Celebration! 300+ graduate from UW-Parkside
For the 329 University of Wisconsin-Parkside students eligible to graduate on Dec. 16, Sunday's Winter Commencement ceremony was a celebration years in the making.
Along the journey from freshman to graduate to master's degree recipient, UW System Regent and UW-Parkside graduate Michael Falbo noted Sunday's honorees had turned down "short-term gratification in favor of long-term success," adding, "Celebrate this day, this hour, this moment. You have earned it and you richly deserve it."
UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford saluted the graduates and said nearly two-thirds of them--like her--were education trailblazers.
"Today...we celebrate the fact that 63 percent of you are the first in your families to earn a university degree," Ford enthusiastically stated. " I know your pride in accomplishing your goal of higher education and congratulate you on beginning a legacy that will open doors to opportunity for years to come."
"Take risks. As you look back on your life years later, you'll likely not regret the risks you took. You'll wish you had taken more," Ford said.
During the program, the university honored Dr. Julie Kinzelman with the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. Dr. Kinzelman ('84, medical technology) directs the Racine Health Department Laboratory, supervising day-to-day operations. She also manages coastal recreational water quality monitoring and beach certification. A dedicated educator and researcher, Dr. Kinzelman has conducted cutting-edge research to develop methods to speed up water quality monitoring, employing students from UW-Parkside and other area universities in her work.Also during the ceremony, the audience heard a keynote address by University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly (see the article on President Reilly's speech on the UW-Parkside web site) and a message from Class of 2012 student speaker Julie Evans (an article on Evans' speech can be viewed online).