By Greg Best

E. Lansing, MI –“Leaving Inspired to Make a Difference”  was the theme for the 1st African American Celebratory Commencement, which was held on May 3, 2002 at the Wharton Pasant Theatre of Michigan State University.

History was made as approximately 150 African American students walked across the stage to receive their degrees.

The initial mood of the evening was set as the dancers and drummer of the Sankofa Dancers performed.  They definitely gave you the sense that  African roots are alive and flourishing.

The Celebratory was initially the idea of Michael Oden, who attended a similar event at University of Michigan.  He collaborated with students, Jeremiah Quarles, Erica Nero, Mary Phillips, Darren Lamb and John Johnson and many others.  They wanted to give something back to the community.

Dr. Greg Thomas was the Faculty speaker, who is an English teacher at Michigan State University.
The Keynote speaker was Dr. Pero G. Dagbovie who also teaches at Michigan State University.

Printed in Volume 1 Issue 8