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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Graduates watch a fireworks display that marks a celebratory end to UW-Madison's spring commencement ceremony.

Charlie Berens selected as winter commencement speaker

Comedian Charlie Berens becomes commencement speaker at his alma mater.

University of Wisconsin-Madison senior class officers and the Chancellor’s office chose comedian Charlie Berens as the University of winter commencement speaker, according to a UW-Madison press release. The winter commencement ceremony will be at the Kohl Center on Dec. 18. 

Berens is a New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy-winning journalist, a popular podcast host and the creator of “Manitowoc Minute.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009 from UW-Madison in journalism and geography. 

“As someone new to Wisconsin, I’ve learned a lot from Charlie, like the importance of getting the buttered rye bread with the Friday night fish fry and of watching out for deer on the roads,” Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin said in the press release. “He’s a great comedian, but much more — an entrepreneur, a business owner, a skilled interviewer, a proud Badger. I’m delighted he will be offering his wisdom to our graduates.”

Berens gained popularity through his weekly comedic online news show “Manitowoc Minute” and his Midwest-focused sketch comedy videos on social media. He hosted comedy shows across the country with three sold out stand-up tours. 

“Hey Badgers, I want to thank you so much for inviting me to be your commencement speaker at winter commencement on Dec. 18,” Berens said in the release. “I’ll see you there. Until then, keep ’er movin’.”

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