Nuevo Comienzo

El Nuevo Comienzo (or new beginning) highlights the success and achievements of Latina/o/x and Native graduates at Wayne State University. It provides a time and space for honoring the support and contributions of family, friends, mentors and the community. El Nuevo Comienzo is open to all undergraduate, graduate and professional school students from WSU and is co-sponsored by the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, the NDN Learning Community, "a community of learning for Native/Aboriginals and allies," the Latinx Faculty and Staff Association, and the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement.

For more information on the event, call the CLLAS main office at (313) 577- 4738.

2024 Program

Date: Monday, April 29, 2024
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Student Center Ballroom
Last day to RSVP is April 1st



Frequently Asked Questions 

Is this event the same thing as University Commencement?   

No, El Nuevo Comienzo is a cultural celebration. Wayne State University will host official commencement ceremonies for spring 2024 on May 1, 2 and 3. Full details on WSU Commencement at We encourage all eligible graduates to register for and participate in Commencement.  

Why is there a Latina/o/x and Native student celebration? 

The Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS), in partnership with the Native/Aboriginal Development Network (NDN) Learning Community and other WSU organizations, has hosted El Nuevo Comienzo since 2010. CLLAS has roots in the Detroit Latino/a Community and WSU that go back more than 50 years. This event was initially created to celebrate graduating students who had participated in CLLAS programs, but was later expanded so more students at WSU could take part. El Nuevo Comienzo highlights the success and achievements of Latina/o/x and Native students, who make up a small percentage of WSU’s student body, while providing a time and space for honoring the support and contributions of family, friends, mentors and the community. 

Do I have to identify as Latina/o/x or Native to participate in El Nuevo Comienzo? 

No, all graduating students at WSU are welcome to participate and we mean it. Over the years, many students from various ethnic or cultural backgrounds have participated in El Nuevo Comienzo. Some minored in or took classes in Latino/a and Latin American Studies, others had participated in CLLAS or NDN learning community activities, and still others had close friends or loved ones from the Latino/a and Native communities and wanted show support. 

How do I sign up to participate? 

Graduates who want to be included in the ceremony should RSVP and submit details here by April 1, 2024. 

Guests who want to attend should RSVP here. 

What should I wear? 

Graduates are encouraged to wear their graduation regalia. If not wearing a cap and gown, we recommend semi-formal attire, as there will be professional photographers at the event. Some students incorporate cultural elements into their attire. We recommend guests wear business casual attire for photographs. 

What are the benefits of participating? 

Graduates will receive: 

  • Hand-made Cambaya graduation stole  
  • Complimentary individual and group high-res photos 
  • Personalized certificate commemorating the day
  • Name and degree listed in the souvenir program booklet 
  • Individualized recognition during the event
  • Name, degree, and photo included in print ad in El Central Newspaper 

Other ceremony elements: 

  • Refreshments after the ceremony
  • Mingling and professional photographer
  • Dance performance from Ballet Folklórico WSU

2023 Program



2022 Program

View program booklet (pdf)

Keynote speaker: Rachel Yamakura, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Lansing Community College, WSU '08

Student speakers: Nathalie McCabe, Edgar Hernandez Armenta, Alyssa Vasquez 

Performance by: Mariachi Femenil Detroit

2021 Program

View program booklet (pdf)

Keynote speaker: Mayra Bravo, Manager, DTE Energy

Student speakers: Mayra Torres, Leisly Torres, Kely Perez, Eddy Gonzalez-Ramirez

Performance by: Elvin Ferreira, Raval Tres

2020 Program


2019 Program

View program booklet (pdf)

Keynote speaker: Lawrence Garcia, Principal Attorney, City of Detroit

Student speakers: Kimberly Kleinhans, Josue Salas, Jasmin Maciel Gutierrez

Performance by: Reto Norteño Banda

2018 Program

View program booklet (pdf)

Keynote speaker: Ashley Tuomi, DHSc, Chief Executive Officer, American Indian Health & Family Services

Student speakers: Micheline Silva, David Pitawanakwat, Lilian Roa

Performance by: BombaRica