April 25, 2017
Watch: Live Stream (Friday, 8 p.m.)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's basketball alumna Diane Dietz will be the keynote speaker for the U-M Athletic Department's Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration on Friday, (April 28, 8 p.m.) inside Crisler Center. Though the event is closed to the public, it will be live streamed for free on MGoBlue.com. More than 100 graduating student-athletes are expected to attend.
Dietz (1979-82), a 1982 U-M graduate who earned her degree in general studies, is now the deputy commissioner of public affairs for the Big Ten Conference. She is the school's career points leaders with 2,076 and has the single-game scoring record with 45 points against Illinois in 1982. She was the Wolverines' first female recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1982 and was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Former U-M ice hockey player Marty Turco will be the emcee for Friday's ceremony. Turco majored in teacher education while in Ann Arbor before leaving to join the NHL, where he played from 2000-2012 with the Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. He amassed 11,420 saves in his goaltending career and is now the director of corporate development for the Stars. He led Michigan to two NCAA championships and holds school records for career wins (127) and shutouts (15). He was a member of the 2006 Canadian Olympic team.
Student-athlete Sarah Zieve (women's track and field/cross country) also will address her fellow graduating seniors. Zieve, a senior public policy major from Northport, New York, will speak a day after competing at the prestigious Penn Relays. She was a member of the 2016 Big Ten championship team, placing eighth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
On Saturday, as part of the University of Michigan Spring Commencement, U-M will honor 10 individuals with a special Bicentennial Alumni Award. One of the individuals who will be recognized is former Michigan volleyball student-athlete Annie Maxwell. She is the current president of the Skoll Global Threats Fund. She graduated from U-M with degrees in English and political science in 2000, and returned to campus to earn her master's degree in public policy in 2002. She was a team captain and four-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient.
Also being recognized is Abdul El-Sayed, who played for the men's lacrosse club team at Michigan. El-Sayed is running for governor of the state of Michigan. He was the youngest health official of a major American city when he was the Detroit public health director. He was a Rhodes Scholar, who earned a doctorate from Oxford University and a medical degree from Columbia.
The Bicentennial Alumni Award is designed to highlight the excellence and impact of recent graduates and reflect a desire to acknowledge the university's past contributions and herald the future achievements of the Class of 2017 and future classes. Charles Woodson will be among 10 recipients of the award at the winter commencement ceremony in December.
Communications Contact: Ben Blevins