Congratulations, Class of 2021: WSU Applebaum Commencement photos, videos and more

WSU Applebaum Commencement
WSU Applebaum graduates line up to cross the stage.

Detroit's Fox Theatre was Warrior Strong on Tuesday, Dec. 14, when dozens of students from Wayne State's Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences crossed the Commencement stage.

WSU Applebaum joined the College of Nursing; School of Information Sciences; College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts; and School of Medicine for the 7 p.m. ceremony, the last of four graduation events hosted by the university over the course of two days.

Ceremony photos

Graduates, family members, faculty, staff and friends were beaming under their face coverings while observing the university's pandemic safety guidelines during the first in-person Commencement since December 2019.

WSU Applebaum graduate outside the Fox Theatre
Occupational Therapy graduate Samuel Wood outside the Fox.

Because attendance was limited, we invite our entire college community to experience Commencement after the fact through our Flickr photo album, the images captured by the university photographer during all four WSU ceremonies, the ceremony program booklet, a video introducing the event's student speaker — our own Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate Bana Odeh — as well as a recording of her speech, and a video of our entire livestreamed ceremony.

Key moments include:

  • Presentation of candidates by Dean Brian Cummings (at the 26:17 timestamp)
  • WSU Applebaum graduates walk the stage and pose with their diplomas (47:08-54:40)
  • DPT graduate Bana Odeh’s student address (1:05:08)
  • Final round of applause for post-graduate and graduate degree recipients (1:13:33)
  • Traditional turning of the tassel for bachelor's degree recipients (1:14:17)
MortSci graduate Marjorie Newson
Mortuary Science graduate Marjorie Newson takes the spotlight.

A silver lining of the hybrid approach to Commencement is that far-flung family members and friends were able to participate in real time. During graduation season, more than 10,500 users visited the university's Commencement website from 62 countries, including Canada, India, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil. The WSU Applebaum ceremony broadcast had 300 live viewers and another 1,300-plus after it ended.

The ceremony included a number of powerful moments, including Odeh's speech, which was pre-recorded and beamed onto massive screens framed by the Fox Theatre's stunning ornamental architecture.

"As we reflect today on who we are, how far we’ve come and how far we’ll go, I wanted to end with a segue into the past — a lesson my parents have shared with me by an Arabian poet," Odeh said, speaking the poetry first in Arabic and then in English. “Whoever fears climbing mountains will live forever among the ditches.”

Bana Odeh
Physical Therapy graduate Bana Odeh's student address.

Odeh continued, “We can all relate today to that feeling when we first started our educational journeys. There were definite moments when we felt that fear and hesitation. But we stand today having overcome them, at the peak of an educational success for each and every one of us. We stand at the top of a mountain right now, and as we move forward there will be far more mountains to climb. But remember that the view from the top, after putting in the hard work, is beautiful beyond measure."

We're incredibly proud of you, Class of 2021! Enjoy your view from the top and keep in touch as you continue your adventure!

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