Wayne State Honors Three Students Lost to COVID-19 with Posthumous Degrees
(Wayne State University, April 27, 2020)
Detroit, MI – The Wayne State University Board of Governors has unanimously approved the conferral of posthumous degrees for three Wayne State students who tragically passed away prior to graduation. The board took the special action prior to its next scheduled meeting on May 1 to allow the students’ loved ones to be able to celebrate on Wednesday, April 29 at 9 a.m. during the university’s virtual graduation celebration.
All three students will receive degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The students are:
Darrin Adams, who receives a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. In addition to being a student, Adams was a Wayne State custodian for nearly six years. He died of COVID-19 earlier this month. Adams is remembered as an all-star student and a treasured colleague. Faculty recall his poignant questions and comments about race, and remember him sitting in the front row of class in his Warrior swag.
A member of the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program, Adams helped serve his community by boarding up more than 200 abandoned houses — many of which lined the routes walked by children each day to their neighborhood schools. Adams’ commitment to his education and community will be remembered and missed.
Dwayne Carrero-Berry, who receives a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with minors in Latino/a and Latin American studies and peace and conflict studies. Carrero-Berry’s classmates, professors and advisors describe him as an inspiring and charismatic young man.
He was a proud Wayne State Warrior, serving as a peer mentor and student ambassador for the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies for three years. His dedication to helping fellow students and his participation in campus activities earned him a Peer Mentor of the Year Award from the WSU Learning Communities Office.
Carrero-Berry was proud of his Afro-Latino heritage and presented original research at Wayne State conferences on race and identity. Diagnosed with heart disease at the age of 19, he used his experiences battling the disease to provide comfort to others facing similar challenges. He started a support group and visited hospitals to encourage patients who, like him, were undergoing heart transplants and open-heart surgery. The university community mourns his loss and celebrates his loving and generous spirit.
Bri’Jon Moore, who receives a bachelor of science degree in psychology. Moore was the embodiment of Warrior Strong. Despite battling an unrelenting illness throughout her time at Wayne State, she was a devoted student who planned her medical treatments around her classes and exams.
One of her professors shared, “Bri’Jon was always so polite and thoughtful. She had such a positive attitude, despite her facing a life-threatening illness and undergoing painful treatments. It was amazing; she just always seemed in good spirits. I have never seen a more dedicated student. She was a fighter, a true Warrior.”
Moore dreamed of a career in nursing and planned to apply to nursing programs after graduation. As a psychology major, she focused her coursework accordingly and earned a concentration in health psychology. Moore will be remembered for her positive attitude, her genuine passion for education and her fighting spirit.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is also planning to recognize the posthumous degree recipients through its social media channels on April 29 beginning at 10 a.m.
The university’s virtual graduation celebration will include a video message from President M. Roy Wilson, Provost Keith Whitfield, Board of Governors Chair Marilyn Kelly and the deans.
This virtual celebration will not replace a formal commencement ceremony, which will be scheduled at a later date when it is deemed safe and practical to do so. As details become available regarding the in-person commencement ceremony, they will be posted on the http://wayne.edu/commencement website.