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UW-Eau Claire commencement set for Dec. 19 in Zorn Arena

| Julie Poquette

Commencement exercises for 738 students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will be held Dec. 19 in Zorn Arena.

Candidates from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will receive degrees during a 9 a.m. ceremony. Candidates from the College of Business and the College of Education and Human Sciences will receive degrees during a 2 p.m. ceremony. Those unable to attend will be able to view the ceremony online.

A total of 700 students are candidates for bachelor's degrees, including 317 from the College of Arts and Sciences, 144 from the College of Business, 166 from the College of Education and Human Sciences, and 73 from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

A total of 38 students are candidates for graduate degrees. In the College of Arts and Sciences, four are candidates for master's degrees and one is a candidate for a specialist in education degree. Other master's degree candidates include 24 from the College of Business, eight from the College of Education and Human Sciences, and one from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

At the morning ceremony, Rachel Szurek, Columbia Heights, Minn., a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree in choral teaching, will lead the singing of the national anthem, and Rachel Zarzyski, Ripon, also a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree in choral teaching, will lead the university's "Alma Mater." At the afternoon ceremony, Kathryn Cuttill, Oshkosh, a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree in choral teaching, will lead the singing of the national anthem, and Zachary Moore, Wind Lake, also a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree in choral teaching, will lead the "Alma Mater."

Kara Nordness, Winneconne, a candidate for a bachelor of history degree, will deliver Blugold Reflections with a speech titled "Reflections" during the morning ceremony. Leah Henderson, Two Rivers, a candidate for a bachelor of special education degree, will give a presentation titled "If You Think You Can, You Can" at the afternoon ceremony.

John and Carolyn Sonnentag, who earned their UW-Eau Claire degrees in 1966 and 1967, respectively, will deliver the "Charge to the Class" at both ceremonies. John Sonnentag’s presentation will be titled “Vision: The Key to Success ,” and Carolyn Sonnentag’s presentation will be titled “Optimism.” Sonnentags are owners of their third-generation family-owned business, County Materials Corp.

Six alumni of UW-Eau Claire and one university staff emerita will be recognized during the commencement ceremonies as UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association award recipients. Those receiving awards are Karen Stuber, Honorary Alumnus Award; Jeffrey Koenig and James Ward, President's Award; Jane Berenz, Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award; and Brian Goldbeck, John Sonnentag and Carolyn Sonnentag, Lifetime Excellence Award. (Read more about the Alumni Association award recipients.)

A reception for graduates and guests will follow each ceremony in the Marketplace on the first floor of the W.R. Davies Student Center.

Remote-site live broadcasts of the ceremonies will be presented in the Woodland Theater and the Ojibwe Grand Ballroom of Davies Center.