The 2014 WCC Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 17, 9:20 a.m. at the EMU Convocation Center
Faculty report by 8:45 A.M.
Of the 1,626 students who were awarded degrees or certificates (or both) this academic year, between 450 and 475 students are expected to walk the stage at commencement.
Because of the ample space for guests at the EMU Convocation Center, graduates are allowed to invite as many family members and other supporters to the ceremony as they wish. Over the years, between 3,000 and 5,000 total guests have attended the event.
Dale Petty, faculty member in the Industrial Technology department, has been selected by his colleagues to be the Faculty Speaker this year. He is looking forward to reminding the graduates that their “intellect, creativity and love is desperately needed in the world.”
“WCC Commencement is like a big, loud, friendly family reunion that brings together far flung elements that you can’t really believe are all related,” Petty said.
“It is a joyous mix of pomp, purposefulness and raw emotion that seems a little uncomfortable with itself, and yet somehow works because it reflects the beautiful diversity of human beings at our campus.”
Former Michigan legislator, Gary M. Owen, will be awarded an Honorary Associate Degree in Community Service. C. J. Snow, who will receive an Associate of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Teaching, will be the student speaker.
Leading the procession will be Business department faculty member, Collette Young, who will have the honor of being the mace bearer.
Designed and built by former faculty member, David Byrd, in the early 1970s, the mace used in WCC’s commencement exercises is an impressive and heavy ceremonial staff made out of wood. Decorating the mace are symbols representing program areas of the college, including a tire for automotive programs, a gear for industrial manufacturing, a graduated beaker for chemistry and health programs, and a cup and saucer for culinary arts and hospitality.
The top of the mace is a torch of learning, signifying the overall mission of the College.
Dean of Enrollment Management and Ombudsman, Larry Aeilts is the lead organizer of commencement. Planning the ceremony, he says, is a year-long process.
“As much time and work that it takes to plan and carry out the commencement ceremony, I always look forward to the day,” Aeilts remarked.
“This is our end product. This is why we’re here—to help students achieve a degree or certificate.”
The EMU Convocation Center is located at 799 North Hewitt Rd. in Ypsilanti. Plenty of free parking will be available. All WCC faculty and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend.