GREEN BAY – For Callyn Diamond, spring commencement at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is about more than just the cap and gown. It’s the shoes, too. She was a Stevens Point Area Senior High student on campus for a tour when she first laid eyes on the oak tree, dripping with hundreds of pairs of shoes, outside The Richard Mauthe Center. The “shoe tree,” as it’s affectionately known by students, is a decades-old UWGB tradition in which graduates toss a pair of shoes into its branches as a symbolic gesture of leaving a piece of themselves behind—their soles, if you will—as they take the next steps on their journey.Diamond remembers thinking how “super cool” that sounded as a high school senior. Now, four years later, she’s one of those graduating UWGB seniors whose turn it is to make the toss. Following Saturday’s pandemic-modified outdoor commencement celebration, in which more than 650 graduates will drive a route through campus with designated stops along the way, she plans to head over to the shoe tree in her cap and gown and have one last fling.
More photos at the Press-Gazette website.