UW–Platteville celebrated its 191st commencement ceremony to honor the 2013 fall graduates at Williams Fieldhouse Saturday.
The College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture and the School of Graduate Studies held commencement in the morning, while the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science and the College of Liberal Arts and Education had its ceremony in the afternoon.
“Each of you came here with the idea that you would develop as an individual, learning how to achieve your personal ambitions and just as important, learning how to effectively contribute to the various communities of which you are and will be a member,” Chancellor Dennis J. Shields told the assembled students. “At this university we have an unwavering belief in the innate capacity of all people to contribute meaningfully, socially and economically. Through your studies here, you’ve developed your unique set of skills and you understand what it means to innovate, empower and cultivate the talent surrounding you.”
The 9 a.m. ceremony featured 233 undergraduate candidates for the College of BILSA. The School of Graduate Studies had 83 candidates.
“Today, you understand what it takes to create meaningful change, not only in your own life, but in your community as well,” said Shields. “That’s why I know that when you leave here you won’t sit back and wait for change to happen — you are going to drive the positive change around you. Because as Pioneers, that’s what we do.”
Cody Koch, an agribusiness major with an emphasis in management from Rochelle, Ill., delivered the senior speaker address.
Ben Brancel, a 1972 animal science graduate from UW–Platteville who now is the Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection was the principal speaker.
Betsy Newhouse-Hanna and Derek Dachelet were honored as the College of BILSA outstanding alumni. Hanna, a 1998 alumna, currently works for Village Family Dental and provides access to care for low-income families as well as children’s dental needs. Dachelet is the current dean of industry, trades and agriculture for Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, and graduated from UW–Platteville in 1999 with a degree in business administration.
Kathryn Lomax, with more than 24 years of service to UW–Platteville, served as the ceremony’s commencement marshal.
The College of BILSA valedictorian was Brad Ecklor, a biology major from Coon Valley.
The 2 p.m. ceremony featured 130 undergraduate candidates for the College of EMS and 143 undergraduate candidates from the College of LAE. Joanna Borzecki, an industrial engineering major from Armstrong Creek, gave the senior speaker address for the College of EMS. Savion Kirk, a middle level education major with emphases in English and science from Freeport, Ill., gave the senior speaker address for the College of LAE. The principal speaker for the ceremony and outstanding alumna for the College of LAE was DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld. Bellinger-Delfeld is a 2000 alumna who currently teaches creative writing at Fitchburg State University.
Gina Blasen was honored as the outstanding alumna for the College of EMS. She received her degree in 1999 in civil engineering and a master’s degree from UW–Platteville in 2008 in project management. She currently works for John Deere as a supervisor of facility engineering.
The ceremony’s commencement marshal was David Rowley, who will retire in May after 25 years of university teaching, including the last 15 years as a professor of history with UW-Platteville.
The valedictorian for the College of EMS was Kimberly Hanson, a secondary math education major from Baraboo.
Amanda Jagodzinski, an elementary education and German double major with a minor in early childhood, was the valedictorian for the College of LAE.