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Congratulations to our winter 2021 graduates

December 20, 2021

On December 19, 22 Ford School winter 2021 graduates and their families came together to celebrate a significant milestone. Four MPAs, five MPPs, twelve BAs, and one BA minor were conferred in U-M’s first in-person commencement ceremony since 2019.

“We are incredibly proud of our graduates,” Dean Michael S. Barr, wrote in a statement to the Ford School community. “They have worked so hard, and demonstrated tremendous reliance and strength. They persevered through a pandemic, political conflict, and personal challenges—and along the way they supported each other and strengthened our communities.”

During his commencement remarks, President Schlissel told the graduates that a U-M degree is special because of the university’s commitment to discovery and truth.

“I hope you will consider yourselves to be advocates for knowledge and understanding — and for the process of discovery that you’ve honed here with us,” he said. “There are so many communities and problems that need your attention. That need your commitment to the truth, now and always.”

Provost Collins offered a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s message to Congress in 1862 : “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

Ford School BA graduate Walter Aguilar, a Grand Rapids native who served as the U-M marching band drum major and associate justice of the central student government judiciary, was one of the commencement speakers. He said, “As we embark on the next chapter of our lives, we will continue to make a difference in our communities. Making the world a better place, one Wolverine at a time. Now, let’s go out and do that.”

Congratulations, graduates! Go Blue!


Ford School winter 2021 graduates

Master of public affairs

  • Walter Robert Caldwell, MPA
  • Lindsey Dowswell, MPA
  • Tara Alice Lanigan, MPA
  • Judith Miriam Lansky, MPA

Master of public policy

  • Grant Andrews Newsome, MPP
  • Christen Jade Richardson, MPP
  • Isabella Nicole St Onge, MPP
  • Amanda Grace Swenson, MPP/JD
  • Laura Patricia Tamayo Castillo, MPP/MBA

Bachelor of Arts in public policy

  • Walter Alam Aguilar, BA
  • Camryn Laraine Banks, BA
  • Brett Bolog, BA
  • Juliette Nichole Farmer, BA
  • Emma Rachel Forde, BA
  • Brenna Grace Healy, BA
  • Jasmine Ann Kaltenbach, BA
  • Alexander Robert Krabill, BA
  • Alice Lin, BA
  • Emma Jane Meyer Sandberg, BA
  • Noelle Jean Seward, BA
  • Maheem Sajid Syed, BA
  • Amina Zahra, Khan, BA Minor


Watch a video of the full 2021 Winter Commencement ceremony.

Read the article in the University Record

See all 2021 Winter Commencement honorary degree recipients