DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Graduation is a right of passage for students, faculty and staff.“It is the moment where all of the hard work and dedication and sweat and tears and love has gone into that moment and we want it to be all that it could be,” said Christyn Abaray, Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees for Lawrence University.The pandemic changed the way we celebrate graduates, from last year in hastily put-together social distanced ceremonies for the Class of 2020.
Colleges, like UW Green Bay gave their graduates a similar experience to last year.
“As the graduate is exiting their car they will have their name, their degree and any honorary’s they are graduating with be announced, just as if they were processing through a traditional graduation ceremony,” said Gail Sims-Aubert, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Inclusivity and Student Affairs at UW Green Bay.
The last of the University of Wisconsin’s spring graduates will get their diplomas this weekend, capping off a year of unprecedented disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a sudden shift to online classes and heavy social restrictions aimed at preventing outbreaks, some students say they’ve felt trapped watching screens in their rooms — and for those returning next fall, they hope campus will feel more normal.On Saturday, more than 600 UW-Green Bay graduates snaked their way through campus with up to two vehicles full of family and friends during a drive-thru graduation ceremony. Some families sprung for limos, others adorned cars and trucks with paint and balloons for a slow crawl toward the university performing arts center. There, Chancellor Michael Alexander stood waiting in full regalia as students climbed out of their vehicles to get their diplomas and pose for a graduation photo.
A parent of a Spring 2021 graduate took the time to write a note about her “fantastic experience” with UW-Green Bay’s Spring 2021 Commencement Celebration:
“I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge all of the great people at UWGB for making my son’s commencement experience a fantastic one! We enjoyed it SO much. I cannot even begin to tell you what I loved. The whole experience was very well done. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it more than the traditional graduation.
Here’s a few specifics of what we enjoyed:
– First off, the Chancellor shook my son’s hand, laughed and chatted a bit. It was much more personal than a name on a stage, with the next immediately called after. They both had huge smiles. I thank him so much for making each graduate feel special, I cannot even imagine how long he was out there! It was noticed and appreciated.
– Our time was 1-1:30, and we arrived, right about 1. We were told we would be waiting an hour. And that was OK with me. I was with my son and daughter in our car. We played music and sang! Graduates started honking their horns, cars were decorated, graduates were in trunks, backs of mini van’s, out of sun roofs! It was festive and fun.
– UWGB staff and faculty greeted us, welcomed us and cheered.
– Signs were noticed across campus and a nice touch.
– We were surprised with each a cookie.
– And of course, our pictures. Nice personal touch. And we took more pictures around campus after.
I got to spend all of the time at commencement with my graduating son. We weren’t separated, and that to me was priceless.
Well, the entire college experience was a good one for him, he really came out of his shell.
Thank you UWGB faculty and staff for all that you do for college students.
More than 700 UW-Green Bay graduates (from Fall/Winter 2020 and Spring/Summer 2021) and their families follow the special route through campus during the Spring Commencement Celebration on Saturday, May 15, 2021. This commencement celebration set a record as being the longest commencement in UW-Green Bay history. This is the University’s 103rd Commencement Ceremony since its first in June of 1970. Graduates from all four UW-Green Bay Campuses (Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan) participated.
The 2021 Commencement Celebration meant even a bit more for graduating student Ben Gilles. He also took an oath to serve as an officer with the U.S. Navy. UW-Green Bay’s Veterans Services Advisor Elaina Koltz assisted in the effort. According to Koltz, Gilles received a major scholarship from the Navy for dental school.
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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
Three young Menominee men from Keshena honored graduates Kelly House (Oneida), a First Nations Studies and Psychology major, and Bailey Tlachac (Oneida), who majored in First Nations Studies and Democracy and Justice Studies, with a hand drum processional at UW-Green Bay’s Spring 2021 Commencement Celebration, May 15. The drummers, arranged by Crystal Lepscier (First Nations Student Success Coordinator) led them through the cheer section to the Commencement stage. Both Tlachac and House are outgoing leaders of the Intertribal Student Council. The drummers were Manny Teller, Issac Webster and James Waupoose.
GREEN BAY – For Callyn Diamond, spring commencement at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is about more than just the cap and gown. It’s the shoes, too. She was a Stevens Point Area Senior High student on campus for a tour when she first laid eyes on the oak tree, dripping with hundreds of pairs of shoes, outside The Richard Mauthe Center. The “shoe tree,” as it’s affectionately known by students, is a decades-old UWGB tradition in which graduates toss a pair of shoes into its branches as a symbolic gesture of leaving a piece of themselves behind—their soles, if you will—as they take the next steps on their journey.Diamond remembers thinking how “super cool” that sounded as a high school senior. Now, four years later, she’s one of those graduating UWGB seniors whose turn it is to make the toss. Following Saturday’s pandemic-modified outdoor commencement celebration, in which more than 650 graduates will drive a route through campus with designated stops along the way, she plans to head over to the shoe tree in her cap and gown and have one last fling.
More photos at the Press-Gazette website.
GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Congratulations to all the graduates from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) Class of 2021. On Saturday, UWGB had a drive-thru style commencement ceremony as a result of the pandemic. Faculty, staff, and alumni cheered the grads on
Photos: UW-Green Bay holds drive-thru graduation for Class of 2021
GREEN BAY (WLUK) — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay held a bit of a different commencement ceremony on Saturday. More than 650 graduates and their families drove through campus for a special graduation event. Graduates from last semester and this semester signed up for time slots ahead of time. They drove through the special route that had faculty, staff, and alumni cheering them on.