Siena Heights University will partner again with nearby Michigan International Speedway (MIS) to provide a unique commencement experience for our 2021 graduates.
When our regular commencement weekend ceremonies were postponed in May of 2020 due to the coronavirus, we needed to find a way to honor our graduates. With current COVID-19 restrictions in place, it makes it very difficult to bring graduates and their families on our campus to conduct a safe ceremony. Following our successful ceremony at MIS in October 2020, this venue offers a very memorable experience.
MIS, located in Brooklyn, Mich., just 22 miles from SHU’s Adrian campus, will host the university’s commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 16. The University will conduct the ceremony on the track’s infield, with attendees staying in their vehicles. Graduates will then receive their diploma covers at the track’s finish line, and a get a chance to take a “victory lap” on the famous 2-mile MIS track.
We are asking graduates to wear their caps and gowns, and there will be special arrangements made to make sure the experience mirrors the usual on-campus experience as much as possible. Here are some other details about the ceremony:
- Registration is required in order to attend. Please fill out the registration form to the right. The deadline to register is Friday, May 7.
- All vehicles will be required to have this insurance waiver completed and signed. It will be collected at the gate entrance.
- All graduates will be allowed one vehicle. There will no buses, motor homes or limousines allowed. Passengers will not be allowed to ride in the bed of pickup trucks. All guests must remain in vehicles at all times except to use the restrooms.
- Graduates can start arriving at the speedway at 9:30 a.m.
- The graduate needs to be driving the car or sitting behind the driver in the back seat. If the graduate is behind the driver then they must have a window that rolls down to accept their diploma cover. Graduates will receive their diploma cover as their name is read off on the public address system. A photo will be taken.
- Graduates may decorate cars with car paint only. No streamers, signs, or balloons.
- Graduation will be live streamed online. A link will be provided at a later date.
- Commencement regalia can be ordered online here and shipped to you. The last day to order regalia online is April 23. Regalia items can also be purchased in the bookstore during normal business hours.
- The infield ceremony will be set up similar to a “drive-in theater” format, with vehicles assigned specific parking spaces. There will be a main stage where the ceremony will be conducted. A special radio frequency will be provided so that audio from the ceremony will be available to each vehicle.
- Directions to MIS can be found here.
- Graduates will receive only the diploma cover when crossing the finish line. The Registrar’s Office will mail diplomas after graduation requirements are complete and obligations to the University have been met. To ensure timely delivery of your diploma, be sure to confirm your legal mailing address through your MYSIENA account.
- If you have not completed your academic requirements for graduation yet but would like to request early participation in commencement then please fill out this form as well.
The Kente Ceremony has become a cherished part of commencement for Siena’s African American, Hispanic and Latino graduates. SHU alumni provide a colorful Kente stole or serape for each graduate to wear over his or her graduation robe. The Kente ceremony will take place Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. in O’Laughlin Stadium on the SHU main campus in Adrian, MI. To participate: Register online here or contact Sharese Mathis at 517-264-7606.
Baccalaureate Mass has been part of the graduation process at Siena Heights from the beginning. Father Michael Newman OSFS, pastor of Holy Family in Adrian will be our main celebrant. Graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Professional Studies and the Graduate College are welcome to participate. Baccalaureate Mass will take place on Sunday, May 2 at 2 p.m. in St. Dominic Chapel on the SHU main campus in Adrian. This year we are inviting graduates, their families and guests to register for this event. To participate: Register online here or contact Thomas Puszczewicz at 517-264-7192.
If you have any questions please email Conni Marquez or call (517) 264-7103.