Marygrove College Announces 2016 Commencement Speaker, Theresa Maxis Award and Honorary Degree Recipients

DETROIT, May 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marygrove College will award two honorary degrees and the prestigious Theresa Maxis Award for Social Justice at its commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14, President Elizabeth Burns announced Monday.

The recipients of these awards are Detroit community activist and Methodist pastor Bill Wylie-Kellerman, who will be honored with the Theresa Maxis Award for Social Justice; Michigan Food and Beverage Association Founder Edward Deeb; and disability rights activist Elizabeth W. Bauer, who will share the Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Commencement, featuring an address by Elizabeth Bauer, begins at 11 a.m. on the campus of Marygrove College and is open to the public.

“Marygrove College is honored to acknowledge the lives, careers, and civic service of these extraordinary leaders,” said Marygrove College President Elizabeth Burns, "not only because their stories will inspire our graduates, but they embody Marygrove’s Urban Leadership vision and our founding principles: competence, compassion, and commitment.”

Wylie-Kellerman, who serves at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, is a contributing editor for “Sojourners Magazine” and has written extensively on the gospel of non-violence and radical discipleship, authoring several books including “Where the Waters Go Round” and “Seasons of Faith and Conscience: Reflections on Liturgical Direct Action.” He is co-founder of the Detroit Area Restorative Justice Center and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, and founder of Word and World: A Peoples’ School. A longstanding Detroit activist, Wylie-Kellerman has brought national attention to Detroit’s water shutoff crisis and is currently on trial for blocking water shut-off trucks at the city’s Homrich, Inc.

Bauer, a longstanding educational leader and disability rights activist, has served as director of staff development for the school district of the city of Pontiac, director of community placement in Michigan's public mental health system, and executive director of Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. In addition to testifying before Congress and state legislatures and contributing to the development of public policy, services, and supports for people with disabilities, Bauer has served an eight-year term on the Michigan State Board of Education, and is currently president of the board of directors of W-A-Y Academy Detroit.

Deeb has committed more than five decades of his life and career to youth advocacy, education, civic relations, and to advocating on behalf of small, local businesses. He is the chairman emeritus of the Eastern Market Merchants Association and founder of the Michigan Food & Beverage Association, the Michigan Business and Professional Association, and the Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation. In concert with former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, Deeb helped create a violence-prevention plan that brought together merchants and residents, unifying much of the city’s diverse cultural communities during a time of ethnic tension. Deeb is also the founder and former president of Friends of Eastern Market, co-founder of Eastern Market Corporation, and has received over 100 awards and honorary degrees for his service.


Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning. The College’s commitment to the city of Detroit comprises an institutional mission and vision for developing urban leaders. The main campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.

8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221

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