University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM to hold virtual commencement on Aug. 16


By - Aug 10th, 2020 11:10 am

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will award more than 3,400 degrees in a virtual ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 16.

The ceremony will go live on YouTube at 10 a.m. Aug. 16. At that time, the link will become available on UWM’s graduation page.

The ceremony for Spring 2020 graduates had been postponed from May to October, but it was moved online when an in-person gathering became infeasible due to COVID-19 conditions.

The university will present 2,516 bachelor’s degrees, 621 master’s degrees, 94 doctoral degrees, 65 flexible option degrees and 177 associate degrees. The oldest degree bachelor’s degree recipient is 66, while the youngest is 18. The oldest associate degree recipient is 59; the youngest is 18.

STUDENT SPEAKERS: Three graduating students will speak at the ceremony: Amaya Varela, graduating from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare; Tamia Williams, from the College of Letters & Science; and Brendan Blood, from the Lubar School of Business.

COMMENCEMENT SPEAKERS: Eve Hall and Héctor Colón
Eve Hall serves as president and CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League. Previously, she served as the president/CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Milwaukee, where she led the renewal of the organization.

While serving as president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce, Hall raised the required match to launch a Revolving Loan Fund for diverse businesses and secured over $800,000 in funding support from highly respected local foundations, state government and corporations. Under her leadership, the chamber’s community profile grew and influenced public awareness of the chamber, leading to representation on multiple committees and boards for the organization.

Hall also served as chief innovation officer for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, where she spent 10 years in various national leadership roles impacting student retention and scholarships and university/school district partnerships promoting postsecondary education. Other past leadership roles include: vice president of public affairs for Family Service of Milwaukee; Milwaukee Public Schools School to Work administrator; director of Gov. Tommy Thompson’s Milwaukee office; and learning disabilities teacher in Tampa, Florida.

She is co-founder of the African American Women’s Project Fund, created to support organizations that promote the well-being of women and girls, and serves on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, MKE United Executive Committee, Regional Transit Leadership Council, Bronzeville Advisory Committee, Higher Education Regional Alliance, Governor’s Task Force on Minority Unemployment and other business/community committees.

Hall has been recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as a Woman of Influence in 2013, and one of 16 Business Executives to Watch in 2016, and a Powerbroker in 2017.

Héctor Colón is president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Under his servant-leadership approach, Colón has put the organization on firm financial footing. Before the start of his tenure in 2017, the organization had not met its budget for four consecutive years. Since that time, LSS has generated multimillion-dollar surpluses with a gain of $2.4 million in 2019.

No stranger to financial turnarounds, Colón worked with his team to turn multimillion-dollar deficits into surpluses while serving as executive director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, he led several countywide initiatives, including efforts to reform the juvenile justice system, end chronic homelessness, transform mental health care and end a 30-year waitlist for disabilities services.

Colón says that his personal and professional turnaround began in boxing. As a member and champion of the national USA Boxing team, he won seven national titles and competed in the 1992 Olympic trials. At the height of his boxing career, Colón stepped away from a lucrative boxing career to serve God. Today, he is an independent director on the board of USA Boxing, where he and the organization focus on inspiring athletes to discover their own path towards personal and professional greatness.

Colón, who serves on the UW System Board of Regents, was recently named the Nonprofit Executive of the Year by BizTimes Media and the Hispanic Man of the Year by United Migrant Opportunity Services. His first book, “From Boxing Ring to Boardroom: Five Virtues For Life and Leadership,” is set to release this month.


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 and Science: 910

Lubar School of Business: 610

College of Health Sciences: 297

School of Education: 248

College of Engineering & Applied Science: 247

College of Nursing: 233

Peck School of the Arts: 202

School of Information Studies: 195

College of General Studies: 177

Helen Bader School of Social Welfare: 175

School of Architecture & Urban Planning: 104

Zilber School of Public Health: 30

School of Freshwater Sciences: 14

Global Studies Interdisciplinary: 10

Joint Programs L&S and CEAS: 2

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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