Lisa Kamal, a standout geology major, opened her commencement speech by singing a few lines from the Broadway hit “Hamilton.” She went on to explain that the cast recording had become a coping mechanism for her during some dark times. It struck a chord with viewers online.
"I think it’s important to do the homework, to prepare, and take the serious stuff seriously. But I also think it’s useful to always carry some humility, to acknowledge we are not always in control of our stories; how often it's moments of chaos, luck, and strange bends of the universe that conspire to teach us, to push us, challenge us – and bring us to thrilling events like this ceremony today."
On Sunday, Dec. 15, hundreds of students will complete their UW–Madison studies by walking across the Kohl Center stage at winter commencement. Every graduation ceremony is rich with personal stories. Here are just a few from this year’s winter graduates.
Lisa Kamal says she auditioned to be the student speaker for winter commencement because she believes she has something to say about keeping an open mind and adapting to one’s circumstances.
NFL star and philanthropist J.J. Watt's teleprompter-free speech was one of the more freewheeling — and perhaps memorable — commencement addresses in Badger history.
Experience the weekend's celebrations in images.
Commencement weekend kicked off with a ceremony at the Kohl Center for about 900 doctoral, medical professional, and master of fine arts students.
Stefanie Henry will graduate from UW as a double major in neurobiology and French, along with an extensive background in nervous system trauma research that is inspired by her brother’s spinal cord injury.
Mary Finta, who will graduate with an M.D. on May 10 from the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, has spent the past two years following her passion for rural medicine.
The newly unveiled statue, "The Monarch," celebrates the 150th anniversary of women receiving degrees at UW–Madison and was designed by artist Victoria Reed to represent female empowerment and influence.
Members of the Class of 2019 are already making their mark in academics, research and public service. Meet a few of this year's notable graduates.
Nicholas Jackson is a study in perseverance. After setbacks, hardships and false starts, he will graduate on May 11.
Commencement spotlight: ‘Exceptional’ grad to enter Air Force Nurse Corps as one of its youngest members
On May 11, Delora Prange will graduate from UW–Madison with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. A few weeks later, at age 21, she is expected to become one of the youngest members of the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps.
This year’s recipients of honorary degrees from UW–Madison are both rock stars — one literally, the other in microbiology. The honorees are Steve Miller, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and Thomas Brock, who helped usher in modern molecular biology.
Watt, who attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 2008-10 and played for the Badgers, will share his approach to life with graduates on May 11. “I can’t wait to get back to Camp Randall,” he said.