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Commencement 2023 in pictures: 1,400 new alumni join the family

| Denise Olson

Photo caption: Even with three separate ceremonies, UW-Eau Claire's Zorn Arena filled to capacity with family, friends and supporters, all eager to celebrate with their special Blugold graduates.

Commencement exercises for 1,400 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students took place during three ceremonies May 20 in Zorn Arena, preceded by a ceremony for 34 UW-Eau Claire – Barron County students the prior evening in Rice Lake.

Enjoy some visual highlights of the events captured by campus photographer Bill Hoepner.  

student shaking Chancellor Schmidt's hand at UW-Eau Claire Barron County

UW-Eau Claire – Barron County student Taryn Maki shakes Chancellor Schmidt's hand at the Rice Lake campus on Friday, May 19. Her sister Taylor would receive the same handshake at her UW-Eau Claire ceremony the following day. That's a special weekend!

female graduate holding a UW-Eau Claire Barron County coffee mug

Commemorating the day with a branded coffee mug is a great way to keep the memories fresh with every hot cup of Joe!

graduates and faculty backstage preparing for commencement

Dr. Brewer Doran, dean of the College of Business, assists MBA students in the hallway with properly folding their hoods for presentation on stage.

Spring 2023 commencement

Eager candidates for the day's first ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences make the walk from Hibbard Hall to the entrance of Zorn Arena for their processional at 9 a.m.

2023 Spring commencement

Blugold student athletes are recognizable at commencement by their blue stolls bearing the athletics logo.

two women on stage at commencement shaking hands

The UW System Board of Regents was represented at commencement by Regent Cris Peterson, a dairy farmer and writer from Grantsburg who has chaired the state dairy council and served on the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association board.

female student on commencement stage smiling at the crowd

Edgar native and communication major Molly Nargiz Urmanski delivered the "Blugold Reflections" at the 9 a.m. ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences, a moving personal narrative titled "I Don't Buy a Ticket, I've Already Won the Lottery."

male alumni awardee giving the

Alumnus Horacio Rozanski, president and CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., gave the “Charge to the Class” during all three ceremonies.

female student singing at the commencement ceremony

Emily Annis of Durand, a candidate for a bachelor of business administration in management and communication, led the national anthem and the alma mater for the evening College of Business ceremony.

graduates tossing the tassel on their caps

In official recognition of the conferral of baccalaureate degrees, all graduates together "toss the tassel" from right to left on their caps.

masters student in front of the lighted sign for commencement

For Deepa Madhaven, walking the stage to receive her master's degree in data science was a moment she wouldn't have missed and well worth the trip all the way from Irving, Texas.

male student in graduate gown giving a peace sign

"Peace out, UWEC!"

large family group shot from graduation, some members in traditional African clothing

For public health graduate Christable Araba Sackey of Marshall, commencement day became a joyous celebration for the entire family.

male student greeting family outside commencement ceremony

Ginseng Vang, a biology graduate from St. Paul, had a personalized stoll beautifully celebrating his Hmong heritage.

two women spraying bubbly outside on a sunny day, graduation gowns.

Friends and McNair Scholars Mary Obias and McKenzie Rombach were ready to shake things up and begin celebrating their achievements once they got to the campus mall on the picture-perfect sunny day.