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Team Rubicon co-founder to speak at Dec. 18 commencement

December 2, 2011 By

Jake Wood, president of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit veterans’ service organization that he co-founded following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, will speak at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s 2011 mid-year commencement.

Photo: Jake Wood


Commencement ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Kohl Center, 601 W. Dayton St. No tickets are required for admission and the ceremonies are open to the public.

Wood’s organization provides military veterans with purpose, community and self worth through volunteer service, and gives them the opportunity to use their skills in disaster zones.

The organization aided tornado victims in Joplin, Mo. in May. Team Rubicon plans to begin operating out of 10 U.S. geographic regions in 2012, each carved out according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s regional model.

Wood, a UW–Madison graduate, served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq’s Anbar Province and in 2008 to Afghanistan’s Helmand Valley. He is a leading advocate for veterans and speaks around the country about issues they face on their return home. He also serves on several veteran-focused committees at the national level.

Wood received his bachelor of business administration degree in 2005 with a double major in real estate and urban land economics, and political science. He was an offensive lineman on the Badger football team from 2001-04. Last year, he was honored with a “Forward Under 40” award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

This year Wood received GQ Magazine’s “Better Men, Better World” award, and the Big Ten Conference honored him with its “Live Big” award for his work with Team Rubicon.

Each of the commencement ceremonies will be less than two hours in length:

  • The 10 a.m. ceremony will include the following degrees: doctor of philosophy; doctor of musical arts; doctor of juridical science; master of fine arts; professional degrees (juris doctor; master of laws, master of laws-legal institutions; and master of public health); and all master’s degrees, as well as bachelor’s degrees from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the schools of education, human ecology, and nursing.
  • The 2:30 p.m. ceremony will include bachelor’s degrees from the School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Letters and Science (including journalism, music and social work).

To reduce traffic congestion in the vicinity of the Kohl Center, a complimentary shuttle bus service will be available to transport participants and their guests who choose to park in the vicinity of the Engineering campus and Camp Randall Stadium to and from the Kohl Center.

The shuttle will provide service every 10 to 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It will pick up-drop off at the Madison Metro bus stop located on North Randall Avenue near Engineering Drive, proceed on West Dayton Street to the Kohl Center, and return to North Randall Avenue. Shuttle stops will be designated by signs.