Eastern Michigan University Commencement marks 160th anniversary of founding

by Pamela Young, Published April 16, 2009

YPSILANTI —Michigan Normal School’s first graduating class, in 1854, consisted of four women and five men. The ceremony was simple and took place in the only campus building.

As EMU celebrates the 160th  anniversary of its founding in 1849 and 155 years of graduations, more than 1,800 students will be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies Sunday, April 26, at the Convocation Center (799 N. Hewitt Rd.).

There are two ceremonies, one at 10 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. Doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. Tickets are limited to graduates and their families and friends.

Approximately 1,595 undergraduates and 579 graduate students (including seven doctoral candidates) are eligible to participate.

Eastern Michigan University President Susan W. Martin will preside over the commencement ceremonies.

Ernest Brandon, professor of music, will serve as grand marshal for the 10 a.m. ceremony. Jeanne Pietig, professor of teacher education, is the grand marshal for the 2 p.m. ceremony.

The EMU Wind Symphony, conducted by Mary Schneider, will provide music. The Army ROTC will provide the Color Guard.

Richard M. Smith, chairman of Newsweek, will be the keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient at the 10 a.m. ceremony, while Kenneth Fine, retired vice president and general manager of  semiconductor products group for Intel Corporation, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Smith joined Newsweek in 1970 on a four-week writing tryout. After serving as a writer in the international and national affairs departments, he moved to Hong Kong as Asian Editor and Hong Kong Bureau Chief. In 1978, he became editor of the magazine’s international editions. In 1984, he became editor-in-chief of Newsweek and added business side responsibilities in 1991 as president and CEO. He became chairman in 1998.

During his term as editor-in-chief and CEO, Newsweek launched seven foreign-language editions of the magazine in Japanese, Korean, Russian, Polish, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese, and started Newsweek.com. which reaches on average approximately seven million unique users a month.

Fine has led a distinguished career in both business and academia with more than 25 years of executive and management experience with companies such as Intel Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation and Valid-Logic Systems.

Until his retirement in the late 1990s, Fine spent 14 years with Intel.  Intel Corporation is the world’s largest semiconductor company and is known as the inventor of a series of microprocessors that are found in most personal computers.

Most notably during his tenure at Intel, Fine served as general manager of Intel’s Microprocessor Division.  He spearheaded the production ramp-up of the 80286 family of microprocessors and the development and market introduction of the more advanced 80386 family.  These two developments established Intel as a major microprocessor supplier for the personal computer marketing.

Pamela Young

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