More than 900 graduate from UW Oshkosh at midyear commencement - UW Oshkosh Today
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A lively crowd of friends and family cheered on more than 900 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students as they graduated today during the 54th midyear commencement ceremony. The new grads—including more than 800 with bachelor’s degrees and more than 130 with master’s degrees—join more than 91,000 others as UW Oshkosh alumni. Check out UWO’s midyear commencement photo gallery.

Accomplishing a lifelong educational goal

A 24-year foundry worker brought a large contingent of family to UW Oshkosh as he received a bachelor’s of applied science in leadership and organizational studies in the Division of Online and Continuing Education. Terrance May, of Manawa, graduated cum laude with a degree he started in 2013. “I actually did it for myself ,” the 52-year-old employee of Waupaca Foundry and 21-year retired U.S. Army veteran said. May noted his education was “100 percent paid” by his employer.

Celebrating educational accomplishments

With friends and family watching, thousands of smiling graduates became the newest alumni of UW Oshkosh Saturday morning. They join thousands of graduates making an impact as leaders, researchers and champions around the nation and the world. Learn more about UWO alumni. Check out a full gallery of commencement photos.

Capping off a journey to teach special ed

A volunteer role with Special Olympics led Sarah Michels, of Iron Ridge, to study special education at UW Oshkosh. Michels was busy with two papers during her last week of school and is student teaching at a high school in Mayville. She enlisted her mom to decorate her cap in a Disney theme. “I loved UW Oshkosh,” the commuting student said. “It was perfect for me.” Michels said she began as a math major, but switched to special education. “I’ve got a lot of job prospects—everyone needs special education teachers.”

Mastering the future in public administration

Master of Public Administration graduate David Miles spent many Saturdays over the past three years working on the 36 credits needed for his degree. Miles, who is an academic department associate in chemistry at UW Oshkosh, said he started at the University as a freshman on campus in 1976. He graduated after a break from studies during service  in the U.S. Army. Miles said his wife was in the bleachers, celebrating his master’s degree accomplishment.

Honoring the past as graduates celebrate their future

With family and friends looking on, Sheila Knox was recognized with an honorary doctorate degree. She is a member of the Oshkosh 94, the group of former Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh students who, on Thursday, Nov. 21, 1968—Black Thursday—expressed their commitment to inclusive ideals and goals for the institution with a demonstration in the office of administration. The Oshkosh 94 demanded improved experiences for students of color, were arrested and expelled from the University and the then-Wisconsin State University System.

Missing a beat not an option for new business grad

Earlier this month, College of Business graduate Jacob Haase of Racine, was giving an hour-long cello recital at UW Oshkosh. Haase is graduating with a degree in supply chain management, but has been involved in the UW Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra and pit orchestra for theatre productions throughout his years on campus. He learned to play in first grade when introduced to the cello in his charter school in Racine. By middle school, he decided he wanted to go into business. At UW Oshkosh, he interned with Plexus Corp for two summers and has now been hired in a full-time role. After a short break, he begins his new role at the end of the month. “College went by so fast,” he said Saturday morning.

Helping people is nursing grad’s family legacy

Janna Gunderson, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, has secured a job with the clinical resource team at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. She was one of about 80 nurses graduating Saturday. “I started in physical therapy at La Crosse but decided to go into nursing,” the Wautoma native said. “My mom is a nurse and my sister-in-law is a nurse. It runs in our blood. It sounds cliché but I like helping people. I like seeing the reaction I get from patients when they’re getting better. Gunderson and fellow nursing candidates wore special pink ribbons in memory of their fallen classmate, Ashley Kopczynski. Pink was her favorite color.

Jumping for joy on graduation day

Hannah Zoch said though she spent 4.5 years at UW Oshkosh, the time seemed short as she was preparing to walk across the stage Saturday. Zoch, a native of Green Bay who is graduating with a degree in communication studies, said she cherishes the time she had  at UW Oshkosh. She hopes to find a job in sales. “I loved it here—it was awesome,” she said. “ I feel that people who made it to this day are a like a big family.”

Remembering beloved College of Nursing student

Family, classmates, faculty and instructors gathered in honor of nursing student Ashley Kopczynski during her posthumous graduation ceremony in October. Kopczynski passed away in a tragic car accident in June 2018, prior to her final semester of nursing school at UW Oshkosh. Her mother, who also is a nurse, proudly received her late daughter’s diploma and nursing pin and recited the Nightingale pledge with other nurses in attendance. Today, the graduating nursing students remember their beloved classmate as they celebrate their growth and accomplishments together.