The 2011-2012 academic year marks the 75th anniversary of the Wayne State University Alumni Association, which continues to build loyalty and support among alumni, students and the greater university community. Wayne State graduates make a difference every day in many professions, demonstrating high achievement in a wide range of careers. In every part of the world, Wayne State alumni are proven leaders and are highly acclaimed in almost every professional area. From serving in elected positions at the state and local levels, to running nonprofit agencies, working in unions, education, public health, science, social work, public policy and professional athletics, Wayne State graduates put their education to work — for themselves, for their communities and for our planet.
No matter where they are in life or in the world, Wayne State alumni stay connected through special events, personal and professional development, campus activities and the Wayne State University Alumni Association. More than 75 percent of Wayne State University’s 240,000 alumni live in Michigan.
- About 30 percent of practicing physicians in Michigan, and 43 percent of practicing physicians in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, received all or part of their medical training at Wayne State University
- 75 percent of Wayne State Law School graduates live and work in Michigan
- More than 15 percent of the judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals are Wayne State alumni
- Six judges on the United States District Court are Wayne State alumni
At Wayne State, we have many reasons to be proud of our alumni. Many of these former students have pursued not only their degrees but also their dreams. Some have launched new companies; others, new careers. A significant number have enjoyed the challenges and satisfaction that come with reaching the next level within their organizations. Many others have enriched their lives as well as their respective industries. Notable Wayne State alumni, or those who have attended, include:
- Yousif Ghafari, former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia
- Ernie Hudson, Broadway, television and movie actor
- Cynthia Bir, lead engineer for ESPN Sports Science
- The Honorable Damon J. Keith, senior judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals
- Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, former United Nations undersecretary general
- Paul Butcher, retired NFL Pro Bowl player
- Wayne Dyer, self-help advocate, author and lecturer
- Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
- Jerry Linenger, M.D., retired U.S. Navy captain and NASA astronaut
- Casey Kasem, radio host, actor and founder of America’s Top 40
- Joique Bell, winner of the 2009 Harlon Hill Trophy and current NFL player
- David M. Overton, Founder and CEO, The Cheesecake Factory Inc.
- John Conyers, U.S. Representative (D-Michigan)
- Philip Levine, Poet Laureate of the United States
- Lily Tomlin, Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award- winning actress, comedian and writer
- Peter Karmanos, executive chairman of the board of Compuware and owner of the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
- Hugh Downs, television host, producer and author
The Wayne State University Alumni Association has a range of events throughout the year to suit every interest — social, cultural, educational, career or family-oriented. The Wayne State Alumni Association’s work impacts communities across the globe:
- Awarding student scholarships — In 2011 more than $109,000 in funds were awarded
- Developing alumni networks in areas such as New York, California, Florida, Texas, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Ontario, China and the Middle East
- Mobilizing more than 2,000 alumni advocates who serve the needs of the university by communicating with legislators and key government officials
- Creating career development and other services for alumni to assist them in all stages of their work lives
- Producing the award-winning Wayne State magazine, which provides information to alumni, friends and Wayne State community members around the world
- Supporting student recruitment activities to continue the lasting traditions of student success and engagement in the community
- Hosting programs such as the Arthur L. Johnson Urban Perspectives Lecture Series, which brings some of the country’s leading thinkers to campus to share their viewpoints and thoughts on topics of broad interest
Wayne State University centers and institutes
Wayne State University’s centers and institutes play an integral role in the university’s emphasis on encouraging innovative scholarship, providing service to society and strengthening Wayne State's performance as a nationally recognized research university. WSU’s centers and institutes embrace the multidisciplinary nature of scholarship and research within the university, and expand university boundaries by fostering collaborations with government, industry and organizations to enhance economic growth and the quality of life locally, nationally and globally. Our centers and institutes vary greatly in size, focus and mission. Some promote a primarily research-focused agenda, while others stress instruction and/or community service.
Wayne State University Centers and Institutes directory:
Institute for Organizational and Industrial Competitiveness
Manufacturing Information Systems Center
Center for School Health
Center for Self Determination and Transition
Institute for Learning and Performance Improvement
Institute for the Study of the African American Child
Center for Automotive Research
Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies
Center for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics
Center for Peace and Conflict Studies
Center for the Study of Citizenship
Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues
Labor Studies Center
C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development
Cardiovascular Research Institute
Center to Advance Palliative-Care Excellence
Ligon Research Center of Vision
Center for Health Research
Center for Social Work Practice and Policy Research
Type I — Academic
Center for Urban Studies
Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies
Developmental Disabilities Institute
Type II — Research
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Institute of Gerontology
Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
The university sponsors 15 varsity sports including two that compete at the NCAA Division I level (men’s and women’s fencing). The additional 13 sports are baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s swimming/diving, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. The nickname of Wayne State’s intercollegiate teams is “Warriors.” All of Wayne State’s teams, except fencing (Midwest Fencing Conference), participate in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. WSU has had athletic teams since 1918 and has 477 All-Americans, 11 NCAA Division I Team Championships, 586 Academic All-Americans and 79 NCAA individual national champions. The cumulative grade-point average of all student-athletes is 3.08, and the graduation rate is 26 percent above a comparable campus population. Wayne State University’s 10 best finishes in the prestigious NACDA Cup standings (which measures the overall competitive success of athletic programs around the country) have occurred in the past 10 years, including the two highest marks ever (11th in 2009 and 21st in 2010).
Wayne State University Press
Wayne State University Press publishes high-quality books and journals that advance scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, foster creativity and the arts, and enhance understanding of the region and the world. Wayne State University and its press are dedicated to the discovery, discourse and dissemination of ideas and knowledge and to the well-being of Detroit and Michigan. Our books develop and enrich the lives of students, scholars and local and international communities of readers.
Wayne State University Press is the authoritative source for books on the Detroit region’s history, art and architecture, and significant cultural figures and movements. Publishing 35-40 new books and e-books and six journals each year, the press specializes in Regional Studies and Great Lakes Books, Film and Television Studies, Jewish Studies, African American Studies, Fairytale and Folklore Studies, and poetry, essay, and short fiction by Michigan authors through its Made in Michigan Writers Series. WSU Press books receive wide recognition and varied awards, including regular inclusion on the Library of Michigan’s annual list of Michigan Notable Books. Recent highlights include the nomination of American Salvage as a National Book Award Finalist in Fiction and recognition of the Press as one of the “17 Most Innovative University Presses” in the country by The Huffington Post.
Wayne State University Public Radio — WDET 101.9 FM
WDET has been a community service of Wayne State University since 1952. The station plays an important role in the university’s goal to develop community partnerships as a catalyst for the region’s social, cultural, economic and educational enrichment. WDET also runs the Detroit Radio Information Service, which offers free reading services to people who are blind or print-impaired. It is the only service of its kind in the region.
Wayne State University Theatre
Wayne State University Theatre is Detroit’s oldest noncommercial theatre. Nearly 200 students are enrolled and/or participate in the three theatres it operates. Each year these theatres play to the second-largest audience in Michigan — second only to the audience at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, where tours of New York musicals and plays and pre-Broadway tryouts are presented.
WSU’s Hilberry Theatre is the nation’s only true graduate rotating repertory company. Students from across the country come to Detroit to participate in its rigorous audition process, and only about 40 of the most promising theatre artists are accepted each year. Most recently, the Hilberry was honored with seven Wilde Award nominations in the 2009-2010 season.