Wayne State University Commencement Ceremony Celebrates Class of 2013

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Music legend Sixto Rodriguez to receive honorary degree from alma mater

More than 3,500 students will participate in two Wayne State University spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 9, 2013. The ceremonies, which will conclude the university's 145th academic year, will be held at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

Receiving honorary doctoral degrees will be famed Detroit folk singer Sixto Rodriguez and local businessman and community leader Walter E. Douglas.

Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from WSU in 1981, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his musical genius and commitment to social justice. Rodriguez, the star of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, has remained politically involved and connected to the Detroit community, living humbly in the city, running for Detroit City Council and working to improve conditions for the inner-city working class.

Douglas will receive a Doctor of Laws degree for his years of service to the city of Detroit and his many entrepreneurial achievements, as well as his devotion to philanthropy throughout the city and beyond. Douglas is chairman of the board and majority stockholder of Avis Ford, a Southfield Michigan automobile dealership.

The ceremonies will be one of the last major university events for President Allan Gilmour, who will retire in June. Gilmour stepped in to lead WSU in 2010 on an interim basis and was unanimously voted in as the institution’s 11th president in January 2011.

Media planning to attend the ceremonies should RSVP by emailing jarcher(at)wayne(dot)edu.

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Jessica Archer
Wayne State University
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