UW-Washington County is making preparations for the annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 22. While the recognition of the accomplishments of 146 UW-WC students will be the evening’s main focus, the evening includes many special touches including bagpipers, a color guard and interesting speakers.
Prior to the ceremony (beginning at 6:30pm) a saxtet, led by Dr. Daniel Ackley of UW-WC’s music department, will perform. Members of the saxtet include Richard Gerard, Craig Johnson, Steve Johnson, Matthew Pea, and Cheryl Simchick. At 7pm, two bagpipers will lead the procession of faculty and students (all dressed in academic regalia) into the gym. A color guard that includes UW-WC student veterans, Mitchell Bury, Matthew Dubinski and Water Woods as well as two members of the local VFW (John and Donna Kleinmaus) will present the flags, while UW-WC music major, Moriah Michalak sings the National Anthem.
The keynote speaker for Commencement is Dr. Ray Cross, UW System President. Cross began his appointment as the seventh president of the UW System in February. Prior to this, he served as chancellor of the UW Colleges and Extension (2011-14), where he earned the respect of regents, legislators and colleagues, as he worked tirelessly on important educational initiatives amidst declining state funding.
The student speaker is Jacob Mikic of West Bend, President of Student Government. A 2012 graduate of West Bend High School, Mikic plans to transfer to UW-Milwaukee, where he will complete a degree in biological sciences and hopes to become a professor of biology.
Also speaking will be Rick Kellow, winner of this year’s outstanding alumnus award. A mortgage banker and branch manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage in Slinger, Kellow credits UW-WC for “completely changing the direction of my life.” Kellow plans to share his own journey of how he was encouraged to attend UW-WC, despite a very low high school grade point average and a later diagnosis of dyslexia. Not only did Kellow complete his Associate degree at UW-WC, but he then transferred to UW-Madison, where he completed a degree in Economics and graduated with honors.
Scholarships totaling over $71,000 to transferring students will be awarded along with departmental awards. A complete listing of graduates and scholarships will be released at a later date.
No tickets are needed to attend the event. For more information about UW-Washington County, contact the Student Affairs office at 262-335-5201. UW-Washington County has a current enrollment of over 950 students and is located at 400 University Drive in West Bend.