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Spring Commencement Features 1,900 Graduates, Honorary Doctorate Recipients

Ferris State UniversityCeremonies will be held in Big Rapids and Grand Rapids, as 1,900 graduates participate in Spring 2017 commencement exercises for Ferris State University, on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 in Jim Wink Arena. Kendall College of Art and Design will host its commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6.

The estimated 1,900 graduates includes 1,383 from the spring semester, of which 1,265 will participate in the weekend's ceremonies. Spring 2017 commencement also includes graduating seniors from the Summer 2017 term.

On main campus, Honorary Doctorate degrees will be conferred to Mary Garvelink, an alumna and the president and principal owner of Commercial Design Engineering, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jeff Rowe, an alumnus and a retired executive vice president of Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, from Flint; and Mickey Shapiro, a financier and developer, from Bloomfield Hills. Each will speak at commencement ceremonies germane to their professional experiences.

On Ferris’ main campus, in Big Rapids, Rowe will address graduates from the College of Health Professions, at 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 5, and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Health Services. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. The College of Arts, Sciences and Education, College of Pharmacy and Doctorate of Community College Leadership graduates will gather for a 7 p.m. ceremony. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, May 6, Garvelink will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry as the College of Engineering Technology holds its commencement at 9 a.m. The doors will open at 8 a.m. The College of Business commencement exercises will begin at 12:30 p.m., with access to the arena set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Mickey Shapiro will receive his Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry at that ceremony. The final ceremony begins at 4 p.m., as the Michigan College of Optometry and the College of Education and Human Services hold commencement exercises. Graduates and guests can enter the arena beginning at 3 p.m.

Commencement for KCAD graduates will begin at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 6, at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE, in Grand Rapids. Tickets are required to attend the ceremony.

Read the capsules on the Honorary Doctorate recipients:

Garvelink, a 1972 graduate of Ferris’ College of Education and Human Services, has worked more than 40 years with her husband John, who is a 1971 alumnus of the College of Engineering Technology, to lead Commercial Design Engineering. In 2004, Garvelink was elected president of the National Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors, making her the first female president of a major national trade organization in the mechanical industry. She was also honored as a Distinguished Alumni by Ferris, in 2016.

Rowe graduated from the College of Pharmacy, in 1979, and owned two independent pharmacies prior to joining Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, in 1993. He retired, in 2015, as executive vice president and a member of the Flint-based company’s board. Rowe is currently is president of St. Luke’s New Life Center, a Flint-area nonprofit dedicated to educating and training at-risk individuals to prepare them for the job market. He was also named a Distinguished Alumni, by the university, in 2016.

Shapiro began his collegiate studies at Ferris, in 1965, in a preparatory program and used his experience to transfer to Michigan State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. Today, Shapiro’s companies own and provide property management and real estate development services throughout North America. He has offered philanthropic support to a variety of organizations, including the Cleveland Clinic, Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, the Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California and an endowed scholarship, at Ferris, as well as providing access to the USC Shoah Visual Archive.

All students who plan to participate in Spring 2017 commencement ceremonies may request up to six electronic tickets. No extra e-tickets are distributed by the Commencement Office or the individual college commencement coordinators. Lost tickets will not be replaced. Guests who do not have tickets may watch the ceremony via live stream on the Commencement Office website or on a large screen from an alternate viewing location inside of the Ewigleben Sports Complex. Click special accommodations for more information.

E-tickets are required to attend all Big Rapids commencement ceremonies. Children 2 years old and younger do not need a ticket.

Click commencement for more information.

PHOTO CAPTION: More than 1,900 graduates of Ferris State University and the Kendall College of Art and Design will participate in commencement exercises on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6.