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School of Social Work Summer 2021 Centennial Commencement

July 23, 2-3:30 PM ET

Hill Auditorium
University of Michigan
825 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109

Event Details Directions to Hill Auditorium

The School of Social Work Commencement for Master of Social Work students will be held in-person. No tickets are required to attend commencement. The School of Social Work will host a reception at the School of Social Work immediately following commencement.

The SSW Commencement will be livestreamed on this page and the SSW homepage for graduates and other attendees who will not attend in person.

Face Covering/Social Distancing Policy

The School of Social Work Commencement and Reception will operate in compliance with the University of Michigan Face Covering Policy and COVID Guidelines for Campus Facilities. Masks are required and social distancing is recommended in campus buildings for individuals who have not received the COVID-19 vaccination or who have not reported their COVID-19 vaccination. Faculty, staff, and students who are fully vaccinated may be exempt from wearing a mask indoors by reporting their vaccination status. Guests who are fully vaccinated may exempt from wearing a mask indoors by completing the ResponsiBLUE Guest daily screening process and voluntarily answer the applicable questions about vaccination status.

Updated 7/21/2021

Commencement Live Stream

Congratulations 2021 Graduates!

Letter from the Dean

Dear Graduates,

Congratulations! You and fellow graduates of the Centennial Graduating Class of Summer 2021 earned you social worker degrees under arduous and at a historic time. As you move into your social work career, know that the faculty and leadership of our school are proud of your dedication, your achievements and your resiliency.

During these past eighteen months, your lives have been changed in ways we could have never imagined. You lived through the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a societal reawakening to racial injustice. You developed skills to manage adversity and lead social change. You lived your social work values by showing compassion, by standing up to challenge stigmas, prejudice and inequity, by supporting and building community, and by promoting health equality.

Today, we celebrate your graduation in person, and your graduation marks a historic milestone as we return to campus for the first time since the pandemic struck. We are so grateful for this opportunity to gather as a community to celebrate your achievements.

Graduates, you are the leaders and best, and — on behalf of the faculty and staff of the School of Social Work — we are confident that you are fully prepared to take on the current and future challenges facing our world. You are effective, practiced professionals and leaders who know how to take a stand, address injustice and engage the community. I wish you every success as you reach out, raise hope and change society.

Go Blue,
Lynn Videka
Dean and Carol T. Mowbray Collegiate Professor of Social Work


Keynote Speaker Kathy Tran, MSW ‘03 Virginia House of Delegates

Kathy Tran

Kathy Tran fled Vietnam with her parents as boat refugees when she was just seven months old. Her family risked everything to come to America in search of hope, opportunity and freedom – values Tran fights for everyday in the Virginia House of Delegates.

As delegate for Virginia’s 42nd District over the last four years, Tran has passed 29 bills, including bills to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, expand voter access, improve worker’s rights, protect waterways and make Virginia more welcoming and inclusive.

Even before being elected, Tran devoted her career to ensuring all workers have the chance to achieve the American Dream. She served for 12 years at the U.S. Department of Labor and worked as an advocate with the National Immigration Forum.

She graduated from Duke University and earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. Tran and her husband Matt live in West Springfield, Virginia with their five children – and they are all avid Washington Nationals fans!

LeDeanea Rose Williams MSW Candidate

LeDeanea Rose Williams

LeDeanea Rose Williams grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work in April 2020. During her undergraduate studies, she completed the Jamaica Service-Learning Study Abroad program, stationed at Belmont Basic School in the parish of Westmoreland, concentrating on community engagement and supporting resource development. While residing in Georgia, she was actively involved in weekly “Feed & Clothe the Hungry” advocacy work, organized by local sectors within Atlanta’s Rastafarian community. She also served as a primal support to the corporate engagement coordinator at Children’s Home + Aid in Chicago, Illinois.

Upon completing her graduate studies at the School of Social Work as an Advanced Standing and Global Activities Scholar Program candidate, Williams plans to continue advocating for immigrant equity and inclusion, on both local and global platforms.

Among many forms of communicative expression, Williams is a writer, dancer and photographer. She stands in position to engage with intentionality, while utilizing art as an instrument to cultivate cultural connections for social change.

A first-generation college graduate and proud Wolverine, she recognizes the imperativeness of diligence in the field of social work, and that the process of impact must unambiguously begin with honoring and uplifting the voices your work has intended to relevantly represent.

Commencement Resources

Photos from the Ceremony

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