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December 16, 2021

SVSU graduates to cap off fall semester with in-person commencement on Friday

More than 400 graduates of Saginaw Valley State University will celebrate their determination to complete their academic degrees during Commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 17.

The university will hold two ceremonies for fall 2021 graduates: one at 12:30 p.m. for students in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences; Education; and Science, Engineering & Technology, and another at 4 p.m. for graduates of the colleges of Health & Human Services and the Carmona College of Business. Both ceremonies will be held in SVSU’s Ryder Center and will be video-streamed live.  

SVSU also is holding a Commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 18 for those who graduated in 2020 and did not receive an in-person ceremony due to pandemic restrictions in place at the time. More than 125 people have registered to participate in the Saturday ceremony. 

SVSU President Donald J. Bachand will deliver remarks at each ceremony.  

“Our students have overcome extraordinary challenges to complete their degrees. I’m extremely proud of all of our graduates who have persevered through all of the ups and downs of the past two years,” Bachand said. “I’m very happy that we can share this occasion with students and their families.” 

Brooke ElwardBrooke Elward, a marketing major from Shelby Township, is among those graduating. She is looking forward to the celebration.  

“I am thrilled to participate in Commencement,” she said. “College is where you choose what you love to do. I get to celebrate me finding myself with my family.” 

Of the 486 students who applied to graduate, 407 are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees and 79 are expected to earn master’s or other advanced degrees. Around 425 graduates have indicated that they will don regalia and participate in Friday’s commencement exercises.

Elward has some idea of what’s in store Friday; she was among the scores of volunteers who helped coordinate SVSU’s first outdoor Commencement ceremonies in May.  

“Seeing how happy those students were to walk across the stage outside in the rain made me excited for December,” she said. “The shared energy of being proud of yourself, but also having the faculty show up to show you how proud of you they are is phenomenal!” 

Each graduating student is allowed up to four guests, and health and safety protocols will be observed. SVSU also is providing a live video stream of each ceremony. Details are available at