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May commencement speakers to address more than 3,000 graduates, including first College of Medicine class

Five graduation ceremonies scheduled for May 5 through 7

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston

​A higher education advocate, an innovative professional, a television star, an accomplished researcher and an influential educator will share their insights with more than 3,000 Central Michigan University spring graduates May 5, 6 and 7.

The ceremony on Sunday, May 7, will mark the graduation of CMU's first-ever College of Medicine class.

Keynote speakers planned for the five commencement ceremonies are:

Howard.jpgHoward will speak at the doctoral ceremony, which will begin at 4 p.m. May 5 in Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium.

Howard advocates for public higher education at the national level and works to influence regulations and federal policy. She is the first African-American and the first woman to become president of one of six presidentially based higher education associations located in Washington, D.C. Howard's extensive work in educational leadership and minority women in academics has earned her national recognition, including the Secretary of the Air Force Distinguished Public Service Award and the Woman of Distinction Global Leadership Award in Education. Howard will receive a Doctor of Public Service honorary degree.

The three undergraduate/graduate ceremonies will take place May 6 in the John G. Kulhavi Events Center's McGuirk Arena.

Torreano.jpgTorreano will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony. She is an innovative businesswoman and proven leader who dedicated more than 20 years working with AT&T. Torreano spearheaded sponsorships with a number of prestigious organizations, including The Masters, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the "'It Can Wait' – No Txting While Drivng" sponsorship campaign. Torreano's leadership contributions to AT&T and other organizations have earned her industry accolades and many awards. Her career transcends the telecommunications industry, as she also has worked with nonprofits, politicians and as chair of the CMU Board of Trustees. Torreano will receive a Doctor of Commercial Science honorary degree.

Oosterhouse.jpgOosterhouse will address the graduates at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. He is a widely recognized television personality best known for his charm and home improvement expertise. Oosterhouse's rise to fame began with his role on TLC's iconic show "Trading Spaces," and he has starred in more than five shows on TLC, NBC and ABC. Today, he is a go-to DIY expert for a range of national outlets, including "The Today Show" and "Rachael Ray." Oosterhouse also is owner of the Traverse City-based Bonobo Winery and founder of Carter's Kids, which combats obesity in children. Oosterhouse, who earned a bachelor's degree from CMU in 2000, will receive a Doctor of Public Service honorary degree.

Spencer pic.jpgSpencer will speak at the 6 p.m. ceremony. The dedicated toxicologist has contributed a significant amount of research on the effects of toxins on human health and has collaborated with the American Chemical Society to create a toxicology training series. Spencer worked with the Dow Chemical Co. for 30 years before retiring as the scientific director of Dow's Toxicology Environmental Research and Consulting function and accepting her position with ANGUS. Her passion for driving interest in STEM careers earned her the INSIGHT Into Diversity 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM National Award. Spencer received a master's degree in biology from CMU in 1996, and from 2011 to 2015 chaired the Executive Alumni Advisory Board for the College of Science and Technology (now the College of Science and Engineering). She will receive a Doctor of Science honorary degree.

Betz.jpgBetz will speak during the College of Medicine's first commencement ceremony, which will begin at 2 p.m. May 7 in Warriner Hall's Plachta Auditorium.

In addition to serving as senior vice president emeritus of Health Sciences at the University of Utah, he also is CEO of the University of Utah Health Care and the dean of the School of Medicine. His far-reaching scholastic and research endeavors earned him recognition as one of Utah Business Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in Utah. Betz focuses his studies on physiology and biochemistry and has made research contributions to the topic of stroke-related brain injury. His efforts have been recognized with a number of awards, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Betz will receive a Doctor of Science honorary degree.

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