Winter commencement set for Sunday, Dec. 16

December 7, 2012 By Liz Beyler

UW-Madison graduate and Athletic Director Emeritus Pat Richter will deliver the charge to graduates at the university’s winter commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in the Kohl Center.

Photo: Pat Richter


Richter, a Madison native, earned a bachelor of science degree in 1964 and a law degree in 1971. He was an outstanding athlete who won All-America honors in football, basketball and baseball, and he played for the Washington Redskins from 1963-70.

He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, and the Rose Bowl and Wisconsin Athletic halls of fame. He played in the 1963 Rose Bowl against USC, setting a record with 11 catches for 163 yards.

Then-Chancellor Donna Shalala hired Richter in 1989 at a time when athletics was battling financial shortfalls, decaying equipment and facilities, and loss of fan support. During his 14 years at the helm, Richter presided over a turnaround that was admired nationally.

During his tenure, the university built the Kohl Center, University Ridge Golf Course, the Fetzer Academic Learning Center, and the Goodman Softball Diamond. The McClimon Track and Soccer Complex was renovated.

Richter has been credited for bringing the football and basketball programs into the national spotlight. He was responsible for hiring coaches Barry Alvarez, Dick Bennett and Bo Ryan.

Before being named athletic director, Richter was vice president of personnel at Oscar Mayer Foods for 17 years, and in 1997 the Sales and Marketing Executives of Madison honored him as Executive of the Year.

Richter was hired at a time when athletics was battling financial shortfalls, decaying equipment and facilities, and loss of fan support. During his 14 years at the helm, he presided over a turnaround that was admired nationally.

In the past several years, the university has held two winter commencement ceremonies, both of them on a Sunday in mid-December. This year there will be only one ceremony.

“Ever since moving commencement to the Kohl Center, we have been considering whether we could accommodate all of our winter graduates in a single ceremony,” says Secretary of the Faculty David Musolf.

“Our data from the past five winter graduations indicate that attendance has been fairly stable and that the number of graduates at a single winter ceremony would not exceed that at any of our spring ceremonies,” says Musolf.

The ceremony will be approximately two hours long. Bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree candidates from all schools and colleges are welcome to participate.

The ceremony will be streamed live. Windows Media Player and a broadband connection are required in order to view it. The link to the streaming will be on the university’s main website. The stream will not be available until the beginning of the ceremony.

Transcripts of the commencement speeches by Interim Chancellor David Ward and Richter will be posted on the university’s website by Monday afternoon, Dec. 17.

A complimentary shuttle bus will be provided to transport participants and guests between Union South and the Kohl Center.

The shuttle will run from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will make a complete loop once every 10-15 minutes.

The pick-up location is the Madison Metro bus stop on Randall Avenue, next to Engineering Hall and across from Union South. The ramp west of Engineering Hall (Lot 17) is a good parking location for those using the shuttle.