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Chef to speak at commencement

December 17, 2001

Master chef, restaurateur, author and alumnus Charles L. Trotter will address mid-year graduates at UW–Madison’s winter commencement Sunday, Dec. 23.

Trotter himself earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UW–Madison in 1982. Cutting his culinary teeth at restaurants in San Francisco, Florida and Europe, Trotter pursued “post-graduate” study with such world-renowned chefs as Norman Van Allen, Bradley Ogden, Gordon Sinclair and others.

However, Trotter gives equal credit for his success to the liberal arts background he received at UW–Madison.

” Whether I was discussing politics or philosophy in class, at the union, or cooking or playing chess, my education here was a very special experience for me,” Trotter says. “When I was a student at UW–Madison I was at a time in my life when I wasn’t sure who I was. My years at UW–Madison gave me an opportunity to find my own voice.”

In the years since he received his degree, Trotter has found his voice with a vengeance. Today, he owns Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, winner of the Grand Award from the Wine Spectator. Charlie Trotter’s also has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, AAA, the Mobile Travel Guide, Relais and Chatreaux and others by virtue of his innovative, healthful and creative cuisine.

About 1,600 will be eligible for degrees this December. Two ceremonies in the Kohl Center on Dayton St. will mark the occasion:

  • All Ph.D., M.F.A., master’s and professional degree candidates, and bachelor’s degree candidates in agriculture, education, human ecology, nursing will participate in the 10 a.m. ceremony.
  • Bachelor’s degree candidates in business, engineering and letters and science will celebrate their graduation at 2 p.m.

Trotter will speak at both ceremonies. No tickets are required. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Because the country continues to be at a heightened state of alert, all personal items (including coats, cameras, purses, etc.) brought into the Kohl Center will be searched. These added safety precautions are likely to add time to the entry process, so candidates and guests should allow extra time to insure they are seated at the appointed time.

Parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on city streets and in university ramps and lots. Complementary shuttle service will be available from lots adjacent to Camp Randall.

For more information, call the UW–Madison Commencement Hotline, 262-9076.

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