and staff and by your families and friends. Today, we are extremely proud of each and every one of you. As students, your lives have been changed forever because you chose to study at Oakland University, you chose to pursue a college education and you chose to be successful. You depart this campus as a very different person than you were on the day you enrolled. Today, you emerge as a leader. You will take with you precious and unique skills, knowledge, and values. Throughout your undergraduate ceremonies this semester, we have 3,400 students graduating; 61 percent are women and 39 percent are men, 95 percent are from Michigan, 80 percent are from Oakland and Macomb counties, three percent are international students, and the average age is 24.8. The youngest graduate is 19 years old and the oldest is 66 years strong. To give you an idea of the breadth of the bachelor's degrees awarded today, 36 percent are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 15 percent are from the School of Business Administration, eight percent are from the School of Education and Human Services, 15 percent are from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, 13 percent are from the School of Health Sciences, 11 percent are from the School of Nursing, and four percent are from the Bachelor of Integrative Studies Program. I'd like to acknowledge the veterans who are graduating today. Please honk your horns to congratulate them. Thank you for your service. I'd now like to introduce messages from members of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations graduates. I'm Joe Shively, an Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. On behalf of the faculty and staff of the college, I'd like to welcome you to today's commencement ceremony. Now, let's hear from some members of the CAS Community.

Hello. My name is Amy Banes Bercelli and I'm an Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is my great pleasure to introduce Sarah Medley as our meritorious achievement awardee. Sarah is graduating with a double-major with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science and she's graduating with departmental honors. She's a member of the Sigma Xi Research Society, she's been on the dean's list repeatedly while at OU, and she has received many awards including the Michael P and Elizabeth Kenny Merit Scholarship, she has received a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid for Research, the Provost Undergraduate Research Award, and undergraduate travel award for the society of molecular biology and evolution International Conference in 2019 at which she won the best poster presentation. She has given additional research presentations at the Meeting of Minds, at the Oakland University Genomics Symposium, at the National Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Conference. She has also served as both treasurer and president of the Mathematics Students Society here at Oakland University. She has worked as a biostatistician intern at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and as a supplemental instructor as well as a math bridge instructor. Now, during this time, she was also an undergraduate student researcher with Dr. Anna Spagnuolo of mathematics and with Dr. Fabia Battistuzzi in the Department of Biological Sciences. Sarah is also a member of our Honors College and she did her thesis with Dr. Battistuzzi. Her title is Evolutionary Analysis of Epitopes and Low Complexity Regions in Plasmodium. Sarah's work lies at the intersection of evolutionary biology and immunology for malaria, which is one of the major tropical diseases caused by unicellular organisms in the plasmodium genus. A major obstacle to treating malaria effectively is the lack of a vaccine, and Sarah's research is the first step in helping us identify new targets that we can use for future drug development and vaccine development to help eradicate this disease. Sarah will be leaving us to go to the University of Michigan for a Master's Degree in Biostatistics. Now, we'd like to hear from Sarah.

Congratulations, everyone. We did it. Graduation may not seem as exciting as it should be, but I believe our accomplishment is equally if not more impressive in light of the pandemic. We had to quickly transition to online courses and gather all of the resources we needed, we had to worry about our usual coursework while also worrying about the health of our friends and family, we had to work through all of these struggles, often without as much support as we would normally have. Even with all of these challenges, I hope you can agree there were many valuable and exciting experiences this past year. As I discuss some of what made this past year special for me, I hope you can reflect on your own experiences. I continued my research project with Dr. Fabia Battistuzzi whom I have been working with for four years. Outside of coursework, this has by far been the experience that has taught me the most. Opportunities to work closely with faculty make Oakland University special. I was also the Froemke Intern for the Tutoring Center this academic year. I admit the appreciation I received from students during my supplemental instruction and final exam review sessions always brighten my day. Our community of students is another feature that makes Oakland special. However, my favorite experience was being a college instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences Summer Math Bridge Program. We met virtually with middle school students from the Pontiac school district to review key mathematical concepts needed for success in the next academic year. The resilience and determination of these students deeply inspired me and motivated me to work my hardest this year. Making a difference in our communities is another one of the many opportunities that makes Oakland special. With all of the great memories we made and the lessons we learned, I hope you also reflect on the obstacles you have overcome and feel confident for the future. A significant obstacle for me was staying true to myself in the midst of the outside expectations and pressures on me. When I decided to major in biology, many people commented that the field was too competitive. When I considered adding a second major in mathematics, many people questioned my choice to extend my undergraduate education. It was difficult at times to feel like all of my choices were met with resistance and it made me wonder if I was making the wrong choices. Having completed my degrees and being accepted into my dream graduate program, I could not feel more accomplished. I may not have always been certain about what I wanted to do or how to get there but I always trusted in myself and followed my passions. I believe this is one of the main contributors to my success and happiness today. Take time today to celebrate your accomplishments and then look forward to the future. I hope you can all follow your passions and also find true happiness in your future endeavors. Best wishes and congratulations, again, class of 2021.

Last year, our Center for Public Humanities launched Words for Resilience, a community literary project to nourish us during the pandemic. Dr. Katie Hartsock, faculty member and project editor, has created a cento, a new poetic work using verse of other writers, in this case, writers from the OU community. This is their celebration of the resilience all have demonstrated in the past year.

Resilience. It can only be learned from a life altered over, and over again.

Who would have thought that solace could find me after being lost in the everything, then the all the time.

Eating the pudding with the cafeteria's last plastic knife, listening to your heartbeat through a tin can.

Suspended in the cavern of my chest above a tiled floor, the lonely moon whose cratered face we'll remember.

Patience. Patience gives you the strength to venture out each day as [FOREIGN]. I go to seek a grave perhaps.

Meanwhile, I daydream. I envisioned missed weddings, and dancing in the colorful dresses we bought for them.

I want to hop your backyard fence, and chuck pebbles at your window. I wish we could return to normal, but really I wish for things to change.

I wish for you to dream of daffodils, white white hyacinths tucked behind your ears.

Like dandelion seeds on a summer breeze. How far do they go? Let's go back to another time.

I stayed at home, as the world shut down, and watched time roll backward. I was six, and she was nine, and the baby was still a baby, and none of us knew what a W9 was.

Pick up a claw hammer with us, and build among stubble, a house, a piece of the world we can make our own.

The month, trees will bloom, a beautiful woman will wear a sundress, thunderstorms will fall on lilacs, they will not wash away with the rains.

Compelled by forces beyond your control. Pulling in new, pushing out old, shaping the shoreline.

Then of childhood imaginations, the shrinking Earth spins cerulean. I'm a superhero in a starched white lab coat, pockets stuffed with needles, vaccine.

Am thinking already that this time next year, I will go afraid and happy to the Galleria Nazionale and gaze at the unfinished, The Lady With Disheveled Hair. I will become that very same lady, that very da Vinci muse looking out and looking down, I will never stop looking again.

My name is Amy Tully, and I am the Director of the School of Music, Theater, and Dance and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. Congratulations to all of our resilient graduates who stand here today, strengthened by the past year's challenges. Even through a pandemic, our graduates persevered by volunteering in our community, continuing their research, and pursuing their creative, and artistic dreams. On behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences Congratulations to the Class of 2021.

[NOISE]

I'm Dr. Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College here at Oakland University. I'm supposed to be here today to talk to you about students graduating with honors, but that's going to be hard to do. You see, I've got a problem. My son, Tyler, he's graduating here with you today. That's a real problem because after today, like you, he's not going to be an undergraduate anymore. Tyler is our youngest son, so I have not lived in a house without undergraduates for maybe 10 years. It's going to be very different. I know there's probably parents out there that feel the same way. These birds are leaving the nest. I did think I should impress him today, maybe by using Latin designations Summa Cum Laude, and all those great terms. But one thing I've learned from my son is that I should be more grounded; I should be more grounded in the real world, in the world around us, in this time, and in this place, I should be more down-to-earth. Two months ago, I became an American citizen, we all did, Tyler, and his mother, and I. We were driving home, and as we were driving home like you will be today from the ceremony, I realized that this is the place we live in. Everything around me was who I had become, everything around me was who I was. That's what we mean by down-to-earth. We mean being together, we mean the condition of sharing things together, we mean graduating together in this time, and in this place, we mean celebrating together in any way we can. The place we make, whether that place is our family home, our nation, or our university, that place has influence. The environments we live in, the people we meet, and the ambitions we form. This is the substance of who we are, each and every one of us. Today is a monumental ceremony, it's about who we are, each and all of us, professors, families and friends, staff, students, leaders, and the graduates of Oakland University. And the world is watching a fact I'm going to prove to you in just a minute. With that world watching, let me turn to the job I've been asked to do today at this ceremony. I'm going to ask you to honk your horns in a moment when I call out your particular cords, your particular awards. Those who are graduating today with university honors are wearing gold cords. Honk your horns gold cord wearers. Fabulous. Those who are receiving departmental honors are wearing red cords. Honk your horns. Cords and stoles of other colors worn by graduates represent the many honor societies with chapters here at Oakland University. Honk your horns. Students graduating today from the Honors College are wearing Honors College medallions. Those also graduating as presidential scholars can be identified with medallions embossed with our university seal; that is our official emblem and has remained unchanged since our foundation. Honors college graduates, presidential scholars honk your horns [LAUGHTER], and so you should. Today's commencement sees the largest number of graduates of the Honors College in the history of Oakland University, and the highest number of graduates graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Seventy-three of them have completed the presidential scholar medallion program. That also is a record. These students, these graduates, they represent us all here at Oakland University because this is our time and this our place. To the Honors College graduates, in addition to maintaining a grade point average in the top rank of all students nationally for your entire time here at Oakland University, you've also had been part of completing over 30,000 hours of service to the community and to the university, you've undertaken the study of one or more languages so you can speak to more people in the world like the one I'm about to introduce you to, you've worked with your fellow students to lead student organizations, and to host distinguished speakers from the academy, from the community, and from the professions, and you've completed a substantial undergraduate research project or a creative project mentored by a member of our wonderful Oakland University faculty. These projects now stand as an investigation of knowledge and an application of knowledge that places the Honors College graduates here today in the top five percent of graduates in our nation. Yes, that's the first time I've been able to say our nation. There is much to celebrate here today. Every cap, every gown, every cord, and every medallion, they all represent a vision, a set of principles, a grounding in this world that binds us here altogether, and that world is watching. Let me introduce you to Henrik Syse, the Vice-Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee, yes, that Nobel Prize. Henrik would like to say a few words to the Honors College graduates graduating today at Oakland University, and he is very down-to-earth.

Hi there. My name is Henrik Syse. Well, it ends up as Henrik Syse in English, but you know these Scandinavian names. What an honor to be speaking to you today. I realize as I'm starting to speak here, I should have been wearing a tie. Fortunately, I did have one here. I can try to tie it while I speak to you and see if I can multitask. Congratulations on your graduation. I know the work that lies behind graduating from the Honors College at Oakland. Goodness, a lot of work, but also a lot of community service. A lot of growing up. A lot of becoming more than what you were when you started, but also becoming more yourself. Who am I? Well, I'm a philosopher, I'm an ethicist. I've done a lot of work on questions within moral philosophy, not just in theory, but I hope also in practice. What it means to take responsibility in society. I realized from the work that I've done having advised the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, or having served six years on the Nobel Committee, as one of those five people who choose who gets the Nobel Peace Prize. I was also the vice-chair of the Nobel Committee. I've seen a little bit of what it takes to make a difference in society. I know that is the spirit that you have. But remember, it's not just about the things up there. It's not just about money or positions or about creating peace between nations. All those things can be very, very important and you can contribute. But it's also about your everyday lives. The difference you make to the person right next to you. The way you take care of yourself. You should love thy neighbor. But you also have to do that in a way that takes care of yourself. These everyday things are the individual building blocks that a happy, prosperous, sustainable society is built on. Congratulations on this great day. One day maybe one of you will get the Nobel Peace Prize, and I can welcome you here to Oslo, Norway to be part of the celebrations. Congratulations with or without the Nobel Peace Prize and I do wish you and your loved ones all the best.

[NOISE]

Hi. I'm Glenn McIntosh, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer. It is my pleasure to recognize graduating students for some of the highest honors Oakland University bestows. These students are receiving an award bearing a name of one of our university's initial benefactors: Alfred G. Wilson or Matilda R. Wilson. The recipients have been chosen for having made outstanding contributions to the life of the university, to scholarship, to student leadership, and to the expression of responsibility in the solution of social problems. I commend the students, faculty, and staff who perform the difficult screening process for selection of the award winners this year. Now it gives me great pleasure to announce the Alfred G. Wilson Award recipient, Jack Ryan Andrews. Jack entered Oakland University to pursue a major in bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. We honor you Jack for achieving academic excellence by maintaining a 3.89 grade point average. By achieving the Dean's list for all your semesters here at OU. By being awarded the Presidential Scholarship upon entering OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as the Vice-President of the OU Men's Soccer Club, as the event coordinator of the Engineering and Medicine and Biology Society, and as Francis M. Moceri scholar, and as a research assistant in the School of Engineering and Computer Science in the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. You dedicated yourself to community service by working tirelessly with the Oakland County Sheriff Police Athletic League. By teaching the inner-city youth of Pontiac the fundamentals of soccer. By volunteering your time, by participating in multiple alternative spring break service trips, and by aiding the fundraising efforts of the Alex M. Mackmin Memorial Foundation. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in the OU community. We salute and congratulate you Jack. We extend best wishes and continued success in all your future endeavors. Next is my pleasure to announce the Matilda R. Wilson Award recipient, Sydney Jennifer Torres. Sydney entered Oakland University to pursue a major in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Sydney for achieving academic excellence by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Achievement Dean's list honors for each of your semesters at OU. By being a Kenny Merit Scholarship recipient. Receiving first-place honors in the Writing Excellence competition through the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. Serving as president of the Pre-medical Society. Serving as the secretary of Future Leader Dogs at OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as a research assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences, a teaching assistant and Dean's students fellow for the Honors College, a medical scribe and nursing assistant in Beaumont Health, and a participant of the Career Development Academy of the University of Michigan School of Medicine. You dedicated yourself to community service by volunteering as a kitchen aid at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan. Serving as a reading and literacy mentor at Center for Success in Pontiac. Being a community volunteer and clinic observer with MetLife OU and raising and training Future Leader Dogs for the blind and visually impaired community. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in Oakland University community. We salute and congratulate you Sydney. We extend best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. It is now my pleasure to present the university's Human Relations Award. The Human Relations Award was instituted in 1986 through the efforts of the Wilson Award Committee. It's purpose is to recognize outstanding contributions to intergroup understanding and conflict resolution in Oakland University community. It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2021 recipient of the human relations award, Jai Carrero. Jai entered Oakland University to pursue a Bachelors in fine Arts with a concentration in acting in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Jai for demonstrating academic excellence by maintaining a 3.0 grade point average. Being a core ambassador in the Center for Multicultural Initiatives and being an admissions ambassador in the Office of Admissions. You have demonstrated campus leadership as president and founder of the Black Lives Matter Student Organization. By being a diversity advocate in the School of Music, Theater, and Dance and by serving as a mentor and advocate to students experiencing academic and mental health challenges. You dedicated yourself to community service by serving the community as chair of the Kennedy Center American college Theater Festival, Region 3 Student Council and by creating Kaleidoscope, a student organization that provides BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other underrepresented students a platform to perform theatrical works. For all your efforts and successes, we salute and congratulate you Jai. Best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. On behalf of Oakland University, we congratulate all of you in the class of 2021.

[NOISE]

Now, I would like to take a moment to recognize a person who has touched so many of us during his tenure at Oakland University. Dean Kevin Corcoran, who unfortunately is retiring. Many of the students will recognize Dean Corcoran as the person who made a point to shake your hand, pat you on the back, and tell you, "Don't be a stranger." Of course, Dean Corcoran has shown many, many times that he is a great friend to one and all. Kevin, you've been here for all of us, for students, for faculty, your fellow deans, and as a key member of the Oakland leadership team. Dean Corcoran leaves a legacy of engaging commencement addresses featuring such academic icons as The Lion King, The Grinch, Curious George, and of course, my favorite Buddy, the ELF. Most importantly, he leaves a great legacy of compassion and has set the finest example for his commitment to students, to faculty, to staff, and to the entire Oakland University community. Dean Corcoran, thank you for everything that you have done for Oakland University. You are a pretty hard act to follow. I want you to know that everyone, everyone is going to miss you greatly.

[NOISE]

Students, you have worked very hard for many years for a college degree. It's a long-standing tradition that after receiving a post-secondary degree, the cap tassel is shifted from the right side to the left side of the cap. This signifies to all the completion of the degree. Upon nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and via authority of the State of Michigan, vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Social Work. The time has come. Will all of you, the graduates of Oakland University, please step out of your vehicles [MUSIC] and please now move your tassels.

[MUSIC]

Ladies and gentlemen, family, friends, I now present to you the fall 2020 and spring 2021 Oakland University graduates. Let's give our new bachelors a well-deserved round of applause, and a few horn honks too. Congratulations graduates.

[NOISE]

You may now get back into your vehicles. Now I would like to turn things over to Provost Rios-Ellis for a valediction.

Congratulations to all of the Oakland University graduates and to your families and friends. We are honored to share in this joyful celebration of your milestone achievement. We will conclude this ceremony with a valediction. As alumni of Oakland University, it is our hope that this ceremony will begin a lifetime connection to your alma mater. Rather than saying goodbye to this university today, we hope you will simply say so long for now and return soon to participate in the many programs and opportunities we offer alumni. We hope that you view today this unique commencement celebration as the beginning of your life as a member of the OU family and that you will always feel a connection to your fellow graduates, the faculty, and the staff. Graduates, we sincerely hope that you will strive to maintain contact with Oakland University. We hope that you will think of OU when you need support and resources or when support and resources are yours to share. We hope that you will bear the torch of this great academic center and shine its light whenever the opportunity arises. Wherever you go, please remember Oakland University goes with you as the foundation of your career and the beginning of a successful life. As you make your way in the world, we hope that you will always take the meaning of the Oakland University seal to heart. "Seguir virtute e canoscenza." Meaning seeker of virtue and knowledge. From this day forward, may you continue to seek knowledge, be courageous in your endeavors and search for growth and stay wondrously aware of the impact you can make on your community. We are also asking you as new alumni of Oakland University to be model citizens and responsible civic leaders in our global society. Most importantly, we're asking you to act with integrity, forethought, compassion, and a breadth of awareness of those around you. With extreme pleasure, I welcome you to the Oakland University family. Congratulations and best wishes [NOISE].

Congratulations graduates. My name is Stefen Welch, class of 2005. I bring you greetings from the OU Alumni Association. You have demonstrated the true golden grizzly spirit through perseverance and fortitude during these challenging times. It's our hope that you will use these unique set of circumstances to help develop and navigate your personal convictions as you live in your purpose, on purpose. This commencement signals the beginning of the next phase of your life. It might seem scary for some, but my friend Jay-Z once said, "Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action, those who aren't submit to their fears and live with regrets." Don't panic, don't regret. I can tell you from experience, everything will be all right. Believe in your capabilities and what you've learned here, but never stop growing. This is a very special moment, embrace it. Be sure to reflect on significant experiences, and the amazing people that you've encountered at Oakland University. You are now a part of a significant alumni community from our beloved OU. There are more than a 120,000 of us living and working across the world, from one alumnus to another. Allow me to offer you some advice. Take advantage of your Golden Grizzly network. The Oakland University Alumni Association has a membership of talented, accomplished, dope, and well-connected individuals, providing you with access to an incredible legacy of grads to connect with. There are a ton of networking opportunities for new graduates seeking new friendships, partnerships, and employment. I hope you will choose to become active alumni and will become part of the leadership that helps sustain this organization. Our alumni chapters develop engaging events and programming every year to connect new grads, like you back to your alma mater and your fellow classmates. You can make a difference by supporting events that help raise funds for scholarships, by volunteering your time to mentor students, and by encouraging others who are seeking education to consider Oakland University. It is important to contribute to the development of our students and university, we are truly an alumni family. There are thousands of us, current Oakland University students with a brother, a sister, mother, father, and a grandparent who are OU alum. Your graduation can continue that family legacy or begin a new one. We encourage you to participate in the life of Oakland University in a way that is meaningful to you. You can make a difference. The words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, "Everyone can be great because anyone can serve." What you give yourself will directly impact the future of Oakland, the State of Michigan, and this country on behalf of more than 120,000 smart. Extraordinary people who graduated from OU, congratulations to each of you. We're honored to welcome each of you into this Alumni Association, so go black, go gold, go Grizzlies. Take care, stay safe, and be healthy. Thank you.

The Oakland University fight song was established in 1999 and written by one of our own faculty members, Professor Michael Mitchell from the School of Music, theater, and Dance, in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now please join Dean Jon Margerum-Leys in singing our school fight song.

[MUSIC]

Thank you, Dean Jon Margerum-Leys. I would also like to thank the musical artists of the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band for the music they've played today. A word of thanks is also due to the numerous departments, staff, and other individuals who have worked hours to make this occasion possible. There's a stage at the other end of the parking lot where you can take photos and pick up your diploma cover. Cars will be directed out by rows and you may choose to exit on squirrel road, if you do not want to walk across the stage for a photo. Please be sure to maintain social distance and please be considerate of your fellow Oakland University students and guests safety. Congratulations graduates.

Doctoral and Masters – University Wide
Transcript

[MUSIC]

Welcome to Oakland University's. 2021 Spring commencement. All of us at Oakland University salute today's graduates for their perseverance, their passion, and their dedication for completing their degrees during the most challenging circumstances, of the past year. Now, please join us as we honor our nation and come together as a community, with the singing of the national anthem performed by Angela Bonello, a voice performance major from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

[MUSIC]

Thank you, Angela, for that beautiful and inspiring performance. It's a pleasure to welcome members of the graduating classes of Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, along with your families, friends, special guests, and colleagues. For all of us, students, parents, friends, faculty, administrators, this special moment is a time of optimism, idealism, and reflection. I speak on behalf of the Oakland University community, when I say, we are so proud of you. Each generation is connected to the next-generation as a link that binds a long and continuous chain. Our common link is an educational tradition constructed on the ideals of knowledge as a means to enlightenment, diversity as a means to accessibility, and fairness as a means to opportunity. Today, you stand at the gate of one of life's most important rites of passage: college graduation. The first step of many steps to come on your lifelong professional journey that we all hope leads you to good health and happiness. You must be proud of your achievements, not only today, but anytime the thought occurs to you of whether you can succeed when faced with a difficult challenge, remember this: you can and you did. While you've been tested and challenged during your academic career at Oakland University, you've also had an extremely difficult trial during the last 12 months of an unprecedented pandemic. You've shown great perseverance and pride. Today, just look at you, you're a success. There are no ordinary graduates in this class. Each one of you has a special and unique story to tell about your journey that has led you here today. You are simply extraordinary. But all of you do share this, you succeeded during what will be recorded as one of the most difficult, social and economic periods in American history. I wish I could see each and every one of your faces and shake your hands. I wish I could see the expressions of pride on the faces of your friends, relatives, parents. All of them share in your sense of achievement. Before the pandemic when we all thought of the graduation ceremony, we expected to be crowded into the Orena in a very unsocially distanced way, surrounded by other graduates as they took their assigned place in a sea of black and gold. But life is filled with unexpected moments. The realities of the pandemic have changed everything and now it should be clear that it's how you respond and how you cope when faced with the unexpected that reflects the strength and depth of your character. Character, true character is the first and most necessary ingredient in any formula for success. On this day, your graduation day, make sure you take many photos. The memories and images will last a lifetime and so too will the building blocks of a lifetime of learning. I'd also like you to reflect on the meaning of this past year and the challenges we all face in taking responsibility of doing whatever we can to make our community and our world a better, fairer and more humane place to live. Take the time to ask yourself, "How can I do my part to help?" Then translate your response into action. I want you to leave this graduation ceremony with this thought in mind: you are capable of the extra ordinary. Generations that have gone before you have also been defined by challenging times. Some by war, some by economic depression, some by the struggle for civil rights and human dignity. Each generation has a defining moment where they have risen to the challenge and your time is now. I know, we all know, you will succeed in the days, months, and years ahead. Congratulations on your graduation. Today, you become part of our proud Oakland University tradition. Now please enjoy the following honorary degree presentation, followed by our new Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Britt Rios-Ellis.

[MUSIC]

At Oakland University, we confer honorary degrees to people whose note-worthy accomplishments have a major impact on their communities, on industries, and in making the world a better place. Over the years, we've acknowledged a diverse range of recipients who individually and collectively reaffirm our commitment to scholarly, creative, and humanitarian values. Today, I am so proud to confer to Kenneth Janke, the doctor of science, to Thomas Kimble, the doctor of humanities, to Kathleen Ligocki, the doctor of science, to Dennis Pawley, the doctor of arts, and to Patrick Scoggin, the doctor of humanities posthumously, whose nominations have been reviewed by the University Senate Honorary Degrees Committee, recommended to the provost, and enthusiastically affirmed by me, the president.

Today, I am honored to be standing in the Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall to celebrate the legacy of our distinguished honorary degree recipients. You have contributed to the intellectual, cultural, commercial, and civic betterment of our community and merit the honorary degrees of arts, humanities, and science, honoris causa.

I had no idea what a CEO or an investor was when I was a child. I think I wanted to be a social activist, and a ballerina, and an archaeologist, and an actress, and that was all when I was six. [LAUGHTER]

My great grandfather was a minister. My father, his father was a minister. My father was a minister. So there was an expectation that little Tom would become a minister also. But something happened along the way that I ended up in business and finance, accepted a job at General Motors, stayed there for 30 years as a finance executive.

My youngest remembrance of wanting to be in a profession, was I wanted to be a disc jockey. When I started working with my father, I discovered the field of investor relations, and that's when I knew I wanted to go into that area.

Everybody worked in the automobile business, so it was almost a pre-gone conclusion that, Denny, when you graduate, you're going to go into the automobile business. So that's where I ended up.

My husband, Pat Scoggin, did not always want to pursue business. He wanted to go into sports journalism or be a sports analyst. A corporate insurance company recruited him out of college and he went straight into business, and then ended up at the Ford dealership in Rochester, Michigan.

I think the thing that I was most grateful for was the people that I worked with, the people that I worked for, and the people I was fortunate enough to lead. With all those people, I would never achieve the success that I was able to get in my career.

I've got a wonderful wife. We've been married for over 33 years. We've got three great kids, all of whom are very successful in their own right. We're both incredibly proud of them.

My husband, Pat, would say that he is most grateful for his family. Another great accomplishment of my husband, Pat, is his OU scholars. He donated his money to put nine going on 10 full-ride scholars through Oakland University.

I have many things to be grateful for. I've worked at big companies and small companies around the world. Probably, most importantly, if COVID has taught us nothing else, that the people we love and the people who love us are the greatest asset in our life.

I'm very grateful for the ability to age with the dignity and purpose that I so much desire. I'm grateful to have a great family like Oakland University.

I think the advice I'd give to graduates first and foremost would be to find whatever they can do to be fulfilled at work because they're going to be spending so much time there. If you're not happy at work, you're not going to be happy at home.

Do not be the last one to get to work and the first one to leave. Be the first one there and the last to leave and you'll have a much better opportunity for success.

Chart your own path. Stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. Stay open to new possibilities. Stay connected to the people you care about.

I think the ability to be humble in your career. No one leader can run an organization all by themselves.

I believe his wise advice is universal. Always be honest and have integrity in all that you do. Treat people well. Adhere to the principle of the seven Ps; proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. Finally, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond.

Dennis Pawley, we honor you as an acclaimed executive and thought leader in the automotive and manufacturing industries, a dedicated servant of your community and country, a remarkably generous philanthropist, and tremendous advocate of higher education. Tom Kimble, we honor you as an exceptional business leader, and as a remarkably engaged civic leader who has maintained a meaningful and impactful association with Oakland University's College of Arts and Sciences. Kathleen Ligocki, we honor you for your distinguished career leading companies to success, driving entrepreneurial technology, and impacting the automotive industry in Michigan. Kenneth Janke, we honor you as an accomplished businessman, an outstanding contributor to community organizations, to the advancement of diversity and equity in society, and to the success of higher education in Michigan. Patrick Scoggin, we honor you posthumously as an accomplished businessman, an extraordinary contributor to community development, education, and human services throughout Southeastern Michigan and beyond.

I want to take a moment to express my admiration to Kenneth, Tom, Kathleen, Dennis, and Patrick for their compassion and selflessness in all of their civic endeavors. The conferral of the doctorate degrees of arts and humanities, of science, honoris causa to Dennis Pawley, Tom Kimble, Patrick Scoggin, Kathleen Ligocki, and Kenneth Janke, is Oakland University's recognition of truly distinguished achievements beyond the classroom and campus, and a testament to the power of education, initiative, and vision. Congratulations to our newest doctors.

Today, I would like to honor and celebrate the students who graduate from Oakland University. I applaud you on your achievements and I encourage you to always continue your quest for excellence. You have pursued your master's and doctoral programs, taught and mentored by outstanding faculty, and supported by our wonderful staff, as well as your families and friends. Today, we are extremely proud of each and every one of you. As students, your lives have been changed forever because you chose to study at Oakland University, you chose to pursue a graduate education, and you chose to be successful. You depart this campus as a very different person than you were on the day you enrolled. Today, you emerge as a leader. You take with you precious and unique skills, knowledge, and values. Throughout our graduate ceremony this semester, we have 948 students graduating. Fifty-nine percent are women and 41 percent are men. Seventy-seven percent are from Michigan and 75 percent are from Oakland and Macomb counties. Eighteen percent are international students, and the average age is 32. The youngest graduate is 21 and the oldest is 70 years strong. To understand the breadth of our graduate programs, 12 percent are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 17 percent are from the School of Business Administration, 32 percent are from the School of Education and Human Services, 27 percent are from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, nine percent are from the School of Health Sciences, and four percent are from the School of Nursing. I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the veterans who are graduating today. Please honk your horns to congratulate them.

Thank you for your service. I'd now like to introduce Dr. Brandy Randall, Dean of the Graduate School.

Welcome. I'm Dr. Brandy Randall, Dean of the Graduate School. Thank you for joining us to celebrate this important milestone in your lives. The coursework, research, clinical, and applied experiences that are central to graduate education, require students to bring their best selves to the endeavor. The expectations are more demanding and the standards are higher. Earning a graduate degree places you at the pinnacle of ability and expertise in your chosen field. For those who are about to receive your master's educational specialists or doctoral degrees, these are some of the highest academic degrees awarded. You've done it. You've moved from student to graduate. To achieve this, you have had to demonstrate remarkable grit, determination, and perseverance. This journey has been a long one for many of you, made especially difficult by the pandemic. We not only celebrate your accomplishments, but the community you are part of, that has given you encouragement and strength to complete your goals. Both you and your community of support should be extremely proud of your achievements. Graduate education has equipped you with the skills and expertise to make the world a better place. There's tremendous responsibility in that. Thus, I ask each of you to be an agent of lasting change in the world and to reach a hand back wherever you can and pull others along with you. Congratulations on behalf of the graduate school at Oakland University. I wish you all the best as you continue your next step on your journey and put into practice all that you've learned at Oakland University. Thank you.

It is my pleasure to announce the 2020 most outstanding dissertation awards. This year we will be celebrating three dissertation winners. Oakland University has a strong tradition of excellence in graduate education. Since the 1970s, our graduate programs have produced outstanding scholarship, reflected in publications, theses, and dissertations. The purpose of these awards is to acknowledge the importance of producing quality dissertations and theses and to support excellence in graduate work. We are proud to present the Outstanding Dissertation Awards for 2020. It is my honor to present the first Outstanding Dissertation Award recipient, Dr. Mingyuan Tau. Dr. Mingyuan Tau, I am pleased to present you with a 2020 Most Outstanding Dissertation Award based on your work titled, "Fuel Evaluation and screening for Advanced Combustion Engines." This powerful dissertation targets one of the most important issues for the prosperity and sustainability of our society, green ground transportation and biofuels. Dr. Tau's dissertation develops a novel and sophisticated framework to understand and predict ignition in different engine configurations and allows the isolation of thermodynamics and fuel kinetics in general auto ignition processes. The amazing results of this work provided intuitive guidance towards the co-optimization of engine and fuel. During his PhD, Dr Tau demonstrated the highest level of scholarship, both in coursework and research. He published 10 peer reviewed top journal articles and delivered eight national and international conference presentations. Most impressively, as a result of his remarkable work, he garnered the support of industry and helped to secure grants from the US Department of Energy, Ford Motor Company, and the Los Alamos National Lab for a total of $0.5 million. Dr. Mingyuan Tau, we congratulate you and wish you continued success as you pursue your goals and dreams. It is now my pleasure to announce our second Outstanding Dissertation Award recipient, Dr. Zhixin Lun. Dr Zhixin Lun, please accept this award, for your ambitious dissertation titled, "Some Contributions to Multivariate Non-Normality Simulation Computations and Missing Data Imputation" which explores the basic standard statistical methods and statistical tests regarding multivariate normality. There has been very little practical work done for multivariate non-normal data, and even less in the context of non-normal asymmetric data. The incredible work in your dissertation featured multivariate non-normality and asymmetry, and explored the various statistical aspects regarding the framework of the imputation and computation of data. Using the MSU supercomputer, Dr. Lun developed intensive techniques in theory methodology, data analysis, and algorithmic computations, which will assist in the evaluation of data in clinical trials and other scientific explorations. A total of 12 research manuscripts and presentations have come from this groundbreaking dissertation, many of which have already been published or accepted for publication. Dr. Lun, your dissertation is a considerable body of work, both in breadth and depth. It is theoretically rich, methodologically rigorous, and perhaps most of all, of immense real-world significance. We are delighted to honor you with this award. The 3rd 2020, Most Outstanding Dissertation Award is in the non-STEM category, and this year it goes to Dr. Berkley Brown. Dr. Berkley Brown's dissertation, "Stethoscope, Sutures and Sister Outsiders: Black Women's Experiences of Well-being at White Hegemonic Medical Schools" employed a hermeneutic phenomenological method that engaged participants through in-depth focus group interviews. This method allowed Dr. Brown to elicit narratives of participants lived experiences as black women, medical students in predominantly white institutions. The purpose was to gain a deep understanding of how they redefined well-being, from particular self-care activities to psychological safety. The goals were to counteract the perceived cultures of their institutions that perpetuate racist, sexist, attitudes and behaviors. This is particularly important given the research that demonstrates the relationship between students sense of belonging and persistence to degree. Dr. Brown, your research is invaluable because of the long-standing concerns about unconscious bias and racial microaggressions within medical school training. Bias that can impede the recruitment and retention of students who can enhance the diversification of medicine and ameliorate issues of social inequity, while enhancing quality and culturally resonant care. Congratulations and thank you for adding this knowledge to the field of higher education, medical school training, and beyond.

Thank you, Provost Rios- Ellis and Dean Randall. Students, you have worked very hard for many years for this degree and the time has come. We will now present the Master's candidates, with their advanced degree tams. Students who are receiving master's degrees are in acceptance of an advanced degree. Upon nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and by authority of the State of Michigan, vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Master of Accounting, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Music, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Science, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Training and Development. Masters students, please exit your vehicles with your mortar board in your hand. Students, lift your mortar board and place it on the top of your head. On my count of three, please tip the corner of the cap with your right hand. Are you ready? One, two, three, tip.

[MUSIC]

Tipping of the cap, also known as doffing, is a salutation of respect to your fellow scholars. Congratulations. Please return to your vehicle.

[APPLAUSE]

We will now present the doctoral candidates with their hoods. Traditionally, the dean and the dissertation advisor would place your hood on you. But due to social distancing we're asking for you to have a member of your family or a special guest to assist you with your hooding. Upon nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and by authority of the State of Michigan, vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Education Specialist. All doctoral candidates, please step out of your vehicles at this time with one of your guests, to assist you with your hooding. I now call upon your guest to invest you with the doctoral hood and place the hood on the doctoral candidate. On my count of three. One, two, three. Please place the hood on the doctoral candidate.

[MUSIC]

Congratulations to all of our new doctors.

[APPLAUSE]

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, I present to you the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, Oakland University graduates. Let's give all of our new masters and doctoral candidates a well-deserved round of applause and a few horn hunks. Let's go.

[APPLAUSE]

Now you may get back into your vehicles. Now I'd like to turn things over to our Provost, Britt Rios-Ellis for our valediction.

Congratulations to all of the Oakland University graduates and to your families and friends. We are honored to share in this joyful celebration of your milestone achievement. We will conclude this ceremony with a valediction. As alumni of Oakland University, it is our hope that this ceremony will begin a lifetime connection to your alma mater. Rather than saying goodbye to this university today, we hope you will simply say so long for now and return soon to participate in the many programs and opportunities we offer alumni. We hope that you view today this unique commencement celebration as the beginning of your life as a member of the OU family, and that you will always feel a connection to your fellow graduates, the faculty, and the staff. Graduates, we sincerely hope that you will strive to maintain contact with Oakland University. We hope that you think of OU when you need support and resources or when support and resources are yours to share. We hope that you will bear the torch of this great academic center and shine its light whenever the opportunity arises. Wherever you go, please remember, Oakland University goes with you as the foundation of your career and beginning of a very successful life. As you make your way in the world, we hope that you will always take the meaning of the Oakland University seal to heart. "seguir virtute e canoscenza", meaning "seeker of virtue and knowledge". From this day forward, may you continue to seek knowledge. Be courageous in your endeavors and search for growth, and stay wondrously aware of the impact you can make on your community. We are also asking you as a new alumni of Oakland University to be model citizens and responsible civic leaders in our global society. Most importantly, we are asking you to act with integrity, forethought, compassion, and a breadth of awareness of those around you. With extreme pleasure, I welcome you to the Oakland University family. Congratulations and best wishes.

Congratulations graduates. My name is Stefen Welch, class of 2005. I bring you greetings from the OU Alumni Association. You have demonstrated the true Golden Grizzly spirit through perseverance and fortitude during these challenging times. It is our hope that you will use these unique set circumstances to help develop and navigate your personal convictions as you live in your purpose, on purpose. This commencement signals the beginning of the next phase of your life. It might seem scary for some, but my friend Jay Z once said, "Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action. Those who aren't, submit to their fears and live with regrets." So don't panic, don't regret. I can tell you from experience, everything will be all right. Believe in your capabilities and what you've learned here, but never stop growing. This is a very special moment. Embrace it. Be sure to reflect on significant experiences and the amazing people that you've encountered at Oakland University. You are now a part of a significant alumni community from our beloved OU. There are more than 120,000 of us living and working across the world. From one alumnus to another, allow me to offer you some advice. Take advantage of your Golden Grizzly network. The Oakland University Alumni Association has a membership of talented, accomplished, dope, and well-connected individuals providing you with access to an incredible legacy of grads to connect with. There are ton of networking opportunities for new graduates seeking new friendships, partnerships, and employment. I hope you will choose to become active alumni and will become part of the leadership that helps sustain this organization. Our alumni chapters develop engaging events and programming every year to connect new grads like you back to your alma mater and your fellow classmates. You can make a difference by supporting events that help raise funds for scholarships, by volunteering your time to mentor students, and by encouraging others who are seeking education to consider Oakland University. It is important to contribute to the development of our students and university. We are truly an alumni family. There are thousands of us, current Oakland University students with a brother, a sister, mother, father, and a grandparent who are OU alum. Your graduation can continue that family legacy or begin a new one. We encourage you to participate in the life of Oakland University in a way that is meaningful to you. You can make a difference. The words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, "Everyone can be great because anyone can serve." What you give yourself will directly impact the future of Oakland, the State of Michigan, and this country. On behalf of more than 120,000 smart, extraordinary people who graduated from OU, congratulations to each of you. We're honored to welcome each of you into this Alumni Association. So go Black, go Gold, go Grizzlies. Take care. Stay safe, and be healthy. Thank you.

The Oakland University Fight Song was established in 1999 and written by one of our own faculty members, Professor Michael Mitchell from the School of Music, Theater and Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences. Please join Dean Jon Margerum-Leys in singing the school Fight Song. Thank you, Dean Margerum-Leys. I would also like to thank the musical artists of the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band for the music played today. A word of thanks is also due to the numerous departments, staff, and other individuals who have worked hours to make this occasion possible. There's a stage at the other end of the parking lot to take photos and pick up your diploma cover. Cars will be directed out by rows and you may choose to exit on Squirrel Road if you do not want to walk across the stage for a photo. Please be sure to maintain social distance and be considerate of your fellow Oakland University students and guests safety. Congratulations graduates.

Undergraduate Ceremony: School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences
Transcript

[MUSIC]

Welcome to Oakland University's 2021 Spring Commencement. All of us at Oakland University salute today's graduates for their perseverance, their passion, and their dedication for completing their degrees and meeting the most challenging circumstances of the past several months. Now, please join us as we honor our nation and come together as a community with the singing of the national anthem performed by Angela Bonello, a voice performance major from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

[MUSIC]

Thank you, Angela, for that beautiful and inspiring performance. It's a pleasure to welcome members of the graduating classes of Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, along with your families, friends, special guests, and colleagues. For all of us, students, parents, friends, faculty, administrators, this special moment is a time of optimism, idealism, and reflection. I speak on behalf of the Oakland University community when I say, we are so proud of you. Each generation is connected to the next generation as a link that binds a long, continuous chain. Our common link is an educational tradition constructed on the ideals of knowledge as a means to enlightenment, diversity as a means to accessibility, and fairness as a means to opportunity. Today, you stand at the gate of one of life's most important rites of passage, college graduation. The first step of many steps to come on your lifelong professional journey that we all hope leads you to good health and happiness. You must be proud of your achievements, not only today, but anytime the thought occurs to you of whether you can't succeed when faced with a difficult challenge. Remember this, you can and you did. While you've been tested and challenged during your academic career at Oakland University, you've also had an extremely difficult trial during these last 12 months of an unprecedented pandemic and you have shown great perseverance and pride. Today, look at you, a success. There are no ordinary graduates in this class, each of you has a special and a unique story to tell about your journey that has led you here today. You are extraordinary, but all of you do share this, you succeeded during what will be recorded as one of the most difficult social and economic periods in American history. I wish I could see each and every one of your faces and shake your hands, I wish I could see the expressions of pride on the faces of your friends, your relatives, and your parents, all of whom share in your sense of achievement. Before the pandemic, when we all thought of the graduation ceremony, we expected to be crowded into the Orena in a very unsocially distanced way, surrounded by other graduates as they took their assigned place in a sea of black and gold, but life is filled with unexpected moments. The realities of the pandemic have changed everything, and now it should be clear that it's how you respond and cope when faced with the unexpected that reflects the strength and depth of your character, and character, true character is the first and most necessary ingredient in any formula for success. On this day, your graduation day, make sure that you take many photos; the memories in images will last a lifetime, and so too will the building blocks of a lifetime of learning. I'd like you to reflect on the meaning of this past year and the challenges we all face in taking responsibility of doing whatever we can to make our community and our world a better, fairer, and more humane place to live. Take the time to ask yourself, how can I do my part to help? Then translate your response into action. I want you to leave this graduation ceremony with this thought in your mind; you are capable of the extraordinary. Generations that have gone before you have also been defined by challenging times, some by war, some by economic depression, some by the struggle for civil rights and human dignity. Each generation has a defining moment where they have risen to the challenge. Your time is now and I know, we all know, you will succeed in the days, months, and years ahead. Congratulations on your graduation. Today, you become part of our proud Oakland University tradition. Now, please enjoy the following honorary degree presentation, followed by our new Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Britt Rios-Ellis.

[MUSIC]

At Oakland University, we confer honorary degrees to people whose noteworthy accomplishments have a major impact on their communities, on industries, and in making the world a better place. Over the years, we've acknowledged a diverse range of recipients who individually and collectively reaffirm our commitment to scholarly, creative, and humanitarian values. Today, I am so proud to confer to Kenneth Janke, the Doctor of Science, to Thomas Kimble, the Doctor of Humanities, to Kathleen Ligocki, the Doctor of Science, to Dennis Pawley, the Doctor of Arts, and to Patrick Scoggin, the Doctor of Humanities posthumously, whose nominations had been reviewed by the University's Senate Honorary Degrees Committee, recommended to the provost and enthusiastically affirmed by me, the president.

Today, I am honored to be standing in the Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall to celebrate the legacy of our distinguished honorary degree recipients. You have contributed to the intellectual, cultural, commercial, and civic betterment of our community and merit the honorary degrees of arts, humanities, and science honoris causa.

I had no idea what a CEO or an investor was when I was a child. I think I wanted to be a social activist, and a ballerina, and an archaeologist, and an actress, and that was all when I was six.

My great grandfather was a minister, my father's father was a minister, my father was a minister, so there was an expectation that little Tommy would become a minister also. But something happened along the way that I ended up in business and finance, accepted a job at General Motors, stayed there for 30 years as a finance executive.

My youngest remembrance of wanting to be in a profession, was I wanted to be a disc jockey. When I started working with my father, I discovered the field of investor relations, and that's when I knew I wanted to go into that area.

Everybody working in the automobile business always almost a pre-gone conclusion that "Denny when you graduate, you're going to go into the automobile business", so that's where I ended up.

My husband, Pat Scoggin, did not always want to pursue business. He wanted to go into sports, journalism, or be a sports analyst. A corporate insurance company recruited him out of college, and he went straight into business, and then ended up at the Ford dealership in Rochester, Michigan.

I think that the thing that I was most grateful for was the people that I worked with, people that I worked for, and the people I was fortunate enough to lead. Without those people I would never achieved the success that I was able to get in my career.

I've got a wonderful wife. We've been married for over 33 years. We've got three great kids. All of whom are very successful in their own right, and we're both incredibly proud of them.

My husband Pat would say that he is most grateful for his family. Another great accomplishment of my husband Pat is his OU scholars. He donated his money to put nine going on ten full ride scholars through Oakland University.

I have many things to be grateful for. I've worked at big companies and small companies around the world. Probably most importantly, if COVID has taught us nothing else, that the people we love and the people who love us are the greatest asset in our life.

I'm very grateful for the ability to age with the dignity and purpose that I so much desire, and I'm grateful to have a great family like Oakland University.

I think the advice I'd give to graduates first and foremost would be to find whatever they can do to be fulfilled at work because they're going to be spending so much time there, and if you're not happy at work, you're not going to be happy at home.

Do not be the last one to get to work and the first one to leave. Be the first one there and the last to leave, and you'll have a much better opportunity for success.

Chart your own path. Stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. Stay open to new possibilities. Stay connected to the people you care about.

I think the ability to be humble in your career. No one leader can run an organization all by themselves.

I believe his wise advice is universal. Always be honest and have integrity in all that you do. Treat people well. Adhere to the principle of the 7Ps: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Finally, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond.

Dennis Pawley, we honor you as an acclaimed executive and thought leader, In the automotive and manufacturing industries. A dedicated servant of your community and country. A remarkably generous philanthropist and tremendous advocate of higher education. Tom Kimble, we honor you as an exceptional business leader, and as a remarkably engaged civic leader who has maintained a meaningful and impactful association with Oakland University's College of Arts and Sciences. Kathleen Ligocki, we honor you for your distinguished career, leading companies to success, driving entrepreneurial technology, and impacting the automotive industry in Michigan. Kenneth Janke, we honor you as an accomplished businessman. An outstanding contributor to community organizations, to the advancement of diversity and equity in society, and to the success of higher education in Michigan. Patrick Scoggin, we honor you posthumously as an accomplished businessman and extraordinary contributor to community development, education, and human services throughout Southeastern Michigan and beyond.

I want to take a moment to express my admiration, To Kenneth, Tom, Kathleen, Dennis, and Patrick for their compassion and selflessness in all of their civic endeavors. The conferral of the doctorate degrees of arts and humanities, of science honoris causa to Dennis Pawley, Tom Kimble, Patrick Scoggin, Kathleen Ligocki, and Kenneth Janke is Oakland University's recognition of truly distinguished achievements beyond the classroom and campus, and a testament to the power of education, initiative, and vision. Congratulations to our newest Doctors.

Today, we are here to honor and celebrate the students who graduate from Oakland University. I applaud you on your achievements and I encourage you to always continue the quest for excellence. You have studied with outstanding faculty and staff. You have been encouraged and supported by the faculty and staff and by your families and friends. Today we are extremely proud of each and every one of you. As students, your lives have been changed forever because you chose to study at Oakland University, you chose to pursue a college education, and you chose to be successful. You depart this campus as a very different person, than you were on the day you enrolled. Today, you emerge as a leader. You will take with you precious and unique skills, knowledge, and values. Throughout your undergraduate ceremonies this semester, we have 3,400 students graduating. 61 percent are women and 39 percent are men. 95 percent are from Michigan, 80 percent are from Oakland and Macomb Counties, 3 percent are international students, and the average age is 24.8. The youngest graduate is 19 years old and the oldest is 66 years strong. To give you an idea of the breadth of the bachelor's degrees awarded today, 36 percent are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 15 percent are from the School of Business Administration, 8 percent are from the School of Education and Human Services, 15 percent are from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, 13 percent are from the School of Health Sciences, 11 percent are from the School of Nursing, and 4 percent are from the Bachelor of Integrative Studies Program. I'd like to acknowledge the veterans who are graduating today. Please honk your horns to congratulate them. Thank you for your service. I'd like to introduce Dr. Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College, followed by Dr. Kevin Ball, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, and Dr. Judy Didion, Dean of the School of Nursing.

I'm Dr. Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College here at Oakland University. I'm supposed to be here today to talk to you about students graduating with honors but that's going to be hard to do. You see, I've got a problem. My son, Tyler, he's graduating here with you today and that's a real problem because after today, like you, he's not going to be an undergraduate anymore. Tyler is our youngest son so I've not lived in a house without undergraduates for maybe 10 years. It's going to be very different. I know there's probably parents out there that feel the same way. These birds are leaving the nest. I did think I should impress him today, maybe by using Latin designations, summa cum laude and all those great terms. But one thing I've learned from my son is that I should be more grounded. I should be more grounded in the real world, in the world around us, in this time and in this place. I should be more down to earth. Two months ago, I became an American citizen. We all did, Tyler, and his mother, and I. We were driving home and as we were driving home like you will be today from this ceremony, I realized that this is the place we live in. Everything around me was who I had become. Everything around me was who I was. That's what we mean by down to earth. We mean being together. We mean the condition of sharing things together. We mean graduating together in this time and in this place. We mean celebrating together in any way we can. The place we make, whether that place is our family home, our nation, or our university, that place has influence. The environments we live in, the people we meet, and the ambitions we form, this is the substance of who we are, each and every one of us. Today is a monumental ceremony. It's about who we are each and all of us: professors, families and friends, staff, students, leaders, and the graduates of Oakland University. And the world is watching, a fact I'm going to prove to you in just a minute. So with that world watching, let me turn to the job of being asked to do today at this ceremony. I'm going to ask you to honk your horns in a moment when I call out your particular cords, your particular awards. Those who are graduating today with University Honors are wearing gold cords. Honk your horns gold cord wearers. Fabulous. Those who are receiving departmental honors are wearing red cords. Honk your horns. Cords and stoles of other colors worn by graduates represent the many honors societies with chapters here at Oakland University. Honk your horns. Students graduating today from the Honors College are wearing Honors College medallions. Those also graduating as Presidential Scholars can be identified with medallions embossed with our university seal. That is our official emblem and has remained unchanged since our foundation. Honors College graduates, Presidential Scholars, honk your horns, [LAUGHTER] and so you should. Today's commencement sees the largest number of graduates of the Honors College in the history of Oakland University and the highest number of graduates graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Seventy-three of them have completed the Presidential Scholar Medallion Program. That also is a record. These students, these graduates, they represent us all here at Oakland University because this is our time and this is our place. To the Honors College graduates, in addition to maintaining a grade point average in the top rank of all students nationally for your entire time here at Oakland University, you've also have been part of completing over 30,000 hours of service to the community and to the university. You've undertaken the study of one or more languages so you can speak to more people in the world like the one I'm about to introduce you to. You've worked with your fellow students to lead student organizations and to host distinguished speakers from the academy, from the community, and from the professions. And you've completed a substantial undergraduate research project or a creative project mentored by a member of our wonderful Oakland University faculty. These projects now stand as an investigation of knowledge and an application of knowledge that places the Honors College graduates here today in the top five percent of graduates in our nation. Yes, that's the first time I've been able to say our nation. There is much to celebrate here today. Every cap, every gown, every cord, and every medallion, they all represent a vision, a set of principles, a grounding in this world that binds us here altogether. And that world is watching. Let me introduce you to Henrik Syse, the Vice Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee. Yes, that Nobel Prize. Henrik would like to say a few words to the Honors College graduates graduating today at Oakland University, and he is very down to earth.

Hi there. My name is Henrik Syse. Well, it ends up as Henrik Syse in English but you know these Scandinavian names. What an honor to be speaking to you today. I realized as I'm starting to speak here, I should have been wearing a tie, and fortunately, I did have one here so I can try to tie it while I speak to you and see if I can multitask. Congratulations on your graduation. I know the work that lies behind graduating from the Honors College at Oakland. Goodness, a lot of work, but also a lot of community service. A lot of growing up, a lot of becoming more than what you were when you started, but also becoming more yourself. Who am I? Well, I'm a philosopher. I'm an ethicist. I've done a lot of work on questions within moral philosophy, not just in theory but I hope also in practice, what it means to take responsibility in society. I realized from the work that I've done having advised the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. Or having served six years on the Nobel Committee, as one of those five people who choose who gets the Nobel Peace Prize, I was also the Vice Chair of the Nobel Committee. I have seen a little bit of what it takes to make a difference in society, and I know that is the sort of spirit that you have. But remember it's not just about the things up there, it's not just about money or positions or about creating peace between nations, all those things can be very, very important if you can contribute. But it's also about your everyday lives, the difference you make to the person right next to you. The way you take care of yourself. You should love thy neighbor, but you also have to do that in a way that takes care of yourself. These everyday things are the individual building blocks that a happy, prosperous, sustainable society is built on. Congratulations on this great day. One day maybe one of you will get the Nobel Peace Prize, and I can welcome you here to Oslo, Norway to be part of the celebrations. Congratulations with or without the Nobel Peace Prize and I do you wish you and your loved ones all the best.

Congratulations to all the graduates.

Dear health science graduates, on behalf of the faculty and staff members of the School of Health Sciences, congratulations on your accomplishments. Yes, this graduation day celebration is for you. Yet it is also a landmark day for each of us: graduates, family, friends, and faculty members to reflect upon and to give thanks for. The women and men graduating today having pursued their own personal journeys. Certainly with the challenges of the major COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more meaningful time to graduate into a health serving career. Yet in the School of Health Sciences, we know that no person stands alone. We are collectively over 2,000 undergraduate, master's, doctoral, and post-professional students who through expert faculty guidance and community partnerships endeavor earnestly. Now, dear graduates, let us reflect. You're surrounded by friends and family, by companions, and perhaps virtually your now former classmates who are soon to be your future colleagues. Together, you are to engage in the great enterprise of serving others. The world is in need. Our country is in need. All people, whether we meet them through the organized benefits of insured healthcare or do so in a haphazard fashion on the street in underserved communities. Yes, all people are in need of the help that you have learned to provide. Consider your vivid experiences within our School of Health Sciences. Was it by sleeping in a cardboard box one cold night, participating in our wellness and health promotion Fight the Night campaign, experiencing what it is to be homeless? Or was it by helping to assess and serve the health and social needs of our neighbors in poor urban communities? Might it have been through helping to provide disabled persons who could not afford care with free physical therapy services? Or was it by responding as the COVID-19 crisis began raging in Michigan to help package food for deliveries to communities in need? Together, today, we mark your emergence as competent, collaborative, compassionate scholars and practitioners. You are ready. Draw upon the best of your now proven intellect. Give guidance and service through the best application of your clinical skills. Help others by learning what you don't yet know so as to refine your abilities, and make the best use of your leadership talents by first getting involved. As you rise to meet all future challenges, please remember always to keep close for your support, your friends, family, colleagues, and indeed your School of Health Sciences academic family. For together, we are at our best in purpose for health. Thank you.

Good day everyone. Graduates, today marks a major milestone that you have met along the way of becoming a member of one of the country's most noble and trusted professions, nursing. Take a moment to savor your success, to reflect upon your determination to excel in the art and science of nursing. Today's achievement marks your transition from student nurse to professional nurse. Not only are you entering the profession at a time of rapid change in healthcare caused by a pandemic that turned our healthcare systems and the economy 360 degrees, you completed your degree at a time when higher education was faced with rapid challenges for an immediate response to the shutdown in the classroom, lab, and clinical experiences for students. Your class faced an entire year of unknowns. How do I manage remote learning? How do I learn the technology and skills required to care for patients virtually? How do I learn to provide evidence-based care to patients when I can't have the same amount of clinical time that was offered prior? How do I function in a healthcare environment where all patients and providers wear masks and stay distant? For some of you, how do I manage my learning with my children at home, away from their classroom and friends? Ultimately, many of you asked, how will this new way of learning impact my ability to be successful? I recently received an email from one of our graduates and she may be out there in the audience today. Her email was representative of the answer to this question. Let me share it with you. "Dear Professor Didion, I wanted to say a big thanks for all of your hard work and dedication and bringing to fulfillment my dream of becoming a BSN RN. Despite the pandemic, you and the entire faculty worked tirelessly and ensured we would get the best in theory and practice. I wrote my NCLEX, which is the national nursing exam, yesterday with success. Many thanks to you and your staff for all you do." The hardships, the changes, and the sacrifices you made this past year in order to continue your education is amazing. You demonstrated the commitment and persistence required to meet your academic goals and graduate. The fact you enthusiastically continued your pursuit to be a nurse in the midst of a life-threatening pandemic and knowing the heart-wrenching stories told by the nurses in the COVID units, tells me you are not pursuing the profession just to get a job, but you are committed to care for humans who are suffering and to comfort their loved ones along the way. These are attributes of an excellent nurse, you are well on your way. A close nurse friend shared this excerpt written by Haruki Murakami. As I read it, I thought it may resonate with you when thinking about this past year. And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm is about. The mission of Oakland University School of Nursing is to prepare transformational leaders committed to caring and using the best evidence and nursing practice, education and research to optimize the health of the public in a diverse, ever-changing global society. Your journey through your baccalaureate education was most transformative. Your experiences were most unique. You weathered the storm, and the benefits you have gained from the journey will stay with you always. I am confident that you, as an OU educated baccalaureate prepared nurse, will lead change and make the differences needed to benefit the health of patients, families, and communities. I know this because you have mastered ever-changing educational environments with commitment and grace. I know you will do the same in the ever-changing healthcare environment. Since this is my last chance to address you, I would like to take just a few moments to share with you some of the health advice I've heard over the years and it has served me well. I hope you will take it to heart. As you move into your professional career, embrace every opportunity presented to you. It will make you stronger, wiser, and open more doors for you. Know that every experience is a learning experience and position yourself for the next career opportunity. Set goals for yourself and work towards them. Standing still, living day-to-day becomes stale and contributes to fatigue and burnout, so keep yourself refreshed and healthy. Remember, you cannot provide good care to others if you don't care for yourself. Don't stop learning. What you don't know is more important than what you do. Ask questions and learn from others. Never let your ego stand in the way of doing what's best for your patient. This will keep you and your patients safe. Never forget that every patient is a person and they need your support and care. When you're feeling worn out, remember our patients are someone's father, mother, grandparent, child, and best friend. Stay present for them. Always keep the patient and family as key members of the health care team. They are our guides for safe and effective care, so listen to them. Speak the truth always and never ever be afraid to speak the truth to those you might perceive to be more powerful than yourselves. You are your patient's best advocate and you are the advocate for our nation's health. Strive each day to be better than you were the day before. Be more generous, give more than you think you can, reach higher, be better. Keep a sense of humor though. It's the key to your success, especially during a tough day. Finally, be kind. Compassionate and kindness are key attributes for an excellent nurse. I hope you will remember these words and think about what kind of nurse you want to be because it begins right now. Your success depends on you, and I know each of you will succeed. I will be proud to have an Oakland University nurse take care of me and my loved ones. Congratulations nurses.

I'm Glenn McIntosh, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer. It is my pleasure to recognize graduating students for some of the highest honors Oakland University bestows. These students are receiving an award bearing a name of one of our university's initial benefactors, Alfred G. Wilson or Matilda R. Wilson. The recipients have been chosen for having made outstanding contributions to the life of the university, to scholarship, to student leadership, and to the expression of responsibility in the solution of social problems. I commend the students, faculty, and staff who performed the difficult screening process for selection of the award winners this year. Now, it gives me great pleasure to announce the Alfred G. Wilson Award recipient, Jack Ryan Andrews. Jack entered Oakland University to pursue a major in Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. We honor you Jack for achieving academic excellence by maintaining a 3.89 Grade Point Average, by achieving the Dean's List for all of your semesters here at OU, by being awarded the Presidential Scholarship upon entering OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as the Vice President of the OU Men's Soccer Club, as the Event Coordinator of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and as Francis M. Moceri Scholar, and as a Research Assistant in the School of Engineering and Computer Science in the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. You dedicated yourself to community service by working tirelessly with the Oakland County Sheriff Police Athletic League. by teaching the inner city youth of Pontiac the fundamentals of soccer, by volunteering your time by participating in multiple alternative spring break service trips, and by aiding the fundraising efforts of the Alex M. Mackmin Memorial Foundation. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in the OU community, we salute and congratulate you Jack. We extend best wishes and continued success in all your future endeavors. Next is my pleasure to announce the Matilda R. Wilson Award recipient, Sydney Jennifer Torres. Sydney entered Oakland University to pursue a major in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Sydney for achieving academics excellence by maintaining a 4.0 Grade Point Average, achieving Dean's List Honors for each of your semesters at OU, by being a Kenny Merit Scholarship recipient, receiving first place honors in a Writing Excellence Competition through the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. serving as President of the Pre-medical Society, serving as the Secretary of Future Leader Dogs at OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as a Research Assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences, a Teaching Assistant and Dean's Students Fellow for the Honors College, a Medical Scribe and Nursing Assistant in Beaumont Health and a participant of the Career Development Academy of the University of Michigan School of Medicine. You dedicated yourself to community service by volunteering as a Kitchen Aide at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan, serving as a Reading and Literacy Mentor at Center for Success in Pontiac, Being a community volunteer and clinic observer with MEDLIFE OU, and raising and training Future Leader Dogs for the blind and visually impaired community. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in the Oakland University community, we salute and congratulate you Sydney. We extend best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. It is now my pleasure to present the university's Human Relations Award. The Human Relations Award was instituted in 1986 through the efforts of the Wilson Award Committee. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding contributions to intergroup understanding and conflict resolution in the Oakland University community. It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2021 recipient of the Human Relations Award, Jai Carrero. Jai entered Oakland University to pursue a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a Concentration in Acting in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Jai for demonstrating academic excellence by maintaining a 3.0 Grade Point Average, being a Core Ambassador in the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, and being an Admissions Ambassador in the Office of Admissions. You have demonstrated campus leadership as President and Founder of the Black Lives Matter Student Organization, by being a Diversity Advocate in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and by serving as a mentor and advocate to students experiencing academic and mental health challenges. You dedicated yourself to community service by serving the community as Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 3 Student Council, and by creating Kaleidoscope, a student organization that provides BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other underrepresented students a platform to perform theatrical works. For all your efforts and successes, we salute and congratulate you Jai. Best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. On behalf of Oakland University, we congratulate all of you in the class of 2021.

Students, you have worked very hard for many years for a college degree. It's a long-standing tradition that after receiving a post-secondary degree, the cap tassel is shifted from the right side to the left side of the cap. This signifies to all the completion of the degree. Upon nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and via authority of the State of Michigan vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The time has come. Will all of you, the graduates of Oakland University, please step out of your vehicles [MUSIC] and please now move your tassels.

[MUSIC]

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, I now present to you the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Oakland University graduates. Let's give our new bachelors a well-deserved round of applause and a few horn honks too. Congratulations, graduates.

[APPLAUSE]

You may now get back into your vehicles. Now, I would like to turn things over to Provost Rios-Ellis for a valediction.

Congratulations to all of the Oakland University graduates and to your families and friends. We are honored to share in this joyful celebration of your milestone achievement. We will conclude this ceremony with a valediction. As alumni of Oakland University, it is our hope that this ceremony will begin a lifetime connection to your alma mater. Rather than saying goodbye to this university today, we hope you will simply say "so long for now", and return soon to participate in the many programs and opportunities we offer alumni. We hope that you view today this unique commencement celebration as the beginning of your life as a member of the OU family, and that you will always feel a connection to your fellow graduates, the faculty and the staff. Graduates, we sincerely hope that you will strive to maintain contact with Oakland University. We hope that you will think of OU when you need support and resources or when support and resources are yours to share. We hope that you will bear the torch of this great academic center and shine its light whenever the opportunity arises. Wherever you go, please remember Oakland University goes with you as the foundation of your career and the beginning of a successful life. As you make your way in the world, we hope that you will always take the meaning of the Oakland University seal to heart. "Seguir virtute e canoscenza" meaning "seeker of virtue and knowledge". From this day forward, may you continue to seek knowledge, be courageous in your endeavors, and search for growth and stay wondrously aware of the impact you can make on your community. We are also asking you, as new alumni of Oakland University, to be model citizens and responsible civic leaders in our global society. Most importantly, we're asking you to act with integrity, forethought, compassion and a breath of awareness of those around you. With extreme pleasure, I welcome you to the Oakland University family. Congratulations and best wishes.

Congratulations, graduates. My name is Stefen Welch, class of 2005. I bring you greetings from the OU Alumni Association. You have demonstrated the true Golden Grizzly Spirit, the perseverance and fortitude during these challenging times. It's our hope that you will use these unique circumstances to help develop and navigate your personal convictions as you live in your purpose, on purpose. This commencement signals the beginning of the next phase of your life. It might seem scary for some, but my friend Jay Z once said, "Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action. Those who aren't, submit to their fears and live with regrets." So don't panic, don't regret, I can tell you from experience, everything will be all right. Believe in your capabilities and what you've learned here, but never stop growing. This is a very special moment, embrace it, be sure to reflect on significant experiences and the amazing people that you've encountered at Oakland University. You are now a part of a significant alumni community from our beloved OU. There are more than a 120,000 of us living and working across the world. From one alumnus to another, allow me to offer you some advice. Take advantage of your Golden Grizzly network. The Oakland University Alumni Association has a membership of Talented, accomplished, dope and well-connected individuals providing you with access to an incredible legacy of grads to connect with. There are a ton of networking opportunities for new graduates seeking new friendships, partnerships, and employment. I hope you will choose to become active alumni and will become part of the leadership that helps sustain this organization. Our alumni chapters develop engaging events and programming every year to connect new grads, like you, back to your alma mater and your fellow classmates. You can make a difference by supporting events that help raise funds for scholarships, by volunteering your time to mentor our students, and by encouraging others who are seeking education to consider Oakland University. It is important to contribute to the development of our students and university. We are truly an alumni family. There are thousands of us, current Oakland University students, with a brother, a sister, mother, father, and a grandparent who are OU alumni. Your graduation can continue that family legacy or begin a new one. We encourage you to participate in the life of Oakland University in a way that is meaningful to you. You can make a difference. In the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Everyone can be great because anyone can serve." What you give yourself will directly impact the future of Oakland, the State of Michigan, and this country. On behalf of more than a 120,000 smart, extraordinary people who graduated from OU, congratulations to each of you. We're honored to welcome each of you into this alumni association. So go Black, go Gold, go Grizzlies. Take care, stay safe, and be healthy. Thank you.

The Oakland University fight song was established in 1999, and written by one of our own faculty members, Professor Michael Mitchell from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now, please join Dean Jon Margerum-Leys in singing our school fight song.

Thank you, Dean Jon Margerum-Leys. I would also like to thank the musical artists of the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band for the music they played today. A word of thanks is also due to the numerous departments, staff, and other individuals who have worked hours to make this occasion possible. There's a stage at the other end of the parking lot where you can take photos and pick up your diploma cover. Cars will be directed out by rows, and you may choose to exit on Squirrel Road if you do not want to walk across the stage for a photo. Please be sure to maintain social distance and please be considerate of your fellow Oakland University students and guests' safety. Congratulations, graduates.

Undergraduate Ceremony: School of Business Administration and School of Engineering and Computer Science
Transcript

[MUSIC]

Welcome to Oakland University's 2021 Spring Commencement. All of us at Oakland University salute today's graduates for their perseverance, their passion, and their dedication for completing their degrees and meeting the most challenging circumstances of the past several months. Now, please join us as we honor our nation and come together as a community with the singing of the national anthem performed by Angela Bonello, a voice performance major from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

[MUSIC]

Thank you, Angela, for that beautiful and inspiring performance. It's a pleasure to welcome members of the graduating classes of Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, along with your families, friends, special guests, and colleagues. For all of us, students, parents, friends, faculty, administrators, this special moment is a time of optimism, idealism, and reflection. I speak on behalf of the Oakland University community when I say we are so proud of you. Each generation is connected to the next generation as a link that binds a long, continuous chain. Our common link is an educational tradition constructed on the ideals of knowledge as a means to enlightenment, diversity as a means to accessibility, and fairness as a means to opportunity. Today, you stand at the gate of one of life's most important rites of passage;. College graduation, the first step of many steps to come on your lifelong professional journey that we all hope leads you to good health and happiness. You must be proud of your achievements, not only today, but anytime the thought occurs to you of whether you can succeed when faced with a difficult challenge. Remember this, you can, and you did. While you've been tested and challenged during your academic career at Oakland University, you've also had an extremely difficult trial during these last 12 months of an unprecedented pandemic and you have shown great perseverance and pride. Today, look at you, a success. There are no ordinary graduates in this class. Each of you has a special and a unique story to tell about your journey that has led you here today. You are extraordinary, but all of you do share this; you succeeded during what will be recorded as one of the most difficult social and economic periods in American history. I wish I could see each and every one of your faces and shake your hands. I wish I could see the expressions of pride on the faces of your friends, your relatives, and your parents, all of whom share in your sense of achievement. Before the pandemic, when we all thought of the graduation ceremony, we expected to be crowded into the Orena in a very unsocially distanced way, surrounded by other graduates as they took their assigned place in a sea of black and gold. But life is filled with unexpected moments. The realities of the pandemic have changed everything. Now, it should be clear that it's how you respond and cope when faced with the unexpected that reflects the strength and depth of your character, and character, true character, is the first and most necessary ingredient in any formula for success. On this day, your graduation day, make sure that you take many photos. The memories and images will last a lifetime, and so too will the building blocks of a lifetime of learning. I'd like you to reflect on the meaning of this past year and the challenges we all face in taking responsibility of doing whatever we can to make our community and our world a better, fairer, and more humane place to live. Take the time to ask yourself, "How can I do my part to help?" Then translate your response into action. I want you to leave this graduation ceremony with this thought in your mind; you are capable of the extraordinary. Generations that have gone before you have also been defined by challenging times, some by war, some by economic depression, some by the struggle for civil rights and human dignity; each generation has a defining moment where they have risen to the challenge. Your time is now, and I know, we all know, you will succeed in the days, months, and years ahead. Congratulations on your graduation. Today, you become part of our proud Oakland University tradition. Now, please enjoy the following honorary degree presentation, followed by our new Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Britt Rios-Ellis.

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At Oakland University, we confer honorary degrees to people whose note worthy accomplishments have a major impact on their communities and industries and in making the world a better place. Over the years, we've acknowledged a diverse range of recipients who individually and collectively reaffirm our commitment to scholarly, creative, and humanitarian values. Today, I am so proud to confer to Kenneth Janke, the Doctor of Science, to Thomas Kimble, the Doctor of Humanities, to Kathleen Ligocki, the Doctor of Science, to Dennis Pawley, the Doctor of Arts, and to Patrick Scoggin, the Doctor of Humanities posthumously, whose nominations have been reviewed by the University Senate Honorary Degrees Committee, recommended to the Provost and enthusiastically affirmed by me, the president.

Today, I am honored to be standing in the Carlotta and Dennis Pawley hall to celebrate the legacy of our distinguished honorary degree recipients. You have contributed to the intellectual, cultural, commercial, and civic betterment of our community and merit the honorary degrees of arts, humanities, and science honoris causa.

I had no idea what a CEO or an investor was when I was a child. I think I want it to be a social activist and a ballerina, and an archaeologist and an actress and that was all when I was six.

My great grandfather was a minister. My father's father was a minister. My father was a minister, so there was an expectation that little Tommy would become a minister also. But something happened along the way that I ended up in business and finance, accepted a job at General Motors, stayed there for 30 years as a Finance Executive.

My youngest remembrance of wanting to be in a profession, was I wanted to be a disc jockey. When I started working with my father, I discovered the field of investor relations and that's when I knew I wanted to go into that area.

Everybody worked in the automobile business so there was almost a pre-gone conclusion that "Denny when you graduate, you're going to be one of the automobile business", so that's where I ended up.

My husband, Pat Scoggin, did not always want to pursue business. He wanted to go into sports journalism or be a sports analyst. A corporate insurance company recruited him out of college and he went straight into business, and then ended up at the Ford dealership in Rochester, Michigan.

I think the thing that I was most grateful for was the people that I worked with, people that I work for, and the people I was fortunate enough to lead. Without all those people, I would have never achieved the success that I was able to get in my career.

I've got a wonderful wife. We've been married for over 33 years. We've got three great kids, all of whom are very successful in their own right. We're both incredibly proud of them.

My husband Pat would say that he is most grateful for his family. Another great accomplishment of my husband Pat is his OU scholars. He donated his money to put nine going on 10 full ride scholars through Oakland University.

I have many things to be grateful for. I've worked at big companies and small companies around the world and probably most importantly, if COVID has taught us nothing else, that the people we love and the people who love us are the greatest asset in our life.

I'm very grateful for the ability to age with the dignity and purpose that I so much desire, and I'm grateful to have a great family like Oakland University.

I think the advice I'd give to graduates first and foremost would be to find whatever they can do to be fulfilled at work because they're going to be spending so much time there, and if you're not happy at work, you're not going to be happy at home.

Do not be the last one to get to work and the first one to leave. Be the first one there and the last to leave, and you'll have a much better opportunity for success.

Chart your own path. Stay healthy in mind, body and soul. Stay open to new possibilities. Stay connected to the people you care about.

I think the ability to be humble in your career. No one leader can run an organization all by themselves.

I believe his wise advice is universal. Always be honest and have integrity in all that you do. Treat people well. Adhere to the principle of the 7Ps: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Finally, life is 10 percent, what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond.

Dennis Pawley, we honor you as an acclaimed executive and thought leader in the automotive and manufacturing industries. A dedicated servant of your community and country. A remarkably generous philanthropist and tremendous advocate of higher education. Tom Kimble, we honor you as an exceptional business leader and as a remarkably engaged civic leader who has maintained a meaningful and impactful association with Oakland University's College of Arts and Sciences. Kathleen Ligocki, we honor you for your distinguished career, leading companies to success, driving entrepreneurial technology and impacting the automotive industry in Michigan. Kenneth Janke, we honor you as an accomplished businessman and outstanding contributor to community organizations, to the advancement of diversity and equity in society, and to the success of higher education in Michigan. Patrick Scoggin, we honor you posthumously, as an accomplished businessman and extraordinary contributor to community development, education, and human services throughout Southeastern Michigan and beyond. I wanted to take a moment to express my admiration to Kenneth, Tom, Kathleen, Dennis, and Patrick for their compassion and selflessness in all of their civic endeavors. The conferral of the doctorate degrees of Arts and Humanities, of Science honoris causa to Dennis Pawley, Tom Kimble, Patrick Scoggin, Kathleen Ligocki and Kenneth Janke is Oakland University's recognition of truly distinguished achievements beyond the classroom and campus and a testament to the power of education, initiative and vision. Congratulations to our newest doctors.

Today we are here to honor and celebrate the students who graduate from Oakland University. I applaud you on your achievements and I encourage you to always continue the quest for excellence. You have studied with outstanding faculty and staff, you have been encouraged and supported by the faculty and staff, and by your families and friends. Today, we are extremely proud of each and every one of you. As students, your lives have been changed forever because you chose to study at Oakland University, you chose to pursue a college education, and you chose to be successful. You depart this campus as a very different person than you were on the day you enrolled. Today, you emerge as a leader. You will take with you precious and unique skills, knowledge, and values. Throughout your undergraduate ceremonies this semester, we have 3,400 students graduating. 61 percent are women and 39 percent are men. 95 percent are from Michigan, 80 percent are from Oakland and Macomb Counties, 3 percent are international students, and the average age is 24.8. The youngest graduate is 19 years old and the oldest is 66 years strong. To give you an idea of the breadth of the bachelor's degrees awarded today, 36 percent are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 15 percent are from the School of Business Administration, 8 percent are from the School of Education and Human Services, 15 percent are from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, 13 percent are from the School of Health Sciences, 11 percent are from the School of Nursing, and 4 percent are from the Bachelor of Integrative Studies Program. I'd like to acknowledge the veterans who are graduating today. Please honk your horns to congratulate them. Thank you for your service. I'd like to introduce Dr. Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College, followed by Dr. Michael Mazzeo, Dean of the School of Business Administration, and Dr. Louay Chamra, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

I'm Dr. Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College here at Oakland University. I'm supposed to be here today to talk to you about students graduating with honors, but that's going to be hard to do. You see, I've got a problem. My son, Tyler, he's graduating here with you today. That's a real problem because after today, like you, he's not going to be an undergraduate anymore. Tyler is our youngest son, so I have not lived in a house without undergraduates for maybe 10 years. It's going to be very different. I know there's probably parents out there that feel the same way. These birds are leaving the nest. I did think I should impress him today, maybe by using Latin designations, summa cum laude and all those great terms. But one thing I've learned from my son, is that I should be more grounded. I should be more grounded in the real world, in the world around us, in this time, and in this place. I should be more down to earth. Two months ago, I became an American citizen. We all did. Tyler and his mother and I. We were driving home, and as we were driving home, like you will be today from the ceremony, I realized that this is the place we live in. Everything around me was who I had become, everything around me was who I was. That's what we mean by down to earth. We mean being together, we mean the condition of sharing things together. We mean graduating together in this time and in this place. We mean celebrating together in any way we can. The place we make, whether that place is our family home, our nation or our university, that place has influence, the environments we live in, the people we meet, and the ambitions we form. This is a substance of who we are, each and every one of us. Today is a monumental ceremony, it's about who we are, each and all of us, professors, families and friends, staff, students, leaders, and the graduates of Oakland University. The world is watching, a fact I'm going to prove to you in just a minute. With that world watching, let me turn to the job I've been asked to do today at this ceremony. I'm going to ask you to honk your horns in a moment when I call out your particular cords, your particular awards. Those who are graduating today with university honors are wearing gold cords. Honk your horns gold cord wearers. Fabulous. Those who are receiving departmental honors are wearing red cords. Honk your horns. Cords and stoles of other colors worn by graduates represent the many honors societies, with chapters here at Oakland University. Honk your horns. Students graduating today from the Honors College, are wearing Honors College medallions. Those also graduating as presidential scholars can be identified with medallions embossed with our university seal. That is our official emblem and has remained unchanged since our foundation. Honors College graduates, presidential scholars, honk your horns, [LAUGHTER] and so you should. Today's commencement sees the largest number of graduates of the Honors College in the history of Oakland University. And the highest number of graduates graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Seventy-three of them have completed the Presidential Scholar Medallion Program, that also is a record. These students, these graduates, they represent as all here at Oakland University because this is our time and this our place. To the Honors College graduates, in addition to maintaining a grade point average in the top rank of all students nationally for your entire time here at Oakland University, you've also been part of completing over 30,000 hours of service to the community and to the university. You've undertaken the study of one or more languages so you can speak to more people in the world, like the one I'm about to introduce you to. You've worked with your fellow students to lead student organizations and to host distinguished speakers from the academy, from the community, and from the professions. You've completed a substantial undergraduate research project or a creative project mentored by a member of our wonderful Oakland University faculty. These projects now stand as an investigation of knowledge and an application of knowledge that places the Honors College graduates here today in the top five percent of graduates in our nation. Yes, that's the first time I've been able to say our nation. There is much to celebrate here today. Every cap, every gown, every cord, and every medallion. They all represent a vision, a set of principles, a grounding in this world that binds us here all together, and that world is watching. Let me introduce you to Henrik Syse, the Vice Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee. Yes, that Nobel Prize. Henrik would like to say a few words to the Honors College graduates graduating today at Oakland University. He is very down to earth.

Hi there. My name is Henrik Syse. It ends up as Henrik Syse in English but you know these Scandinavian names. What an honor to be speaking to you today. I realize as I'm starting to speak here, I should have been wearing a tie. Fortunately, I did have one here, so I can try to tie it while I speak to you and see if I can multitask. Congratulations on your graduation. I know the work that lies behind graduating from the Honors College at Oakland. Goodness, a lot of work, but also a lot of community service, a lot of growing up, a lot of becoming more than what you were when you started, but also becoming more yourself. Who am I? Well, I'm a philosopher. I'm an ethicist. I've done a lot of work on questions within moral philosophy, not just in theory, but I hope also in practice, what it means to take care responsibility in society. I realize from the work that I've done, having advised the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. Or having served six years on the Nobel Committee as one of those five people who choose who gets the Nobel Peace Prize. I was also the Vice Chair of the Nobel Committee. I've seen a little bit of what it takes to make a difference in society, and I know that is the spirit that you have. But remember, it's not just about things up there. It's not just about money or positions or about creating peace between nations. All those things can be very important and you can contribute, but it's also about your everyday lives. The difference you make to the person right next to you. The way you take care of yourself. You should love thy neighbor. But you also have to do that in a way that takes care of yourself. These everyday things are the individual building blocks that a happy, prosperous, sustainable society is built on. Congratulations on this great day. One day, maybe one of you will get the Nobel Peace Prize, and I can welcome you here to Oslo, Norway to be part of the celebrations. Congratulations with or without the Nobel Peace Prize. And I do you wish you and your loved ones all the best.

Congratulations to all the graduates.

We are here today to honor our graduating students. I speak for the entire School of Business Administration, faculty and staff, when I say, we are extremely proud of you. This is extraordinary times. You have persevered. You have moved forward with strength; strength of character, strength of knowledge, strength of experience, and the strength to push through obstacles towards great achievement. You have proven you have what it takes to succeed. This wasn't luck, it was talent and it was hard work. You have studied hard, you have networked, you've interned, you've worked long hours, all of which has brought you here today. Your hard work brings mind a quote from actor Denzel Washington. "Luck is when opportunity comes and you are prepared." Today we are celebrating you and the results of your preparation, of your hard work. The preparation you have done to reach this milestone will serve you well. As you head into the next leg of your journey, I am confident you will be prepared for the opportunities that come your way. Success is in your future. You are prepared with knowledge, skills, experiences, and you have worked very hard. The investment you made in your success is backed by a degree from a well respected, nationally recognized university and business school. In addition, our business school is internationally accredited in both business and accounting, a prestigious accreditation that less than five percent of the world's 15,000 plus business programs. Beyond this accreditation, which is a very thorough review of our program, your business school is also consistently recognized for the quality of its program and graduates by organizations such as US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Best Business School Guide, and CEO Magazine, as well as PayScale, which lists Oakland University as a leading school for return on investment in business majors in Michigan. Employers in our region and beyond also place high value on graduates who hold an Oakland University degree. They recognize OU Business graduates as top contributors and business leaders. I share this with you, confident as you leave here in your accomplishments and proud of your school, enthused about your future. As Dean of the Business School, I know our students. You have natural curiosity. You have completed a rigorous program. You are ready for the world. We are very proud of you. We know this year has presented challenges for you and for all of us. Although this is not our preferred way to celebrate your incredible accomplishments, I am grateful we gather in this way today to honor you. If you have not done so, please take part in the virtual celebration held in your honor of our graduating seniors earlier this spring. I invite you to check the website to hear the messages, memories shared by our newest alumni. Savor this moment, reflect on all you've achieved and overcome to celebrate today. With that, I congratulate you. You have a bright future.

Good morning, graduates, faculty, staff, parents, and friends. As children, we often dream of being superheroes. We want to have special powers and use them to save people. DC Comics and the movie industry give us ample examples of superheroes racing through the sky and battling villains to save the humankind. Today, I have two questions I would like to pose. Who are the superheroes in real life? What superpowers do they have? You are entering the professional world at an unprecedented time. A time that's both demanding and inspiring. With science and technology at the forefront of a human lives, you and your fellow engineers, computer scientists, and information technologists, have the power that you can use to change the world. This power is in technology and innovation. You are charged with the task to turn your knowledge into innovative solutions that serve the greater good. During your last year on campus, many of you took steps to apply your skills for a larger purpose. Our Grizzly Racing students, who build race cars, took the initiative to repurpose their skills to create 3D printed face shields for the protection of frontline health professionals. The Grizz Hacks team rose to the challenge to utilize their knowledge to organize the first ever virtual event that not only surpassed the expectations, but also provided many participants the sense of normalcy in the middle of COVID- 19. On larger scales as seniors, you took part in The Clean Water Senior Design project used to generate power for areas destroyed by hurricanes. You designed a low cost solar energy system for residential homes in Metro Detroit. You work to develop a universal powered mobility solution for agricultural and medical carts. You move forward research on modular lithium batteries, metal stamping, and automotive vibration bushing. These are just a few example of how you use your special powers. What is it to be a hero in the modern world? Look back at your accomplishment, aim to do good, and you'll know. Look at your fellow graduate to understand that you all endured and yet persevered to be here today. To me, this is heroic. As the Rip Hunter, a superhero from the Legends of Tomorrow put it, "The truth of our existence is that we are all blessed and cursed with the drive to move forward. Live in the next day." You have everything it takes to live the next day. As people who will use their power to serve the greater good, you have all it takes to be heroes of tomorrow. I wish you all the best as you enter this exciting chapter in your life. We're very proud of you. Congratulations.

I'm Glenn McIntosh senior vice president for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer. It is my pleasure to recognize graduating students for some of the highest honors Oakland University bestows. These students will receive an award bearing the name of one of our university's initial benefactors, Alfred G. Wilson or Matilda R. Wilson. The recipients have been chosen for having made outstanding contributions to the life of the university, To scholarship, to student leadership, and to the expression of responsibility in the solution of social problems. I commend the students, faculty, and staff, who perform the difficult screening process for selection of the award winners this year. Now it gives me great pleasure to announce the Alfred G. Wilson Award recipient, Jack Ryan Andrews. Jack entered Oakland University to pursue a major in Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. We honor you Jack for achieving academic excellence by maintaining a 3.89 grade point average, by achieving the Dean's List for all your semesters here at OU, by being awarded the Presidential Scholarship upon entering OU, and you have demonstrated campus leadership as the Vice President of the OU Men's Soccer Club. As the Event Coordinator of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and as Francis M. Moceri Scholar, and as a Research Assistant in the School of Engineering and Computer Science and the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. You dedicated yourself to community service by working tirelessly with the Oakland County Sheriff Police Athletic League by teaching the inner city youth of Pontiac the fundamentals of soccer, by volunteering your time by participating in multiple alternative spring break service trips and by aiding the fundraising efforts of the Alex M. Mackmin Memorial Foundation. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in the OU community, we salute and congratulate you, Jack. We extend best wishes and continued success in all your future endeavors. Next is my pleasure to announce the Matilda R. Wilson Award recipient, Sydney Jennifer Torres. Sydney entered Oakland University to pursue a major in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Sydney for achieving academic excellence by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Achieving Dean's List Honors for each of your semesters at OU, by being a Kenny Merit Scholarship Recipient, receiving first place honors in a Writing Excellence Competition through the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. Serving as president of the Pre-medical Society, serving as the Secretary of Future Leader Dogs at OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as a Research Assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences, a Teaching Assistant and Dean's Students Fellow for the Honors College, a Medical Scribe and Nursing Assistant in Beaumont Health, and a participant of the Career Development Academy of the University of Michigan School of Medicine. You dedicate yourself to community service by volunteering as a Kitchen Aide at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan, serving as a Reading and Literacy Mentor at Center for Success in Pontiac, being a community volunteer in-clinic observer with MEDLIFE OU and raising and training Future Leader Dogs for the blind and visually impaired community. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in the Oakland University community, we salute and congratulate you, Sydney. We extend best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. It is now my pleasure to present the university's Human Relations Award. The Human Relations Award was instituted in 1986 through the efforts of the Wilson Award Committee. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding contributions to inter-group understanding and conflict resolution in the Oakland University community. It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2021 recipient of the human relations award Jai Carrero. Jai entered Oakland University to pursue a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a concentration in acting in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Jai for demonstrating academic excellence by maintaining a 3.0-grade point average. Being a Core Ambassador in the Center for Multicultural Initiatives and being an Admissions Ambassador in the Office of Admissions. You have demonstrated campus leadership as. president and founder of the Black Lives Matter student organization, by being a diversity advocate in the School of Music,Theatre and Dance, and by serving as a mentor and advocates to students experiencing academic and mental health challenges. You dedicate yourself to community service by serving the community as chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 3 Student Council, and by creating Kaleidoscope, a student organization that provides BIPOC, LGBTQIA in other underrepresented students, a platform to perform theatrical works. For all your efforts and successes, we salute and congratulate you Jai. Best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. On behalf of Oakland University, we congratulate all of you in the class of 2021.

Students, you have worked very hard for many years for a college degree, and it's a long-standing tradition that after receiving a post-secondary degree, the cap tassel is shifted from the right side to the left side of the cap. This signifies to all the completion of the degree. Upon nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and via authority of the State of Michigan, vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree of: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Engineering. The time has come, will all of you, the graduates of Oakland University, please step out of your vehicles [MUSIC] and please now move your tassels.

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Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, I now present to you the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Oakland University graduates. Let's give our new bachelors a well-deserved. round of applause, and a few horn honks too. Congratulations graduates.

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You may now get back into your vehicles. Now, I would like to turn things over to Provost Rios-Ellis for a valediction.

Congratulations to all of the Oakland University graduates and to your families and friends. We are honored to share in this joyful celebration of your milestone achievement. We will conclude this ceremony with a valediction. As alumni of Oakland University, it is our hope that this ceremony will begin a lifetime connection to your alma mater. Rather than saying goodbye to this university today, we hope you will simply say, "So long for now," and return soon to participate in the many programs and opportunities we offer alumni. We hope that you view today this unique commencement celebration as the beginning of your life as a member of the OU family and that you will always feel a connection to your fellow graduates, the faculty, and the staff. Graduates, we sincerely hope that you will strive to maintain contact with Oakland University. We hope that you will think of OU when you need support and resources or when support and resources are yours to share. We hope that you will bear the torch of this great academic center and shine its light whenever the opportunity arises. Wherever you go, please remember, Oakland University goes with you as the foundation of your career and the beginning of a successful life. As you make your way in the world, we hope that you will always take the meaning of the Oakland University seal to heart, "seguir virtute e canoscenza" meaning "seeker of virtue and knowledge". From this day forward, may you continue to seek knowledge, be courageous in your endeavors and search for growth, and stay wondrously aware of the impact you can make on your community. We are also asking you as new alumni of Oakland University to be model citizens and responsible civic leaders in our global society. Most importantly, we're asking you to act with integrity, forethought, compassion, and a breadth of awareness of those around you. With extreme pleasure, I welcome you to the Oakland University family. Congratulations and best wishes.

Congratulations graduates. My name is Stefen Welch, class of 2005. I bring you greetings from the OU Alumni Association. You have demonstrated the true Golden Grizzly spirit through perseverance and fortitude during these challenging times. It is our hope that you will use these unique set circumstances to help develop and navigate your personal convictions as you live in your purpose, on purpose. This commencement signals the beginning of the next phase of your life. It might seem scary for some, but my friend, Jay Z once said, "Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action. Those who aren't, submit to their fears and live with regrets." Don't panic, don't regret. I can tell you from experience, everything will be all right. Believe in your capabilities and what you've learned here, but never stop growing. This is a very special moment, embrace it. Be sure to reflect on significant experiences and the amazing people that you've encountered at Oakland University. You are now a part of a significant alumni community from our beloved OU. There are more than 120,000 of us living and working across the world. From one alumnus to another, allow me to offer you some advice, take advantage of your Golden Grizzly network. The Oakland University Alumni Association has a membership of talented, accomplished, dope, and well-connected individuals, providing you with access to an incredible legacy of grads to connect with. There are ton of networking opportunities for new graduates seeking new friendships, partnerships, and employment. I hope you will choose to become active alumni and will become part of the leadership that helps sustain this organization. Our alumni chapters develop engaging events and programming every year to connect new grads, like you, back to your alma mater and your fellow classmates. You can make a difference by supporting events that help raise funds for scholarships, by volunteering your time to mentor students, and by encouraging others who are seeking education to consider Oakland University. It is important to contribute to the development of our students and university. We are truly an alumni family. There are thousands of us current Oakland University students with a brother, a sister, mother, father, and a grandparent who are OU alum. Your graduation can continue that family legacy or begin a new one. We encourage you to participate in the life of Oakland University in a way that is meaningful to you. You can make a difference. In the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Everyone can be great because anyone can serve." What you give yourself will directly impact the future of Oakland, the State of Michigan, and this country. On behalf of more than 120,000 smart, extraordinary people who graduated from OU, congratulations to each of you. We're honored to welcome each of you into this Alumni Association. So go Black, go Gold, go Grizzlies. Take care, stay safe, and be healthy. Thank you.

The Oakland University fight song was established in 1999 and written by one of our own faculty members, professor Michael Mitchell from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now, please join Dean Jon Margerum-Leys in singing our school fight song.

Thank you, Dean Jon Margerum-Leys. I would also like to thank the musical artists of the Cabar Feidh Pipe Band for the music they played today. A word of thanks is also due to the numerous departments, staff, and other individuals who have worked hours to make this occasion possible. There's a stage at the other end of the parking lot where you can take photos and pick up your diploma cover. Cars will be directed out by rows and you may choose to exit on Squirrel Road if you do not want to walk across the stage for a photo. Please be sure to maintain social distance and please be considerate of your fellow Oakland University students and guests' safety. Congratulations graduates.

Undergraduate Ceremony: School of Education and Human Services and Integrative Studies
Transcript

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Welcome to Oakland University's. 2021 Spring Commencement. All of us at Oakland University salute today's graduates for their perseverance, their passion, and their dedication for completing their degrees and meeting the most challenging circumstances of the past several months. Now please join us as we honor our nation and come together as a community with the singing of the national anthem, performed by Angela Bonello, a voice performance major from the School of Music, Theater, and Dance.

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Thank you Angela for that beautiful and inspiring performance. It's a pleasure to welcome members of the graduating classes of Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, along with your families, friends, special guests, and colleagues. For all of us, students, parents, friends, faculty, administrators, this special moment is a time of optimism, idealism, and reflection. I speak on behalf of the Oakland University community when I say, we are so proud of you. Each generation is connected to the next generation as a link that binds a long, continuous chain. Our common link is an educational tradition constructed on the ideals of knowledge as a means to enlightenment, diversity as a means to accessibility, and fairness as a means to opportunity. Today, you stand at the gate of one of life's most important rites of passage, college graduation, the first step of many steps to come on your lifelong professional journey that we all hope leads you to good health and happiness. You must be proud of your achievements, not only today, but anytime the thought occurs to you, of whether you can't succeed when faced with a difficult challenge. Remember this, you can and you did. While you've been tested and challenged during your academic career at Oakland University, you've also had an extremely difficult trial during these last 12 months of an unprecedented pandemic, and you have shown great perseverance and pride. Today, look at you, a success. There are no ordinary graduates in this class. Each of you has a special and a unique story to tell about your journey that has led you here today. You are extraordinary, but all of you do share this. You succeeded during what will be recorded as one of the most difficult social and economic periods in American history. I wish I could see each and every one of your faces and shake your hands. I wish I could see the expressions, pride on the faces of your friends, your relatives, and your parents, all of whom share in your sense of achievement. Before the pandemic, when we all thought of the graduation ceremony, we expected to be crowded into the Orena in a very un-socially distanced way, surrounded by other graduates as they took their assigned place in a sea of black and gold. But life is filled with unexpected moments. The realities of the pandemic have changed everything, and now it should be clear that it's how you respond and cope when faced with the unexpected that reflects the strength and depth of your character. Character, true character is the first and most necessary ingredient in any formula for success. On this day, your graduation day, make sure that you take many photos. The memories and images will last a lifetime, and so too with the building blocks of a lifetime of learning. I'd like you to reflect on the meaning of this past year and the challenges we all face in taking responsibility of doing whatever we can to make our community and our world a better, fairer, and more humane place to live. Take the time to ask yourself, how can I do my part to help, and then translate your response into action. I want you to leave this graduation ceremony with this thought in your mind. You are capable of the extraordinary generations that have gone before you, have also been defined by challenging times. Some by war, some by economic depression, some by the struggle for civil rights and human dignity. Each generation has a defining moment where they have risen to the challenge. Your time is now, and I know, we all know, you will succeed in the days, months, and years ahead. Congratulations on your graduation. Today, you become part of our proud Oakland University tradition. Now, please enjoy the following honorary degree presentation, followed by our new Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Britt Rios-Ellis.

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At Oakland University, we confer honorary degrees to people whose noteworthy accomplishments have a major impact on their communities on Industries, and in making the world a better place. Over the years, we've acknowledged a diverse range of recipients who individually and collectively reaffirm our commitment to scholarly, creative, and humanitarian values. Today, I am so proud to confer to Kenneth Janke, the Doctor of Science, to Thomas Kimble, the Doctor of humanities, to Kathleen Ligocki, the Doctor of Science, to Dennis Pawley, the Doctor of Arts, and to Patrick Scoggin, the Doctor of Humanities, posthumously, whose nominations have been reviewed by the University's Senate honorary degrees committee, recommended to the Provost and enthusiastically affirmed by me, the president.

Today, I am honored to be standing in the Carlotta and Dennis Pawley Hall, to celebrate the legacy of our distinguished honorary degree recipients. You have contributed to the intellectual, cultural, commercial, and civic betterment of our community and merit the honorary degrees of arts, humanities, and science honoris causa.

I had no idea what a CEO or an investor was when I was a child. I think I wanted to be a social activist and a ballerina, and an archaeologist and an actress, and that was all when I was six. [LAUGHTER]

My great grandfather was a minister. My father's father was a minister, my father was a minister, so there was an expectation that little Tommy would become a minister also. But something happened along the way that I ended up in business and finance, accepted a job at General Motors, stayed there for 30 years as a finance executive.

My youngest remembrance of wanting to be in a profession, was I wanted to be a disc jockey. When I started working with my father, I discovered the field of investor relations and that's when I knew I wanted to go into that area.

Everybody who worked in the automobile business always almost had a pre-long conclusion that "Denny, when you graduate, you're going to go into the automobile business". So that's where I ended up. My husband, Pat Scoggin did not always want to pursue business. He wanted to go into sports journalism or be a sports analyst. A corporate insurance company recruited him out of college and he went straight into business and then ended up at the Ford dealership in Rochester, Michigan.

I think the thing that I was most grateful for was the people that I worked with, the people that I worked for, and the people I was fortunate enough to lead. With all those people I would never achieve the success that I was able to get in my career.

I've got a wonderful wife. We've been married for over 33 years. We've got three great kids, all whom are very successful in their own right. We are both incredibly proud of them.

My husband Pat, would say that he is most grateful for his family. Another great accomplishment of my husband Pat, is his OU scholars. He donated his money to put nine, going on 10, full ride scholars through Oakland University.

I have many things to be grateful for. I've worked at big companies and small companies around the world and probably most importantly, if COVID has taught us nothing else, that the people we love and the people who love us are the greatest asset in our life.

I'm very grateful for the ability to age with the dignity and purpose that I so much desire. I'm grateful to have a great family like Oakland University.

I think the advice I'd give to graduates, first and foremost, would be to find whatever they can do to be fulfilled at work. Because they're going to be spending so much time there. If you're not happy at work, you're not going to be happy at home.

Do not be the last one to get to work, and the first one to leave, be the first one there and the last to leave, then you'll have a much better opportunity for success.

Chart your own path. Stay healthy in mind, body and soul. Stay open to new possibilities. Stay connected to the people you care about.

I think the ability to be humble in your career. No one leader can run an organization all by themselves. I believe his wise advice is universal. Always be honest and have integrity in all that you do. Treat people well. Adhere to the principle of the seven Ps, Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Finally, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond.

Dennis Pawley, we honor you as an acclaimed executive and thought leader in the automotive And manufacturing industries. A dedicated servant of your community and country, a remarkably generous philanthropist and tremendous advocate of higher education. Tom Kimble, we honor you as an exceptional business leader and as a remarkably engaged civic leader who has maintained a meaningful and impactful association with Oakland University's College of Arts and Sciences. Kathleen Ligocki, we honor you for your distinguished career leading companies to success, driving entrepreneurial technology and impacting the automotive industry in Michigan. Kenneth Janke, we honor you as an accomplished businessman, an outstanding contributor to community organizations, to the advancement of diversity and equity in society, and to the success of higher education in Michigan. Patrick Scoggin, we honor you posthumously, as an accomplished businessman, an extraordinary contributor to Community Development, Education, and Human Services throughout Southeastern Michigan and beyond.

I want to take a moment to express my admiration To Kenneth, Tom, Kathleen, Dennis, and Patrick for their compassion and selflessness in all of their civic endeavors. The conferral of the doctorate degrees of Arts and Humanities, of Science Honoris Causa to Dennis Pawley, Tom Kimble, Patrick Scoggin, Kathleen Ligocki, and Kenneth Janke, as Oakland University's recognition of truly distinguished achievements beyond the classroom and campus, and a testament to the power of education, initiative and vision. Congratulations to our newest doctors.

Today we are here to honor and celebrate the students who graduate from Oakland University. I applaud you on your achievements, and I encourage you to always continue the quest for excellence. You have studied with outstanding faculty and staff. You have been encouraged and supported by the faculty and staff and by your families and friends. Today we are extremely proud of each and every one of you. As students, your lives have been changed forever because you chose to study at Oakland University, you chose to pursue a college education, and you chose to be successful. You depart this campus as a very different person than you were on the day you enrolled. Today, you emerge as a leader. You will take with you precious and unique skills, knowledge, and values. Throughout your undergraduate ceremonies this semester, we have 3,400 students graduating. Sixty one percent are women and 39 percent are men, 95 percent are from Michigan, 80 percent are from Oakland and Macomb counties, three percent are international students, and the average age is 24.8. The youngest graduate is 19 years old, and the oldest is 66 years strong. To give you an idea of the breadth of the bachelor's degrees awarded today, 36 percent are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 15 percent are from the School of Business Administration, eight percent are from the School of Education and Human Services, 15 percent are from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, 13 percent are from the School of Health Sciences, 11 percent are from the School of Nursing, and four percent are from the Bachelor of Integrative Studies Program. I'd like to acknowledge the veterans who are graduating today. Please honk your horns to congratulate them. Thank you for your service. I'd like to introduce Dr Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College, followed by Dr. Michele Parkhill Purdie, Director of Integrative Studies, and Dr. Jon Margerum-Leys, Dean of the School of Education and Human Services.

I'm Dr. Graeme Harper, Dean of the Honors College here at Oakland University. I'm supposed to be here today to talk to you about students graduating with honors, but that's going to be hard to do to. You see, I've got a problem. My son, Tyler, he's graduating here with you today. That's a real problem because after today, like you, he's not going to be an undergraduate anymore. Tyler is our youngest son, so I have not lived in a house without undergraduates for maybe 10 years. It's going to be very different. I know there's probably parents out there that feel the same way. These birds are leaving the nest. I did think I should impress him today, maybe by using Latin designations summa cum laude and all those great terms. But one thing I've learned from my son, is that I should be more grounded in the real world, in the world around us, in this time and in this place. I should be more down-to-earth. Two months ago, I became an American citizen. We all did, Tyler, and his mother, and I, and we were driving home. As we were driving home, like you will be today from the ceremony, I realized that this is the place we live in. Everything around me was who I had become. Everything around me was who I was. That's what we mean by down-to-earth. We mean being together, we mean the condition of sharing things together, we mean graduating together in this time and in this place, we mean celebrating together in any way we can. The place we make, whether that place is our family home, our nation, or our university, that place has influence. The environments we live in, the people we meet, and the ambitions we form. This is a substance of who we are, each and every one of us. Today is a monumental ceremony. It's about who we are, each and all of us, professors, families and friends, staff, students leaders and the graduates of Oakland University. The world is watching, a fact I'm going to prove to you in just a minute. With that world watching, let me turn to the job I've been asked to do today at this ceremony. I'm going to ask you to honk your horns in a moment when I call out, your particular cords, your particular awards. Those who are graduating today with University Honors are wearing gold cords, honk your horns gold cords wearers. Fabulous. Those who are receiving departmental honors, are wearing red cords, honk your horns. Cords and stoles of other colors worn by graduates, Represent the many honors societies, with chapters here at Oakland University, honk your horns. Students graduating today from the Honors College, Are wearing Honors College medallions. Those also graduating as presidential scholars can be identified with medallions embossed with our university seal. That is our official emblem and has remained unchanged since our foundation. Honors college graduates, presidential scholars honk your horns, and so you should. Today's commencement sees the largest number of graduates of the Honors College in the history of Oakland University and the highest number of graduates Graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Seventy three of them have completed the presidential scholar medallion program. That also is a record. These students, these graduates, they represent as all here at Oakland University because this is our time and this our place. To the honors college graduates in addition to maintaining a grade point average in the top rank of all students nationally for your entire time here at Oakland University. You've also have been part of completing over 30,000 hours of service to the community and to the university. You've undertaken the study of one or more languages so you can speak to more people in the world like the one I'm about to introduce you to. You've worked with your fellow students to lead student organizations and to host distinguished speakers from the academy, from the community, and from the professions. You've completed a substantial undergraduate research project or a creative project mentored by a member of our wonderful Oakland University Faculty. These projects now stand as an investigation of knowledge and an application of knowledge, the places that honors college graduates here today in the top five percent of graduates in our nation. Yes, that's the first time of being able to say our nation. There is much to celebrate here today. Every cap, every gown, every cord, and every medallion, they all represent a vision, a set of principles, a grounding in this world that binds as here all together and that world is watching. Let me introduce you to Henrik Syse, the Vice-Chair of the Nobel Prize committee. Yes, that Nobel Prize. Henrik would like to say a few words to the honest college graduates graduating today at Oakland University. He is very down-to-earth.

Hi, there. My name is Henrik Syse well it ends up as Henrik Syse in English. But these Scandinavian names, what an honor to be speaking to you today. I realize as I'm starting to speak here, I should be wearing a tie. and fortunately, I did have one here, so I can try to tie it while I speak to you and see if I can multitask. Congratulations on your graduation. I know the work that lies behind graduating from the Honors College at Oakland. Goodness, a lot of work, but also a lot of community service, a lot of growing up, a lot of becoming more than what you were when you started, but also becoming more yourself. Who am I? Well, I'm a philosopher, I'm an ethicist. I've done a lot of work on questions within moral philosophy, not just in theory, but I hope also in practice what it means to take responsibility in society. I realized from the work that I've done having advised the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, or having served six years on the Nobel Committee, as one of those five people who choose who gets the Nobel Peace Prize. I was also the vice-chair of the Nobel committee. I've seen a little bit of what it takes to make a difference in society. I know that is the spirit that you have. But remember, it's not just about things up there. It's not just about money or positions or about creating peace between nations. All of those things can be very important and you can contribute. But it's also about your everyday lives. The difference you make to the person right next to you, the way you take care of yourself. You should love thy neighbor. But you also have to do that in a way that takes care of yourself. These everyday things are the individual building blocks, but a happy, prosperous, sustainable society is built on. So congratulations, on this great day. One day maybe one of you will get the Nobel Peace Prize and I can welcome you here to Oslo, Norway to be part of the celebrations. Congratulations, with or without the Nobel Peace Prize. I do you wish you and your loved ones all the best.

Congratulations to all the graduates.

Congratulations to our Bachelor of Integrative Studies students on the completion of your degree. Finishing a bachelor's degree is no small feat. But especially during the tumultuous year we've had, you all dug deep and remain steadfast towards your goal. I was excited to see that each and every one of our degree candidates completed their requirements and we did not have any one student denied for graduation. That speaks volumes to the caliber of students we have in integrative studies. On behalf of the entire advising office. I want you to know how proud of you we are. It's exciting to be a part of your graduation ceremony today. Because in advising, we have the unique opportunity To really get to know you personally. With, Integrative Studies being such a specialized major, knowing your background along with your future goals helps us assist you in course planning. But along the way, we truly learn who you are. You introduce us to your significant others, your parents, your children. You send us pictures of your newborn babies. To walk beside you throughout your time at Oakland, and that to be here to celebrate you at this moment is especially meaningful. Each of our graduates have persevered, sacrificed, and have been unwavering and their commitment to finish their degrees. The Bachelor of Integrative Studies is a great program because it is suited for any type of student. Each of you chose Integrative Studies degrees for different reasons. Maybe you came back to school after a long break in your education. Maybe a traditional major did not fit with your career goals. Or maybe you had a change of heart with your career aspirations. Whatever your reasons, you all have one thing in common. You all created a custom-designed plan of study tailored to your academic and career goals. Your passion became your plan. What you may not have realized was that having a multifaceted program was going to arm you with the creativity to seek connections and concepts through multiple disciplines. The ability to evaluate issues from a variety of perspectives is an invaluable skill that is highly sought after. As an Integrative Studies graduate, you have unlimited opportunities in front of you. While the chapter of your bachelor's degree may be coming to an end, that's just not mean your story is done being written. I do not need to tell you to go out and do amazing things, you already are doing those things. But don't forget while you're doing those things to be present, truly listen, and laugh a lot. I also want to encourage you to keep setting new goals. What do you want your next chapter to look like? What is something you've always wanted to do, but we're not able to get started or you were unable to finish? There was a major theme my advisors noticed During your meetings over the semester. Many of you had a hard time believing that your bachelor's degree was almost complete. How could time have moved so quickly? Just like that and what seemed like a blink of an eye, you were done. You might be thinking, "Someday, I'll get started on the next chapter." But keep in mind, there are seven days in a week and someday is not one of them. I cannot wait to see you at our alumni events to hear what your new chapters have been all about. Congratulations again, we will be rooting for you and cheering you on.

Greetings. This is a pretty great day. On behalf of the faculty and staff of the School of Education and Human Services, congratulations on arriving at this moment. Each fall, I remember why I work at a university. It's because for you, each of and all of you, any good thing can happen. That sense of possibility is what brought me here and what keeps me here. Then in spring at each commencement, I see part of that possibility fulfilled. I'm spending my day today grinning because I get to share the day with you and with the people that you care about. It's just fantastic. Though I have to say it's also a little weird. Usually at commencement, you sit with your friends and wave to your family. Today, here you are sitting with your family and waving to your friends. Usually at commencement, everyone sees your shoes and no one sees your car. After commencement, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to meet your family. Once you do meet them, it can be hard to remember just where you parked your car. Today, I predict that those things will not be a problem. Usually at commencement, you don't get to pick the temperature, bring snacks, or recline your seat to catch a little snooze. Today, you might be doing all of that right now. Lucky you. I'm a third generation school teacher. My grandmother taught for the Philadelphia Public Schools and my mom taught for the Milwaukee Public Schools, and I taught in New Hampshire, and in California. Our family as teachers goes back to 1932. For the School of Education and Human Services, Teacher Education and Human Resource Development graduates, there has never in all of those years since 1932, been a time when this nation has needed you more. We find ourselves in a global health pandemic, and an American justice pandemic. If our workplaces and our schools are to become both safe and just, and they must, you're the ones to make them so. We need you. We need you to be aware of the ways in which our society must be better and we need you to support others in making genuine progress. The School of Education and Human Services prepares graduates who in turn take responsibility for the development of others, whether that is in the classroom or the workspace. Our satisfaction and our mission come from the growth of those we serve. I charge you today to be ever mindful of that mission. Focus on the success of others and on that success being measured in part through their place in a safer and more just world. Again, America needs you. As a faculty and staff, the School of Education and Human Services is so proud of you today and every day. I and all of us wish you the very best.

I'm Glenn Mclntosh, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer. It is my pleasure to recognize graduating students for some of the highest honors Oakland University bestows. These students were receiving an award bearing a name of one of our university's initial benefactors, Alfred G. Wilson or Matilda R. Wilson. The recipients have been chosen by having made outstanding contributions to the life of the university, to scholarship, to student leadership, and to the expression of responsibility in a solution of social problems. I commend the students, faculty, and staff, who perform the difficult screening process for selection of the award winners this year. Now, it gives me great pleasure to announce the Alfred G Wilson Award recipient, Jack Ryan Andrews. Jack entered Oakland University to pursue a major in bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. We're are honoring you Jack for achievement, academic excellence by maintaining a 3.89 grade point average, by achieving the Dean's list for all of your semesters here at OU, by being awarded the Presidential Scholarship upon entering OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as the Vice-President of the OU Men's Soccer Club, as the event coordinator of the engineering in medicine and biology society. as Francis M. Moceri Scholar, and as a research assistant in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. You dedicated yourself to community service by working tirelessly with the Oakland County Sheriff Police Athletic League, by teaching the inner-city youth of Pontiac the fundamentals of soccer by volunteering your time, by participating in multiple alternative spring break service trips, and by aiding the fundraising efforts of the Alex M. Mackmin Memorial Foundation. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in the OU community, we salute and congratulate you, Jack. We extend best wishes and continued success in all your future endeavors. Next is my pleasure to announce the Matilda R. Wilson Award recipient, Sydney Jennifer Torres. Sydney entered Oakland University to pursue a major in biomedical sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Sydney for achieving academic excellence by maintaining a 4.0 Grade point average, achieving things Dean's List Honors for each of your semesters at OU, by being a Kenny Merit Scholarship recipient, receiving first place honors in the Writing Excellence Competition through the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, serving as President of the Pre-medical Society, serving as the Secretary of Future Leader Dogs at OU. You have demonstrated campus leadership as a research assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences, a teaching assistant and Dean student fellow for the Honors College, a medical scribe and nursing assistant in Beaumont Health, a participant of the Career Development Academy of the University of Michigan, School of Medicine. You dedicated yourself to community service by volunteering as a kitchen aide at Grace Centres of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan, serving as a reading and literacy and mentor at Center for Success in Pontiac, being a community volunteer and clinic observer with MEDLIFE OU, and raising and training and future leader dogs for the blind and visually impaired community. For maintaining high academic standards, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership capabilities, and for your involvement in Oakland University community. We salute and congratulate you Sydney. We extend best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. It is now my pleasure to present the university's Human Relations Award. The Human Relations Awards was instituted in 1986 through the efforts of the Wilson Award Committee. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding contributions to intergroup understanding and conflict resolution in Oakland University community. It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2021 recipient of the Human Relations Award, Jai Carrero. Jai entered Oakland University to pursue a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a concentration in acting in the College of Arts and Sciences. We honor you Jai for demonstrating academic excellence by maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, being a Core Ambassador in the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, being an Admissions Ambassador in the Office of Admissions. You have demonstrated campus leadership as President and founder of the Black Lives Matter student organization, by being a diversity advocate in the School of Music, Theater and Dance, by serving as a mentor and advocate to students experiencing academic and mental health challenges. You dedicated yourself to community service by serving the community as Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 3 Student Council, and by creating Kaleidoscope, a student organization that provides BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other under-represented students a platform To perform theatrical works. For all of your efforts and successes, we salute and congratulate you Jai. Best wishes for continued success in all your future endeavors. On behalf of Oakland University, we congratulate all of you in the class of 2021.

Students, you have worked very hard for many years for a college degree. It's a long-standing tradition that after receiving a post-secondary degree, the cap tassel is shifted from the right side to the left side of the cap. This signifies to all the completion of the degree. Upon nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and via authority of the State of Michigan, vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development, and Bachelor of Integrative Studies. The time has come, will all of you, the graduates of Oakland University, please step out of your vehicles [MUSIC] and please now move your tassels.

[MUSIC]

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, I now present to you the fall 2020 and spring 2021 Oakland University graduates. Let's give our new bachelors a well-deserved round of applause. And a few horn honks too. Congratulations graduates.

[APPLAUSE]

You may now get back into your vehicles. Now I would like to turn things over to Provost Rios-Ellis for a valediction.

Congratulations to all of the Oakland University graduates and to your families and friends. We are honored to share in this joyful celebration of your milestone achievement. We will conclude this ceremony with a valediction. As alumni of Oakland University, it is our hope that this ceremony will begin a lifetime connection to your alma mater. Rather than saying goodbye to this university today, we hope you will simply say, so long for now, and return soon to participate in the many programs and opportunities we offer alumni. We hope that you view today this unique commencement celebration as the beginning of your life as a member of the OU family, and that you will always feel a connection to your fellow graduates, the faculty and the staff. Graduates, we sincerely hope that you will strive to maintain contact with Oakland University. We hope that you will think of OU when you need support and resources or when support and resources are yours to share. We hope that you will bear the torch of this great academic center and shine it's light whenever the opportunity arises. Wherever you go, please remember, Oakland University goes with you as the foundation of your career and the beginning of a successful life. As you make your way in the world, we hope that you will always take the meaning of the Oakland University seal to heart. seguir virtute e canuscenza , meaning, seeker of virtue and knowledge. From this day forward, may you continue to seek knowledge, be courageous in your endeavors and search for growth and stay wondrously aware of the impact you can make on your community. We are also asking you as new alumni of Oakland University to be model citizens and responsible civic leaders in our global society, and most importantly, we're asking you to act with integrity, forethought, compassion, and a breadth of awareness of those around you. With extreme pleasure, I welcome you to the Oakland University family. Congratulations and best wishes.

Congratulations graduates. My name is Stefen Welch, class of 2005. I bring you greetings from the OU Alumni Association. You have demonstrated the true Golden Grizzly spirit through perseverance and fortitude during these challenging times. It is our hope that you will use these unique set of circumstances to help develop and navigate your personal convictions as you live in your purpose, on purpose. This commencement signals the beginning of the next phase of your life. It might seem scary for some, but my friend Jay-Z once said, "Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action, those who aren't submit to their fears and live with regrets". Don't panic, don't regret. I can tell you from experience, everything will be all right. Believe in your capabilities and what you've learned here, but never stop growing. This is a very special moment. Embrace it. Be sure to reflect on significant experiences and the amazing people that you've encountered at Oakland University. You are now a part of a significant alumni community from our beloved OU. There are more than a 120,000 of us living and working across the world. From one alumnus to another, allow me to offer you some advice. Take advantage of your Golden Grizzly network. The Oakland University Alumni Association has a membership of Talented, accomplished, dope, and well-connected individuals, providing you with access to an incredible legacy of grads to connect with. There are ton of networking opportunities for new graduates seeking new friendships, partnerships, and employment. I hope you will choose to become active alumni and will become part of the leadership that helps sustain this organization. Our alumni chapters develop engaging events and program every year to connect new grads like you back to your alma mater and your fellow classmates. You can make a difference by supporting events that help raise funds for scholarships by volunteering your time to mentor students, and by encouraging others who are seeking education to consider Oakland University. It is important to contribute to the development of our students and university. We are truly an alumni family. There are thousands of us, current Oakland University students with a brother, a sister, mother, father, and a grandparent who are OU alum. Your graduation can continue that family legacy or begin a new one. We encourage you to participate in the life of Oakland University in a way that is meaningful to you. You can make a difference. In the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, "Everyone can be great because anyone can serve". What you give yourself will directly impact the future of Oakland, the State of Michigan, and this country. On behalf of more than 120,000 smart, extraordinary people who graduated from OU, congratulations to each of you. We're honored to welcome each of you into this Alumni Association. So go black, go Gold, go Grizzlies. Take care, stay safe, and be healthy. Thank you.

The Oakland University fight song was established in 1999 and written by one of our own faculty members, Professor Michael Mitchell from the School of Music, Theater, and Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now please join Dean Jon Margerum-Leys in singing our school fight song.

Thank you, Dean Jon Margerum-Leys. I would also like to thank the musical artists of the Cabar Feidh pipe band for the music that played today. A word of thanks is also due to the numerous departments, staff, and other individuals who have worked hours to make this occasion possible. There's a stage at the other end of the parking lot where you can take photos and pick up your diploma cover. Cars will be directed out by rows and you may choose to exit on Squirrel Road if you do not want to walk across the stage for a photo. Please be sure to maintain social distance and please be considerate of your fellow Oakland University students and guests safety. Congratulations graduates.

Black Excellence Celebratory Congratulations Video
Transcript

[MUSIC]

Good evening and welcome to the 2021 Black Excellence Celebratory, or as I like to call it, the soul commencement. I'm Omar Brown-El, Senior Director for the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, Gender and Sexuality Center, and Veteran Support Services here at Oakland University. I have the privilege of being your host for today's celebration. Now, I know this is not the way any of us hope to celebrate graduation this year, but this is our current reality. Not withstanding, we come from a great line of people, creators, inventors who possess in their DNA the ability to make the best out of any situation. That is what we intend to do today. Those brothers and sisters like Madam C. J. Walker, Gerald Morgan, Lewis Latimer, Dr. Patricia Bath, Sarah Boom, Elijah McCoy. Just to name a few. We are people who have good energy. Today, we're going to bring that energy. When you hear something you like or you just feel like making some noise, because earning in this degree took everything in your power to complete, and you need to release it, exhale, and let it out. Blow your horns. You are the hopes and dreams of those who have come before you, who were denied the opportunity of a formal education and if for no other reason, for the shade of their skin. That is why when we graduate, the whole community and our families all feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Education is transformative for the individual and the individual's community and family. But I believe only with the proper purpose and intent. That intent, I believe, should be for the furthering of the next generation. Or as my mother always tells me, every generation should do better than the last. We have always faced opposition, that is nothing new, and yet with commitment and determination, we persevere. But I have learned over the years that commitment and determination alone does not get us to the type of outcomes that we seek. We must also have discipline. Discipline being that inner drive that is resolved to get things done, when it is supposed to be done, and how it is supposed to be done, no matter what. I call it FTT, finish the task. Now, that you have earned your degree, what will you do? What is your purpose? Will you make life better for yourself and others? Will you seek out new opportunities to put your degree to good use? Not by simply just getting the job, but to do work that has value, that makes someone's life better, to end poverty, to cure a disease, to create new technology, to inspire with the acts. Make good use of your time, and make your degree work for you. Earning a college degree is a valuable asset, and one that cannot be taken from you or taken lightly. But the knowledge of self is even more valuable. I encourage you my dear brothers and sisters to learn about yourself, to learn about your interconnectedness to all living things, about the infinite and finite parts of self, how to obtain inner peace, and all about the light that is within. Study and live well. Congratulations on this achievement, and I wish you many more accomplishments on your journey. I give you and your families all honors for your presence here today. At this time, I would like to officially open up our ceremony by introducing our first speaker, Kayla Jones. Kay Jones is a proud Detroit native who has spent her time at Oakland University giving back to her community both on and off campus. At 17, Kay entered OU as a first-generation college student. In 2017, completed her bachelor's degree in psychology and criminal justice. She is now graduating with her master degree in clinical mental health counseling, this semester. Currently, Kay works as an admissions advisor with Undergraduate Admissions, where she provides college access to Detroit students and their families. Since she entered this role, Kay has dedicated her time, energy, and passion to help these students pursue their dreams. Her efforts include the creation of First and Focus. An initiative to increase awareness, services, and support for first-generation college students in Detroit and at Oakland University. Now, let's hear a few words from Kay.

[MUSIC]

Hi. I'm Kay Jones, grad student here at Oakland University. I just want to share some words with you. Passion, love, hope, excellence, resilience, determination, unity, purpose, current. As I think about this past year, those are the words that come to mind. I think about the challenges we faced and the barriers that were placed right before us, yet we are still here in this moment celebrating us, celebrating Black Excellence as we should. Honey, this is our moment. We've worked incredibly hard just to get here. But this was no small feat. We've cried. Why do we cry? We've laughed, we've protested, we may have even thought about giving up, but at last, here we are together unified. Our ancestors wildest dreams at the future of tomorrow. I congratulate you on all of your accomplishments and those that have been your influencers, we can't forget our influencers. I am so happy, proud, honored to be in this space with you today. We call it commencement because it's the beginning of a new journey. As we close this chapter and we move forward, we must remember who we are. That is, you guessed it, black excellence. There is no limit. What you can do and what you can accomplish, each beat your heart makes is filled with purpose. Every moment after today, I challenge you to live true to that. Share that purpose beyond Oakland, and you better share it in every space you are in. As you move forward remember, we are better together, we are better unified. We need to lean in to each other and dependent on one another. Bring others along with you along your journey, give back to those that have supported you both on and off campus. I just want to leave you with a couple of things. We are the seeds. Let me say that again. We are the seeds. We will continue to rise. We can do anything. We are black excellence. Now, you go out there and you show the rest of the world just what you, just what we are capable of. You continue to show them that black lives, black education, and black leaders matter. Always have and always will. Congratulations.

Thank you Kayla for that message of purpose and giving. Yes, we are stronger together. I will now introduce to you our next speaker, Dr. Sharman Cobb Davenport. [MUSIC] Sharman Cobb Davenport graduated from Oakland University in 1980 from the College of Arts and Sciences. She later earned her master's degree and PhD from Wayne State University in clinical psychology. Dr. Davenport currently serves as CEO of Turning Point Incorporated in Mount Clemens, Michigan. A social service agency whose mission is to provide programs and resources that enable victims, survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence to regain control of their lives. During her short time at Turning Point, she has created a housing program for survivors, helping to stabilize their lives. Before joining Turning Point, Sharman spent 17 years at Lighthouse of Oakland County, where she served as Vice President of Programs and later as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Davenport has a passion for mentoring and empowering students and young adults. She serves as the current chair of the Black Alumni Chapter board, and in 2018, received the Oakland University Alumni Community Service Award. She is the proud mother of two sons, Curtis, an attorney, and Adam, a 2020 graduate from Oakland University. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Dr. Sharman Cobb Davenport.

Congratulations, Class of 2021. You made it. We are very proud of you and your accomplishment. I'm Dr. Sharman Davenport class of 1980, Black Alumni Chapter board chair and CEO of Turning Point, an agency providing services to survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Now, we can breath. Can I say that again? Now, we can breath. Now, we know that black lives matter, because we matter, you matter. However, the significance of this moment in history must not be lost. Hopefully, the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial helps provide you with the confidence that we, that you, can create change. This was an important outcome, but only a first step. It is our responsibility to make sure we seize this opportunity. We must continue to demand justice peacefully and work together to dismantle oppressive systems so that we can begin to create a nation without systemic racism. Today is your special day. Embrace it. You have overcome obstacles and challenges to obtain your degree, value it. Education is often the key to success. However, education without persistence, determination, and fortitude often results in unrealized potential. You have experienced unprecedented circumstances, a pandemic, and a movement for racial justice inequality. Let these experiences shape your character, stay focused, and continue to strive to achieve your dreams and your goals. The Black Alumni Chapter has been affiliated with the university for over 30 years. The chapter was formally re-engaged with the university and has become a valued partner within the Oakland University community. Our mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of university alumni and students by strengthening relationships among alumni students and the university along with the broader community. Our goal is also to help advance diversity, inclusion, and equity by building a legacy that propels and helps black students to achieve their full potential. The Black Alumni Chapter has developed a student retention fund, Pearson Endowment Fund and the Black Alumni Chapter Fund to help support students. We provide scholarships, educational support, and mentoring. In addition, we have activities where students and alumni, including an annual picnic, homecoming activities, and a reception during Black History Month. The Black Alumni Chapter is a prestigious group welcoming and supportive. We are here to assist, mentor, and to provide networking and employment opportunities. On behalf of the Black Alumni Chapter, I congratulate you on your accomplishments. You are now a member of the Oakland University Black Alumni Chapter. Welcome and congratulations. Good luck and God bless.

Thank you, Dr. Sharman Davenport for your words of inspiration. I know our most recent graduates are even more motivated to give back and join the association. Thank you once again. I now have the honor of introducing our keynote speaker. Norris Chase, a Detroit native, who is a proud husband, father, son, and brother. In his current professional role, Norris serves as the Executive Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Bradley University located in Peoria, Illinois, just two hours south of Chicago. While at Oakland University, Norris was involved in many programs and activities. Most notably, serving as a peer mentor in the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, pre-college programs and Project Upward Bound. As a former keeper of the Dream Scholarship Award winner, Norris was and continues to be inspired and connected to individuals at Oakland University such as Glenn McIntosh, Michel Softward, Nicole Lucio, Denise Thompkins-Jones, and the late Reggi McLeod. Fueled by this inspiration, Norris chartered a career in higher education to advocate for equity across all elements of higher education. The cultural excellence and experiences of African American and Latinx students are centered in his work. Personally, Norris loves listening to rap music. Most notably, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and more recently Rapsody, reading and also chasing around his young son. He believes wholeheartedly in the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which means I am because you are. My dear brothers and sisters, Mr. Norris Chase.

What's up Oakland family. What's up black people or as we say in Detroit, what up though. My name is Norris Chase. I have the great wonder of being your keynote speaker for today. I graduated in 2010. It wasn't that far ago. I had a little bit more hair. But I graduated then, and I'm excited to be back now to celebrate our seniors, graduating students. I want to shout out and thank the organizers of this event, as well as the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. I also want to thank my village, my wife, Yakila Chase for helping me with the development of this speech. I also want to thank my mentors, both at Oakland in general and my family. I also want to give a shout out to the black families and the family members who are here today. We don't have any of this without you. I know you're not graduating today, but you are graduating today. This black event, you don't have to wait until the end to applaud, do that now, feel free to do that now. Lastly, I want to celebrate our graduating students, our graduating seniors, and graduate students. Shout out to you all. You graduated from college during a pandemic. A global pandemic, a health pandemic, a racial pandemic, economic pandemic, you did it. The likelihood of someone in this crowd losing someone to COVID-19 is high. In the midst of that, we honor all of the people we lost during this time as well, who couldn't be here to celebrate with you. We honor them and we celebrate you and them today. As the keynote speaker, I've been given the responsibility of giving you a charge. That charge is really simple, is 35 actually. That charge for my graduating seniors is to be black, be bold and be directed. Be black, be bold, and be directed. When I say be black, I mean, it's obvious that we're black. But what I mean by that is being unapologetically black. Being openly black. Centering blackness in your thinking, in your practice, in your approach. Some people may see that as being anti something else, but being pro-black and centering blackness does not leave anybody else out. In fact, doing so improves everything for everyone else. Also, for us as black people in a time where blackness is demonized, is seen as a threat every day of our life, I mean, being black, it shortens your livelihood, your lifespan, seriously. During this time, blackness [inaudible 00:21:36] , intentionally is a protection mechanism against racism and white supremacy. So be black, be proud. The next one is to be bold. By that, I mean, shoot your shot. Start the business, start the blog, start that TikTok video. You all be going crazy on the TikTok. I don't know if it's Snapchat or TikTok. But start it. Start the online program. If our last president can get the job he got with the qualifications he had, listen, you better apply for the position, please apply. Start the program, apply for that. If you want to start a company, or a mix tape, a rap career, start it. I'll be the first one to buy your music, seriously though. Be bold, aim for that, aim for it now, please. It's urgent. We need you to write that book, you're going to do it. Start the YouTube series if you're going to do it, please. Don't sit on it. Don't be idle. The last one, and I have to read from this one because this one threw me off guard and I sat with it for days. I thought about it for days, and I was like, "I have to use it. I wasn't going to but I have to." Be directed, Margaret Walker, who was a poet and a writer, said something. She said, "Every word you write, every picture you draw, every step you take should be in the service of our people. Do not be distracted, be directed." Basically, everything you do should be in the service of our people. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, historian and also the founder of Black History Week which later became Black History Month. He wrote, "The large majority of the negroes who had put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people." Let me paraphrase that. Woodson basically said, "The majority of black people who graduate from college with a degree is worthless to the black liberation and black justice movement." That one struck a pot, when I first read this. I read this at my senior year at Oakland. I say, "Man, wow." That made me think about a few questions I wanted to leave you all when I talk about being directed. Whose life will be changed as a result of you getting a degree? Whose life will be impacted positively? How would you family's life change or be impacted as a result of you getting this very expensive piece of paper? How would your community be different? I'm not asking you to play small. I'm not asking you to stay where you are geographically. What I'm telling you is to not forget where you came from and always center your people. Be directed in service of your people. You all see the protests and all of the stuff going on right now. Be directed. Remember that you have a responsibility. This degree does not make you more elite to anyone else. We're not exceptions. We are infected with individualism. I'm sorry, I don't know why I said it like that. But racism, white supremacy, all of these things. Being directed means being focused on us. My final point that I'll leave you with is charge to make sure you come back to Oakland. I love Oakland with everything in me. I would not be where I am without Oakland. I love Oakland. I love you. I don't even know you. But I'm excited about you and I'm celebrating you, and I hope you come back to Oakland to give back. Not only as a loans monetarily, but I'm talking about just with your time. You may change some students life if you can come back and tell your story. With that being said, thank you for your time. Have a great one, and congratulations again.

Thank you, brother Norris for your remarks to the graduating class of 2021. I know that they will be both bold and direct. Thanks again. I will now bring forward our Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, who is also an accomplished author and motivational speaker, Mr. Glenn McIntosh.

Congratulations, class of 2021 in Oakland University. I'm very proud of you. Many years ago, the historian W. E. B Dubois talked about African Americans would have the opportunity to go off to college. He said only 10 percent of the African American population across the United States will have that opportunity. You've experienced it. You've finished the mission. Now you have the tools to talents to be a change agent. As you part ways with Oakland University, we expect you to be that change agent. But makes sure that as you carry that banner for "The Black Lives Matter", you demonstrate it in every path that your life takes you. I'm so very proud of you. If there's anything that I can do to assist you in your walk forward in life, don't hesitate to call upon. Congratulations again and go grizzlies.

Thank you, Glenn, for your words of encouragement and motivation. I know the families here today are truly appreciative of everything that you do. This concludes the formal portion of our ceremony today. I am thankful to have served once again as your host, to honor you and your accomplishments. I would also like to recognize and honor the Black Excellent Celebratory Planning Committee for all of their hard work and planning to make this event a success. At this time, volunteers will direct the traffic to the stage to pick up your kente stole and to take your photo. Congratulations to all of the graduates here today. I look forward to seeing you near the stage to congratulate you in person. Go grizzlies and be well.

Greetings. Black 2021 graduates from Oakland University, I would just like to say congratulations to all of you all for such an incredible accomplishment. I want you all to know that you stand on the shoulders of giants and you. Now, that you have your degree, shall work on becoming a giant so others can stand on your shoulders and continue to build community as we go forward. Education is not a personal property. It is a community property that we need to use as a tool to continue to build upon our community and make it better and more impressive, so we can do something profound for the world and not just for ourselves. I leave you with this Malcolm X quote, "Education is our passport to the future for tomorrow where a lot of adults prepare for today. So please use this education to prepare to make better tomorrow.

I am So proud of you and your drive and perseverance to excel despite these trying times. I am optimistic about your contributions to make this country and this world a fairer and more equitable place to live and thrive in. Thank you for your hard work and the perspectives that you've cultivated here at Oakland University that I'm sure will effect positive social changes.

I am proud of your success and I'm sure today will be only the first of many proud, successful moments for you. A clear lesson learned during the COVID-19 disruption is that it is crucial to be open to change. So please use this lesson to build your successful careers. Don't be easily discouraged. Always be open to change and aspire for the best. Congratulations on your well-deserved graduation from Oakland University.

Congratulations 2021 Oakland University graduates. Graduation is a big deal and we're very proud of you. I want to just give you a couple of moments to think of something. Think of the word commencement. To commence is to begin. Normally, when we go to a graduation ceremony, we're talking about the ending of the years of study, traveling to class, being at the library all-nighters. But really, this is the time for you to think about a new start, a new beginning. You are commencing the rest of your life and we're proud of you. Thank you. Go forth and represent. Congratulations. [MUSIC]

Faculty Congratulations to the Graduates of 2021
Transcript

[MUSIC]

Congratulations to all graduates on your success during what has been a very trying and difficult year. Well done to all of you.

Congratulations graduates. May your dreams unfold to bring you happiness and make the world a better place for everyone.

Congratulations. As a current faculty member and an alumni, I can proudly tell you that you're well prepared and you have the rest of your life in front of you. Congratulations. We know that you're going to do well. We hope that you feel comfortable and well-prepared. Good luck and know that even though this is your graduation, it is a commencement and a beginning, and we're here for you, rooting for you and hoping and praying that all goes well. Take care and good luck.

This is Duane Mezwa of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. On behalf of the entire school, we want to congratulate you on your graduation. We could not be more proud of each and every one of you. Good luck in your careers and go grizzlies.

Congratulations to the 2021 graduates. I hope you have wonderful future and I wish you all the best, and a special shout out to all my honors college students and students in music, theater, and dance, and especially to my daughter who's picking up two degrees today. Congratulations.

Hello graduates. I am Professor Subramaniam Ganesan from Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Congratulations on your lauded degree. It's a great milestone, I wish you all success with your dreams and career. Find a job you love and you don't have to work at all in your life. Bye.

Warmest congratulations graduates, you deserve it. You have prevailed and shown the resilience necessary to deal with the changing job market. It may not be as easy to navigate as it was in past years, but staying involved in your professional identity is important. Keep networking strategically applying to jobs and opportunities that match your credentials and learning and the transition will be seamless when the time is right. Congratulations.

Congratulations to Oakland University's 2021 dance department graduates. I could not be more proud or more inspired by all of the work that you have done this year and over the last four-plus years, however long you've been with us. You all know who you are and how proud I am of each and every single one of you. I'm giving you a virtual hug, and I know you are going to go off and do spectacular things in your life. Remember us and stay in touch. Congratulations.

Hello graduates and congratulations. I'm Phyllis Ness from the Department of Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education and Human Services. Wow, when I think of what you have accomplished in your education, three words come to mind; dedication, perseverance, and most importantly, passion. You have reached your goal of graduating. Now, it's time for you to go forth and follow your dreams. If your dream is to teach, go forth and teach your heart out knowing that you're going to make a difference in the life of every child you teach. Remember that each of us at Oakland University is here to support you, so we encourage you to stay in touch. I'm wishing you well, take care.

Graduates, Doug Zytko here. I just want to say congratulations on completing your degree. What a year. As you progress through your future careers, I want you to remember the challenges that you overcame this past year and use that as evidence that you can take on whatever obstacles arise in the future. Now, don't forget your professors too quickly. We love to hear about what you're up to and we're always available to answer your questions. Please, don't hesitate to reach out about whatever's on your mind. Anyway, I just want to say congratulations again, and I look forward to hearing about your future success.

Hi graduates. I'm Beth Talbert. I've been the faculty advisor and communication and I've had many of you in classes. Congratulations. I know that since you were probably in kindergarten, people have been asking you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" For sure in high school everyone was asking you, "Where are you going to go to school? What's your major going to be?" I know because you're a comm major, at least a dozen people probably in the last day have asked you, "What are you going to do with your degree when you graduate?" Well, I have great confidence and I hope that you now have that same confidence that you are going to be just fine. In fact, I think we've been asking you the wrong question all along. I think the better question is, what kind of life do you want to live? Just so you know, I know hundreds of comm majors who have crafted beautiful lives. They have great paying jobs, but more importantly, they have healthy relationships. They contribute to their communities and they feel a sense of connection with the people who are around them. I'm so sad we didn't get to spend some face-to-face time this past year. But for those of you that I have had in class, I am just so privileged to have known you and I wish you the very best as you craft the life that you're moving forward into. Congratulations.

Congratulations. Graduating is a big deal for anyone at any point in time. But particularly, for you working so hard to get here in the last year, almost a year and a half. It is amazing. It is impressive and I know you'll do a wonderful job with whatever steps come next for you. Yea, Oakland, yea Grizzlies. Congratulations.

We'd like to congratulate the graduates of the class of 2021 and wish you the very best on your career paths. I also want to offer a special congratulatory message to the graduates of the education specialist program in leadership and wish you the very best on your career path as you move in as leaders in your school communities to make a difference during these very challenging times.

Hi, I'm Beth Feiten, the Director of the School and Field Services office. I'd like to add my congratulations to those you've already heard from my colleagues. Please remember that every moment going forward is an opportunity for you to continue to learn in your new jobs, in new schools, in districts here in Michigan, and perhaps throughout the country and the world. Our students need you now more than ever, be there for them, help them find solutions and continue to contribute to our greater society. I wish you the very best. Congratulations.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021. You've made it to today. Spend some time reflecting on your journey to today, the work you've done, the obstacles you've overcome, and all the joys and all the hard days. Celebrate your accomplishments and your persistence through failures, and be sure to nudge those important people who have walked this journey with you. As you shift away from an educational environment, keep reading, keep learning, and keep growing. Take courage both as leaders and as followers in your future careers, in your communities, and with your friends and your family to make your world just a little bit better every day. Congratulations again.

Congratulations graduates. You're strong and resilient. You've already proven that you can achieve your goals even when things don't go exactly as planned. Be fearless, keep setting and achieving your goals and don't let anything stop you. I cannot wait to see all the great things that you will accomplish.

Congratulations to all the graduates within the School of Music, Theater and Dance, and College of Arts and Sciences. You have persevered. We are so proud of you and all of your accomplishments and can't wait to see what is in store for you next. Please come back to campus as alumni soon. Congratulations to everyone.

[MUSIC]

[APPLAUSE]

OUWB School of Medicine
Transcript

Good afternoon. It is my privilege as the Stephen Scharf Dean of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, to welcome you to our seventh commencement. I'd like to start by thanking DocApella, the OUWB medical student vocal performance group, for the beautiful rendition of the national anthem. Thank you to Dr. Sandra LaBlance for ensuring this performance was made possible with the assistance of the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance. To Cabar Feidh pipes and drums, we appreciate that you carried on the graduation tradition with us today by signaling the start of this important ceremony. To the class of 2021, welcome to this joyous occasion where we will celebrate your accomplishments and your bright future. Welcome to the family members and loved ones of our graduates. We are grateful for your endless support of our newest doctors. I thank the OUWB community for their tremendous encouragement of our graduates. From the day they arrived until now, the community of administrators, faculty, and staff have guided them on their medical journey. Everyday, I am grateful to be working with this talented team of mentors, leaders, and teachers. Whether these students were learning in person or remotely, this community was dedicated to preparing these graduates to be right here on their commencement day, the day we proudly call them doctor for the first time. At this point, I would like to welcome the special guests who will be participating in this afternoon ceremony. You will hear from Oakland University President Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, keynote speaker, humanitarian, and interfaith leader Najah Bazzy, the class of 2021 speaker Dr. Mustafa Polat, and OUWB alumni speaker, Dr. Aleah Thompson. Now, it is my privilege to introduce Oakland University President, Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz.

Greetings, and congratulations graduates. Take a moment to cherish this day. Your hard work, sacrifice, and all those early morning rotations led you to this ceremony. You had some wonderful professors, some difficult patients, some challenging days, and perhaps you made a few mistakes. Maybe you had your doubts, and you might have even shed a few tears along the way. But you made it, and not only did you make it, you succeeded in navigating through a global pandemic, and along the way, you were among those front-line workers seeing up-close the formidable bond between a physician and a patient, and maybe you witnessed the fine line between life and death. This day symbolizes your individual achievement but as physicians who have answered a life's calling to heal the suffering, you might have mixed emotions considering the many people who suffered and died this past year because of COVID-19. Know this, the lessons of the past year will stay with you forever, and one of the most fundamental lessons is that change in medicine and change in life is constant. Yet there's another constant that comes from deep inside of you, and that is your constant passion to serve, your compassion for others, and your dedication to the principles and practice of medicine. Your challenge is to find the most effective approach and prescriptions that address the needs of today's patients. It's not just your patients who are counting on you, all of us are counting on you. You face a profound challenge but we know you're up to the task because you've demonstrated the strength, the dedication, the knowledge, and the resilience that are the essential features of what's required for a physician to be successful. Go forth, be strong, confront problems as challenges, and challenges as opportunities, and know, that in our global village, your leadership and your character are needed now more than ever. We are so very proud of you, and may you remember your days here at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine so fondly, and forever carry OUWB in your hearts. Congratulations graduates.

Today, it is my privilege and honor to introduce Najah Bazzy, an internationally known diversity specialist leader, a gifted clinical nurse, and an accomplished CEO. In 1996, she founded the non-profit agency from the back of her minivan that is now a 40 thousand square foot warehouse in Metro Detroit. I had the good fortune of spending a day with Najah at her organization, Zaman International. There, I saw people learning and working together for the betterment of others. It was bustling with activity. People were sewing clothes and furniture was being repaired for redistribution. Zaman International is a big support for marginalized women and children. It provides them more than clothing, food and furniture. It offers those women education and skills training so they can get back on their feet. The most enlightening part of my visit occurred when we witnessed a young woman come in off the street and simply ask Najah, "How can I help?" This is the spirit of Najah Bazzy, a CEO, yes, but a truly kind person who cares deeply about making a person's life better than it was the day before. Najah's incredible work has reached far beyond our state of Michigan. Zaman has funded overseas relief projects, bringing safe water and humanitarian relief to impoverished communities. She has educated international audiences about Islamic practices and beliefs through her books, documentaries, and talks, including a TEDx talk. In 2019, the Cable News Network, CNN recognized Najah for her helping to break the cycle of poverty. She is a CNN hero. Graduates, Najah has something in common with you. Not only do you share a commitment to serve as a source of information for local and global communities like you, she is also a recipient of a degree from Oakland University. Last July, she received an honorary doctoral degree from the president and provost of Oakland University. Congratulations again, Najah. Today I am very pleased to present your commencement keynote speaker,. Najah Bazzy.

Salaam, peace and blessings to each of you. It is amongst the greatest honors of my life to be speaking to you today, to receive an honorary degree in the humanities from Oakland University. I extend a grateful heart to President Pescovitz, Dean Mezwa, Provost Rios-Ellis and the committee for this tremendous honor. What makes this extra special for me is that it's happening with all of you. I understand a bit about what your loved ones and support systems are feeling today, just last week, we had the honor of watching our son Youssuf graduate medical school. We understand what it means to be that support system that is necessary to get you here today. Your success today it's not an isolated incident. It took much to birth you, raise and educate you, care for you through the many stages of life from a fetus to a physician. There's no way to describe in words what your families are feeling today, it's more than joy, more than a proud moment it's a feeling of fulfillment, gratitude, and hope for your future. July 1st, it's around the corner and I hope that the nurses will be great mentors. By the way, it's not called residency for no good reason. It's called residency because it becomes your new home, your new bed, your new kitchen table, but it also becomes your new family. The family is now extended beyond your own to become the family of those who need you the most, those who rely upon your good judgment. Your very fine character, your communication skills, your ability to help move them from illness to wellness. For some of you in the ER, it's going to be trauma and drama, enter fix, leave, on to the next patient. For some of you, it's going to be labor and delivery, birth and new life. For others, it's the OR numbing the senses, opening our bodies to fix a bone, get blood to flow to a heart, or to remove a cancer. There are those of you who will practice medicine and see generations of families. There will be thousands of hellos and goodbyes, too many for you to ever count. There will be moments of code blues that will leave you dizzy, distraught, and heroic. These are the moments that make you a doctor. When you walk in to see your patient, remember, they're not called patients for no reason, they are also called patients because it truly requires patience to deal with illness and loss and grief. It requires patience to wait on lab results, CT scans, diagnosis, and treatment. Remember what you are and what you mean to those who need you. Remember who you are every time you knock on that door, remember to always knock with humility and enter with confidence. Remember to look into the eyes of your patients and see the person beyond the gown. Remember that each of us stands on the shoulders of those before us generations deep and that you will also be strong shoulders for those who will follow you. I've had the honor to lecture and teach physicians, make grand rounds, present medical ethics, discuss life and death, health and healing from the bad side to the CEO. Make no mistake, the way you communicate reflects your care and your knowledge. Never forget to ask a very simple question, one that will confuse your patient, but also give them hope and trust in you. Ask them to teach you something about them. They will look at you in your white coat stethoscope around your neck or perhaps in your pocket and they will see a position of power and wonder what in God's name could they teach you? Remember that they can teach you what's on the inside as you begin to examine the outside. Medicine is inside out, not outside in. Go be great contributors to our humanity and remain idealistic because it's healthier to be optimistic than to be jaded by the numerous factors that will affect the field of medicine. Remember where you started, think about where you stand today. Look forward to where you will be in for 4 , 5, 6 years of residency and fellowships. We look forward to your contribution to our common humanity. You are special because you help us live and millions of seconds of hope are tied to our humanity and are tied to you. Congratulations on your graduation, your future, and ours. I thank you so very much.

Good afternoon. My name is Mustafa. Addressing you today is one of the greatest honors I will have in my life. This will ultimately be the second most important speech that I have ever given. I really rocked that gymnasium full of fifth-graders back in '05. They didn't see it coming. In all seriousness, to be the class speaker for a group of incredible and brilliant doctors is an indescribable feeling. To open the soul of the class of 2021 and reflect on this journey with all of you is a privilege I will never forget. This speech is for you, Baba. I'm just a vessel that connects your love to the world. Today is one of those unique days where you reminisce and reflect but also look forward to tomorrow. This speech is for the class of 2021, but I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the essential people who make OUWB function for us, the students. There is no OUWB without Katie Stotts, Toni LeGrande, Gabe Dumbrille, Fred Hayden, Fred Glendenning, and Dawn Gorris, to name just a few. May your hard work and contributions never go unnoticed. I send a heartfelt shout out on behalf of the class to the administration and the staff who welcomed us to OUWB with open arms and helped us to arrive at this day. Our class is forever in debt to you, literally, it's a lot of cash. All kidding aside, adjusting to this pandemic seemed like an impossible task, but here we are today celebrating commencement. Thank you. To the class of 2024, I hope our series of welcome videos made it easier to transition to med school. You are here for a reason and never forget that. Find your people, hold onto them and carry each other through to the next day. I always say I'm definitely not alone in this. First year was the most difficult, it gets better. To the class of 2023, you're in the midst of the most grueling study period of med school. Take a moment to reflect on your hard work and know that this period is just another obstacle on the road to becoming a physician. It gets better. To the class of 2022, I hope you feel our class support and guidance. I hope your big sib has helped you along the way. Our bond doesn't end here. Don't hesitate to reach out to us. Just don't get too overwhelmed when you realize you have to follow OUWB's greatest class yet. Class of 2021, PMH warriors, MHCB gladiators, PRISM superstars, it's been a wild ride. We've shared this collective struggle we call med school together forever. From the draining AFCP and BFCP exam marathon dates to the dedicated with an A for step 1 to step 2, CK and CS. Just kidding, and shelf exams, and through ERAS and interviews and match, we made it. We didn't just become doctors today, we became doctors during those late nights or early mornings in Hannah Hall when the formaldehyde would pierce through our olfactory bulbs. I think I can still smell it. Smells like barely passing. We became doctors during those countless days at Kresge, At O'Dowd at Starbucks, at Panera, in your bedroom falling asleep to the sweet sound of that angel, Dr. Sitar. We've became doctors in the wards of Beaumont bombing our first presentation and working ourselves up to be extremely average by our sub-internship. In the delivery room, catching that first baby, but struggling through our first lap repair. To OR getting that first and fiftieth retraction in, I'm looking at you, Marcel, my retraction king. These are the moments that brought us here today. We had some good times together. Sunday night before orientation week at billiards when we were all trying way too hard to be cool and make a first impression. [LAUGHTER] Oh, was that just me? I was ready to meet some pretty amazing people and I sure did. You all exceeded my expectations. From the legendary OUWB invasions on the dance floors at billiards, I'm looking at you Lexie. For the karaoke nights at Duffy's to the courts and fields of rec sports, to singing around a campfire, to shaving our heads for childhood cancer, and peer pressure. To unforgettable memories from med ball, the roast, and all the birthdays. Second look, white coat blackout, and post-exam celebrations along the way. Think about the times we've served our community volunteering at Gary Bernstein, Hope, Score for Success, Hispanic Outreach, Street Medicine, and a health fair at Chandler Park. All the little and all the big things that we did to help make our tiny bubble a better place for all. Be proud of your journey, even your struggle. Be proud of every experience that's brought you to this day. Even the bad ones, you survived it. Don't forget what and who made you who you are today. Don't forget the reason you decided to go on this demanding path and the reason you haven't given up. Let that drive you through residency, let that drive you through your long career as a healer, a servant, and a scholar. To get to where we are, we had to stand on the shoulders of giants. These are the people who made today possible for us. Think about those people. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them, and think about how you will carry their legacy and make them proud as you move on to the next stage of life. My late father, my angel mother, Gusida, my two big brothers, Abbas and Hassanabi, and my sisters Rhonda and Nirdan. They definitely didn't skip shoulder day. Thank you. In the last 14 months, we've seen how this world can be cruel and unjust. We've all been impacted by this pandemic in some way. One of my late father's greatest qualities was to search for the light within all of the darkness. Even in his worst days, he still found moments of humor and lightheartedness. He is still the beam of light I didn't know I needed. It's up to us to find that light within the darkness and keep pushing. In these dark times we've seen some of the best this world has to offer from the health care workers on the front lines who served without adequate protection. To the scientists developing diagnostic tests, therapies, and prevention. To members of communities who rose up and support their neighbors. I have a few last words for the class of 2021. We shared laughter, tears, tragedy, and now we share triumph. We added new members to our families and suffered loss and unforgettable pain. Despite this, we became doctors together. No one can ever take this experience away from us. That's the beauty of this day. In these final moments of graduation, we are together in person or virtually, we are one. We will go our separate ways, each carving out a unique path. As we set forth on this new journey, I want to share one last memory of my late father. As I would leave his house and head back to my apartment, he would make me wait before driving off. He'd grab a glass or bowl of water and throw the water high into the air behind me as I drove off. Picture water falling gracefully from the sky with the sun glistening through. It's an old ritual to wish someone good luck and smooth travels along their journey. He did it every single time. Every weekend that I visited there in all four years of medical school. As I left his burial site in Iraq, I realized that as now my turn to carry on his tradition. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the best. May all of our journeys flow as smoothly as that water falling in the air from classmates to now family. Thank you for this opportunity and congratulations doctors.

Good afternoon, everyone. Congratulations to all of you graduating doctors. You should all be so incredibly proud of yourselves. In just a few short months, you will start your intern year, notoriously deemed one of the toughest years of training. I want to be the first to reassure you that you are going to do just fine. As my intern year comes to a close, thank God, I want to give you guys some guidance: First, be prepared to make mistakes. You guys are going to make many. During medical school at OUWB, you're told that it's okay to make mistakes, you're learning. You should know that the same goes for the rest of your career. You will be continuously making mistakes but also learning from them. Even though we say that these mistakes are okay, it doesn't make them hurt your ego any less, it doesn't make you ruminate any less, and it doesn't make you feel better about potentially putting a patient at risk. The first day you make a mistake, whether it's unimportant or critical, I want you to remember that you must learn to forgive yourself. Second, you are human and your reactions are human. Fatigue, tears, hunger, and anger, they're all perfectly normal. Prioritize your needs, try to get as much sleep as you possibly can, know that unless it's a code, nothing is more important than eating your lunch, and remember that you should be going to the bathroom during your 12-hour day. Our blood sugar tanks and our muscles fatigue and our ever-changing sleep schedule heightens those reactions. I want you to remember to listen to your body when it's telling you to take a break and don't be ashamed for doing that. Third, know that being this close to death and dying is truly very humbling and very painful. For anyone that's going to be taking care of children, these deaths are particularly unsettling. Reach out for help from your peers because it's okay to grieve for your patients. Learn how to give a proper talk about code status and end-of-life care because it's a huge service to your patients. Lastly, remember that this year is temporary and the time truly does go quickly. Try your best to have fun both inside and outside work. Soak in the learning, catch babies, do procedures, and bond with your clinic patients. Don't forget about your friends and family, life doesn't stop while you're in residency. Grow your family, whether that's adding dogs, babies, or just houseplants. Don't put life on hold. To finish it off, I just want to reiterate how proud I am of all of you, including the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-year medical students. Wherever you're heading off to, they are lucky to have you. Congratulations.

I'm extremely proud to be sharing this address with all of you on this very special occasion. When Oakland University, William Beaumont School of Medicine was founded in 2008, it changed medical education with its kindness curriculum. Since 2015, our alumni have placed in some of the most prominent residency programs across the country. They are on accolades and hold leadership positions as chief residents, fellows, and researchers. In recent years, we have welcomed back chartered class members as professors and mentors. Keep that in mind, class of 2021. Now, with your residencies in place, it's your turn to show the world what OUWB physicians are made of. But before you do, let's enjoy our time together on this commencement day. You came to our campus four years ago because we wanted you here. You had the attributes and potential to begin your medical school journey with us. Your goal of becoming highly skilled compassionate physicians was just beginning. Today, you can say goal accomplished. You have achieved something incredible, medical school training at OUWB. When I read your class oath, I knew this was going to be the focus of my address. It's a profound message deserving of the spotlight. Your oath is beautifully written, complex, and sincere. Whether you realize it or not, the lessons you learned in the classroom and in life during your time with us are captured in 16 thoughtfully worded sentences. I'm going to share some key points that resonated with me. From the beginning, the use of the word we affirms the solidarity with your colleagues and all who recite the oath with you, it unites health care professionals in holding the same high standards and humanistic values. Your oath also assures us that your OUWB values will continue to guide you throughout your career. Unlike any other class, your message reflects the unique experience of learning through a global pandemic. You have woven current events as well as health care disparities and bias into the message to solidify your pledge to these diverse populations, vowing to provide them with compassionate care. You have written a statement about courage. No other class has used this word. I am sure that this line stems from your experience as a front-line provider. It took a whole lot of courage and perseverance, but I truly believe that this year of unprecedented circumstances will serve you well as you enter the next chapter of your life. My last remark about the oath commends your commitment to being responsible stewards of the profession, and I quote, "We will strive to educate, assist, and uplift future generations of health care practitioners regardless of their origins so that we may see diversity flourish and innovation and excellence in abundance." Class of 2021, In a few minutes, I will probably recite this impressive pledge with you. But for now, savor the moment of graduation. Know that the world is ready and waiting for you and your talents; it needs physicians like you who will follow their passion and meet challenges with strength and kindness. Believe in yourself, believe in your OUWB training and I promise you a long and fulfilling career. Congratulations. We can't wait to see how your expertise and your compassion will change the world for the better.

Class of 2021, I am humbled to be here with you today to celebrate all that you have become. In my time with you, I have witnessed the tenacity of your class as you held on tightly during this bumpy ride, ending your training to be a physician during an international pandemic that has gripped our world for well over a year. As a society, we have witnessed social unrest that has tested our sense of who we are and we mourn the loss of those we have loved. Yet you are here before us, ready to step out into your careers as young physicians, eager to begin your lives as caring practitioners who will no doubt change the world. We are proud of you and your accomplishments. Remember all you have achieved here with us and take it with you as you move throughout your lives. Do not forget the lessons taught to you by your educators and your patients. We are counting on you to change the world. Class of 2021, you have the spirit, you have the drive to make the difference for others. As you take on the weight of caring for others as delicate beings, remember to find lightness in your days, seek joy and laughter, take time to love and cherish those around you with goodness in your heart. We wish you well in your journey through this world. In addition to the hood that each graduate is about to receive, you will notice some of them are wearing honor cords. The graduates wearing the green and white cords have been honored with induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha on our medical society. The AOA recognizes exemplary leadership, character, community, service, and professionalism demonstrated by individuals who are also in the top 25 percent of their class academically. The graduates who are wearing gold cords were nominated by their peers for induction into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. It recognizes those who are considered exemplars of compassionate patient care. They are role models, mentors, and leaders in the practice of humanism in medicine. Although we are unable to call our students to the stage for the ceremonial hooding, we ask that all students step outside of their cars with their family, friends, and loved ones to be hooded.

President Pescovitz, on behalf of the faculty of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, I would like to present to you the candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. President Pescovitz.

Thank you, Dean Mezwa. Upon the nomination of the faculty of Oakland University and by the authority of the State of Michigan, vested in the Board of Trustees and delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the degree Doctor of Medicine.

Graduates stand proudly and with gratitude in front of those who love you as the medical degree hood is placed over your head and onto your shoulders as you will now carry with you the name of doctor.

[MUSIC]

Graduates, please remain standing as you join Dean Mezwa who will lead your class in the reading of the oath.

I invite the members of the class of 2021 to remain standing outside your vehicle to recite your oath, and I invite every physician to join with our new colleagues in our commitment to medicine. You may exit your vehicles if you like. Today, our lives as physicians begin. On this day, we vow, first and foremost, we promise to do no harm and to maintain the utmost respect for life and death. We pledge ourselves to a life of healing and integrity; we will not forsake humility and service for the pursuit of power and influence. We will respect and provide care to all patients regardless of age, gender identity, disability, religious belief, ethnic origin, race, nationality, political affiliation, sexual orientation, social standing, or any other factor. We promise to evaluate disease processes holistically; addressing physical, psychosocial, environmental, and economic influences in order to better serve our patients. We will protect our patients' confidentiality, maintain their dignity, and respect their autonomy. We will serve as a source of courage and information for our local and global community as we face worldwide emergencies, pandemics, or crises. We will use our station, not only to advocate for our individual patients, but to address health disparities and to affirm healthcare as a human right for all members of society. We will continuously work to identify and challenge our biases so that we may provide compassionate patient care to diverse populations. We will prioritize caring for ourselves so that we may remain well in our journey to serve others. We commit to being lifelong learners in the endeavor to become masters of our craft. We will conscientiously and judiciously seek medical resources, evidence-based research, and technology to provide the best care to our patients. We will take ownership for our mistakes and recognize our own limitations. We will revere and support our colleagues while holding them accountable to their honorable commitments. We will admire the talents and contributions of all members of the healthcare team. We will strive to educate, assist, and uplift future generations of healthcare practitioners, regardless of their origins so that we may see diversity flourish and innovation and excellence in abundance. We will dignify our patients by listening to and honoring their stories, reserving judgment, and striving to be a source of comfort in difficult times. We make these lifelong promises gratefully of our own freewill and upon our honor. Graduates, you have officially received your degrees as MDs and you have made a public declaration to the practice of medicine. At this time, I invite you, our graduate doctors an opportunity to look around the parking lot to extend appreciation to all of those who supported you during your academic journey. I invite everyone to join in congratulating the OUWB class of 2021 by honking your car horns. I now declare the commencement ceremony for the class of 2021 complete. Please get back inside your vehicles where you will hear instructions from Dr. LaBlance on how to navigate to the stage where you will receive your diploma.

As a reminder, at this time, our class of 2021 commencement ceremony has ended. Cars will be dismissed by rows and graduates will now drive to the stage of the opposite end of the lot to receive their diploma cover, walk across the commencement stage for a professional photo, and then return to their cars to exit the Oakland University campus. Please be safe and aware of our graduates and families as you celebrate on campus. We wish you a hearty congratulations and a fond farewell.