Commencement: Business student Skyla Aissen, speakers, live-stream and more

Commencement video will be live-streamed

Green Bay, Wis. — With roots planted deep in Northeast Wisconsin and visions of “branch” expansion, recent Business Administration graduate and Christmas Tree Farm owner Skyla Aissen has her work gloves on and is ready for the future. But first she will walk with her 400-plus classmates and receive her University of Wisconsin-Green Bay diploma at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Commencement Live Stream Video

Aissen’s story is remarkable, and similar to her hard-working peers who graduate from UW-Green Bay. Heeding her grandmother’s advice, “24 hours is a lot of time in a day to get things done,” Aissen will graduate with honors in the Business program after only three and a-half years, this despite holding down a near-full-time job and running two side businesses that are associated with the Aissen Tree Farm in Kewaunee County. Her diligence allowed her to pay entirely for college on her own and graduate debt free.

Of the four-hundred-plus graduates this semester, the vast majority are Wisconsin residents, with a good portion choosing to stay, work and invest in Wisconsin. Among the graduates, 110 transferred into UW-Green Bay from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, showing the power of higher education partnership in Northeast Wisconsin. Watch remotely via live stream video.

Among the UW-Green Bay 2018 Fall/Winter Commencement stories:

Prof. Aldrete discusses “Three Unlikely Virtues”

One of the University’s most decorated faculty members, Prof. Gregory Aldrete will challenge the December 2018 graduating class with “Three Unlikely Virtues: solitude, failure and ignorance,” as tenets to a successful life. The national award-winning professor of Humanistic Studies and History, Aldrete will discuss virtues and advice for graduates drawn from ancient and medieval history revealed through his tenured career.

Student Speaker Putnam finds time to mentor in her pre-med journey

Lauren Putnam (Marathon, Wis.) has made the most of her undergraduate experience and has been selected as the student speaker. The Human Biology major was a dedicated tutor at Green Bay West High School, mentor for future health studies students and she was a motivated researcher. She worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the oncology unit at Aspirus Hospital, Wausau and as a student employee in the Cofrin Library. “My involvement tutoring at-risk students at West High School has been something I have grown to love,” she said. “Tutoring is about igniting a passion for learning and building up the confidence students need to believe that they can do so much more. Overall, my intention for being involved both on and off campus is to create a structural foundation that will allow students the field experience, knowledge and confidence they need. I dream that I can be a part of creating hopeful future UW-Green Bay graduates and healthcare professionals for years to come.”

Changing of the guard

Jan Snyder has directed nearly 17,000 students through commencement ceremonies over nearly two decades and 36 commencement ceremonies. This, the 37th, is her last as commencement coordinator. She retires from UW-Green Bay in February 2019. Among her favorite memories of Commencement Day:

  • Watching graduate Jennifer Ulrich ‘13 (Psychology) walk across the stage to get her diploma.
    Ulrich had been mostly wheelchair bound and trained diligently to be able to accomplish the feat.
  • Making special arrangements for veterans and military families to attend ceremonies.
  • Getting signals crossed with the music director, prompting a number of renditions of “Pomp and Circumstance.” See more.

About the Graduating Class of 2018

This year’s graduating class includes 425 UW-Green Bay students (390 undergraduates and 35 graduate students) who have applied to graduate at the end of the fall 2018 semester or winter 2019 short-term. The class is almost identical to last year, when the University graduated 437 students.

  • 92% are Wisconsin residents and 159 students (37%) are Brown County residents. Much of the class (279) or 63% comes from UW-Green Bay’s new 16-county, four-campus region.
  • Area high schools are well represented, with 43 who are former graduates of Green Bay Area High Schools Preble (17), East (10), Southwest (9) and West (7)
  • Commencing will be 26 veterans and 5 international students
  • 54% are the first in their family to attend college
  • Human Development and Psychology lead the way with 50 graduates each; followed by Business Administration, Nursing and Organizational Leadership (46 each) and Human Biology (41)
  • UW-Green Bay graduates its first (5) students in the Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit



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