Skip to main content

2018 UW–Madison winter commencement to take place on Sunday

December 12, 2018 By Doug Erickson
Photo: Graduates wearing robes listen to the ceremony during commencement.

Graduates singing Varsity together at the end of the 2017 University of Wisconsin–Madison winter commencement at the Kohl Center. Photo: Hyunsoo Léo Kim

The University of Wisconsin–Madison will award degrees to about 3,320 undergraduate, graduate and professional students this semester, with just over 1,000 of them expected to take part in winter commencement.

The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at the Kohl Center.

Keynote speaker Allan “Bud” Selig, commissioner emeritus of Major League Baseball, will deliver the charge to graduates. A UW­–Madison alumnus, Selig founded the Milwaukee Brewers and presided over the nation’s pastime for more than 22 years. He’s in his seventh consecutive semester of co-teaching the advanced level history seminar “Baseball and Society Since WW II” on campus.

Student speaker Jamie Dawson plans to stress the power of individuality and the importance of using your talents to benefit others. Dawson, of Tampa, Florida, is a seasoned spoken word artist and part of the 9th cohort of UW–Madison’s cutting-edge First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Scholarship Program. She will be earning a bachelor’s degree with majors in Afro-American studies and psychology.

Other speakers Sunday include Chancellor Rebecca M. Blank, Provost Sarah C. Mangelsdorf and Board of Regents member Regina M. Millner.

Winter graduates can choose to take part in the winter commencement ceremony, the spring commencement ceremony at Camp Randall, or both.

The ceremony will be held as scheduled regardless of weather. In the event of snow, the university will have extra crews clearing nearby sidewalks, streets and parking lots. View the latest forecast at

Doors open two hours before the start of the ceremony. No tickets are required. Graduates are welcome to bring as many guests as they would like. Seating is first come, first served. For those unable to attend, the ceremony will stream live at

Those planning to attend should allow extra time for metal detector procedures. To expedite entry into the Kohl Center, graduates and guests are encouraged to limit the number of items they bring. As they approach the gates, guests will need to remove cell phones, cameras and keys from their pockets before walking through the metal detectors. They will not need to remove items such as hats, jewelry, belts, shoes, wallets or coins. Signs outside the Kohl Center will inform graduates and guests which items can or cannot pass through the metal detectors.

The Kohl Center’s carry-in policy prohibits bags or backpacks larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, food, beverages, containers, strollers, baby carrier seats, laser pointers, noisemakers, weapons, selfie sticks, tripods, inflatables and any items deemed dangerous or inappropriate. Permitted items include binoculars, cameras, items related to medical conditions and diaper bags.

All items and guests are subject to search. Storage facilities are not available for checking prohibited items. Items left at gates will be disposed of accordingly.

Media outlets planning to cover the ceremony are asked to request credentials by noon on Dec. 14. Please contact Meredith McGlone at 608-263-7523 or