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
Two Students to Speak at
UW-Eau Claire Commencement
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: Dec. 9, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — Julie Vollenweider and Alma Rivera will deliver the "Response from the Class" at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire winter commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 18.
Vollenweider, a public relations major and Spanish minor from Verona, will speak during the morning ceremony to graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and those receiving their master's degrees and will center her speech on a children's poem.
"Children's authors seem to have the most insightful things to say about life, so I based my speech on a poem by Shel Silverstein," Vollenweider said.
Vollenweider said she will miss UW-Eau Claire because of the good times she has had at the university and all that she has accomplished, but she realizes the time has come to move on to new experiences.
"As a final farewell to UW-Eau Claire, I wanted graduates to leave with a sense of beginning," Vollenweider said. "By using a simple children's poem, I can reflect a positive and fun image of the university but, at the same time, look ahead to the future and express how much learning we really have left."
In January, Vollenweider will begin working as an assistant account executive at Fallon McElligott, an advertising and public relations agency in Minneapolis.
Rivera will speak during the afternoon ceremony to students graduating from the College of Business and the College of Professional Studies. In her speech, she will compare diplomas to passports and explain that all graduates are worthy of the rights and responsibilities that accompany receiving a diploma.
"Mere possession of these passports does not fulfill their purpose," Rivera wrote in her speech. "We must take our experiences here and apply them with vision and commitment."
Rivera, a Spanish education major from Grantsburg, will continue her current teaching internship at Cumberland High School after graduation and hopes to begin a full-time teaching job once her internship is completed.
The decision to become a commencement speaker was an easy one for Rivera. Over the years, she had heard people talking about the opportunity to become a speaker and thought it would be an excellent opportunity to thank all the people who had helped her through college.
"I didn't ever want to wonder what would have happened if I hadn't tried (to become a commencement speaker), so I took the risk and attempted it," she said.
Graduation ceremonies will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

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

Updated: Dec. 9, 1999