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
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.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 14, 2001