Help make inaugural engineering commencement memorable for our graduates

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This year, it seemed like our Wisconsin winter would never end. In contrast, however, our spring semester seems to have flown by and in just a couple of weeks, we’ll be welcoming thousands of guests to campus to attend the graduation of a special friend or family member.

Many graduates will attend the PhD ceremony on May 16 or the new all-campus commencement ceremony May 17 at noon in Camp Randall Stadium. However, in addition to those events, we also will honor our engineering graduates with a formal College of Engineering commencement ceremony May 17 at 3 p.m. at the Kohl Center. I am looking forward to what should be an outstanding and memorable event.

We have designed this inaugural engineering graduation ceremony as a personal experience for our students and their guests, and we will individually recognize all of the graduating engineers who attend. In the company of their classmates, they will walk across the stage, hear their name read, shake hands with their department or program chair, and have a professional graduation photo taken.  

Our student commencement speaker will be Drew Birrenkott. Drew is a fifth-year student triple-majoring in political science, biochemistry and biomedical engineering. As a 2014 Rhodes Scholar, he will spend two or three years studying at Oxford University in England, where he hopes to prepare for a career in global health and international development.

Prior to the ceremony, we are hosting a reception with light refreshments for our graduates and their guests. Beginning at 1:45 p.m., this informal social hour will be held in the Kohl Center main concourse and provides you an excellent opportunity to congratulate your students and meet their family and friends.

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our students about this ceremony and expect nearly 700 graduates and more than 3,000 guests to attend. I hope you will join me May 17 at the Kohl Center to celebrate our students’ academic achievements and to welcome them proudly as UW-Madison engineering alumni. 

Dean Ian Robertson