University News

UW-Whitewater December commencement set for Dec. 16

December 05, 2023

Written by Kristine Zaballos | Photos by Craig Schreiner

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will celebrate the achievements of its graduates at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, as proud families and friends gather for the 2023 December commencement ceremony.

Approximately 620 students will cross the stage to receive their degrees. The ceremony, about two hours long and presided over by Chancellor Corey A. King, will be held at Kachel Fieldhouse in the Williams Center.

This year’s commencement speaker is Barbara Kreisman. Since earning a Bachelor of Science in journalism and a minor in English in 1972, she has served in professional roles at Dell Computer, where she worked for 12 years in strategic human resources, organizational development and staffing, and in faculty and leadership roles at the University of Denver, where she spent more than 17 years as associate dean of the Executive MBA Program for the Daniels College of Business. Kriesman calls herself a retirement journeys Sherpa — someone who helps individuals transition to retirement at a time they may fear losing their identity, network of colleagues, importance, power and influence.

The student speaker is Patrice Achu, who is earning his Doctorate of Business Administration. A native of Cameroon, Achu will be receiving his third degree from UW-Whitewater, completing an educational path that includes a BBA in accounting in 2010 and an MBA in project management in 2020. He joins May 2023 graduate Eric Barber as one of two Warhawks in the school’s history to earn a DBA and two other degrees from UW-Whitewater. He is currently North American comptroller for Kerry Group, a public food company headquartered in Ireland.

The ceremony will recognize 45 undergraduates from the College of Arts and Communication, 145 from the College of Business and Economics, 136 from the College of Education and Professional Studies, four from the College of Integrated Studies, 144 from the College of Letters and Sciences, and six degrees that are not college-specific, for a total of 480 undergraduate degrees. The School of Graduate Studies will award 140 degrees, including 130 master's degrees and 10 doctorates.

The graduating class includes three international students, 64 military veterans and 141 nontraditional students, defined as undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older. In addition, 74 self-identified students with disabilities will receive degrees.

A total of 49 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

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