Celebrations Commence for New Grads

V1 Staff

Graduates gathered in Zorn Arena on Dec. 21 were assured that their UW-Eau Claire education has prepared them well for the future – and advised to make giving back a part of whatever that future holds.

The assurance and advice came from a source who should know: Beatris Mendez-Gandica, a 2013 UWEC information systems and international business graduate, who returned to campus to deliver the Charge to the Class at her alma mater’s commencement ceremonies. Mendez-Gandica, a security program manager for Microsoft, recalled her time at UWEC, where she arrived on a cold January day after leaving the warmth and sun of her native Venezuela. Despite the jarring difference in climate, she quickly became active in the life of the campus and over time discovered her passion for technology in an information systems class.

She also found valued support from her professors in the College of Business and landed two internships. “One thing that I have come to realize is that your education isn’t done when you graduate from UW-Eau Claire,” she said. “This experience is just a steppingstone that will have prepared you to be a lifelong learner in your area of expertise. It’s on each one of you to take what you’ve learned, empower others and solve the problems that exist in the world today.”

BY THE NUMBERS

689

Number of students who graduated from UW-Eau Claire during two ceremonies on Dec. 21 at Zorn Arena.

750

Number of students who graduated from UW-Stout during two ceremonies on Dec. 14 in Johnson Fieldhouse.

1970s

The last time students were invited to speak at a UW-Stout commencement. That changed this year when grads Megan McClay and Kailee Bjerke spoke.