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Lawrence Technological University
21000 West Ten Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48075-1058

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Office of Diversity, Equity, and InclusionCircle Celebration


The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Dean of Students office are proud to host our graduates at the inaugural Circle Celebration, Sunday, April 23, 2023. Hosted by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council of LTU, this affinity event is different from the official LTU commencement ceremony. It highlights academic and community achievement, honors individuals, families, and extended communities, and commemorates cultural, social, and traditional influences of celebration.

Celebrating our graduating students in this manner gives us the distinct opportunity to acknowledge the contributions and influences of intersecting communities to our campus. We will present the 2023 winners of the John Petty Community Champion Award and the Maria Vaz Beacon Award to our deserved honorees. We will also have speeches from our graduating student government president JaJuan Jones and a special guest speaker for our keynote, Dr. Michelle Lollie, an advanced laser scientist, Southfield native, and the first Black female Ph.D. graduate from the Louisiana State University Department of Physics and Astronomy. Last and most importantly, we will gift each graduate with a special stole from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, that they can proudly wear at the official university commencement ceremony if they choose.

Win $1000 Scholarship
Currently enrolled students, your friendship to the members of our graduating class has been an important part of their LTU journey and deserves recognition.  As a current student, we want to help you envision yourself one day attending your own Circle Celebration. With that in mind, by attending the event, you will be entered to win one of five scholarships to get you one step closer. The scholarship is open to all graduate and undergraduate students who will be enrolled in Summer 2023 or Fall 2023. You must be currently enrolled, the scholarship can be used if you are graduating Summer 2023 and you must be present at the celebration to win. The scholarship is supported by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Date: April 23, 2023, Sunday
Time: 3pm - 6pm | Atrium
Event Address:  
Atrium of Buell Management Building (Building #5)
Lawrence Technological University
21000 West 10 Mile Rd. Southfield, MI 48075
Website: https://www.ltu.edu/dei/circle-celebration

Contacts:  ODEI@LTU.EDU

Go Blue!
Go White!
Go Blue Devils! 

Circle Celebration Host and Entertainment

Emcee: Mike Ellison

Mike Ellison was born to African-American parents living and working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before the family relocated to Reston, Virginia where he was raised, Mike fully realized his calling as an Executive Artist in Detroit. Utilizing “edutainment” as a vehicle to promote progressive initiatives throughout the United States and his birth country-including orphan support programs and the construction of several healthcare clinics-he is noted for creating social impact productions that engage, inform and inspire communities.

Detroit DJ: DJ Chuck will keep you amped up with great tunes.

Amen-Ra Drummers

Chi Amen-RaChi Amen-Ra is a Kresge Arts Fellow and percussionist focusing on African diasporic rhythms. African culture has grounded the Detroit-born artist in a deep and creative interest in his heritage. But beyond the personal significance, the music of Africa has given Chi a powerful sense of the oneness of humanity.


Marwan Amen-Ra began stage performing at age 2 and lives music. Born into Detroit's Amen-Ra family, the family from which Detroit's West African performing arts community spawned in the 1970's, Marwan has enjoyed sharing his gifts on thousands of stages throughout Michigan, the US, and abroad; touring with artists like Stevie Wonder. and John Legend.  He is the Founder of Detroit's first West African Marching band and he works tirelessly at raising society's value of Art's role in overall global balance and well-being.

Special Guests & Awards

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michelle Lollie

Michelle Lollie

Dr. Michelle Lollie (she/her) is an Advanced Laser Scientist at Quantinuum, a full-stack quantum computing company. She earned a BA in Business Administration/Finance from Clark Atlanta University, a BS in Physics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, an MS in Physics from Indiana University - Bloomington, and a Ph.D. in Physics from Louisiana State University. A career changer, she left the retail banking industry to pursue her passion for physics. She’s an advocate for under-represented persons in STEM fields and is dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts in physics. She resides in Colorado where she is growing as an amateur violinist and hiker.

Awards to be presented

Dr. Maria Vaz Beacon Award Winner

Professor Heidi Morano

John Petty Sr. Community Champion Award

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Dr. Oliver S. Coleman Student Achievement Award

Student Government President JaJuan Jones

Alice Morse, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 1988


Who should Register?
Alumni who graduated December 2022 or students who have petitioned and will graduate from LTU by August of 2023. Registration is required to be participate in this celebration.

Registration is mandatory for graduates only in order to participate in this event. Registration will close April 14, 2023.

Is there a fee for the graduate to register?
There is no fee to the graduate or the guests who want to attend this event.

Wear smart casual or business informal. (see this helpful dress code guide)
Do not wear: T-shirt, Jeans, joggers, gym shoes, etc.

There are no specific colors that you need to wear and please do not wear graduaton regalia (cap and gown).

What will the graduate receive?
All registered graduates will receive a special stole, that can be worn at their LTU Commencement Ceremony.

What if I am not able to attend the Circle Celebration?
Circle Celebration registered graduates that are not able to attend can pick-up their stole from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) in suite C404 after April 23, 2023, in the Taubman Student Services Center Building. Stoles can be retrieved, with LTU or governmental identification, Monday - Friday 9am - 3:30pm EST. Please email ODEI@LTU.EDU if other accommodations are needed.

How many guests are registrants allowed?
Although seating will be limited due to the size of the space, we invite you to celebrate this accomplishment with the people who supported you during your journey to graduation.

Accommodations and Accessibility?
The Atrium is located in the Buell Management Building (building #5).
A sign-language interpreter will be available.
Sensory Sensitive Space (M213) will be accessible.
Restless Children space (M218).

$1000 Scholarship

$1000 Scholarship for currently enrolled students in attendance. This scholarship is open to all of our students who will be enrolled in Summer 2023 or Fall 2023. Participant can be and undergraduate or graduate student and can be graduating in Summer 2023. Five possible winners of $1000 .00. Present your photo ID to claim your prize.

Will there be refreshments?
There will be a short cupcake reception immediately following the celebration, to be located in the Blue Devil Cafe extension.

This celebration is intended to be a festive occasion celebrating the accomplishments of our students. However, it is also ceremonial. Graduates are expected to abide by the following guidelines: