The University of Wisconsin-Platteville celebrated the fall class of 2022, as more than 560 candidates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and hoods at the 209th commencement held on Dec. 17. The three ceremonies took place inside Williams Fieldhouse.
Jay O. Rothman, president of the University of Wisconsin System, delivered the principal speaker address for all three ceremonies. He encouraged the graduates to become leaders, to be proactive and to identify their passion and purpose.
“Your purpose may not be defined in your first job, or even your second or third job. It might not even come from your job. But nothing will bring greater value to your sense of character and the hard work you do every day than finding something that brings meaning to your life, something that kindles your passion,” said President Rothman. “You’re thinking beyond yourselves and what you can do to make things better, whether it’s on campus or in the community or even in the world at large.”
Throughout his speech, President Rothman highlighted what the definition of success entails, the power of being resilient in the face of adversity and the importance of expressing gratitude.
“As you begin your life as a graduate of this great institution, I encourage you to focus on what makes you happy and fulfilled, because in that I think you will find your success,” explained President Rothman. “During the challenging times of your life, ponder all the good things for which you can and should be grateful. You might be surprised – and gratified – to learn the list is longer than you thought. Finding gratitude is a powerful force for happiness and should not be underestimated.”
President Rothman wrapped up his speech focusing on the Wisconsin Idea, stating it’s the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom and the boundaries of the university.
“It’s a responsibility that connects the University of Wisconsin and its people to the greater community. It’s a call to use your talents and skills to improve our communities, our state and our great country and world,” he said. “UW-Platteville has prepared you well for the journey ahead. As you wind up your university career and prepare to step out into the world beyond, I also encourage you to step up. Please remember that opportunity is earned, not granted, but you are ready to meet whatever challenges may come your way. I am excited for what’s ahead of you, and I wish you great success.
Interim Chancellor Dr. Tammy Evetovich also spoke to the graduating class. She acknowledged how they took a chance on themselves and provided themselves with an opportunity to seek out higher education.
“I am so thankful that you chose UW-Platteville to invest in yourself,” said Chancellor Evetovich. “I firmly believe that education is truly your own, and no one can take that away from you. And you, our graduates, are now ready to join the workforce and have the privilege and distinct honor of being UW-Platteville alumni.”
Chancellor Evetovich told the graduates to be proud of their accomplishments and emphasized that they are now part of a dedicated alumni base.
“Today is the first day of your journey and commitment to lifelong learning. Know that as you leave here today, you can always consider UW-Platteville home,” she said. “Whether it is next year, five years or decades from now; we will always welcome you back.”
The College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture recognized 157 candidates. The College of Liberal Arts and Education featured 145 candidates, including 20 associate degree candidates from the branch campuses. The graduate programs had 55 candidates. The commencement ceremonies concluded with the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science with 187 candidates.
Since 1866, UW-Platteville has provided affordable and accessible education to students of Southwest Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and other parts of the country and world. Nearly 60,000 students have earned UW-Platteville diplomas.
UW-Platteville will finish its fall semester with finals Dec. 15-21. Winterim will run from Jan. 4-20. Classes begin for the spring semester on Jan. 23.