Eastern Michigan University held it’s fall 2019 commencement ceremony on Dec. 15, 2019. In total, approximately 2,300 students were eligible to walk, including 1,153 undergraduates and 368 graduate students. Around 800 summer graduates were also eligible to participate in the ceremony.
EMU President James M. Smith opened the ceremony with an introductory speech, and then recognized three students for their achievements at EMU.
Ashley McNabb graduated with an MBA and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing. She now has three degrees from EMU and currently works as a media analyst for a digital branding company.
Shamsu Bala graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense. He is currently a Cyber Security Engineer at BCS Automotive Interface Solutions. Some of his projects include malware analysis and reverse engineering. He also helped establish an automotive cybersecurity lab. In January he will begin pursuing a Master’s degree from EMU and eventually a Ph.D.
Keisha Anderson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. She served in the U.S. Army, having been deployed in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. She also plans to stay at EMU to pursue a Master’s degree, where she will continue to study social work.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters was the commencement speaker, and he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service by the EMU Board of Regents.
Peters congratulated the graduates and spoke about the future that these graduates will inhabit.
“This is an amazing time to be graduating from college. In two weeks, this decade will come to a close and we will enter a new decade that holds tremendous potential. The last 10 years have been marked by incredible change...while our society has made significant progress in the last 10 years, we have also faced serious challenges, such as rising economic inequality, falling trust in our civic institutions, and new security threats arising from emerging technologies.
After you cross this stage today, it’ll be up to each and every one of you to help us tackle these challenges,” Peters said.
Jack Roush, CEO of Roush Fenway Racing and EMU alumnus, was also presented with an honorary degree. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. Roush is one of the top motorsports executives in the country.
“Thanks to EMU President Smith, its regents, professors, administrators and staff for the extraordinary honors I have received.”
Roush described his time at EMU, saying that the university allowed him to complete a Masters degree in mathematics in 12 months, which he said was all the time he could afford.
Roush continued, “That advanced degree and the timing of the automobile industry’s subsequent expansion, has made possible a more productive and rewarding career than I could have otherwise imagined.”
After the guest speakers, the deans of each college at EMU honored the students of their respective colleges, with the students from each college standing to be recognized.
Candidates for doctoral degrees were then individually recognized, followed by the candidates for graduate certificates, masters degrees, advanced graduate certificates and specialist graduate degrees also being honored.
The final part of the ceremony was to individually recognize those that had earned a bachelor's degree. President Smith then concluded the ceremony, and the graduates marched out of the convocation center, officially alumni of Eastern Michigan University.