CEW+ Graduation marks return to in-person events at the Center

The Center came alive with cheers and applause as the 2022 graduating students entered into the CEW+ Graduation celebration on Thursday, April 28. The event featured a ceremonial awarding of cords and stoles as well as a family-friendly reception. The event honored students who graduated within the current academic year no matter their connection to the Center – including CEW+ scholars and fellows, members of sponsored student organizations, participants in the coaching program, and CEW+ student employees.

The ceremony featured remarks from CEW+ Director Tiffany Marra, and Jessica Pelton, a graduating psychology student who earned an AAUW: Mary Elizabeth Bittman Memorial Scholarship and graduated with honors, and also served as MCaSP (Michigan Caregivers, Student Parents) president. Additionally, Carissa Wengrovious, a Christine Kahan Black Scholar and a graduating Movement Science PhD candidate in the School of Kinesiology, led a family-friendly grounding and centering exercise. The ceremony recognized the students who reached graduation and their collected supporters – ranging from children to siblings and friends – who have gone through many of the highs and lows of the academic journey alongside their graduates. As Tiffany noted in her opening remarks, “Today we celebrate the persistence, hard work, and fortitude of each graduate while simultaneously honoring the efforts of each loved one for enabling your graduate to reach this milestone.”

As the event drew to a close, Doreen Murasky, CEW+ special programs manager who has led scholarship and scholar community programming for the past two decades, reflected on the importance of the moment and introduced a community art project that gave space for attendees to share words of celebration and support. Doreen commented, “Today we not only celebrate individual achievements, but we also celebrate the opening of new beginnings for our graduates and for our shared human family.” The celebration marked the start of a tradition that will carry forward as a signature event for CEW+ Graduates. Whether future versions of this event are masked or unmasked, one thing is certain – CEW+ is thrilled to holistically celebrate our graduates as well as those who support them along their journey.