The University of Michigan History class of 2018 takes the stage to conclude the ceremony. (photo: Roger Hart, Michigan Photography)

The Department of History honored graduating majors at its annual Commencement Ceremony on April 27, 2018. Family, friends, and History faculty and staff filled the Modern Languages Building auditorium to celebrate the 127 students who earned history baccalaureates from the University of Michigan this year.

Graduating student Natalie Brennan's speech (video below) considered answers to the question many of the graduates have probably faced during their academic career: "History? What are you gonna do with that? Teach?"

"I guess in a way, I do want to teach history," Brennan said. "In creating more nuanced news. In writing more detailed op-eds. In the conversations I have on the way to work. I want to teach history but I’m still working on picking what my classroom will be."

Professor Derek Peterson delivered the keynote, "Practicing History in Difficult Times" (video below). Peterson, a scholar of the intellectual and cultural history of Eastern Africa, is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and author of Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival.

Professor Hussein Fancy, director of undergraduate education, emceed the event, and History Department Chair Jay Cook presented welcoming remarks.

Morgan Fenton won the department’s Undergraduate Award for Leadership and Servce and Ellen Poteet received the Undergradaute Teaching Award. 

Link to the 2018 commencement program (PDF). Selected photos are available below. Please contact hist.outreach@umich.edu for a complete gallery of high-resolution photos of this event.