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Local students graduate from UW-Madison

Press release from University of Wisconsin-Madison

Just over 7,600 students received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 8, including the following students from Alachua County:

  • Lindsay Abraham, School of Human Ecology, Bachelor of Science-Personal Finance
  • Gregory Toth, College of Letters and Science, Master of Professional French Studies

There were two live ceremonies at Camp Randall, one for undergraduates and one for all graduate degree candidates. Graduating were 5,493 undergraduate students, 1,266 master’s degree students, and 871 doctoral candidates. 

The commencement speaker was actor and singer Andre De Shields, who graduated from UW-Madison in 1970. He invoked the pandemic and the police killing of George Floyd in his video keynote address to undergraduates, encouraging graduates to transform the world with their talent.  

“This year has helped to reveal qualities in each of you that are essential to building a happy and productive life in this new world,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the graduates. “Resilience. Persistence. Flexibility. Awareness of your own needs, and the needs of others. And kindness.” 

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Many graduates had overcome much during the pandemic. Like Shehrose Charania, who maintained her studies while caring for two parents sick with COVID-19. And Noor Bontz, a nursing student who treated the first, and subsequent, waves of COVID-19 patients in a Milwaukee intensive care unit. 

“UW-Madison has allowed us to thrive and asked us to be a better version of ourselves,” said student commencement speaker Lusayo Mwakatika, whose parents were watching the livestream in Malawi.