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 201Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
Two Students to Speak at
UW-Eau Claire Commencement
MAILED: May 14, 2001

        EAU CLAIRE—Two students will deliver their “Response From the Class” addresses during two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 19, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Melissa Leef, Webster, will speak during the morning ceremony, while Kris Sonsin, New Hope, Minn., will deliver her message during the afternoon ceremony.
        Leef, a communication major with a minor in sociology, will give a speech titled “Crossing Over.”
        “I look at how the UW-Eau Claire footbridge relates to our college careers and life from here on out,” Leef said. “The wind shakes it and we stumble sometimes … but we keep walking and we’re all right.”
        Leef spoke at her high school graduation and always wanted to have the same experience at the collegiate level. Although she had been trying to think of a topic since she found out students could apply for the experience, it wasn’t until the night before the application deadline that Leef finally wrote a speech she liked and thought pertained to all graduates.
        “I thought of the bridge and how all students can relate to it.” Leef said. “I want students to remember it’s going to be rough, but college teaches you that you’ll be all right if you hang in there.”
        Leef has participated in several student organizations at UW-Eau Claire, including National Residence Hall Honorary, Residence Hall Activities Board, Governors Hall Council, Phi Eta Sigma, Campus Ambassadors and National Student Exchange.
        After graduation Leef is hoping to get a job in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area working in communications for a nonprofit company.
        Sonsin, a public communication major with an Eastern Asian studies minor, will give a speech titled “Wear it With Pride.”
        “The UW-Eau Claire experience is like a favorite shirt or sweater,” Sonsin said. “It’s the right size, it fits you just right and it always looks good.”
        Sonsin had to write a commencement speech as part of a class and decided to enter it into the contest for student commencement speakers. She said she decided to go for it since she had nothing to lose.
        “I’m really excited to give my speech,” Sonsin said. “It provides a way for students to describe their college experiences.
        Sonsin is planning on relaxing this summer before looking for a job.
        While at UW-Eau Claire Sonsin has been involved in a variety of organizations and activities, including Take Back the Night, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered-Straight Alliance, Student Life and Diversity Council, the Equality Resource Center and University Symphony Orchestra.

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

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

Updated: May 14, 2001