GREEN BAY, Wis. – The largest fall class of graduates will cross the stage on Saturday, while being urged to “make a difference” in the region. A total of 558 eligible graduates and their families celebrate the 2022 Fall Commencement, Saturday, December 17, 2022 in two ceremonies at the Weidner Center.
Both the morning ceremony (9:30 a.m.) and the afternoon ceremony (2 p.m.) will honor graduates and celebrate with families from all four of UW-Green Bay’s campuses including Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. This is the University’s 106th Commencement ceremony since its first in June of 1970. Graduates join the more than 49,000 proud Phoenix alumni.
COMMENCEMENT STUDENT STORIES
A Returning Vet Joins COVID’S Frontline While Advancing His Career
Don Sandberg is joining UW-Green Bay’s fall graduating class sporting a freshly-minted Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree. As a male student in a nursing program, he was a bit of statistical outlier. As a married, forty-something army veteran with two tours in Iraq to his credit and nearly five years experience as a technician, then registered nurse, and who earned his bachelor’s of science degree while working full-time at a dialysis clinic he’s a true outlier. (Don will not be participating in Saturday’s ceremony but is available for an interview. Read about his story here.)
One Working Mom’s Homework—Kids, COVID and a BSN
Without question, Lisa Pawlak is driven. As one of the hundreds of students graduating this winter at UW-Green Bay’s commencement ceremony, Lisa’s path to earn her bachelor of science in nursing speaks to the tenacious, problem-solving nature of a UW-Green Bay student. Lisa has completed her degree while working full time as a registered nurse at the VA hospital and being engaged and available for her incredibly supportive husband and six (yes, six) children. (Lisa will not be participating in Saturday’s ceremony but is available for an interview. Read about her story here.)
Student Speaker Jacob Lau is Prepared for Impact
Gone are the days when “hip” just meant being cool. In current university vernacular, “HIP” also stands for “high impact practices”—opportunities and programs designed to increase student engagement and successful learning. And in the case of Jacob Lau, there’s a compelling case for crowning him the “HIPpest Phoenix of all.”
True, the personal qualities for earning such a title are largely subjective, but as Ekaterina Levintova, professor of Political Science and Global Studies, observed in her assessment of Lau’s accomplishments— “How many students on campus had their education at UW-Green Bay completely infused with HIPs and how many gave so much back to campus while doing it?” And if quantity of practices is any measure—it might be no contest. Read his story.
Former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton to Address Morning Graduates
UW-Green Bay is thrilled to welcome Barbara Lawton to UW-Green Bay. Lawton attended UW-Green Bay beginning the semester the bay campus opened. A long-time public servant, Barbara Lawton was the first woman elected lieutenant governor in Wisconsin, serving from 2003-2011. As lieutenant governor, she promoted economic development, the creation of a “Green Economy Agenda” and the “Wisconsin Women = Prosperity,” a plan to increase leadership, economic, and educational opportunities for Wisconsin women. Read the full release.
‘A Star Rises’ with afternoon Student Speaker Alex Zakutney
As a rule, a laundry-list of distinctive achievements is standard fare for a commencement speaker. But one of Alexandra Zakutney’s achievements stands alone – she is the first Phoenix who’s risen to the challenge of preparing for medical school while also as a D1 volleyball player, recorded 1,000 kills to her name.
But she won’t take all the credit herself. “To get 1,000 kills you need a good setter.” Another Zakutney fun fact: she’s a native French speaker, and also completely fluent in English. “My whole education was in French. Green Bay was the first school where I studied in English.” Plus she blends Canadian politeness with Wisconsin nice. “I guess I do say ‘pardon’ a lot.” Read her story.
Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy to Speak at Afternoon Ceremony
Mark Murphy, possessor of extensive experience in professional football and sports administration, is in his 15th year as the Packers’ President and CEO.
Under Murphy’s guidance, the organization continues to rank as one of the NFL’s premier franchises, with highly successful operations both on and off the field. On the field, the team has compiled one of the NFL’s top records during his tenure. Additionally, the club has made 11 playoff trips, including a team-record eight straight from 2009 to 2016, advanced to five NFC Championship games and earned a victory in Super Bowl XLV.
Off the field, the club continues to perform well in its business efforts, which allows the organization to support football operations. The fan experience at Lambeau Field, a top priority for the organization, continues to be ranked among the best in sports. In the community, the Packers Give Back program has an annual charity impact of more than $9 million. Read the full release.