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Commencement number 194, in four parts at UWPlatteville

UW–Platteville held its 194th commencement, divided into four ceremonies at Williams Fieldhouse, on Friday and Saturday. 

The School of Business and Graduate Studies held their ceremony Friday evening. The College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture ceremony was held Saturday morning, followed by the ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Education and College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science Saturday afternoon.

“Many of you will have to adapt to changing markets and job expectations,” Chancellor Dennis J. Shields told the degree candidates. “A large percentage of you will work in jobs that do not even exist today. Even those of you who will work in existing fields and disciplines will encounter challenges that will take you outside your comfort zone and demand that you adjust in order to be successful.

When things get challenging, I urge you to remember that you are a Pioneer. Return to our guiding principles, take the time to deliberate and make the choices that will help you to continue to make progress and to succeed.”  

The four ceremonies included 902 undergraduate candidates who were eligible to walk across the stage, accompanied by 128 graduate students. There were 124 candidates from the School of Business; 281 candidates from the College of BILSA; 247 candidates from the College of EMS; and 250 candidates from the College of LAE.

“Today you become part of a strong legacy of individuals who have gone before you,” said Shields. “Know that the diploma that you receive today means that you have the knowledge, skills and expertise that you need to excel at your endeavors and to blaze your own trail in life. I encourage you to see yourself as important to the world and as someone who will make a positive impact in your community, the state, nation and the world.”

Hannah Dahl was the senior speaker for the School of Business and Graduate Studies ceremony, while Elaine Estervig-Beaubien presented the commencement address. Jack Borke served as the commencement marshal.

Lana Wiese gave the principal speaker address for the College of BILSA, which featured Maria Leighton as the senior speaker. B.J. Reed served as the commencement marshal.

For the College of LAE, the principal speaker was Richard Byrd, and Amanda Zasada of Platteville delivered the senior speaker address. Patricia Bromley served as the commencement marshal.

“You’ve made memories with friends, such as climbing the world’s largest M,” said Zasada. “You’ve expanded your mind through coursework, and a co-op or semester abroad. You’ve improved your resume through an on-campus job or undergraduate research. You’ve pulled the all-nighters, lost your voice cheering for the sports teams, maybe explored our historic Second Street, and learned a lot about life in general. 

“These past few years weren’t just about getting a degree; they were about trying new things and figuring out where you fit in the world. Be proud of how much you’ve grown, of how much you’ve accomplished.”

Zasada admitted she doesn’t “have a plan for my life; and I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m OK with not having a plan for my life. If anything, my plan is simply to have an adventure. The whole world is ahead of us! As much as society pressures us, there’s nothing we have to do. There’s no path we have to take.”

Sharon Bremser gave the principal speaker address for the College of EMS, and the senior speaker was Cassidy Krause. Phil Young served as the commencement marshal.

For additional information about the principal speakers, senior speakers and commencement marshals, go to

All four ceremonies are archived at