More than 3,200 Wayne State University students have applied for graduation this spring, concluding the university's 153rd academic year. The spring 2022 Commencement will feature seven ceremonies over three days on Friday, May 6, Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, at the new Wayne State University Fieldhouse, 1290 West Warren Avenue, Detroit.
Honorary degrees will be bestowed upon Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, senior pastor of Fellowship Chapel, Doctor of Laws; and Stevland Hardaway Morris (Stevie Wonder), singer-songwriter and musician, Doctor of Humane Letters; Gurmale Singh Grewal, builder and developer, Doctor of Laws; Timothy Meadows, actor, comedian and screenwriter, Doctor of Humane Letters; Bill Prady, television writer and producer, Doctor of Humane Letters.
Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony
During the 1 p.m. ceremony on May 7, an honorary doctor of laws, honoris causa, to Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony for his distinguished career as a spiritual leader and community activist.
A native of St. Louis, Reverend Anthony earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Wayne State and a master of arts in pastoral ministry from Marygrove College.
Reverend Anthony became the pastor of Fellowship Chapel in 1986. Under his leadership, the church experienced the greatest growth in its 56-year history. He is a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and is serving his 15th term as president of the Detroit Branch NAACP, the organization’s largest branch. He founded the Freedom Institute for Economic, Social Justice and People Empowerment, a nonprofit think tank.
Stevland Hardaway Morris (Stevie Wonder)
Also on Saturday, May 7, during the 1 p.m. ceremony, Wayne State University awards the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Stevland Hardaway Morris, in recognition of his contributions as an iconic musician and to honor his advocacy for civil rights and the disabled community.
A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Morris has struggled with visual impairment his entire life. He started his musical career as the child prodigy Little Stevie Wonder. Today, Morris is one of the world’s best-selling musicians, with more than 100 million records sold.
Morris has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Museum and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. He led the 18-year effort to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday, and his fight against racial injustice continues with his support for Black Lives Matter.
Gurmale Singh Grewal
On Saturday, May 7, at the 4 p.m. ceremony, Wayne State University awards the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Gurmale Singh Grewal for his exceptional achievements in business and his commitment to improving health and expanding educational opportunities in the Detroit community.
Grewal immigrated to the United States with his brothers in 1961. Shortly after receiving a degree in finance from Wayne State University in 1972, he decided to follow his grandfather’s legacy and enter the real estate business. He founded Singh Development, a real estate development, property management and construction firm, and one of the largest Indian-owned companies in the country. Today, he is CEO of this continually growing company.
The company’s extensive and diverse portfolio includes numerous luxury rental developments, senior living communities, commercial real estate, single-family homes, and health care services in three states. Grewal’s forward-thinking vision directed the company to focus on senior living, energy efficiency and environmentally conscious construction.
Grewal made it his mission to treat others — residents, employees, vendors and consultants alike — with integrity and respect. Under his guidance, the company grew to nearly 2,000 employees.
Wayne State University awards the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Timothy Meadows in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments as an actor and comedian spanning nearly four decades.
Born in Highland Park, Michigan, and raised in Detroit, Meadows studied television and radio broadcasting at Wayne State University before performing improvisational comedy at the Soup Kitchen Saloon. In 1985, Meadows relocated to Chicago, where he first joined ImprovOlympic, and then the legendary comedy troupe Second City. During his three years at Second City, he wrote and starred in productions of “The Gods Must Be Lazy” with Chris Farley; “It Was Thirty Years Ago Today;” and “Flag Smoking Permitted in Lobby Only,” gaining a loyal following with his sharp comedic talent.
In 1991, producer Lorne Michaels invited Meadows to join the widely celebrated cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player. Nominated for an Emmy as part of the show’s writing team that same month, he made the transition to cast member status two years afterward and became one of the longest-running cast members in the history of the show.
Several years after appearing in a string of films based on Saturday Night Live sketches, including Coneheads and Wayne’s World 2, Meadows added numerous live-action and animated film credits to his repertoire as well as many television show appearances.
In 2002, he joined the cast of the NBC sitcom Leap of Faith. He played the school principal in the hit comedy Mean Girls and co-starred with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in the blockbuster comedies Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. Meadows co-starred with Andy Samberg in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and in hybrid live-action/ animated comedy Son of Zorn alongside fellow SNL alumnus Jason Sudeikis. He appears frequently on the hit ABC comedy, The Goldbergs.
Wayne State University awards the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Bill Prady for his distinguished career as a television writer and producer, humanitarian, and educator.
Born in Detroit, Prady graduated from Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills and attended Wayne State University. Through his writing and production of a diverse set of television and film work, Prady has risen to the top of his profession; today, he is among the most successful and innovative television writers and producers of his generation.
Prady began working in entertainment at Jim Henson Productions, where he served in numerous creative and production roles with Jim Henson, beginning as a production assistant, working in the merchandising department, and eventually writing for Fraggle Rock and The Jim Henson Hour.
Following his work with Henson, Prady became known for work on popular television classics such as Married ... with Children, Dream On, Star Trek: Voyager, Dharma & Greg, and Gilmore Girls.
He co-created The Big Bang Theory, which premiered on CBS in September 2007 and broadcast 279 episodes over 12 seasons. The Big Bang Theory was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series from 2011 to 2014 and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series four times. In total, it won seven Emmy Awards from 46 nominations. In 2017, the series spawned a prequel series, Young Sheldon, based on the central character from The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
Prady has used his acclaim to support a number of educational and philanthropic causes.
Media credentials and advance check-in are required. Media representatives planning to attend the ceremonies should RSVP by emailing Katie McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (586) 344-8878.
2022 Commencement Ceremony Schedule
Friday, May 6
Ceremony I: 5 p.m.
- Ph.D./Ed.D hooding event
Saturday, May 7
Ceremony II: 9 a.m.
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Ceremony III: 1 p.m.
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Ceremony IV: 4 p.m.
Mike Ilitch School of Business
Ceremony V: 7 p.m.
- College of Nursing
- School of Social Work
Sunday, May 8
Ceremony VI: 1 p.m.
- College of Education
- College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
- School of Information Sciences
- School of Medicine (Master’s)
Ceremony VII: 4 p.m.
- College of Engineering
- Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences