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Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Ceremonies Held May 8 and 9

June 04, 2015

University of Detroit Mercy held its annual commencement ceremonies on May 8 and 9, 2015.

All three commencement ceremonies took place in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. In total, the University graduated approximately 1,500 students during the three commencement ceremonies. See the #udmgrad2015 Twitter feed, recapping moments from the May 9 celebration.

The School of Dentistry’s keynote speaker was Dr. Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., inaugural dean of AT Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. The School of Law’s keynote speaker was United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, J.D. UDM’s 2015 undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremony recognized Judge Damon J. Keith with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

May 8, School of Dentistry Commencement

On Friday, May 8, the School of Dentistry commencement keynote speaker was Dr. Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., inaugural dean of AT Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. See the School of Dentistry video and photo gallery online.

Dr. Dillenberg is the inaugural dean of AT Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. He received his master’s in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed his dental education at New York University, College of Dentistry. He is a board member of the American Association of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, the Caplin Family Foundation and is the vice chair for First Things First Southeast Maricopa Region and Board Chairman for the Center for Oral Health. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the American Dental Education Association as well as many others. Prior to joining ASDOH, Dr. Dillenberg was associate director for public health programs in the California Department of Health Services, and he was an area health officer serving the west area of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Dr. Dillenberg is also president of Dillenberg & Friends, Inc., providing a full scope of health services consulting. During most of the 1990s, he served in several capacities in the Arizona Department of Health Services, including director and assistant director in the Division of Family Health Services. Dr. Dillenberg has also served in numerous positions on health-related boards and associations and is the recipient of a number of honors and awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Chief Dental Officer’s Service Award and the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit.

He is recognized at the local, state and national levels as an expert in the area of public health leadership, health program development, social marketing, oral health issues, health center design, training of community health workers, community organizing and lecture presentations.

May 8, School of Law Commencement

On Friday, May 8, the School of Law commencement keynote speaker was United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, J.D. See the School of Law video and photo gallery online.

Nominated by President Barack Obama and sworn in on July 23, 2013, Secretary Perez is the nation’s 26th Secretary of Labor. He has committed to making good on the promise of opportunity for all, giving every working family a chance to get ahead, and putting a middle-class life within reach of everyone willing to work for it.

To accomplish this, Secretary Perez’s priorities for the department include ensuring a fair day's pay for a fair day’s work; connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs, through skills programs such as Registered Apprenticeship and on-the-job training; promoting gender equality in the workplace; ensuring that people with disabilities and veterans have access to equal employment opportunities; and insisting on a safe and level playing field for all American workers.

He was a law professor for six years at the University of Maryland School of Law and was a part-time professor at the George Washington School of Public Health. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1983. In 1987 he received both a master’s of public policy and a law degree from Harvard University.

May 9, Undergraduate/ Graduate Commencement

The keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient for this year’s McNichols Campus commencement was Judge Damon J. Keith, Senior Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. See the video and photo gallery online.

Judge Keith earned his master of laws degree from Wayne Law in 1956 and has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 1977. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Keith served on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, at the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and as a member of the U.S. Army.

For nearly 50 years, Judge Keith has persuasively and movingly defended the Constitution, helping communities enforce their civil rights. He has spoken truth to power from the bench, prohibiting President Nixon and the federal government from engaging in warrantless wiretapping and the Bush administration from conducting post-9/11 deportation hearings in secret. His decisions have desegregated public schools, broken color lines at corporations and required municipalities to repair the damage caused by systemic racism.

Judge Keith has received more than 40 honorary degrees, including one from Harvard University, and countless awards and distinctions, such as the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP and the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, the highest award that can be bestowed on a member of the federal judiciary. He has earned the admiration of judges, presidents and everyday citizens alike.

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