UW System Regent John Miller encourages grads to share their UW-Green Bay experience

John Miller
John Miller

At the 2023 Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, 2023 UW System Regent John Miller welcomed graduates and their families and encouraged the newly minted UW-Green Bay alumni to start recruiting for the Class of 2027 and beyond, “because there is no one better to tell this story than you!”

Watch his address at the morning ceremony 43:57: 2023 Spring Commencement morning ceremony

“Thank you for that kind introduction. Good morning. It is a privilege to be here today to share in this important celebration, and I extend a warm welcome to all our students, members of the UW-Green Bay campus community, and special guests. On behalf of my Regent colleagues and UW System President Jay Rothman, congratulations to the Class of 2023! You’ve done it!

I understand this graduation day is extra special because it includes the 50,000th graduate of UWGB!  What a milestone! You can really be proud of your alma mater. UW-Green Bay continues to grow and innovate, helping not just you, our new graduates, but also the faculty and staff here as they continue to look to the future, building partnerships to provide talent, strong leadership, and a more equitable and accepting community for northeastern Wisconsin and beyond.

Chancellor Alexander has told me that 50% of you are first generation college graduates and the number of Rising Phoenix graduates, those are students who have completed their associate degree before their high school diploma, has nearly doubled since last year.  That is very impressive and great news for Wisconsin.

But today, it’s about you. YOU put in the years of hard work. YOU persevered during one of the most challenging times we’ve ever experienced. YOU kept your eye on the ball and today, YOU should be very proud of yourselves. The education you have received here – and the experience and friends you’ve gained along the way – are tremendous assets and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

I know many people helped you along your UW-Green Bay journey, providing support in ways both big and small, both seen and behind the scenes.  From your family and friends – to school teachers and UW professors – there have been countless people pulling for you to succeed. Together, they all have had a stake in you reaching this big day. On behalf of the Regents, I join you in thanking those important people for their support.

Now I encourage you to help recruit the Class of 2027 – and beyond – let the young people in your lives know how much you learned here and how much they will learn here! There is no one better than you to tell the story of this university’s value and its positive impact.

With your degree in hand, we certainly want you to stay right here in Wisconsin and contribute to making our state a great place to live, work, and maybe even raise a family. Perhaps you’ll continue your education. I’m going to put a quick plug in here. For those of you receiving your undergraduate degree, check out the wide array of Master’s programs at UW-Green Bay.

But whether you stay here in the Midwest or venture out around the globe, you are gaining a place in the wonderful and dynamic community of University of Wisconsin alumni.  You are taking your place among some of the world’s most capable and respected citizens. And you’re taking your place among UW-Green Bay students and graduates who step in and make a difference.

My fellow Regents, your professors, your University community, and everyone who has helped you along your journey could not be more proud of what you’ve already achieved.  Now, I believe the Class of 2023 will look to the future, with passion and power and the potential to change our world.  I am excited to see what you’ll do!

Congratulations, again, to you and to your families. Go Phoenix!”

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