This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
UW-Eau Claire Students
To Speak at Commencement
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: May 21, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — Two students will deliver their "Response From the Class" during two commencement ceremonies May 22 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Bonnie Isaacson, Mondovi, will speak for the class during the morning ceremony. Matthew Ludt, Middleton, will deliver a message from the class during the afternoon ceremony.
Isaacson, a psychology major with a minor in family studies, will give a speech titled, "Do You Have Any Experience?"
"My message is that each day we have experiences, some are positive and some are negative," Isaacson said. "We can learn from all of our experiences and they can become valuable to us."
Isaacson, a nontraditional student, began classes at UW-Eau Claire in 1991. She received her associate degree in 1977 after she completed high school; she then married and had four children. Isaacson is married to Michael Isaacson and lives in rural Mondovi with her children, Laura, Sarah, Heidi and David. She is the daughter of Harold Peterson, Lookout, and the late Ruth Peterson.
While working as a program assistant in the Educational Opportunity Center operated out of the Academic and Career Services office, Isaacson took an average of six credits a semester. She returned to the university in the hopes of finishing a longtime goal.
"I wanted to be a positive example to my children," she said. "I made a pact to myself that I would not let my schoolwork interfere with their (her children's) activities."
When times were hard, Isaacson said her family was supportive and she also developed a special friendship with another nontraditional student, Kathleen, who encouraged her.
"At times it was a struggle but the end result is very rewarding," she said. "I do not regret returning to school."
Isaacson plans to continue to work as a program assistant at UW-Eau Claire after graduation and hopes to earn a master's degree in guidance and counseling.
Ludt, an economics major with minors in political science and communication, will give a speech titled, "The River." Ludt wrote the speech last summer for a class and decided to submit it as a commencement address because he wanted to show his appreciation for faculty and administrators, and he because he enjoys public speaking. The theme of his speech is unity.
Ludt came to UW-Eau Claire in 1994 but was undecided about a major until his sophomore year when he declared himself an economics major. Ludt has work with United Council since 1995, the Student Senate from 1996-98, and for the United Hall Council — all of which added to his education. He ran for student body president in 1998.
"It's gratifying to know I was able to contribute opinions and ideas," he said. "I am proud of my candidacy for student body president. It was great to participate in an election where it's three people for one position. It was a character building experience, despite the loss.
He expects to attend law school in the fall and is on the waiting list at UW-Madison. Ludt said he will miss the small class size at UW-Eau Claire and the one-on-one contact with professors.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: May 21, 1999