To recognize and celebrate the achivements of the Class of 2021, Michigan State University held more than 50 in-person graduation ceremonies beginning April 30, plus virtual events for master’s and doctoral degree earners. More than 9,000 Spartans are being recognized across three weekends, with approximately 900 undergraduates and 400 advanced-degree graduates from the Broad College eager to make business happen.

Brendan Connolly tossing his commencement cap inside the Minskoff Pavilion.

Brendan Connolly (B.A. Hospitality Business ’21) was one of six undergraduate student speakers.

“Class of 2021, as we each begin the next chapter in our lives, I know that your desire to strive toward perfection, commitment to improving each day and ability to make the best of a given situation will make you a leader in whatever you do,” Brendan Connolly (B.A. Hospitality Business ’21) said in his commencement address. Connolly served as one of six undergraduate student speakers, each representing one of the college’s departments.

The speakers shared inspiring words, advice and anecdotes from their own journeys with their fellow undergraduate classmates. Like Abhishek Tekumulla (B.A. Finance ’21), who urged others to consider the following when setting goals for the future:

  1. Continue to build and develop a strong work ethic. He emphasized how the daily grind will pay off.
  2. Mindset is everything. Tekumulla explained how Spartans have the power to alter their mind and can accomplish what they desire.
  3. In the wake of adversity, remember you are a Spartan. Tekumulla asked his classmates to realize that they hold special traits that very few are lucky to have.

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the Class of 2021 and their experience at MSU. Many graduating Broad Spartans reflected on this experience, underscoring how they now have the strength and will to overcome whatever lies ahead.

“We are full of grit and we are better prepared to take on the next chapter of our careers because of our time at Michigan State,” Stephanie Reinert (MBA ’21) said. “I am forever grateful for my years at MSU, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished.”

Students at outdoor commencement ceremony, wearing caps, gowns, masks.

More than 9,000 Spartans are being recognized at commencement ceremonies across three weekends.

Yasmine Yehia (B.A. Marketing ’21) said, “We as a community came together, supported each other, took care of each other and proved the strength of the Spartan spirit. As the motto goes, ‘Together We Will.’ And you know what, Together We Did.”

“May you live what you envision ahead of you,” Pius Mithika (B.A. Finance ’21) said. “May we always remember who we are so that when the world asks who will, we will be there to show them Spartans Will.”

Although commencement is often a bittersweet moment, marking the end of students’ journeys at MSU, it also signifies a new beginning. For the Class of 2021, the memories and connections they have made here will stay with them forever as they move forward to make business happen.

“I cannot wait to see what the future holds,” Lydia Whipple (B.A. Supply Chain Management ’21) said. “It will be difficult, it will be different, but if you follow your priorities and keep thinking about the importance of the little things, there is truly nothing that can get in your way.”

As we bid farewell to the Class of 2021, take part in the celebration by viewing recordings of livestreamed events and watching our video recap of the Spring 2021 Commencement ceremonies: