UW-Green Bay’s December commencement: The most wonderful time of the year

With snow continuing to fall and creating a winter wonderland backdrop, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay held its 94th commencement ceremony Saturday, December 17 at the University’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

“At UW-Green Bay this is not a winter day. It’s commencement day,” Chancellor Gary L. Miller said when asked about the weather and the University’s confidence in moving forward with graduation despite weather conditions.

With up to eight inches of snow falling in the 24 hours leading up to graduation, winter weather and its impact on commencement had been the discussion of administrators and students alike in recent days.

According to commencement planners, approximately two dozen of the 315 students registered and expected to graduate did not attend ceremonies. It is unclear what impact the weather played in those no-shows.

“Safety on a day like today is a top priority,” Miller noted. “With the support of the city of Green Bay road crews, our campus crews and with the family and friends of our graduates using the right caution to make the right personal decisions regarding travel, we felt this day was too important to cancel.”

UW System Regent Margaret Farrow was unable to attend the event due to weather. Chancellor Miller shared her greeting from the Board of Regents, which in part said: “Your university exists because of the determination of the citizens of this region who would not give up the effort to establish this university to serve the population of the northeastern region of the state. In the same way you are here today to receive your degree that represents so much effort on your part and those who supported your effort including your families, teachers, instructors and professors who helped you develop into the person you are today. Be grateful to all of them. Celebrate your success and then get to work growing a great future for yourselves and for our great state of Wisconsin.”

The celebration portion of Farrow’s message was not lost on students, their families and faculty in attendance and on display in this photo gallery.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

December 2016 Commencement

– Photos by Dan Moore, Photographer/Videographer and Amanda Jo Danihel, Intern, Marketing and University Communication

Congratulations to all graduates. Go Phoenix!

Winter Storm Bailey Update

As you know, Green Bay is experiencing a winter storm this weekend, continuing through Saturday. At this time, Commencement will proceed as planned. Our crews will be out early on Saturday morning to make sure that campus roads, parking lots, and sidewalks are clear. If the weather does become worse than anticipated, a decision regarding Commencement will be made by 6 a.m. Saturday with a communication to the University community as soon as possible.

Consistent with our Winter Storm Policy, everyone should use their judgment about whether they can safely travel to campus. Nobody who feels it is unsafe should attempt the trip. The safety of you, your parents, grandparents and others is of great concern and we encourage you to discuss with them options for participating in the event, including watching via livestream (details below). If you do not personally feel safe coming to campus on Saturday morning, please stay home. If you decide to travel to campus, please allow extra time.

Information for graduates:


December 2016 Commencement Announcement

Regarding inclement weather predictions

From Clifton Ganyard, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs/Commencement Coordinator to graduating seniors:

“As you know, Green Bay is expecting a winter storm this weekend, beginning on Friday afternoon and continuing through Saturday.  At present, however, the University does not plan on cancelling Commencement.  While the City is expecting several inches of snow, the current estimates are not significant enough to warrant the cancellation of this important event.  Our crews will be out early on Saturday morning to make sure that roads, parking lots, and sidewalks are clear.  If the weather does become worse than anticipated, a decision regarding campus events will be made early Saturday morning, and we will inform the University community as soon as possible.  If, however, you do not feel safe coming to campus on Saturday morning, please stay home.”

Information for graduates:

“You will still graduate and receive your degree even if you do not participate in the ceremony, and the ceremony will be streamed live at: https://mediasite.uwgb.edu/Mediasite6/Play/12846fb572e6418ab20a919335d095621d. Questions may be directed to commencement@uwgb.edu.”

Information for faculty and staff participants and volunteers:

“If you do decide to stay home, please let us know as soon as possible.  Faculty who are unable to participate in the ceremony, please contact either Paula Marcec at 920-609-0451 or marcecp@uwgb.edu, or Paula Ganyard at 920-819-5910 or ganyardp@uwgb.edu. Staff Volunteers who are unable to participate in the ceremony, please contact Jan Snyder at 920-609-1343 or snyderj@uwgb.edu.

Thank you for your assistance with this important event.”

MOOC takes look at Great Lakes weather

Of possible interest: The Brown County Library is partnering with UW-Madison to host a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) titled “Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region.” It’s a four-week offering on weather of the Great Lakes Region, changes underway, and societal impacts of climate changes. The classes will be presented at the Brown County Central Library, Thursdays, February 26, March 5, 12 and 19. The video lecture/presentation is at 6:30 pm, with discussion beginning at 7:15. Each week will focus on a different season. Discussions will be facilitated by Roy Eckberg, NWS forecaster and local expert on regional Great Lakes climatology. See the website or call 920-448-4400 for more information.

‘Be prepared to be blown away’: annual Storm Spotter Training

It’s that exciting time of year again … severe weather season. And here to present his annual “Storm Spotter Training” session is Jeff Last, warning coordination meteorologist with the Green Bay National Weather Service Office. Whether you want to become a volunteer Storm Spotter for the National Weather Service or you just want to learn more about severe weather, this session will be of great interest to you. Mr. Last will provide information on severe weather identification (severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning, hail, and damaging winds), reporting procedures, and safety precautions. The “Storm Spotter Training” session will be held Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in the Christie Theatre. This event is free and open to the public. “Be prepared to be blown away.”

Darn interesting weather and natural phenomena

On March 23 we had one of Green Bay’s biggest snowfalls ever, at nearly 18 inches. Less, than three weeks later, on April 10, we had a record seven tornadoes in the part of Wisconsin served by the National Weather Service offices in Ashwaubenon. (Only one, the Kaukauna twister which damaged dozens of homes, occurred relatively close to Green Bay.) Now, the NWS has issued one of their rarest advisories: an ice shove watch. Satellite imagery shows large free-floating sheets of ice covering much of the bay from Dyckesville to Egg Harbor. With strong northeast winds forecast through the weekend, ice could stack up and damage shorelines and structures along the lower bay. Interesting weather statement.

Tornado alert Thursday was a drill; April 27 workshop is for real

Do you find severe weather fascinating? If so, Jeff Last, warning-coordination meteorologist with the Green Bay National Weather Service Office, will be presenting “Storm Spotter Training” next Tuesday (April 27) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in MAC Hall Room 210. The presentation is free and open to anyone interested in learning about severe weather. Come listen to Last as he discusses the how’s and why’s of severe weather, what tell-tale signs to look for in the sky, and how to keep yourself safe out in the field while storm spotting.