• Next year we’ll surpass 30,000 — Mark Brunette in the Alumni Relations Office tells us that Saturday’s record class boosts the all-time count of UW-Green Bay alumni past 29,000.
• Strong participation — Even accounting for late no-shows, we’re told about 670 graduates “marched” in Saturday’s ceremony, out of about 850 or so eligible candidates. That’s a participation rate close to 80 percent, which is about the historic average at UW-Green Bay. That has typically been thought of as a comparatively high percentage, perhaps owing to the nature of the student body. With many returning adult students, first-generation college students, and strong local and family ties, the graduation ceremony here is still considered “a big deal.”
• Kudos to Prof. Sutton — Prof. Brian Sutton, who announces the name of each and every graduate crossing the stage, had his work cut out for him. On top of the record-long list of names (600+) he had to read, he also had to manage a little juggling. When the long line of grads got out of sequence, he had to improvise to announce the correct majors with the correct individuals.
• Big cheer on a long day — Lauren Nicole Warnke, bachelor’s in Urban and Regional Studies, got what was perhaps the biggest applause of all the new grads. When she crossed the stage — thanks to alphabetical order — there was no one behind her. The full ceremony ran approximately two and one-half hours.