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Everything matters
UWPlatteville holds fall Commencement, with a record number of degree candidates
UWPlatteville Chancellor Dennis Shields (left) hands a diploma to a graduate Saturday - photo by Photo by Andy McNeill / UWPlatteville

The 193rd commencement at UW–Platteville Saturday saw a record number of eligible fall candidates walk across the stage.

There were 621 eligible candidates, compared with the previous record of 602 eligible candidates in the fall of 2012.

“I am glad that you made the choice to attend UW–Platteville and even more pleased that you spent the time and energy to complete your classes, and to engage intellectually in the work necessary to complete your degree,” Chancellor Dennis J. Shields told the students. “If you believe in yourself and use your education, talent, skills and vision, you will be able not only to do whatever job you have chosen but also grow into a whole person and a life-long learner.”

“I know that we all have it within us to succeed,” said Kayla Kohlmeier, a biology graduate from Byron, Ill., the senior speaker during the morning ceremony. “Let us all move forward with the way of bettering society.”

The morning’s principal speaker was Rob Bell, a certified speaking professional. He used humor and motivation to help show the students that “everything matters.”

“How are we going to make people say wow?” said Bell. “It’s all about earning and building relationships.”

Yuexin “Ivy” Cao, a native of Yichang, China, took the stage as the senior speaker during the afternoon ceremony. Cao earned a bachelor’s in mathematics with an emphasis in actuarial science.

“I made a decision to come to UW–Platteville because I wanted a school where I could maximize both my education and my cultural experience,” she said.

Maria Lauck, regional director for general operations at Alliant Energy, served as the principal speaker during the afternoon ceremony. She told the fall graduate candidates to choose the path less taken.

“You are not alone in your doubt and perhaps fear of the future, but I assure you this, you can now go places you never dreamed possible,” she said.

Commencement was divided into two ceremonies on Bo Ryan Court in Williams Fieldhouse. The ceremony for candidates in the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture; and the School of Graduate Studies was held at 9 a.m., while the ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Education; and the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science was held at 2 p.m.