Stevie Wonder, 4 others receive honorary doctorate from Wayne State University

Wayne State University held commencement ceremonies May 6-8

Singer Stevie Wonder became an advocate and released the song "Happy Birthday" in 1980, which became a rallying cry. The House then passed the bill with a vote of 338 to 90. (Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Thousands of Wayne State University students and five honorary graduates received degrees Saturday afternoon during the university’s commencement ceremony in Detroit.

Among them was Stevie Wonder, Rev. Dr. Wendall Anthony, Gurmale Singh Grewal, Timothy Meadows and Bill Prady, who received honorary doctorates.

Metro Detroit was in the national spotlight as several big names appeared Saturday at two college commencement ceremonies.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Wayne State University Fieldhouse.

The graduates probably didn’t expect a show, but Wonder sang an excerpt of “You Are The Sunshine of My Life” to congratulate them on their accomplishments.

Wonder, whose birth name is Stevland Hardaway Morris, was rewarded for his advocacy for the disabled community and his fight for civil rights.

A native of Saginaw, Wonder has struggled with visual impairment his entire life. The Motown artist is one of the world’s best-selling musicians with millions of records sold.

His first album was The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie, released in 1962 after signing with Motown Records in 1961.

Wonder is one of three artists to win Album of the Year three times during his musical career. In total, the artist has earned 25 Grammy Awards.

Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony received a doctorate in honor of his career as a spiritual leader and community activist.

Gurmale Singh Grewal, a Wayne State University Warrior from the start, is being honored for his commitment to expanding educational and health opportunities within the city of Detroit.

Timothy Meadows was honored for his accomplishments as an actor and comedian during his nearly four-decade career.

Bill Pardy received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his television career and his humanitarian and education work.


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About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.