Commencement at Siena Heights University May 6

Ceremony Slated to Begin at 2 p.m. in the Fieldhouse


Commencement at Siena Heights University is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 6 in the SHU Fieldhouse.


This is the official celebration for students on the Adrian campus and for students in Siena’s Southfield, Monroe, Port Huron, Rochester, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Lansing and Distance Learning programs. Tickets (free) are required for all guests.


Nancyann Turner, OP, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the ceremony. The Adrian Dominican Sister is a renowned artist who uses her talent and art therapy skills to help others. Besides having worked in Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., she also worked with the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit, where she established and has continued to coordinate a children’s project, the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program. This project provides after-school and summer opportunities for children in the heart of Detroit to experience art, music, gardening and the development of conflict resolution skills. In 2005, the Siena Heights Alumni Association honored her with the Saint Dominic Award for her contributions to the world.


Other commencement highlights include:


  • A longstanding Siena Heights tradition, Torch Night, is conducted the evening before commencement on the main campus. This cherished tradition involves a symbolic exchange between a graduate and another Siena student who is not yet ready to graduate. The graduate receives a rose, the Dominican symbol of friendship, and gives the undergraduate (also known as the “torch”) a candle symbolizing the light of truth and the “torch” of learning. Graduates wear their caps and gowns for this event. The Alumni Association sponsors a welcome reception immediately following the ceremony.
  • A Baccalaureate Mass for graduates and families of all faiths is at 10 a.m. May 6 in Lumen Ecclesiae Chapel. 
  • A commencement brunch will be available on the main campus from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May 6 in Benincasa Dining Hall.
  • Another Siena tradition, the Kente Ceremony, is also scheduled for May 6. African-American alumni will present Kente stoles to bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates of color at ceremonies prior to commencement.
  • Receptions for graduates and their guests will be conducted immediately following commencement ceremonies.

Meet Siena


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Nate Adams

Theater major; movie reviewer; Adrian Campus

Faculty & Staff

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Gail A. Ryder

Associate Professor of Humanities


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Denise Washington

Bachelor & Master's degree graduate); adjunct instructor; Community Development Specialist, City of Battle Creek