The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay bade farewell to its biggest mid-year class to date Dec. 17, with more than 300 of the University’s 400-plus winter grads taking part in commencement ceremonies at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.
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“It’s been a long road and it’s kind of hard to believe it’s finally over,” said Accounting graduate Brandon Becker. “There’s no more schedule of school to look forward to — it’s the real life now.”
It was a day devoted to memories for the class of 2011, and members enjoyed reflecting back, even as they look forward to what’s next.
“The people I’ve met here will be the people that I spend the rest of my life with,” said education grad Danielle Roznowski. “I met my significant other here; my roommates are my best friends — it’s been great.”
Surrounded by proud family members and friends, students spoke fondly of favorite professors, time spent at basketball games and lifelong friends made. They also talked excitedly of the future, wherever their academic or career path may take them.
“I was an intern, so I feel that that helped me a lot in my future career, because I was able to get a job right out of college,” said Business Administration major Kimberly Hartwig. “I start on Monday.”
In a ceremony of solemn academic tradition — punctuated with fun, personal touches — students heard words of wisdom and advice for the future. It’s a future that wouldn’t have been possible, many said, without the support of those who came to watch them graduate.
“The kids were great, you know my kids,” said Master’s of Management graduate Tim Terry. “I talked to them — I said, ‘daddy’s going to school, daddy’s studying’ and they were very understanding; you know, I think just balancing time.”
The graduates come from different places, and each has a different story. But they also share a common bond — they are now UW-Green Bay alumni.
“I would never actually forget this campus, and I would relate myself to it all my life,” said Human Biology graduate Mohamed Zakarya. “Definitely I will be a member in the alumni association, and also I have given the promise to my professors to keep visiting.”