More than 1,000 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students will become graduates of the state’s third-largest public institution on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The 49th Midyear Commencement Ceremony will be held at Kolf Sports Center and begins at 9:30 a.m. More than 900 undergraduate and more than 135 graduate students will be recognized at the ceremony, which is expected to last about two hours.
UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells will confer degrees to the graduating students. State Representative Michael Schraa and Chad Landes of the UW System Board of Regents will participate in the ceremony.
UW System President Kevin Reilly will deliver the commencement address. Ashley Sinks, a communication major, will be featured as the student speaker at the ceremony.
Additionally at the ceremony:
- Ahmed Khalfan Mohammad Salim Al-Rawahi and Abdulaziz Yahya Ahmed Sulieman AlKindi, both of the University of Nizwa, will be recognized with honorary doctorates. The UW Oshkosh-Nizwa relationship began with late UW Oshkosh Chancellor Emeritus John Kerrigan’s mission to Oman as an educational consultant in the mid-1990s. Kerrigan conducted a workshop on the U.S. higher educational system for the country’s leadership. Years later, a UW Oshkosh professor visiting the country became involved in a conversation with a counterpart about the founding of a new university there. Plans and funding coalesced, and the University of Nizwa was born in 2004. Since then, the institution has benefited from UW Oshkosh’s academic and strategic friendship and guidance. The 9-year-old university’s enrollment has grown from 1,200 to more than 6,500 students at its temporary campus. Construction continues on the new University of Nizwa campus outside the city of Nizwa.
- President Reilly, who will leave the UW System at the end of December, will be honored with a Chancellor’s Medallion for his commitment to higher education and UW Oshkosh. Last week, Reilly gave the Board of Regents a farewell address, which can be viewed HERE (advance video-timeline to 2:39:00).
- Graduates from Wind River Tribal College in central Wyoming will participate in the Midyear Commencement ceremony at UW Oshkosh – a three-year-old collaboration’s first cohort to reach graduation. The students took the opportunity to earn credits toward an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree at Wisconsin’s third-largest institution two years ago and are now reaching the program’s finish line. The tribal college serves primarily nontraditional students from the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes. In fall 2010, Wind River and UW Oshkosh established their relationship and partnered on the elementary-teacher-education endeavor – a collaboration fueled by the Department of Education and Office of Indian Education grants. Fourteen Wind River students began the journey and committed themselves to achieving a degree from UW Oshkosh.
Midyear Commencement coincides with release of some encouraging, preliminary UW Oshkosh data:
- The number of degrees awarded over the 2012-13 academic year reached another all-time high, with 2,274 awarded, based on preliminary UW Oshkosh data. That is up from 2,139 (a 6.3 percent increase) since the 2008-09 academic year.
- The University continues experiencing overall growth in its student headcount. Preliminary figures show fall 2013 headcount at a record 13,720 students, up from 13,519 (1.5 percent increase) in fall 2012 and 13,192 (4 percent increase) in fall 2009.
While full-time-equivalent enrollment at UW Oshkosh will either hold relatively steady or, possibly, experience slight decreases, recent, encouraging growth in graduate and high-school “Cooperative Academic Partnership Program” student totals has helped the overall University headcount increase, according to projections. Fall 2013 totals will be official in January.
“It is always a deep source of pride to see our campus community working so hard to successfully grow enrollment and degrees-awarded,” Wells said. “Commencement week and the ceremonies that serve as the pinnacle of our semester, are the true validation of our efforts to make UW Oshkosh a source of life-long success for thousands of graduates. While we celebrate the conferral of more than 1,000 newly-earned degrees, what rightly wins the spotlight are the stories of the thousands more students, spouses, partners, families, friends and employers who gather with us to inaugurate another tremendous surge of talent entering the workforce or pursuing further education – a diverse wave of well-prepared citizens ready to make a tremendous impact in our communities, our state, our nation and the world.”
A reception for faculty, new alumni and their parents and guests will follow Commencement ceremonies in Kolf’s lower level.
For those who cannot attend the midyear commencement ceremony, live, streaming video is available beginning at 9:30 a.m. In addition to a live streaming webcast , attendees, online audiences, alumni and UW Oshkosh friends and followers alike are invited to join in on the conversation on UW Oshkosh’s social networks —Facebook and Twitter; use #uwograd as a Twitter hashtag. Additionally, download UW Oshkosh’s mobile app to stay up to date on the latest commencement news.