Congrats, Grads! UW STOUT Celebrates

Congrats, Grads! UW STOUT Celebrates

ABOVE PHOTO: A total of 1,037 students received diplomas May 4 from UW-Stout.

Celebratory smiles lit up the faces of 1,037 graduates as they crossed the stage to receive a higher education degree on May 4 from Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, UW-Stout.

Dallas and Edye Pankowski receive honorary doctorate degrees at commencement May 4 as Chancellor Katherine Frank applauds.

Along with their diplomas, they departed the three commencement ceremonies at Johnson Fieldhouse with inspirational advice from three alumni speakers, who have become corporate and community leaders, and three of their peers from the Class of 2024.

“Practice the Greek ideal ‘a sound mind and a sound body.’ Practice the highest ethical standards, work hard, continue to learn, play hard. Do this for yourself, for your family, for your community, for the nation and for the world,” said Dallas Pankowski, a 1960 bachelor’s and 1961 master’s graduate who along with his wife, Edye, received honorary doctorate degrees recognizing their highly successful business and a lifelong commitment to learning, living an active lifestyle and philanthropy. “Go out, make it happen and be Stout Proud.”

Shelly Ibach was a student commencement speaker when she graduated in 1981 from UW-Stout. Now CEO of Sleep Number Corp. in Minneapolis since 2012, she advised graduates to be courageous and find their “red thread. A red thread is your defining characteristic, a signature strength that is as unique to you as your fingerprint. It’s an innate gift that guides you in good times and in times of adversity. As you know, it takes perseverance, resilience and courage to navigate all the trials and tribulations and find your path forward.”

In the Graduate Studies ceremony, Emily Berge, a UW-Stout 2002 bachelor’s graduate and 2006 master’s graduate, licensed professional counselor and Eau Claire City Council president, told graduates that each one of them has what it takes to be a leader. She encouraged them to practice self-care and be resilient leaders.

“To be resilient is to engage in activities that make you smile, to surround yourself with people who you can be your true self with, to treat yourself with the same kindness that you give to your best friend, and to protect that time in your day when you feel the most peaceful and happy. Because I promise you that life will turn you upside down at times but resilience will ground you.”

She added that she had to miss her graduate degree commencement in 2006 because she was nine months pregnant. That child, a son, is graduating from high school this spring and plans to attend UW-Stout in the fall.

“You probably already know this, but Stout is a very well-regarded institution. People know that Stout graduates are hard-working, creative thinkers and problem solvers. I am proud that he chose Stout, and I look forward when he can be like you all and be a Stout graduate,” Berge said.

Ceremonies were held at 9:30 a.m. for the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management; 1:30 p.m. for the College of Arts and Human Sciences; and at 5 p.m. for Graduate Studies.

Student speakers were:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *