This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

News Bureau   Schofield Hall 201  Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
UW-Eau Claire Students
To Speak at Commencement
MAILED: Dec. 14, 2000

          EAU CLAIRE — Two students will deliver their “Response From the Class” during two commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 23, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Marsha Rantala, Brule, will speak during the morning ceremony, while Adam Breininger, Fort Wayne, Ind., will deliver his message during the afternoon ceremony.
          Rantala, a communication major and geography minor, will give a speech titled “Painting Our Masterpieces.”
          “My speech is about the colors we acquired at UW-Eau Claire to help us paint our masterpieces,” said Rantala, who was urged by a professor to write a speech.
          “I decided to do it because I knew it would be a memorable experience regardless if they chose me or not,” she said. “Also, I always have something to say, so what better way to say it than in front of everybody at commencement?”
          Among all of her accomplishments, Rantala is most proud of restarting the communication and journalism department’s peer advising program and of attending the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Missoula, Mont., where she presented a paper titled “Cognitive Dissonance and Organizational Identification Exemplified in ‘All My Sons.’”
          Rantala started at UW-Eau Claire right after she graduated in 1996 from South Shore High School in Port Wing. “I came here because the university offered enough programs to help me find a career that would suit me, and UW-Eau Claire on a resume looks fantastic,” she said.
          After graduation, Rantala will work at Superior Housing Authority in Superior. However, she said graduate school or a second degree from UW-Eau Claire is not out of the question.
          Breininger, a communication major and business administration minor, will give a speech titled “And One Last Thing ”
          Breininger wanted to speak at commencement because he thought his experience with the university was unique. He graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1995 and went on to attend Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne. He came to UW-Eau Claire in 1997 as part of the National Student Exchange program and liked it so much he decided to transfer.
          “I wanted to gain a real college experience,” Breininger said, explaining his previous university was too much of a commuter college. “The social and personal growth aspects weren’t there.”
          Breininger’s speech is primarily about his experience coming to UW-Eau Claire. Being completely unfamiliar with the university, the people, the town, Breininger will discuss how he confronted his fear of the unknown and relate it to the possible feelings of the graduating class.
          “The underlying theme is courage,” he said.
          Throughout his years here, Breininger has been active in Concert Choir and says that experience has changed his life.
          “Never in my wildest dreams when I came here did I expect to find such genuine and remarkable people,” he said. “I wish everybody had the chance to experience such a group of people.”
          When Breininger moves back to Indiana after graduation, the people are what he is going to miss most. He’s not sure where he will work after graduation. “I’m just going to follow my heart,” he said.

UW-Eau Claire Home [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Dec. 14, 2000