Ceremony and Venue

Michigan Tech conducts two commencement ceremonies each year: one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. The Midyear Commencement ceremony is in the Student Development Complex Wood Gym and the Spring Commencement is in the John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena, attached to the Student Development Complex.

Upcoming Ceremony

Where and When: Midyear Commencement is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 17, 2016 in the Wood Gym of the Student Development Complex (SDC).

Duration: The Midyear Commencement ceremony is approximately 2 hours. The Spring Commencement ceremony generally lasts more than 2.5 hours.

Watch Online: Live streaming is available beginning on the morning of the ceremony.

Venue Information

The Student Development Complex (SDC) is open by 8:30 a.m. the day of the ceremony. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Concessions and campus retail stores are also open.

Safety

For the safety and security of the graduates and their guests, please be advised that all bags are searched prior to entering the event. Public Safety and Police Services are present.

Please stand for the Processional and National Anthem. At the ceremony conclusion please remain in your seats until all graduates have recessed.

First aid is available.

Please note that the SDC is an alcohol-free and tobacco-free facility.

Special Accommodations

Limited Mobility Seating:  seating areas are available for guests with mobility limitations. If your guest is in a wheelchair or uses a walker, please contact the Registrar’s Office (906-487-2319) or registrar@mtu.edu by Thursday, December 15, 2016 for Midyear ceremony accommodations. Ushers will be on hand for assistance. Michigan Tech is unable to provide wheelchairs.

Other Accommodations: a sign language interpreter is present throughout the ceremony to assist the hearing impaired.

Handicap Parking: handicap parking is available. However, there is a large volume of attendees and all parking is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Speaker Information

Keith Creagh

With an extensive background in policy development, strategic planning, and relationship building—and a lifelong love of hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking—Keith Creagh brings plenty of experience and insight to his position as director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

Prior to his July 2012 appointment by Governor Rick Snyder, Creagh had been serving as director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), a position he held since January 1, 2011.

Complementing his public service, Creagh worked as director of industry affairs for the Neogen Corporation, a company that develops and provides food and animal safety solutions to the agri-food industry. In that capacity, he established and maintained relationships with the scientific community and regulatory agencies at the state and federal level, as well as oversaw international product registrations and manufacturing operations at Neogen's Wisconsin manufacturing plant.

Creagh's state government service started in 1974. He’s tackled a wide range of MDARD positions during that tenure, including chief deputy director (covering administration and legislative policy at both the state and federal level), land use deputy director (with both MDARD and the MDNR), where he coordinated a multi-agency implementation plan in response to the recommendations from the governor-appointed Michigan Land Use Leadership Council. He also provided leadership for the Farm Bill and conservation programs, bringing together conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, and local conservation districts to establish conservation practices in the state.

Those assignments provided opportunities to work closely with stakeholders, federal agencies, the Michigan Legislature and US Congress, and gave Creagh key experience with invasive and exotic species, conservation easements, and environmental stewardship.

In December 2015, Governor Snyder called upon Creagh to take a leave from the MDNR in order to lead the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) during the Flint water crisis and the department’s restructuring period. He returned to the MDNR in June 2016, but continues to serve as the administration’s lead on Flint drinking water recovery.

Creagh has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Michigan Technological University, and continues to collaborate with Michigan's universities and colleges on a variety of issues.

He and his wife, Laska, have four children and reside in Williamston, Michigan.

Student Speaker Information

Kristina Rushlau

“Soak in the experience.” That’s Kristina Rushlau’s advice for her fellow students. 

And she has certainly lived those words during her time at Michigan Tech.

Kristina graduates with a BS in Environmental Engineering, and the Kalamazoo, Michigan, native will now turn her attention to starting a career in Environmental Engineering, preferably in the Detroit area.

“I think clean drinking water is just so important,” she says.

While on campus, Kristina balanced her studies with participation in many activities including Mind Trekkers, playing water polo, chasing the Northern Lights, and being in the Society of Environmental Engineers. She’s also found time to bike and hike the Keweenaw. 

“I was able to go to Washington, DC with Mind Trekkers in 2014,” she says. “It was a great trip. I was able to see thousands of people.”

Kristina credits her parents Matthew and Jennifer, her sisters Jessica and Megan, and boyfriend Chris Schnettler as being instrumental to her success. She is also grateful for Susan Liebau, director of Tech’s Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success.

“She taught my Excel class my freshman year, and has been my boss for four years,” Kristina says. “She’s been very helpful and has always been someone I can talk to.”

Kristina has loved her time in Houghton and hopes to get back to campus often. “Hockey games, skiing—I have just really appreciated the chance to be here.”