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UW community mourns business graduate Roelse

June 23, 2012 By John Lucas

The University of Wisconsin–Madison community is mourning the loss of a young alumnus who is believed to have drowned in Lake Mendota early on Friday, June 22.

Matthew Roelse, 22, was a May 2012 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business.

According to the Madison Fire Department, he was swimming with a female companion off the shore of Lake Mendota near Memorial Union, around 2:46 a.m. When he went under water, she attempted to rescue him before calling 911. Madison Police and Fire responded to the scene and conducted a search. His body was recovered by divers from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department around 11 a.m.

Roelse graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and management with a certificate in Spanish. 

“Our community is deeply saddened by the news of Matthew’s premature passing and our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” said François Ortalo-Magné, dean of the Wisconsin School of Business. “Matthew was an individual with big dreams and a desire to explore the world.  He had just graduated and was positioned for flight, ready to make his dreams a reality.

“He epitomized the hard work ethic, lifelong quest for knowledge, and virtuous ethos for which Wisconsin graduates are recognized worldwide,” he added.

Roelse was an active member of the campus community, having participated as a member of Sigma Iota Epsilon Business Fraternity, the Society for Personal Investments, UW’s cross country ski team and the intramural ultimate Frisbee team. He had raised money and awareness for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. 

Prior to coming to Madison, Roelse was valedictorian of his graduating class at Sheboygan North High School in 2008, and was an Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow member.

He received numerous scholarships, including recognition as a 2008 Sheboygan Rotary Scholar, a UW–Madison Alumni Club Scholarship, an Education for Children for Diabetes Foundation scholarship, a National Federation for Independent Businessmen scholarship, and a Wisconsin Elks Foundation scholarship. 

He had accepted a full-time position at Northwestern Mutual, where he previously interned.

If you are a student in need of counseling or crisis support as a result of this incident or any other situation, call University Health Services Counseling and Consultation Services at (608) 265-5600 or drop-in between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If you need immediate assistance after hours or on weekends, please call the UHS Crisis Line at (608) 265-5600, option 9. For more information, click here.