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Winter commencement set for Dec. 20

December 10, 2009 By

UW-Madison’s midyear commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 20. They will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Kohl Center. Each ceremony will be approximately two hours long.

Chancellor Biddy Martin speaks during a spring commencement ceremony. Mid-year commencement ceremonies will be held on Sunday, Dec. 20.

Photo: Jeff Miller

Delivering the charge to the graduates at both ceremonies will be UW–Madison alumnus Neil Willenson, founder and CEO of One Heartland (formerly Camp Heartland), a charitable organization that provides free programs and services to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.

One Heartland has raised more than $40 million for the cause and is a model for similar programs around the world.

Willenson, of Grafton, Wis., also co-created an AIDS awareness program known as Journey of Hope. It gives children affected by HIV/AIDS opportunities to share their experiences with school and community groups and religious organizations.

Earlier this year, Willenson was honored with a Forward Under 40 award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association. He graduated from the university in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts.

His interest in public service began at an early age. When he was 15 he started a nonprofit organization to help the homeless and the hungry. In his senior year at the university, he came up with the idea to create Camp Heartland after meeting a five-year-old boy who was HIV-positive.

Also speaking at the ceremonies will be two students from the Wisconsin School of Business. Both will receive bachelor of business administration degrees. Gurmukh Mangat, whose degree is in finance, investment and banking, will speak at the morning ceremony. Aaron “A.J.” Stoll will address the graduates in the afternoon. His degree includes three majors: actuarial science; finance, investment and banking; and risk management and insurance.

The following degrees will be conferred at the 10 a.m. ceremony: All doctoral and professional degrees; all master’s degrees; and bachelor’s degrees from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the schools of Education, Human Ecology, Medicine and Public Health, Nursing and Pharmacy.

At the 2 p.m. ceremony, bachelor’s degrees from the School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Letters & Science, which includes journalism, music and social work, will be conferred.

Parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in most university ramps and lots.

Complimentary shuttle bus service between the Lot 17 ramp at Camp Randall and the Kohl Center will be provided every 10-15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Both ceremonies will be streamed live and will be accessible via the university’s Web site, Windows Media Player and a broadband connection are required to view them. Viewing will be available at the start of each ceremony.