Oakland University
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OU to honor graduates at spring commencement ceremonies

Oakland University will recognize its spring 2014 graduates at several commencement ceremonies, which will all take place in the OU Athletic O’rena.

Graduate students

The commencement ceremony for all doctoral and master's degree candidates will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 25.

Undergraduate Students

Commencement ceremonies for undergraduates will be held Saturday, April 26. The schedule is as follows:
  • 9 a.m. – School of Business Administration
    School of Education and Human Services
    School of Engineering and Computer Science
  • 12:30 p.m. – College of Arts and Sciences
  • 4 p.m. – School of Health Sciences
    School of Nursing
    Bachelor of Integrative Studies
Guest Speakers

Undergraduate ceremonies:
  • 9 a.m. - Greg Kelser, sports commentator and motivational speaker
  • 12:30 p.m. – Charlie Lapastora, OU student speaker
  • 4 p.m. – Teresa Stayer, vice president of Spectra Med Inc.
Master’s and doctoral ceremony:
  • 7 p.m. - Dr. Terry Blackhawk, director of Detroit’s InsideOut Literary Arts Project
Before and during the ceremonies

The O’rena doors will open one hour before each ceremony. All guests must have tickets and should be seated 10 minutes prior to the processional. Each ceremony lasts approximately one and a half to two hours. Graduates are asked to stay for the entire ceremony and will be directed by a marshal to exit the O’rena.

Family and friends who are unable to attend the commencement will be able to view the ceremonies on the commencement website as they occur. A link will be posted to the page on graduation day. Videos of the ceremonies will also be available to view on the commencement website after the ceremony.

In case of inclement weather, information on cancellation of ceremonies is available by calling the university at (248) 370-2000, tuning in to WJR or WWJ radio, or watching FOX2, WDIV-TV or WXYZ-TV.

An American Sign Language interpreter will be present at each ceremony to aid the hearing impaired. Wheelchair accessible seating is available for guests and a handicap accessible parking lot is located next to the O’rena in P16.

For additional commencement information, call (248) 370-2190 or view the commencement website at oakland.edu/commencement. Watch a live stream during the ceremonies at oakland.edu/outv/commencement. 

Don’t have tickets?

Guests who don’t have tickets to commencement will be able to view the ceremony live on campus via closed circuit television in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms. Light refreshments will be provided.


All students and guests attending the undergraduate ceremonies should review the spring commencement parking map at oakland.edu/commencement/map. Those attending the graduate ceremony have no specific parking requirements and can view oakland.edu/map for more information. Parking is free and open to the public, except where indicated. Police officers and parking attendants will be on hand to direct traffic. All event parking is located within a 5-minute walk to the O'rena, and buses, motor coaches and vans will be making stops in all lots to shuttle those who prefer to ride.

In Memoriam

Five students who passed away will be recognized during commencement exercises.
  • 12:30 p.m. ceremony:
    • Adam M. Wilson will receive a posthumous degree in studio art.
    • DeMal Coleman will receive a certificate of accomplishment in psychology.
    • Maya Michelle Horton will receive a certificate of accomplishment in psychology.
  • 9 a.m. ceremony:
    • Eric Thomas Pauli will receive a certificate of accomplishment from the School of Engineering and Computer Science. 
    • Kostika Fuchi will receive a certificate of accomplishment from the School of Engineering and Computer Science. 

Honorary Degree Recipients
  • At the 9 a.m. ceremony, Gebran Anton will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa. He spearheaded the Mount Clemens award-winning “Art in Public Places” project, which facilitates the acquisition, placement and stewardship of artwork in the community. He also led fundraising efforts to renovate and expand the historic Carnegie Library, which was later renamed the Anton Arts Center. With his business partner, Stewart Frankel, he enhanced higher education resources in Macomb County by establishing the Anton Frankel Center through a generous gift to Oakland University. 
  • At the 7 p.m. ceremony, Dr. Terry Blackhawk, a distinguished nationally recognized poet, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities Honoris Causa. Dr. Blackhawk is founder and director of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, an initiative that introduces K-12 students in the Detroit Public Schools to poets and writers and allows them publish their work. She taught in the district for 30 years and has won several awards for her poetry. She is a frequent lecturer at conferences and has served as an adjunct professor at OU. 
  • At the 12:30 p.m. ceremony, Lana Pollack will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws Honris Causa. A dedicated leader in education and public policy, she has served on the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education and was elected to multiple terms in the Michigan Senate. As a state legislator, she organized statewide coalitions to reduce teenage pregnancy, STDs, AIDS and gun violence. After retiring from politics, she went on to serve as president of the Michigan Environmental Council and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board. In 2010, she was appointed to the International Joint Commission by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate. 

Everything you need to know about April 25-26 commencement ceremonies — from parking to guest speakers.

Created by Colleen Campbell (cjcampbell@oakland.edu) on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Modified by Vadim Garber (vigarber@oakland.edu) on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Article Start Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014