University News

UW-Whitewater December commencement set for Dec. 17

December 01, 2022

Written by Kristine Zaballos | Photo by Craig Schreiner

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will celebrate the achievements of its graduates at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, as proud families and friends gather for the 2022 December commencement ceremony.

Approximately 630 students will cross the stage to receive their degrees. The ceremony, about two hours long and presided over by Interim Chancellor John Chenoweth, will be held at Kachel Fieldhouse in the Williams Center.

This year’s commencement speaker is Jen Rulon. Since earning a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in psychology in 1993, she has embarked on a series of accomplishments that include working as a marine animal trainer and behaviorist at SeaWorld, becoming a 15-time Ironman Triathlete, and sharing, through her brand, inspiring messages to people from all walks of life on the TEDx Stage and through publications like Triathlete Magazine, Runners World and The New York Times.

The student speaker is Jacquelyn Schimke, who is earning her Master of Science in Education in special education–professional development, with autism specialist, transition specialist and applied behavioral analysis certifications. In May 2021, she received her Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis on special education and cross-categorical licenses in intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities.

The ceremony will recognize 63 undergraduates from the College of Arts and Communication, 164 from the College of Business and Economics, 164 from the College of Education and Professional Studies and 130 from the College of Letters and Sciences and five degrees that are not college-specific, for a total of 525 undergraduate degrees. The School of Graduate Studies will award 104 degrees, including 98 master's degrees and 6 doctorates.

The graduating class includes 5 international students, 41 military veterans and 134 nontraditional students, defined as undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older. In addition, 79 self-identified students with disabilities will receive degrees.

A total of 44 graduating students participated in the university’s Hired Before Graduation campaign, which celebrates students who landed a job, earned acceptance to graduate school or started their own business before commencement.

Commencement will be broadcast live online by UWWTV, the university television station. Access to the livestream will be posted at