University selects three to speak at December commencement ceremonies


Commencement May

Graduates hold their diplomas on May 6 in McGuirk Arena. 


Three speakers have been invited address graduates at the Central Michigan University commencement ceremonies on Dec. 16 in McGuirk Arena. 

Frank Cloutier, chief of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe; Gay Ebers-Franckowiak, former managing editor of the global financial services firm, Morgan Stanley; and James Sawyer IV, president of Macomb Community College, will speak to graduates next month, according to a CMU News release.

The ceremonies will include August and December graduates, according to the release. There are 872 August graduates and more than 1,800 prospective December graduates.

The commencement comprises three ceremonies: 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Graduates are assigned to a ceremony based on their program and degree.

Ebers-Franckowiak will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony. A 1975 alumna, she became a high-ranking woman in brokerage before retiring in 2008. Now serving as a member of the National Campaign Steering Committee, she and her husband Mike Franckowiak received the Dick Enberg CMU Alumni Commitment Award last year.

Cloutier will give the 1:30 p.m. address. Cloutier supports the Niijkewehn Mentoring Program among Native American youth and college students. He was also appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the Council for Labor and Economic Growth to assist the state in the federal Workforce Investment Act.

Sawyer will speak at the 6 p.m. ceremony. A 1989 alumnus, Sawyer became the sixth president of MCC in July, previously serving as provost and senior vice president for the college’s learning unit. Sawyer’s work for MCC earned it Leader College status from Achieving the Dream, a nonprofit focused on community college student success, in 2013 and 2016.

The three speakers will also receive honorary doctorate degrees, according to CMU News. Ebers-Franckowiak will received a doctor of commercial science honorary degree, and Cloutier and Sawyer will each receive a doctor of public service honorary degree.


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