Spartan graduates will make a better tomorrow


Once again, campus is buzzing with proud Spartans posing for photos in their caps and gowns as they anticipate commencement ceremonies.

This year, we’re presenting degrees to 7,862 graduates, an increase of 7.7 percent from last spring. That means thousands of new Spartan alumni will be going out into the world—either launching careers or continuing their education. If recent trends hold, more than 60 percent will stay in Michigan. That is just one marker of Spartan Success.

Commencement represents a huge transfer of talent and knowledge to employers and of benefits to society. Possession of a degree is associated with much higher earnings over a lifetime, better quality of life and health, and more positive impact on communities.

I’m certain the members of the class of 2016 are well prepared to succeed and to help make a better tomorrow. I congratulate them and remind them that their journeys as Spartans have only begun. Michigan State will always be a part of them, as they will continue to be an important part of MSU.

We are very pleased to welcome another set of distinguished commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients, who, this year, all happen to be MSU alumni.

  • Addressing graduating seniors will be MSU College of Human Medicine alumna Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose research and persistence on behalf of the people of Flint exposed elevated lead levels in children. Hanna-Attisha is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the MSU College of Human Medicine, director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, and director of MSU and Hurley’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative. She recently was named among Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and will receive an honorary doctorate of science.
  • Alumna Kristina Ford, a senior research fellow at Columbia University, former New Orleans city planning executive, and author, will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and business administration from MSU.
  • MSU chemistry alumna Ellen Williams, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the U.S. Department of Energy, will be the keynote speaker and will receive an honorary doctorate of science at the advanced degree commencement ceremony.
  • Education alumnus Donald Maine, chancellor emeritus of Davenport University, will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities at the advanced degree commencement ceremony.

 Meet Dr. Hanna-Attisha and learn about the Promise for Flint.


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