Blog: Denise Ilitch

The recent arrest of an individual for pelting the ice with an octopus during the Red Wings playoffs clashes with Detroit's joie de vivre but doesn't mean time-out. It's Stanley Cup week, and entrepreneur-attorney-philanthropist Denise Ilitch delivers the sports talk.

Post 2: Capping Off Graduation of my favorite parts of being a Regent at the University of Michigan is commencement!  It is such a joyous time for all! It represents happy endings and new beginnings and there is such hope and anticipation.  I always cry and then joke, "And my kids haven't even graduated yet!"

This year's commencement was great, as we honored such accomplished people: Spike Lee received a Doctor of Fine Arts; Eugene Robinson, a Doctor of Humane Letters; and Bill Ford, Jr., Stephen Ross, Governor Snyder, and Vernon J. Ehlers all received a Doctor of Laws.

I had the distinct privilege of presenting the honorary degree to Bill Ford, Jr. It was quite exciting as I have a very high regard for Bill and his contribution to our world.

The University hosted a dinner the evening prior to commencement with the honorees at the UM Art Museum. I was especially excited to meet Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.  I watch him on MSNBC all the time and find him insightful and reasonable. 
I did not realize he was a UM graduate and from Michigan.  I also enjoyed speaking to Spike Lee, who is a big baseball fan and declares his favorite team is the Yankees

Governor Snyder, who earned three degrees at U-M, gave the commencement address and emphasized the importance of doing the right thing and making Michigan a better place. All of the speakers emphasized the importance of acting boldly and taking risks and being willing to stand up for one's ideas and beliefs.  As our President said, "This is no time for wavering… but for people unafraid to challenge the status quo. People are eager to take risks because big risks can deliver big rewards."

I love that.  Students cheered all day, caps flew in the air and parents were smiling all day.  The commencement ended with a rousing rendition of the Michigan fight song.

My favorite send off, however, was from President Coleman as she declared, "For today, goodbye. For tomorrow, good luck. And forever, GO BLUE!!!!"

Photos courtesy of Denise Ilitch