Poignant moment: awarding of posthumous degree

kenishaUW-Green Bay awarded a rare posthumous degree Saturday in recognition of a popular and accomplished student who passed away after a short battle with leukemia, only months shy of receiving her degree.

KaNisha Flemming of Chilton died Jan. 12 at age 22. She was on track to graduate with a double major in Psychology and Human Development and pursue master’s degree studies with the goal of helping troubled teens.


The UW-Green Bay faculty voted to award a bachelor’s degree in recognition of Flemming’s academic achievements. Near the beginning of Saturday’s diploma presentations, a short citation was read and Associate Prof. Ryan Martin, chair of Psychology, stepped forward to receive the degree on the family’s behalf. He then walked over to the nearby seating area and presented the degree to Flemming’s parents, seated in the front row, to extended applause by the audience of nearly 5,000 at UW-Green Bay’s Kress Events Center.

Before continuing with the awarding of degrees, Chancellor Tom Harden paused at the lectern to say, “ I also want to personally thank the Flemming family for joining us today. I hope you will take consolation, and some day joy, in the knowledge this University forever remembers your daughter’s accomplishments and contributions.”

At the close of the commencement ceremony, members of the Psychology and Human Development faculty — and several others of the platform party — took time from the recessional to visit briefly with the Flemming family.

Fund-raising continues for a memorial scholarship: Earlier this week, three UW-Green Bay classmates of the late KaNisha Flemming presented to the University nearly $2,000 intended for creation of the KaNisha Flemming Memorial Scholarship. The money was contributed by friends, family and those who took part in various fundraising opportunities earlier this year. The intent is to make an award or awards to a future student or students majoring in Psychology or Human Development. Shannon Badura of University Advancement says additional gifts can be made to the new scholarship. Here is the link for online giving.

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