Campus News

Despite winter storm, UW-Madison holds mid-year commencement ceremony

UW-Madison held the mid-year commencement ceremony after concern was raised about winter storms and below-zero temperatures. Another UW System school, UW-Oshkosh, decided to cancel their ceremony for these reasons.

Image By: Ben Davis

In the midst of below-zero temperatures, UW-Madison recognized more than 1,000 graduates at the mid-year commencement ceremony at the Kohl Center Sunday.

A snow storm occurred Saturday, and individuals expressed concern on social media about traveling for both commencement and exams in the weather conditions. Speakers, including UW-Madison graduate Capt. James A. Lovell Jr. who delivered the charge to graduates, arrived safely at the ceremony, and no issues were reported.

A UW-Madison press release encouraged graduates to allow extra time for traveling and said extra crews were at work to clear sidewalks, streets and parking lots.

UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone said campus leaders determined that the ceremony would proceed as planned.

“We work hard to ensure graduates, their families and friends can experience a commencement that is both joyous and safe,” McGlone said. “We monitor the weather forecast closely and coordinate with campus and community partners to minimize the effects of weather on roads, parking and so forth.”

McGlone said UW-Madison’s decision to hold the ceremony should not reflect on other UW System’s school’s decision to cancel or proceed with their commencement ceremonies. UW-Oshkosh made the choice to cancel their ceremony.

UW-Oshkosh rescheduled the commencement ceremony, which was supposed to occur Saturday, for Jan. 21. They cited a winter storm as the reason for cancelling in a press release.

According to the press release, more than 1,100 students were meant to graduate Sunday. UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt issued a letter to graduates apologizing for the cancellation.

“I heard loud and clear that the alternatives we originally offered were not enough—and I apologize,” Leavitt said in the press release. “We will give our graduates the commencement they deserve.”

UPDATE Dec. 21, 1:32 p.m. This story was updated to correct an error. The commencement ceremony at UW-Oshkosh was schedule to occur Saturday, not Sunday. 

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