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Celebrating the Achievements of the 2018 Winter Graduates

Published: Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

VIPP's graduation ceremony was held Sunday, December 9th at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at Michigan State University. We celebrated VIPP's largest graduation class yet with nice music and delicious food. VIPP staff, faculty, friends and family gathered together to celebrate the achievements of the graduating participants. Graduates received their certificate for completing their programs from all the hard work they put into their courses. In addition to 22 regular long-term program participants, a large group consisting of 28 faculty members from over 10 universities in Jilin Province, China completed 3-month long training. The 2018 VIPP Winter Graduation included many special guests: DeAndra Beck, Assoiciate Dean for Research at International Studies and Programs, Sarah Anthony, Michigan House Representative, and Deborah DeZure, former Advisor to the Provost and Assistant Provost at Michigan State University.

Graduates received their certificates and were congratulated by VIPP staff, faculty, and keynote speakers.

Participants were greeted by celestial harp music and a banquet of food. There was a palpable excitement in the room as participants were taking photos and reflecting on their shared experiences.

DeAndra Beck, Associate Dean for Research at International Studies and Programs, gave opening remarks of the VIPP Graduation Ceremony. Dr. Beck gave a beautiful speech beginning with stating proverbs in each of our participants' languages, including Chinese, Korean, and Arabic. Dr. Beck congratulated our participants and emphasized how she hopes the relationships made here in the U.S. continue in their home countries.

Pictured from left to right: DeAndra Beck, Sarah Anthony, Taejoo Choi, Maha Abo Shadi, and Xinyu Wu

Michigan House Representative, Sarah Anthony followed with the congratulatory remarks. Anthony is making history as the first African American woman serving in Lansing's 68th district for the Michigan State House of Representatives. She gave wonderful advice to our participants and congratulated them for being so brave to come pursue further education in the United States. Thank you Sarah for speaking at VIPP's graduation ceremony!

Dr. Debora DeZure, a former Advisor to the Provost and Assistant Provost at Michigan State University, attended the graduation. She taught multiple intensive workshops on Teaching and Learning in higher Education for VIPP workshops. Specifically, the Jilin Province group attended all of her workshops. Our participants grew very close with Deborah and boasted about her courses.

The ceremony included two participants' valedictory remarks. To start was Taejoo Choi, from Korea Exchange. He thanked VIPP for a wonderful experience and giving him the opportunity to create great relationships. Maha Abo Shadi, from Al-Azhar University in Egypt, followed Choi's remarks. Maha exclaimed how grateful she is for VIPP and the education, friendships, and experiences this program has given her. She stated how she feels among family here with VIPP.

Dr. Xinyu Wu, Director of VIPP, gave closing remarks. A common theme throughout the ceremony was that, even though they are graduating, VIPP participants will remain Spartans for life. VIPP is excited to see the successes of our graduating class and look forward to hearing from them in the future. Good luck on future endeavors. Go Green!

DeAndra Beck and Xinyu Wu received gifts from Jilin group's leader Mr. Cheng Zhong. VIPP is proud of the meaningful relationship made with Jilin Province.