Wayne State University commencement ceremonies celebrate class of 2014

April 21, 2014

More than 3,400 students will graduate from Wayne State University during two commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 1, 2014. The ceremonies, which conclude the university's 146th academic year, will take place at Detroit's Ford Field and will be the first major university event since President M. Roy Wilson's inauguration. 

Honorary degrees will be bestowed upon former speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Paul Hillegonds and Daniel J. Loepp, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Both will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for their years of service and dedication to the metro Detroit community and beyond. 

Paul Hillegonds began his service to his community in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served from 1979-96. During his tenure, he held several leadership posts, including Republican leader, co-speaker of the House and speaker of the House. He served for nearly a decade as president of Detroit Renaissance, a nonprofit civic group of Southeast Michigan business leaders that focuses its efforts on economic development and public policy issues. During that time, he also was appointed by then-governor John Engler to fill a vacancy on the Wayne State University Board of Governors. Until earlier this year, Hillegonds served as senior vice president for corporate affairs at DTE Energy. He earned a juris doctorate from Thomas Cooley Law School and a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan. Hillegonds will be honored for his remarkable accomplishments and dedication to his community. 

Daniel Loepp is president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Prior to his current role with the organization, he served as chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association board of directors. Loepp also has led initiatives that are revitalizing Detroit, such as moving 3,000 Blues employees downtown. He holds a bachelor's and master's in speech communication from Wayne State University. Loepp will be honored for his outstanding leadership in health care, business and government, which has led to a better Detroit and Michigan.

Media planning to attend the ceremonies should RSVP by emailing Matt Lockwood at


May 2014 Commencement Ceremony schedule:

Thursday, May 1
10 a.m.
College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
School of Library and Information Science
School of Medicine (Ph.D./Master's candidates)
College of Nursing
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

4 p.m.
School of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Engineering
School of Social Work
All Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidates will participate in their respective school or college's ceremony.