The countdown to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s 148th spring commencement is on.
Some 1,455 undergraduate and graduate students from all three campuses—Fond du Lac, Fox Cities and Oshkosh—are set to become UW Oshkosh alumni at two ceremonies on Saturday, May 14 at the Kolf Sports Center, 785 High Ave.
Among those graduating will be a record 58 students earning doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees.
“This is our largest graduating class of DNP students since the program began in 2010,” said Bonnie Nickasch, interim dean of UWO’s College of Nursing. “There is a national shortage of advanced practice registered nurses, making the job outlook very promising for these new graduates. Adding this many DNP-prepared providers into our local community will have a positive impact on patient access to healthcare and quality care.”
She added that many of the DNP students have already accepted positions with local health systems. “This speaks to the great reputation these students have made throughout their clinical rotations.”
The breakdown of UWO degrees to be conferred also includes two doctor of education degrees, 204 master’s degrees, 1,038 bachelor’s degrees and 153 associate degrees.
Both ceremonies will be available to watch via livestream.
9 a.m. speakers
First-generation college student Darinka Lechuga, of Milwaukee, will serve as the student speaker at the morning ceremony. The daughter of immigrant parents, she will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in both social work and Spanish. She also earned a global scholar certificate.
On campus Lechuga worked in the Women’s Center, Dean of Students Office and Accessibility Center and served on the executive board of the United Students in Residence Halls.
Kimberly Rivers, University Studies Program director, will offer remarks as the faculty speaker. She joined the history department in 1995 and was promoted to professor in 2010. She recently served as interim director of the College of Letters and Science.
2 p.m. speakers
Jonathan Tolbert of Stevens Point will serve as the student speaker at the afternoon ceremony. He graduates with a bachelor’s degree in information systems with a cybersecurity emphasis.
Outside the classroom, Tolbert has worked for Kimberly-Clark Corp. as a digital transformation services intern and within the logistics co-op.
College of Education and Human Services professor Michael Beeth will offer remarks as the faculty speaker. He also serves as the graduate program coordinator for the teaching and learning department.