A record day for announcer Sutton

Prof. Brian Sutton, commencementHe has held the job since December 2000, acquitting himself with poise, pacing and impeccable diction — but stage announcer Brian Sutton had never before had a graduation day quite so busy.

The Humanistic Studies professor announced close to 700 names Saturday (May 12) as UW-Green Bay observed a record-breaking spring commencement before a full house of 5,000-plus at the Kress Events Center.

For approximately 90 minutes, Sutton narrated the parade of proud graduates. Each student arriving at the platform hands Sutton a slip with name and phonetic pronunciation, if needed. He also announces fields of study, along with individual academic honors (cum laude, magna and summa). Once Sutton reads their names, the students are released to march across the stage to receive their diploma cover, handshake from the Chancellor, and well wishes from the Provost and a designated faculty member in their field.

Sutton took over the candidate-announcing duties from the previous long-time announcer, former faculty member and academic administrator Prof. Michael Murphy, who retired after announcing his last group of graduates in May 2000.

Although Sutton recognizes many of the graduating seniors, a highlight at Saturday’s commencement came near the very end of the long afternoon. Musical Theatre students Shelbi Cox and Molly LeCaptain marched with those receiving Theatre degrees, the next-to-last group to cross the stage. Cox and LeCaptain (in photo below) are musical collaborators and vocalists with Sutton in his band Rough Draft.

Prof. Brian Sutton, commencement