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Posted on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Eastern Michigan University on track to graduate record number of students Sunday

By Kellie Woodhouse


EMU commencement in winter 2012.

Eastern Michigan University expects to graduate its largest group of students in school history on Sunday.

The school has received 2,376 applications for graduation. EMU's graduation ceremonies are set to take place at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the school's convocation center.

Of those graduating, roughly 760 are getting advanced degrees. Another 484 students who anticipate graduating by August are eligible to walk across the stage during Sunday's ceremonies.

The number of graduates might be slightly less than the number of applicants, but officials expect figures to outpace last spring when 2,364 students graduated from EMU.

In spring 2011, 2,211 students graduated from EMU. Ten years ago EMU graduated 1,877 students in the spring. EMU began tracking data reliably in 1995 and that spring the school graduated 1,749 students.

EMU's enrolled 21,940 students this term, including 7,035 students who are considered seniors.

The executive story editor for the award-winning Showtime television series "Dexter" will speak during the morning ceremony. Scott Reynolds graduated from EMU in 1995 with an English, theater and film degree. He will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters.

Robert Holman, Jr., a retired executive from Discount Tire Company, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony and be awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration. Holman began working at Discount Tire while a student at EMU. He graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree of business administration in accounting and eventually rose the ranks at Discount Tire's Arizona headquarters.

The morning ceremony is for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Technology. The afternoon ceremony is for the College of Business, College of Education, College of Health and Human Services.

EMU also is awarding honorary degrees to Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and philanthropists William and Delores Brehm, who endowed the Brehms Scholars program.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Jay Thomas

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

The record graduation number is twelve more than last year and seems to be gradually increasing. But is EMU admitting more students every year? If they are then it is no great accomplishment. The article says NOTHING about what % of EMU students go on to graduate. Why is that? It might as well have come out of EMU's press office it is so misleading.

Geoff Larcom

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

The graduation rates for the class of 2013 have yet to be established, given that records must be finalized and entered for the spring class, and adding in summer 2013 graduates. EMU is taking the issue of retention very seriously. Naturally, any future story on graduation rates would logically factor in such variables as composition of the student body (i.e. Pell Grant recipients) number of transfers, etc. Below is a press release that offers further detail on things occurring on campus that have helped contribute to the recent increased enrollment and number of graduates. (Note: Geoff Larcom, a reporter and editor for The Ann Arbor News for 25 years, is executive director of media relations for EMU.)

Kellie Woodhouse

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

Hi Jay, EMU, as of 2012, has a 37.2 percent six-year graduation rate and a 12.9 percent four-year graduation rate. When I asked Geoff Larcom rates for the 2013 class he said they weren't available. Overall enrollment did increase, but the year before enrollment actually declined. This is just a brief article letting people know Eastern's graduation is happening, and in-depth look at the school's graduation rates does require more number crunching and its something I want to get to in the near future. Thanks.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

I'm graduating Sunday and not even bothering to go to the ceremony lol. Am I the only one ashamed to have gone here? If I can make the deans list consistently with subpar effort (I'm not that smart) then something is wrong with the school. I agree with the guy who said the 6 year graduation rate is 40%. LOL


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Then why didn't you transfer to another school that would have been more challenging? With this attitude, I'm sure no one missed you at the ceremony.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

You don't need to feel ashamed. In today's world the level playing field begins with a degree. The banking-education complex knows that. As long as you didn't go in debt you are ahead of the game.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

You can't blame EMU if you can't live up to your degree. And, frankly, it's pretty sad that you choose to put yourself down in order to put down EMU.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

Apparently my ex liked EMU so much, he went back and got a second bachelor's degree...and is participating in the graduation ceremony...AGAIN... I graduated from EMU. I wasn't happy there but I'm not ashamed. If you felt so ashamed you should have transferred schools


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS: I am happy to read this story and my friend Scott Twig whom I have named as the "Most Valuable Bachelor" of the United States would have the honor of receiving his Master's degree. Another friend is receiving his bachelor's degree in Journalism (Honors). I wish all of them all the best in their future endeavors and careers.

Buzz Buzz

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

EMU: 37.2 percent six-year graduation rate 12.9 percent four-year graduation rate


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 8:22 a.m.

How do people default on student loans when they offer an income based repayment system? If you have no income you pay $0 until you have income. You just have to keep up on the paperwork. Interest still accrues but it keeps you from defaulting. Also after 25 years any remaining debt is forgiven (though you are taxed on it). No idea how people manage to default on loans unless they just fail to fill out the paperwork to get their payments postponed.

Jay Thomas

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 1:55 a.m.

It's just the term the government uses: I understand what you are saying about the IRS.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

To correct myself, your loan can go in to the legal abyss of default. The IRS will patiently wait every April for your payment, until it is paid off.


Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 12:53 a.m.

You can't default on a student loan. You will take it to your grave.

Jay Thomas

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 12:37 a.m.

Thank you for posting this, the truth revealed. EMU is a giant academic jobs program with miserable results. The number of loan defaults must be staggering.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Richardville reinstated funding for the EMU Autism Center a few years back.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

The school that produces more teachers than any other in the state is giving Randy Richardville, who would like to see poorly paid robots teaching Michigan's students, an honorary degree? Who came up with that idea?!?


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.



Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Congratulations to all of these folks - best wishes in all your future endeavors.