Graduating class speaker Cody Von Ruden will receive a Bachelor’s degree in Saturday’s commencement ceremony with a major in Theatre (focus in Costume Design/Technology) and a minor in Design Arts. He was chosen to speak on behalf of his graduating Class of 2017 by a committee of UW-Green Bay faculty members and administrators.
He was nominated for this honor by Professor Jeffrey Entwistle and several colleagues in Theatre, Laura Riddle, Kaoime Malloy, John Mariano, Michael Ingraham, Denise Carlson-Gardner, David Cook and Courtney Sherman.
There are few corners of campus that have not been touched by Von Ruden’s spirit and energy. His commitment to the campus community is genuine and contagious, leading to his nomination for this honor. In addition to being a strong leader, Von Ruden is an accomplished artist and an excellent student. He has been a student leader in the Theatre program for more than two years, with high-level experiences as a performer, technician and costume designer for several productions, including the Mainstage production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Von Ruden’s leadership was critical during the University’s participation in the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) tour where he led the wardrobe crew. His contributions and the crew’s excellence in that process led to UW-Green Bay winning an unprecedented seventh Golden Handtruck Award. In addition, Von Ruden was also recognized as an ACTF regional finalist in the Design Projects Competition for his Death of a Salesman Costume Design Panels. His work on the social media efforts for the Theatre program this year is one more example of his impressive communication skills, expertise and commitment to the program and the University.
His leadership extends across campus and is equally noteworthy. He holds one of the most prestigious student leadership positions on the UW-Green Bay campus in his role as one of two student directors of the University Ambassador program. The program recruits prospective students, helps acclimate new students and interacts with community members, alumni, donors, and other campus guests. Cody has personally led numerous campus tours over the years. He is a strong advocate for UW-Green Bay and an excellent role model for his peers. He also works as a barista in the Coffeehouse and works as a program development assistant in Student Life. He plans to continue his work in the theatre upon graduation and has several applications out to prestigious theatre internships.