More than 630 to receive diplomas in Dec. 19 commencement

Virtual graduation program will include speeches by chancellor, graduate and engagement on social media
A student celebrates after receiving her diploma at the 2019 fall commencement.
​Jerry Poling | December 10, 2020

The fall commencement ceremony at University of Wisconsin-Stout will be held virtually for 637 graduates at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19.

A total of 504 undergraduates and 133 Graduate School students will receive degrees in a virtual ceremony. A traditional cap and gown ceremony was not possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual ceremony also was held in May.

Chancellor Katherine P. Frank and graduate Jon Rzeznik, of Watertown, will address the graduates in recorded speeches, followed by interim Provost Glendali Rodriguez. The speeches can be seen and heard beginning at 10 a.m. on the UW-Stout Facebook page, and YouTube channel,

A graduation cap personalized with "I did it!"
A proud graduate. / UW-Stout

The ceremony will include music recorded specially for the event by the UW-Stout Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra, directed by Aaron Durst, and the UW-Stout Symphonic Singers and Chamber Choir, directed by Jerry Hui.

After the speeches and music, graduates and guests will be redirected to the UW-Stout commencement website to find speeches from the deans of the three colleges and director of the Graduate School. The graduates’ names will be read for their college, after the deans’ presentations.

Students and members of the UW-Stout community can share comments and photos on UW-Stout social media platforms using the hashtag #StoutGrad2020.

The ceremony video will remain on the commencement website for families and students to watch again or to view anytime.

Diplomas will be mailed to students four to six weeks after final grades are issued.


Jon Rzeznik is the student speaker for fall 2020 commencement.
Jon Rzeznik returned to UW-Stout 15 years after he began. / Contributed photo

Student speaker

Rzeznik is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in information and communication technologies in the online program.

He earned the degree while working full time as a network operations center engineer at INOC in Madison.

Rzeznik originally began college in 2004 at UW-Stout but left and earned two associate degrees, one from UW Colleges in 2006 and another from Waukesha County Technical College in 2012. The latter degree, after he realized an interest in computers, was in information technology. He returned to UW-Stout in 2019 to finish his bachelor’s.

“It was important to improve myself and the prospects for my family. The online option means that I can still benefit from the coursework but yet be able to do it in a way that works with my schedule and still balance commitments to work, school and family,” he said.

He says graduates should “genuinely feel proud” for overcoming the obstacles and challenges needed to earn a degree.We can be proud as new scholars and now Stout alumni,” he said.

Rzeznik will pursue a master’s degree online in information technology at the University of Cincinnati.

More information

For more information, contact Commencement Coordinator Britta Miller, 715-232-4052, or email


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