Graduating LEAD Scholars Honored

Class of 2024 celebrates graduation with one last afternoon of community.
By Jeremy Carroll


Read time: 4 minutes
Graduating LEAD Scholars from the class of 2024 pose for a picture in Ingalls Mall. Photo by Emily Lynn.

Before enrolling at the University of Michigan in 2020, Kate Ceccacci, ’24, was torn between U-M and another college. But the engineering graduate heard about the LEAD Scholars program and applied.

“Because I got that extra bump financial aid-wise, it was all I needed to come to Michigan,” she said.

Ceccacci said U-M was a dream school, and the program, which offers merit-based scholarships and empowering community support to admitted students who exemplify the program’s four pillars — leadership, excellence, achievement, and diversity — helped make it a reality.

Ceccacci was one of the 35 LEAD Scholars to earn their degrees during Spring Commencement. The Scholars were honored during the Steve and Carol Grafton LEAD Senior Celebration on May 2 at the Alumni Center.

During the event, Scholars received their stoles, a gift from the Alumni Association, walked the blue carpet to applause from family and friends, and engaged in one last afternoon of community.

That sense of community is something that Ceccacci points to as the best part of the program.

“There’s always such a warm community. Every time I walk into the Alumni Center, I meet someone new,” she said. “They are always there to be a friendly face, to say hi, to make sure I’m doing okay.”

Following commencement, Ceccacci is headed to Wisconsin to work for Proctor and Gamble as a manufacturing process engineer.

At the event, both Phyllis Taylor, ’91, assistant director of the LEAD Scholars program and student recruitment, and Ashleigh Hardy, ’07, associate director of student engagement at the Alumni Association, congratulated the Scholars on their graduation.

“As you all embark on this new journey, I encourage you to embrace the spirit of innovation, curiosity, advocacy, intention, and collaboration that defines the University of Michigan community,” Hardy said.

For more information on the LEAD Scholars program and how you can give a gift to expand the program, click here.

Jeremy Carroll is the content strategist for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

Become a Member Today!

Your membership dollars allow us to tell stories that celebrate U-M alums’ achievements and their impact in the world. Support this work and get access to all Michigan Alum articles by joining today.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site, you accept our use of cookies.