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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will honor its freshest graduates along with some of its most distinguished alumni at the 2 p.m. spring commencement ceremony May 15 in Kolf Sports Center.

Members from UW Oshkosh’s 1960 graduating class will lead the commencement processional march, officially marking the class as “Golden Titans” on the 50th anniversary of their original ceremony.

“I think it’s a really nice connection that our newest graduates and soon-to-be alumni can share their special moment with alumni who graduated 50 years ago,” said UW Oshkosh Alumni Director Christine Gantner.

For the class of 1960, the return to their alma mater is a chance to give back and observe changes the University has undergone during the past 50 years.

“This is an opportunity for our class graduates to give thanks for the great education that got them started and see the fantastic changes on this campus since their departure,” said Kenlynn Heydon Akin, the 50th reunion committee chair.

Akin, originally from Madison, learned of the event when her husband, Ronald Akin ’59, participated in 2009, the first year the Golden Titans led the procession.

“The event interested me when I saw how successful it was and fun for the people involved,” said Akin, who went on to become a kindergarten teacher.

While 50th anniversary graduates always are invited back to the traditional Saturday luncheon before commencement, Gantner credits the positive feedback she received from the 1959 class for continuing with the processional march this year.

“I was overwhelmed with the sentiments of appreciation and how extremely honorable it was that they (the 50th class) could be recognized by their alma mater,” Gantner said.

Golden Titan festivities also will include a bus tour of campus, a class dinner at Primo and a class photo.

Akin still remembers her first visit to campus, a trip where she fell in love with everything UW Oshkosh. “There was such warmth and care that day, which has carried with me through my years,” she said.