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Nearly 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students will receive degrees at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s 44th midyear commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 13.

Of the 942 students graduating, 13 have returned to UW Oshkosh as part of the Graduation Project, a program for students whose progress at the University was interrupted for more than one semester, prior to them completing a degree.

After five years of planning, approval, commuting and class work, the inaugural class of five students will complete the Fire and Emergency Response Management program, the first comprehensive bachelor’s degree of its kind in Wisconsin and one of the first in the country. Community members already are reaping the benefits.

“At least seven students in the program have received promotions to managerial or chief positions within their respective fire departments,” said Lynn Brandt, student services coordinator for the UW Oshkosh Center for New Learning. “We’re impacting the exact group of people we wanted to help with this program: firefighters.”

Chancellor Richard H. Wells will confer diplomas to the graduating students at 9:30 a.m. at Kolf Sports Center, 785 High Ave. State Representative Gordon Hintz and José Vasquez of the UW System Board of Regents will participate in the ceremony. A reception will follow for the faculty, new alumni, and their parents and guests in the center’s lower level.

Chancellor’s Medallions will be awarded to Craig Fielder, who served UW Oshkosh in the special education department from 1987 to 2008, and Jim VandeHei ’94, cofounder of The Politico, a new paradigm for delivering political news.

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