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April 23, 2024

Nearly 900 SVSU students to participate in commencement

Consul general of Canada in Detroit to speak

Portrait of man in front of Canadian flag

Saginaw Valley State University will hold commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. When the celebrations are complete, more than 1,100 SVSU graduates will be ready to take their next steps into careers, graduate programs, or other endeavors to which their education has led.

Nearly 900 SVSU students eligible for graduation have indicated that they will march in the two ceremonies.

Graduates from the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Scott L. Carmona College of Business and College of Science, Engineering & Technology will be recognized in the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Graduates of the Crystal M. Lange College of Health & Human Services and the College of Education will be recognized in a ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Both events will take place at SVSU’s Ryder Center and will be livestreamed. The links to livestreams will be available at

Colin Bird, consul general of Canada in Detroit, will address the graduates.

Bird was appointed to this diplomatic position in September 2022, bringing a skill set revolving around trade. In his role, Bird oversees consulate activities in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

The consulate in Detroit is one of 13 Canadian consulates in the U.S., in addition to the Embassy of Canada, providing services to Canadians visiting and living in the United States. While the consulate assists Canadians with passport and visa issues, provides information on studying and voting abroad, and offers other services, Bird’s role often puts him in meetings with U.S. and Canadian leaders to facilitate collaboration between the two countries, which have enjoyed a long and fruitful trade relationship.

Bird has held positions in Canada’s government since 2004, when he joined Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. In 2014, he was appointed minister-counsellor for trade and economic policy for the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., where he handled all aspects of the United States-Canada trade relationship. He has also represented Canada before dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body at the World Trade Organization.

Prior to his current appointment, Bird served as director of trade negotiations, multilateral and Americas, for Global Affairs Canada. In this role, he was responsible for multilateral trade matters, particularly Canada’s membership in the World Trade Organization. He also has served as Canada’s senior trade official at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, where he chaired the Trade Committee, and as Canada’s senior trade official for the G7 and G20.

Bird holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a law degree from the University of Ottawa.

SVSU graduates are building careers in high-demand fields in the Great Lakes Bay Region, throughout the state and beyond. According to a survey conducted by SVSU’s Office of Career Services, at least 96% of graduates from 2019 through 2022 are employed or continuing their education.