Written by Kristine Zaballos | Graphics by Reed Dessart
UW-Whitewater will celebrate the historic 150th class of Warhawks graduating in 2020 in a virtual ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19. The combined event will include May, August and December graduates and will feature university leaders, student speakers, the reading of the names of all participating graduates and the official conferring of degrees. A total of 2,942 graduates earned degrees at UW-Whitewater in 2020.
The pre-recorded ceremony will be presented according to college, each with an estimated run time of one hour, so viewers can pause the recording to be sure to capture their graduating student’s moment. An electronic program will also be available for downloading.
This year’s commencement speaker is Melvin Juette, director of the Deferred Prosecution Program at the Dane County District Attorney’s Office. Juette, who earned a B.A. in social work with a minor in criminal justice in 1992, is a former member of the UW-Whitewater wheelchair basketball program, assistant coach of the U.S. team in the Paralympics and a co-author of the book "Wheelchair Warrior."
The 2020 combined commencement ceremony features three student speakers.
Brian Martinez, who came to UW-Whitewater from Mt. Pleasant, earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a legal studies emphasis and a paralegal certificate. On campus, Brian served as a peer mentor and as intergovernmental affairs director for Whitewater Student Government. Along the way, he served as a Kenosha County Circuit Court intern.
Alexander Ostermann, from Cedarburg, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing major. Alex — who served as student body president, Warhawk Ambassador, Interfraternity Council president and Homecoming King — spent his collegiate years advocating for students, mentoring a new generation of young leaders and modeling public service and philanthropy.
Jaclyn Wolf is a liberal arts major from Janesville who is earning her Associate of Arts degree from UW-Whitewater at Rock County and will be continuing her studies at the Whitewater campus. Passionate about people, Jaclyn hopes to work with troubled youth, either as a social worker or a police officer.
The ceremony will recognize 298 undergraduates from the College of Arts and Communication, 890 from the College of Business and Economics, 378 from the College of Education and Professional Studies, 140 from the College of Integrated Studies, and 717 from the College of Letters and Sciences. An additional 22 students are receiving an undergraduate degree not specific to any college. Of the 2,445 undergraduate degrees awarded, 81 were completed online.
The School of Graduate Studies will award 497 degrees, including 473 master's degrees and 24 doctorates.
The graduating class of 2020 includes 43 international students and 148 military veterans or service members.
Students are also participating in the university’s Warhawks Rising campaign, which celebrates milestones students submitted by graduating students, including job offers and graduate school acceptances. The photos will be posted to the university’s Facebook page starting the week of commencement.
The commencement ceremonies were produced by UWW-TV, the university television station.
For more information, visit uww.edu/commencement.