University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM to award 3,400 degrees at commencement May 21


By - May 9th, 2023 02:58 pm

MILWAUKEE_The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will award about 3,400 degrees at its 128th commencement on Sunday, May 21, at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave.

Degrees will be awarded at two ceremonies, one at 9 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. Peggy Williams-Smith, CEO of Visit Milwaukee, will be the featured speaker at both ceremonies.

Mary Alfred, professor and interim department head in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, will receive an honorary Doctor of Adult and Continuing Education degree at the morning ceremony. Peter Feigin, president of the Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum, will receive an honorary Doctor of Business degree at the afternoon ceremony.

The university will present 2,328 bachelor’s degrees, 719 master’s degrees, 182 doctoral degrees, 20 graduate specialist degrees, 88 graduate certificates and 87 associate degrees. The oldest bachelor’s degree recipient is 70, while the youngest is 17. The oldest associate degree recipient is 40; the youngest is 17.


Graduates do not need tickets to attend, but all guests are required to have a ticket. Graduates may have up to four guests each. Doors open two hours before the ceremony. Guests should enter the UWM Panther Arena through the main entrance doors at 400 W. Kilbourn Ave.

Weapons, backpacks, food and other items prohibited by the Wisconsin Center District will not be allowed.

The ceremony will be livestreamed. That stream can be seen on UWM’s website, where it will remain available for viewing afterward.


A Milwaukee native and veteran of the hospitality industry, Williams-Smith was named the 2022 executive of the year by the Milwaukee Business Journal. She joined Visit Milwaukee in 2019 as its first female president and CEO. Under her direction, the company has launched marketing campaigns that have elevated the city’s reputation. Prior to Visit Milwaukee, Williams-Smith worked for 22 years at Marcus Hotels & Resorts. She mentors many other women in business and supports numerous charitable causes.

HONORARY DEGREES: Mary Alfred and Peter Feigin

During her four decades in higher education, Mary Alfred spent five years as assistant professor of adult and continuing education at UWM’s School of Education. One of the most prominent scholars of adult education, she was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2016. Her research interests include international adult education; learning and development among women of the African diaspora; sociocultural contexts of adult learning; and issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in education and the workplace. She has published numerous articles that have appeared in both research and professional publication outlets.

Peter Feigin, in his ninth year as president of the Milwaukee Bucks and fifth year as president of the Fiserv Forum, brings more than two decades of corporate leadership to Milwaukee’s sports and entertainment scene. Feigin reimagined and rebuilt the business operations of the Bucks, resulting in substantial increases in attendance, ticket revenue, merchandise revenue, partnership sales and TV viewership, as well as an NBA championship in 2021. He was instrumental in the development of the Deer District, anchored by the $524 million Fiserv Forum, which opened in 2018. Feigin also serves on the boards of numerous charities and nonprofits.


Members of the media wishing to cover the commencement ceremonies should enter through the Panther Arena’s main doors and ask for assistance from an usher. Media may shoot video or photos from the back or sides of the arena but should stay out of the middle aisles to avoid interfering with students. There is limited riser space behind the first section of seats.


The numbers of degrees awarded by UWM schools and colleges are below. The numbers include bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, associate and flex degrees.

College of Letters & Science: 864

Lubar School of Business: 593

College of Health Sciences: 340

College of Engineering & Applied Science: 293

School of Education: 279

College of Nursing: 221

Peck School of the Arts: 217

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare: 190

School of Information Studies: 183

School of Architecture & Urban Planning: 95

College of General Studies: 87

Zilber School of Public Health: 51

School of Freshwater Sciences: 6

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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