Spring 2022 commencement view of participants and audience

Spring 2022

Commencement Speaker

John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon has worked for three decades as a writer, public speaker, radio commentator, and college instructor.

Bacon earned an honors degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1986, a Master’s in Education in 1994, and a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship in 2005-06. From 1995 to 1999, Bacon wrote for The Detroit News, including features on the Mackinac Bridge, Robert Voelker’s Anatomy of a Murder, and the Keweenaw’s George Gipp, falling in love with the Upper Peninsula in the process. 

He left the paper in 1999 to free-lance for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and Time, among others. He has authored twelve books, the last seven national bestsellers. 

His latest, Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst High School Hockey Team, describes how he coached his alma mater’s hockey team from worst to first in three years, which “Good Morning America” called “The real Ted Lasso.” It has spawned a popular leadership podcast of the same name.

Bacon delivers weekly commentary for Michigan Radio and occasionally NPR, where he won the PRNDI prize for the nation's best commentary in 2014. Bacon often appears on national TV, and is a popular public speaker. He taught at the University of Michigan for 12 years, where the students awarded him the Golden Apple Award for "Excellence in Teaching."

Bacon was appointed a Michigan Tech trustee in 2019, and has focused on academics, development, and MTU’s Traverse City partnership. John is also a decent Spanish speaker, an average hockey player, and a poor piano player, but he still enjoys all three. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Christie and son Teddy.

Student Speaker

Brooke Tienhaara

Brooke Tienhaara

Brooke Tienhaara is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science. She grew up in Calumet, Michigan, just 15 minutes north of Michigan Tech. As a result, she loves the outdoors, especially during summer, spending most of her free time camping.

After graduating, she plans to work in a hospital lab as an assistant until she begins her practicum next summer.