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MSU graduates pause to remember students slain in February shooting

“Your class is truly exceptional because you perceived despite the profound upheaval constraints and loss.." said Dr. Anthony Fauci, during commencement ceremonies at Michigan State University
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
“Your class is truly exceptional because you persevered despite the profound upheaval constraints and loss," Dr. Anthony Fauci told doctoral gradues during commencement ceremonies at Michigan State University

The struggles and pain of the past four years highlighted speeches during Friday’s commencement exercises at Michigan State University.

The class of 2023 collected its diplomas just months after a deadly campus shooting in East Lansing.

Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner died in the February shooting, along with the gunman. Five others were wounded.

"Those scholars and leaders are forever part of our Spartan community," said Interim MSU President Teresa Woodruff, as commencement ceremonies paused for a moment of silence.

For undergraduate students who received diplomas on Friday, they end four years in East Lansing that have been untypical to say the least.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to shutdowns and zoom classes.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who played a significant role in the nation’s response to the pandemic, was one of the MSU commencement speakers.

Fauci called the MSU graduates “truly exceptional.”

“One silver lining I hope has been the realization of your own personal attributes, particularly the resilience that enabled you to hang in there and emerge successfully through this disruptive experience,” said Fauci.

Fauci encouraged the MSU graduates to expect the unexpected in their lives and beware of anti-science and conspiracy theories.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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