Commencement is June 13

Jun 2, 2009

Kettering University will graduate almost 300 undergraduate and graduate students during ceremonies June 13. Former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, Michael M. Wood, will receive an honorary degree.

Michael M. Wood, who is originally from Flintand is the former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, will offer the Commencement address when Kettering University hosts graduation ceremonies at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 13.  The event is open to the public in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

Kettering will graduate 198 undergraduate and 97 master’s candidates during graduation services.  About 180 undergraduates and 55 graduate students are expected to march at the ceremonies.  University President Stan Liberty will preside and Dr. Henry Kowalski, professor of Mechanical Engineering, will be the grand marshal.  Undergraduate student speaker will be Tyler Finneganof Elyria, Ohio, who will earn a bachelor’s degree in Management. 

Here are the highlights of the upcoming ceremony:

Saturday, June 13, 2009, 11 a.m.
Connie and Jim John Recreation Center 
No tickets required to attend Commencement 
The event is free and open to the public
Allow 1 1/2 hours for the ceremony 
Presiding: Kettering University President Stan Liberty
Parking is free and available in all campus parking lots 
Information center will be located on the 1st floor of the CC (outside BJ's Lounge, behind the elevators) from 8:30 - 10:45 a.m.
There is no graduation rehearsal
Total graduates: 198 undergraduates, 97 master’s candidates 
Graduates expecting to march: 180 undergraduates, 55 graduate 
Expected number of guests: 1,600 
Faculty will host a light breakfast in the International Room, Fifth Floor of the Campus Center, 8:30-10 a.m. 
Recreation Center doors open at 9 a.m. for visitors to arrive and be seated 
Faculty and staff members assemble for the Processional between 10-10:55 a.m. in the Third Floor, Recreation Center 
Graduates assemble on the first floor of the Campus Center (just outside BJ's Lounge) between 10:30-10:55 a.m.  
Formal processional begins at 11 a.m.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Michael M. Wood
Former U.S. Ambassador to
Chair, Redwood Investments, LLC



Michael M. Wood is a son of Flint.  He grew up in the area and attended Flint’s Whittier Middle School.  After graduating from Yale University, he helped found the leading media company for the housing and construction industry.  His national service included organizing a housing industry round table in 1984 for U.S. President Ronald Reagan and representing the United States during the presidential inauguration in Ecuador in 2003.  In 2006, Mr. Wood was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. 

Ambassador Wood was very helpful in developing the international collaboration between Kettering, Linkoping University in Sweden and others that is currently creating a waste-to-energy bio-methane center at Flint's wastewater treatment facility. Mr. Wood was also instrumental in hosting the royal visit of His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, to campus on Sept. 26 last year.  Kettering will award Mr. Wood an honorary doctor of Humane Letters.  Read his bio ( and more about the “Crowning event” that brought a king to Kettering’s campus (

Tyler Finnegan of Elyria, Ohio, is the undergraduate student speaker and will offer comments on “Resilience and Revolution” to his graduating class.  He will receive a bachelor’s degree in Management.  His co-op was at Delphi Corporation.  He is a 2005 graduate of ElyriaCatholicHigh School in Ohio.

A student leader and outspoken advocate for cooperative education, he has often represented Kettering in the media, including being interviewed by the New York Times for a national news story on the University.  At Kettering, Finnegan has been involved in Robot Leadership Honor Society, he was president of the Professional Leadership Honor Society, director of KSG Academic Council, a team leader for Student Ambassadors, an RA in Thompson Hall, an active employee at the Recreation Center, a regular contributor to the SuccessZone incoming student portal as the StickMan, College DECA, and a volunteer in the Flint community as part of Junior Achievement and Michigan High School DECA.  He also has served on numerous committees including the Friends of the Library and Archives, Commencement Committee and the WAG-GPA Task Force.

He has accepted a full-time job at Guardian Industries and will join its leadership development program in Geneva, N.Y.  

The Outstanding Thesis Award winner for Spring 2009 goes to Brian L. Dorney of Holly, Mich. He is an Applied Physics major, whose co-op was at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.  His thesis is "Hydrogen Storage by Adsorption in Polymer Materials.” His faculty adviser is Dr. Yuri Sikorski of Physics.  Dorney will be among those feted during the Commencement Honors Breakfast on June 13.

Willy Joseph, Freeport, Bahamas
Kelly Lynn Okapal, Sylvania, Ohio
Scott Michael Skelton, Belleville, Mich.
Abdrahamane Traore, Bamako, Mali, Africa

Willy Joseph, Freeport, Bahamas
Kelly Lynn Okapal, Sylvania, Ohio
Jarrad Pouncil, Flint, Mich.
Tracy Schmitz, Shelby Township, Mich.
Abdrahamane Traore, Bamako, Mali, Africa
Angela Tremble, Detroit, Mich.

Summa Cum Laude (97.0-100): 9
Magna Cum Laude (94.5-96.9):  18
Cum Laude (92-94.4): 28

Bachelor's Degrees
Applied Mathematics: 1
Applied Physics: 1
Biochemistry: 1
Business Administration: 4
Chemistry: 2
Computer Engineering:11
Computer Science: 2
Electrical Engineering: 31
Industrial Engineering: 20
Management: 4
Mechanical Engineering: 115
Dual Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics: 1
Dual Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics: 2
Dual Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering: 2
Dual Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering: 1

Master's Degrees
Engineering: 23
Engineering Management: 6
Information Technology: 5
Manufacturing Management: 8
Manufacturing Operations: 38
MBA: 9
Operations Management: 6
Dual Engineering Management and MBA: 1
Dual Operations Management and Manufacturing Management: 1


HOTELS/RESTAURANTS: Contact the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1-800-24-FLINT or (810) 232-2211.

CAN WE HELP? 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585, or 810-762-9585. 

Written by Patricia Mroczek