From the end spring new beginnings
Commencement 2022 delivered a host of celebratory thrills. Speakers included author/journalist Maria Shriver and Dr. Anthony Fauci. As in years past, many students customized their graduation caps with inspiring messages. Enjoy this batch of colorful caps we found amid the throng of ecstatic alumni in Michigan Stadium. These captions are sourced from the stories about spring commencement that appeared in the University Record. All images are by Michigan Photography.
“I’m a big believer in facing your fears head on,” said Maria Shriver, an award-winning journalist, author, and former first lady of California, during ceremonies in Michigan Stadium April 30.
“Not pushing through your fear, not pushing through that which scares you, will leave you feeling like you’re not brave,” Shriver told the new members of the U-M alumni family. “It will leave you with an unrealized, unfulfilled version of yourself. And believe me, graduates, that is something to fear.”
“Your generation has been given the gift of a shredded rule book, a wide-open field,” said Shriver, who also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. “So much of what used to be called normal is out the window. This uncertain moment that you and our world are facing, it’s an incredible opportunity for you.”
I got it done for my son
“You are way stronger than you can imagine, and the best way to access that strength that lives inside of you is to do everything you are afraid of, right now when you graduate and in the future,” Shriver said. “Put your shoulders back, hold your head up high and walk through hell like you own the place.”
I did it for her
U-M President Mary Sue Coleman acknowledged students for completing their degrees during such disruptive times: the pandemic, a reckoning about race, and senseless deaths of everyday citizens.
“But I want to believe these difficult days also have brought some clarity to the dilemma of what should matter in your lives,” said President Coleman. “Happiness. Health. Family. This is what truly matters. It may sound simple, but happiness, health, and family should also be at the core of your being.”
I will be happy about graduating
Outgoing U-M provost Susan Collins told graduates, “Sustained effort helps us develop the discipline and the expertise to dig deeply into something — to develop an idea into something that matters. And so, I encourage you to remember the joy that comes from mastering something that’s hard.”
Next stop: Vet School
LSA Dean Anne Curzan recalled the excitement and anxiety from when she was sitting where the graduates were and that “I wish that someone had said to me what I firmly believe now, which is that life has chapters. The key is that you don’t need to know the whole story or how it’s going to end. You just have to decide on what will make an interesting and worthwhile next chapter.”
Faculty Senate Chair Allen Liu quoted Dr. Maria Montessori, three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, when he said, “‘Preventing conflicts is the work of politics; establishing peace is the work of education.’ As you enter the society as a Michigan graduate, you carry a social responsibility to advocate and promote civil discourse.”
You know in your soul
LSA graduate Noor Moughni also addressed the crowd. “My experience at the University of Michigan has taught me to embrace the existence of difference as the necessary force for positive social change in our globalized world. Difference is a crucial element of life. We must withstand the initial discomfort of difference if we are to ever enjoy its fruits of transformation, solidarity, and, ultimately, liberation for all.”
NY, M, LA
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, spoke at Comeback Commencment on May 7. The event was designed for spring and winter 2020 graduates from U-M’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses who missed out on traditional commencement ceremonies due to the pandemic.
Dreaming impossible dreams
Prior to his address, Fauci was presented with an honorary Doctor of Science degree and received a loud and sustained ovation from the crowd. Outside Michigan Stadium, dozens of demonstrators gathered with signs, while others paraded through the streets of Ann Arbor honking horns. “Keep a completely open mind, and do not shy away from dreaming impossible dreams and seizing upon unanticipated opportunities,” Fauci said.