The college looks to schedule an in-person event later

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will celebrate the achievements of its graduates at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, in a virtual event, which will occur via Facebook Live on the school’s Facebook page.

More than 1,700 students will receive degrees this May, including 1,685 from the Whitewater campus and 95 from the Rock County campus.

The commencement ceremonies at both campuses originally scheduled for this month have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the university is looking at potential dates to hold an in-person event at some point in the future.

“These unprecedented times have changed how we live our lives, and we must forego the traditions we normally experience. Although we cannot be together physically at this time, we can still come together and celebrate the success and achievements of our graduating students,” said Chancellor Dwight C. Watson

At the event, Watson and Interim Provost Greg Cook will give remarks, as will student speakers Alexander Ostermann and Brian Martinez.

Ostermann, a marketing major from Cedarburg, is the outgoing student body president who had wide-ranging experiences at UW-Whitewater, including as a musician, fraternity leader, Warhawk Ambassador and Homecoming King.

Martinez, a political science major from Mt. Pleasant, served as intergovernmental affairs director for Whitewater Student Government, where he advocated for student concerns and causes to elected officials at the local, state and national level. During his time as a Warhawk, he incorporated his passions for environmental conservation and philanthropy.

The virtual event will also feature the conferring of degrees and a special musical surprise. In addition, UW-Whitewater will debut its Warhawks Rising social media campaign, where newly minted graduates share their photos and proudest achievements on Facebook.

The graduating class includes 15 international students, 85 military veterans and 244 nontraditional students, defined as undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older. In addition, 137 self-identified students with disabilities will receive degrees.


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