Wake up every morning with a strong desire to make a difference.
And strive to make that difference today, not tomorrow or next week.
That was the message Lizabeth Ardisana shared with hundreds of University of Michigan-Dearborn graduates during one of Saturday’s fall commencement ceremonies.
“You are all graduating at a time of great challenge, but incredible opportunity,” said Ardisana, co-founder and CEO of ASG Renaissance, who also graduated from UM-Dearborn. “You’re very fortunate to be graduating at a time when you can truly change the world. You can make these challenges into opportunities. You can make a difference that will be felt for years.”
Hundreds of UM-Dearborn students now will have an opportunity to make a difference as graduates of one the world’s largest alumni communities.
About 400 UM-Dearborn students participated in Saturday’s two commencement ceremonies. College of Business, College of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as College of Education, Health, and Human Services students turned their tassels and received their diplomas during the morning ceremony. Among the morning graduates were recipients of UM-Dearborn’s first education doctoral degrees.
Those who walked across the stage Saturday at the Fieldhouse are sure to face plenty of hurdles, but Ardisana encouraged them to take it one step at a time.
“The path isn’t always straight,” she said. “Every move you make may not look perfect, and some are actually painful. But every step takes you closer to who you are. Every challenge in your life just takes one step. Today, you’re taking one big step.”
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters students adorned their cap and gown during an afternoon ceremony, in which they were encouraged to pursue their passions, no matter how lofty they may be.
Paul Anger, vice president and editor of the Detroit Free Press, commended students for their hard work, not only inside the classroom, but also throughout southeast Michigan. About 80 percent of UM-Dearborn alumni stay in Michigan, and Anger said this semester’s graduates can play a key role in revitalizing the region through their creativity and determination.
“This is such a milestone for so many of you,” Anger said. “It is your world now, going forward. As Eminem would put it, ‘The moment, you own, you better never let it go.’”
View more photos on UM-Dearborn’s facebook page.