January 4, 2023

Today@Wayne year in review

Wayne State mural.
In January, the Mike Ilitch School of Business added a new mural titled Pace of Wayne: A Window of Opportunity, which resides within a busy student hallway on the third floor. This downtown perspective centers on a symbolic “Warrior W.”

2022 was a memorable year for Wayne State University, its alumni, students, faculty, staff and community.

WSU students excelled inside and outside the classroom, WSU faculty continued their ground-breaking research, the Wayne State community thrived with memorable events throughout the year — and Today@Wayne was there to help chronicle it all.

As 2023 begins to ramp up, take a moment to look back at some of the highlights in Today@Wayne from the previous year:


Wayne State kicked off the year with plenty of great news in January. The State of Michigan awarded WSU $4.3 million to increase preparedness to fight infectious diseases, WSU unveiled the the 2022-27 strategic plan: Our Moment in Time and Wayne State Word Warriors were back with their 2022 list.

Editor’s pick: Psychology student vows to get degree to honor late mother

Dean of Students David Strauss gives a thumbs up.
David Strauss celebrated 20 years as dean of students.


In February, just in time for Valentine's Day, we learned how dating has changed during the pandemic; David Strauss celebrated 20 years as dean of students; and we caught up with the outspoken Rev. V. Lonnie Peek Jr., who returned to Wayne State as an advisor for the very same Black student organization he founded nearly 55 years ago as we celebrated Black History Month.

Editor’s pick: 5 minutes with ... Brandon Shamoun

Students in the Alternative Spring Break Detroit program poses for a photo.
WSU students enjoyed a week full of volunteering and exploring the city during Alternative Spring Break Detroit.


It was a memorable month of March. Alternative Spring Break Detroit returned to an in-person format, so WSU students were volunteering throughout the city. Former men's basketball star Bryan Smothers returned to Wayne State as the new men's basketball head coach, the provost's office announced enhancements to support student success, WDET was named the Public Radio State of the Year, U.S. News and World Report ranked WSU graduate programs among the best in the nation, and we learned the truth about ‘bra-burners.’

Editor’s pick: WSU alumna Emeline King recounts her legacy as Ford Motor Co.'s first Black female transportation designer


Today@Wayne celebrated Earth Day with a special edition of Today@Wayne, Sandra M. Gonzales was named Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year and Hasan Elahi was named dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

Editor’s pick: WSU grad student shows it's never too late to get degree(s)

Stevie Wonder talks into a microphone at commencement.
Legendary musician Stevie Wonder received an honorary degree from Wayne State and performed at the commencement ceremony.


In May, President Wilson released his memoir The Plum Tree Blossoms Even in Winter, we shared the stories of a number of our May 2022 graduates and celebrated them at commencement along with a star-studded group of commencement speakers and Virginia Kleist was named dean of the Mike Ilitch School of Business.

Editor’s picks: Public relations student finds spotlight with musical avatar on Fox’s ‘Alter Ego’ and Five minutes with … Timmy Nelson: Digital design specialist streams video games to raise money for children’s hospital

Satyendra Basu (left) and his son, Amar, who works in the same Engineering building that his father attended classes in during the early 1970s.
Satyendra Basu (left) and his son, Amar, who works in the same engineering building that his father attended classes in during the early 1970s.


President Wilson was named one of the 2022 Michiganians of the Year by The Detroit News, we celebrated Juneteenth in several ways, including a Q&A with alumnus Errol A. Henderson, who delivered the Juneteenth keynote speech, and Boris Baltes was named interim dean of the College of Education.

Editor’s picks: Baba’s footsteps: Father, son share love for each other and Wayne State and VBSN program meets the unique needs of veterans


In July, we saw the return of the Baroudeur, we took a look at the Upward Bound program, teaching faculty got new titles and more job security, and the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute announced a plan to construct a new building complex that will further their unique academic and research-based partnership.

Editor’s pick: WSU continues to drive economic opportunity, social mobility

A Peregrine Falcon sits on a building.
Wayne State's Peregrine Falcons continued to entertain viewers who followed their cam feed.


Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson announced he was stepping down as president at the conclusion of his contract in 2023, Tom Walker was appointed interim dean of Wayne State University Library System, and we checked in on our favorite Peregrine Falcons,

Editor’s pick: Passion, presence and legendary course notes: Math department remembers Professor Bill Cohn

Hunter Brown throws a pitch for Wayne State.
Former Wayne State standout pitcher Hunter Brown made his MLB debut for the Houston Astros, who would go on to win the World Series.


Wayne State music faculty, students and alumni were on full display at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Wayne State was named the top performer in Michigan for social mobility, and former Warrior Hunter Brown returned to Detroit as a member of the Houston Astros to take on the Tigers.

Editor’s picks: Meaningful conversation: Professor’s research explores parent-gay son communications around sexual identity and Returning star: Astronomy grad, NASA fellow back at WSU as a professor


In October, it was announced that Wayne State’s graduation rates continue to rise, the Colonel Gregory Gadson Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence opened, five relay teams represented Wayne State at the Detroit Free Press marathon, and we featured the new Warrior 360 program.

Editor’s picks: Tragedy to Triumph: Wayne Health surgeons reattach Michigan man's hand and College of Education offers American Sign Language, proposes Deaf studies minor

Workers walk though State Hall, which is undergoing renovations.
Renovations continued at State Hall, which is scheduled to reopen in 2023.


The final show was held at the Hilberry Theatre, making way for the opening of the Hillberry Gateway in 2023, renovations continued at State Hall, Wayne State alum Ivy Haralson talked about her experience working on "Black Panther: Wakanda Forver," and we took a look at First-Year Interest Groups.

Editor’s pick: WSU Governor Bryan C. Barnhill II on how he grew from outspoken young activist to formidable political insider


Wayne State announced a block tuition model, which seeks to continue student success and save students money, Wayne State created and posthumously presented Eugene Driker with the inaugural Eugene Driker Award for Distinguished Service, WSU received a $6 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to establish the Detroit Center for Black Studies and increase Black Studies faculty, and we celebrated our December graduates.

Editor’s pick: Nearly two decades after leaving prison a free man, WSU staffer Terrell Topps now goes back weekly to steer others from incarceration to higher education and Wayne State’s Abolmaali brings robots, AI research to inspect service life of Michigan’s pipelines

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