To recognize and celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2021, Michigan State University held five in-person graduation ceremonies Dec. 17–18, a first for fall semester commencement festivities.
Thousands of Spartans crossed the stage inside the Breslin Center this weekend, with more than 120 advanced-degree graduates and 190 undergraduates hailing from the Broad College of Business.
“To my brand-new, soon-to-be fellow alums, congratulations! We are all forged from our experiences, and the harder they are, the greater the opportunity there is to transform them into something exceptional,” Craig Menear (B.A. Personnel Administration ’79), chairman and CEO of the Home Depot, said in his remarks.
Menear addressed undergraduates from his alma mater, including Spartans in business, education, engineering, James Madison, music and the Residential College in Arts and Humanities, on Saturday.
He shared personal anecdotes from his experience and career path, admitting how he skipped his own graduation ceremony and offering an approach to making choices that has helped guide his journey.
“First, to accelerate development and growth, tap the knowledge base of others. Next, take calculated risks . . . those which balance the upside with the possibility of failure,” Menear said, mentioning examples from his 20-year career at the Home Depot and the support he’s had from his wife and family. “Learn from your failures and keep growing. There will be disappointment, and you will never always get what you want. Finally, pay forward your success because nobody succeeds alone.”
At the master’s and educational specialist graduation ceremony Friday, U.S. Senator Gary Peters spoke to graduates and highlighted how the Spartan spirit is something that will always unite the Class of 2021.
“I think we can all agree that it took a special kind of spirit to navigate the turbulence of the last few years,” he said. “In ancient Greece, Spartans were well known for their grit, strength and sense of camaraderie. . . . As a Michigan State University Spartan, you share that same spirit.
“You are more than prepared to take on whatever comes your way,” Peters continued. “As advanced-degree graduates, you are among the best and the brightest.”
Although commencement is often a bittersweet moment, marking the end of students’ time at MSU, it also signifies a new beginning. And we are grateful to have safely celebrated this milestone together. Hats off to all Broad Spartans in the Class of 2021.
Relive the celebration by viewing recordings of the livestreamed events.