University News

Nearly 1,500 set to graduate at UW-Whitewater spring commencement

April 27, 2023

Written by Kristine Zaballos | Photo by Craig Schreiner

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will celebrate the achievements of its graduates on Saturday, May 13, and Tuesday, May 16, as proud families and friends gather for the 2023 spring commencement ceremonies on the Whitewater and Rock County campuses.

On the university’s Whitewater campus, a total of 1,404 May and August graduates will cross the stage on May 13 to receive their degrees. The morning ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., recognizes 613 undergraduate and 136 graduate students from the College of Arts and Communication, the College of Business and Economics and the School of Graduate Studies.

The afternoon ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and recognizes 504 undergraduate students and 144 graduate students from the College of Education and Professional Studies, the College of Integrated Studies, the College of Letters and Sciences, and the School of Graduate Studies. An additional seven degrees are not specific to any college. The ceremonies, which last approximately two hours each, will be held in the Kachel Fieldhouse at the Williams Center.

Included in the graduates crossing the stage on May 13 will be 98 students who are veterans, 9 international students and 180 nontraditional undergraduate students, defined as undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older. In addition, 167 self-identified students with disabilities will receive degrees. Eight graduates of the university’s LIFE Program, which provides a complete college experience for young adults between the ages of 18-25 who have an intellectual disability, will cross the stage during the afternoon program — including four who are earning an advanced certificate.

The commencement speaker for both ceremonies on the Whitewater campus is Mike Domitrz. Domitrz, who earned a BBA in business in 1993, is a world-renowned speaker and the founder of Center for Respect, an organization with a mission to prevent sexual assaults and encourage safe dating.

The student speaker for the morning ceremony is Hollyn Peterson. Peterson, who is earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a painting emphasis, is a three-time cancer survivor who has overcome life-threatening obstacles in her formative years and is now flourishing as a young adult with big dreams.

The student speaker for the afternoon ceremony is Davin Stravroplos. Stavroplos, who is earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and served as student body president, will share his inspiring story of how taking steps outside of his comfort zone have led to his personal and professional pursuits.

The commencement ceremonies on the Whitewater campus will be broadcast live online by UWW-TV, the university television station.

The graduation ceremony for more than 95 College of Integrated Studies students at UW-Whitewater at Rock County will be held on Tuesday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Wells Cultural Center. The commencement speaker is Robin Fox, an experienced administrator and respected scholar who is associate provost for academic affairs at UW-Whitewater. The student speaker is Natalie Shortreed, a liberal arts major from Janesville who is continuing her studies in environmental sciences on the Whitewater campus. During the ceremony, the Outstanding Alumni Award will be presented to John Ramsdell, who used the closure of Lear Seating in Janesville to pursue his twin passions of science and education. After earning an associate degree at the Rock County campus in 2010, he graduated summa cum laude from the Whitewater campus in 2012 with a bachelor of science in education in general education and a general science minor. Today, he is a science and English teacher at Marshall Middle School. The Excellence in Teaching Awards and the faculty and staff who are retiring will also be announced at the ceremony.

For more information about UW-Whitewater’s commencement ceremonies: