Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gov. Rick Snyder to deliver Spring Commencement address

Click here for more detailed biographies of the honorary degree recipients >>

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will deliver the main address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree when U-M presents its Spring Commencement at 10 a.m. April 30 at Michigan Stadium.

  Gov. Rick Snyder

Snyder was inaugurated as Michigan's 48th governor Jan. 1. Honorary degrees for Snyder and five additional recipients have been recommended for approval by the Board of Regents at its March 17 meeting.

It is customary for the university to extend an invitation to a newly elected governor to receive an honorary degree and provide the commencement address. The university community is honored that Snyder was able to accept the invitation and looks forward to his address, President Mary Sue Coleman says.

"As a Michigan alumnus and the state's chief executive, Governor Snyder is uniquely positioned to tell our graduates about the challenges and rewards of leadership. We look forward to his message, and to presenting honorary degrees to the exceptional individuals who will join us in celebrating the Class of 2011," Coleman says.

From U-M, Snyder obtained a bachelor's degree in general studies in 1977, a Master of Business Administration degree in 1979, and a Juris Doctorate in 1982.

Also recommended for honorary degrees are:

• Vernon J. Ehlers, former U.S. congressman and physicist, Doctor of Laws.

• William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of the board of directors, Ford Motor Co., Doctor of Laws.

• Shelton "Spike" Lee, film director, producer and writer, Doctor of Fine Arts.

• Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, Doctor of Humane Letters. Robinson will speak at University Graduate Exercises, 9:30 a.m. April 29 at Hill Auditorium.

• Stephen M. Ross, chairman, CEO and managing partner, The Related Companies, L.P., Doctor of Laws.

The University Record will present a story in its March 21 issue with complete biographies of honorary degree recipients.