2018 Spring Commencement – Doctoral, M.F.A and Medical Professionals

Graduates, family members, friends, and distinguished
guests, Please rise for the 2018 Spring Commencement Academic Processional. (Trumpets) (Processional Music) Please remain standing for the singing of
our National Anthem, performed by Doctor of Musical Arts, vocal performance, class of 2018 degree candidate, Erin Bryan. O, say, can you see
by the dawn’s early light what so proudly we hail’d
at the twilight’s last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars
thro’ the perilous fight o’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly
streaming and the rockets’ red glare
the bombs bursting in air gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was
still there O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of
the brave (Applause)>>Chancellor Blank:
Please be seated. Thank you, Erin Bryan, for that beautiful
performance, and thanks to Professor Leckrone and the UW Band for leading us in. Welcome everyone and congratulations to what
is going to be a wonderful event. Welcome to the University of Wisconsin
Spring Commencement Ceremony for Doctoral, M.F.A. and Professional Degree Candidates. Let’s all join in a round of applause to congratulate
our graduates. (Applause) It’s also important to thank the proud parents,
spouses, partners, children, siblings, and many friends here tonight who’ve supported
these graduates and made this moment possible, and we owe you a round of applause as well. (Applause) 2018 is an important year, both for you and for the University of Wisconsin. For you, it marks the end of a long and sustained
effort to earn the credentials to work at the highest levels of your field. For the University, 2018 marks the 125th Anniversary
of the graduation of UW Wisconsin’s first female Ph.D.
(Applause) You’re all following. We were one of the first universities in the
nation to award a Ph.D. to a woman, and her name was Kate Everest. She was a Wisconsin native, and earned her
doctorate in history. She was an expert on German immigration into
Wisconsin. After Kate graduated, she went east, to Pittsburgh,
where she found the worst living conditions she’d ever seen, high rates of death from infectious
diseases, children laboring in the factories, and too many adults who could neither read
nor write. Kate started a program to connect immigrant
factory workers with social services and opportunities for children. It became a model for others around the country,
setting a new course for generations to come. Kate Everest was a key figure in the history
of this university, but that’s not why I’m sharing her story. I am telling you about her because she is
an excellent reminder about one thing that connects every one of you the engineers, the
historians, physicians, lawyers and scientists. The one common thread here is a dedication
to the highest calling of science, the humanities and the professions to make people’s lives
better. This university’s strong commitment to that
goal also known as the Wisconsin Idea is one of the reasons we’ve been called, and I quote,
“the most public of public universities.” I hope you’ve all absorbed the message of
the Wisconsin Idea during your time here. And I hope that you’ll hold onto the notion
that you have a calling to use your education to make something in this world a little bit
better, to answer what Dr. Martin Luther King called “Life’s most persistent and urgent question,” namely, What are you doing for others? Let me offer three idea how you can continue
to answer that question after you leave this place and your life gets even busier and more
complicated than it’s been while you’ve been here at UW. First of all, build a fulfilling career. Too many new graduates see building a career
and reaching out to others as in opposition to one another, but the truth is, the happiest
and the most successful people are those — like tonight’s honorary degree recipients, whom
you’ll meet in just a few moments — who combine the two together. If you’re passionate about the work that you
do, you will find ways to pull others into that work, to mentor your junior colleagues,
to treat your staff and fellow workers well and to give back to your community. You will find that doing things for others
gives you a new sense of possibilities in your work, and in turn your work will give
you a new sense of where you can make a difference in the world. No.two, polish your public-speaking skills. 910 of you are going to cross this stage tonight
give or take a few and the credentials that you’re going to get this evening are going
to give you the privilege and the responsibility to share your knowledge with the world. You are now experts on the topics that you
have been studying, but your expertise will not help you in public if you can only speak
in jargon. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply,
you actually don’t understand it well enough.” So learn to speak and write effectively about
your research, in ways that people outside your field can understand. At a time when basic scientific principles
are often under attack, it has never been more important for researchers and professionals
to communicate well about what they do, why they do it, and why it matters. There are few better ways to serve the public
interest, and, also, I might note, to grow your career effectively, than to be a good
communicator. And, finally, No.three, keep taking risks
by asking a simple three-word question “Why shouldn’t we? To make a sustained difference in the world
the kind of difference that Kate Everest made you need to be willing to take a few risks. To ask not, “Why should we?” but “Why shouldn’t
we?” That’s what the Ikea Corporation asked when
it had jobs to fill and saw millions of people fleeing the civil war in Syria. Where others saw a burden, Ikea saw an opportunity. They went to the refugee camps looking for
talent and interest, and found both. And starting next year, some of your favorite
Ikea products will be produced by Syrian refugees. Closer to home, one of our Ph.D. candidates
from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies was investigating how to produce nutritious
food cheaply and sustainably to address world hunger, and she asked:
“Why shouldn’t we farm insects like livestock?” So she put together a multidisciplinary team
to create the MIGHTi program Mission to Improve Global Health through Insects to look at everything
from optimizing production of insects to perhaps the more difficult issue here in the United
States convincing people that crickets make a delicious and nutritious meal. Valerie Stull, I don’t know where you are
out there in the audience, but when Wisconsin’s first insect farms open the doors, we’re going
to know who to thank. Aaron Olson is receiving his Ph.D. in Engineering
Mechanics tonight. Aaron wasn’t exactly planning to work in a
remote region of the world, but when he visited the Congo and saw that families were spending
much of their income on kerosene because they didn’t have electricity, he said:
Why shouldn’t we work with these people to develop a better power source? So he created a business with a fellow UW
alum in partnership with a group of people from the local village to distribute innovative
pay-as-you-go solar power kits and highly efficient appliances. Their work is already changing life in parts
of the Congo, and they plan to expand their efforts to other African countries as soon
as next year. (Applause)
There’s no better way. I don’t know where Aaron is, but congratulations
to him too. There is no better way to open up whole new
worlds of possibility with new people, places, and ideas than to ask, “Why shouldn’t we?” So graduates, if we’ve done our job right,
we’ve expanded your skills and prepared you for successful work in your field and I hope
we’ve also expanded your perspectives. I hope your training has allowed you to see
problems that others might overlook, to be creative in responding to those problems with
solutions that are elegant and sustainable. I hope you’re going to use your education to
keep asking yourself, Doctor King’s question throughout your career. “What are you doing for others?” That will allow you to find success and also
find deep meaning in your life. Just as Kate Everest did 125 years ago. So thanks to all of you for being part of
this community. Best wishes to you as you set off on the next
stage of your journey. Keep in touch. Let us know how you’re doing. I personally can’t wait to hear all the things
you’re going to accomplish in the years ahead. And remember to come back and visit. You will always be part of the University
of Wisconsin, and I hope that UW will always be part of you. Thank you, and congratulations. (Applause) I would now like to introduce Lori Berquam, interim vice chancellor of student affairs,
dean of students, and tonight’s Master of Ceremonies. Lori is a proud first-generation college graduate
who received an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Psychology from Truman State University,
a master’s degree from UW–La Crosse, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from
Colorado State. As many of you know, after 13 years as dean
of students, this is Lori’s last commencement ceremony here at UW–Madison. She’s been selected for a fellowship at the
Emerging Higher Education Leaders program of the American Council on Education and will
be leaving campus this summer. We’re very proud of her and support her in
the next steps of her career. During her time here, Lori has been known
for her fun-loving and approachable style, including some rather memorable campus videos,
and I admit I’m going to miss those. She has focused her work on critical issues
such as student safety, bias incidents, diversity and inclusion, sexual assault, and the expansion
of services to marginalized students. Lori, I want to thank you for all you’ve done
for our students and the community. Please join me in welcoming Lori Berquam. (Applause)>>Dean Berquam: It is great to be gathered as a community, in one place, with all our graduates along with their families, loved ones, and friends, to celebrate the culmination of your Wisconsin Experience. My time as dean of students is coming to a
close, and like you, I’m entering the unknown. It’s scary, but it’s also very exciting. As you begin your next
adventure, I hope you’ll take risks and don’t be afraid to try new things. I am reminded that: Life is short, follow
your dreams. Now at this time, it’s my pleasure to introduce
the members of the official party. I’m going to ask each of them to stand when
their name is called and remain standing. And I’ll ask the audience to please hold your
applause until all members of the party have been introduced. Chancellor Rebecca Blank Drew Petersen, UW System Board of Regents David Fahey, honorary degree candidate Wilmer Anderson, emeritus Julian E. Mack
Professor of Physics Linda Thomas-Greenfield, honorary degree candidate Aili Tripp, Wangari Maathai Professor of Political
Science and Gender & Women’s Studies Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary
Medicine Linda Scott, dean of the School of Nursing Steven Swanson, dean of the School of Pharmacy Margaret Raymond, Dean of the Law School Charles Hoslet, vice chancellor for University Relations Laurent Heller, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration Leann Tigges, professor, Community and Environmental Sociology, and chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees Jerome Chazen, honorary degree candidate Karl Scholz, dean of the College of Letters and Science William Karpus, dean of the Graduate School Robert Golden, dean of the School of Medicine
and Public Health Diana Hess, dean of the School of Education Soyeon Shim, dean of the School of Human Ecology Ian Robertson, dean of the College of Engineering Kathryn VandenBosch, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences James Johannes, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Research, Wisconsin School of Business. Norman Drinkwater, interim vice chancellor
for Research and Graduate Education Raymond Taffora, vice chancellor for Legal
Affairs Scott Owczarek, registrar Paul Zedler, professor and Associate Director of the
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies John Baldacchino, director of the Arts Institute Peter Kies, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association Board Member Steve Smith, secretary of the faculty. Jeffrey Russell, vice provost for Lifelong
Learning and dean of Continuing Studies Guido Podesta, dean of the International Division Anja Wanner, Chair of the University Committee, the executive committee of the Faculty Senate,
and Professor of English And at this time, I would also like to ask
the graduates who were chosen by their dean to represent their school or college by carrying
its flag in the academic procession, to please stand as they are able. Please join me in welcoming all of these distinguished
individuals. (Applause) It is now my honor to introduce Drew Petersen, a member and current vice president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Drew earned his Masters of Business Administration
from UW–Madison, and his Badger pride runs strong. He currently serves as Senior Vice President
for Corporate Affairs at TDS Telecom, the seventh largest wireline telecommunications
company in the United States. He is active in the civic community of Madison
and the state of Wisconsin. His professional and community leadership
includes serving on the American Cable Association Board of Directors and as the Director for
Park Bank, the longest serving community bank and financial institution in Madison. He is also past president of the Wisconsin
Technical College System Board of Directors, the Madison Club and the Wisconsin State Telecommunications
Association Board of Directors. A member of the UW System Board of Regents
since 2013, Drew has a passion for ensuring that the UW System remains one of the top
public school systems of higher education in the nation and beyond. I’m honored to present Regent Vice President
Drew Petersen. (Applause)
>>Regent Petersen: Good evening. Before I deliver my prepared remarks, I wanted
to take just a moment to recognize the distinguished woman who just introduced me. You see, as a regent, I routinely see the
remarkable dedication put forward by our world-class faculty and staff. For the last 23 years, Doctor Lori Berquam
has been a true evangelist for our students. She is a recognized national leader in her
field. It is a huge understatement to say she will
be greatly missed by all who know and interact with her here at UW–Madison. Graduating students, if you had a great housing
experience on campus, it’s because of Lori and her team. When you experienced exceptional advising,
and today you are career ready, it’s because of Lori and her exemplary team. The public safety and the security that you
enjoyed on campus is also due to Lori and her team’s commitment to vigorous safety practices. And, finally, the culturally rich, diverse,
and inclusive climate that is always advancing on the UW–Madison campus is definitely because
of Lori and her team’s leadership. As Chancellor Blank noted, this is Lori’s
last graduation weekend. For all of her numerous accomplishments and
career contributions, please join me again to appropriately recognize her for a job incredibly
well done. (Applause)
On this special occasion and on behalf of my Regent colleagues and UW System President
Ray Cross, I offer each of you my sincere congratulations. Today is the culmination of years of hard
work, long years of study and many sacrifices by you and those who care for you. Bravo! Countless people have helped you along your
journey — providing support — in ways big and small, seen and unseen. From your family and friends — to school
teachers, advisors and UW professors they’ve all played an indelible role in you reaching
this big day. Today its really about you, our new graduates. This is a historic moment in a day to remember. You’re earning prestigious advanced degrees
and you’re beginning the next stage of your life. Not to put any pressure on you, but the future
really does lie in your hands. And you know what? I feel extremely good about that. The education you’ve received, and the experiences
you’ve gained along the way — tremendous assets and will serve you incredibly well. I’m going to single out one of our graduates
tonight, and I do hope that she forgives me. Rachel Sippy, a native of Swisher, Iowa, will
earn her Ph.D. in Epidemiology today. For the past several years, Rachel has been
researching Dengue fever in Ecuador and doing what her advisors call cutting-edge work that
will lead to new developments in the field. Her keen interest in figuring out how micro-habitats
within a population can affect disease outcomes really is the Wisconsin Idea in action, and
someday her research may very well change lives. At the same time, shes an engaged Badger,
not only promoting the mission of the Department of Population Health Sciences but also mentoring
other students, doing her own research and writing at the same time. Her advisor is sure Rachel’s future is exceptionally
bright and he’s also sure she probably never sleeps. Overall, she represents the best attributes
of the UW–Madison. So, congratulations, Rachel. Rachel’s experiences are, of course, unique
and her own but they also reflect the proud UW tradition that us all here share and live
across the UW System. This tradition is seeing a need in the world
around us, then working to find a solution. The UW System has always believed as I do
that we should benefit and learn from the past, and think and train for the future. This philosophy of education and service is
the cornerstone of the Wisconsin Idea, it helps define who we are and what we do, both
here on campus and in the world beyond. And even though the larger world is changing
quickly, one thing that hasn’t changed and won’t change and that’s the importance of a
quality institution of higher education, where dedicated and creative faculty inspire students
to want more, where innovative research expands possibilities, and where fellow students challenge
and encourage their peers to be remarkable. UW–Madison exemplified that back when I crossed
the stage, it’s true today, and I am confident it will continue to do so for the years to
come. This wonderful university is a point of pride
for every resident in the state of Wisconsin, and as graduates, you are now all part of
the University of Wisconsin–Madison story. Cherish these UW connections. Value them. They are real, and they are powerful. Stay connected, and please stay engaged. In closing, I want you to know how very proud
the members of the Board of Regents are of your exemplary achievements here today and
those that you will accomplish in the future. Congratulations, again, to all of you graduates
and your families here this evening, and on, Wisconsin! (Applause)
>>Chancellor: Thank you, Regent Petersen. Today we are honored to have the privilege
of awarding UW–Madison honorary degrees. An honorary degree is earned not by completing
a course of study, but by living an extraordinary life. Leann Tigges, professor of community and environmental
sociology and chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees, will read the degree citation for
each Honorary Degree candidate.>>Professor Tigges:
Chancellor Blank, on the recommendation of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison
and by vote of the Board of Regents, I present these individuals for honorary degrees. I call upon Dean Scholz to bring forward Jerome
Chazen. Jerome(Jerry) Chazen, a 1948 Wisconsin alumni,
has lived an extraordinary life. He was co-founder of Liz Claiborne Inc., which
became the largest women’s apparel company in the United States. As a philanthropist, he has worked to improve
the lives of abused women; the Claiborne Foundation, under Jerry’s leadership, was responsible
for creating the first domestic abuse hotline in San Francisco. He supports higher education, and tirelessly
fosters access to and appreciation of human artistic expression. Chancellor Blank, on the recommendation of
the faculty and by vote of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I present
Jerome Chazen to receive the degree Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.>>Chancellor Blank:
JEROME CHAZEN: In recognition of your contributions to fashion, your efforts to combat domestic
violence, and your tireless support of the arts — both on and off campus — the University of Wisconsin at Madison confers on you the
degree Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Congratulations. (Applause)
>>Jerome Chazen: Thank you so much for this wonderful honor. I hope I can carry this out. (Laughter)
You know, usually, when speaking to an audience like this, the first thing you say to people
is thanks for coming. But I don’t think anybody here came to see
me. (Laughter)
I think you’re here for a much more important reason, and I’ll get to that in just a couple
of minutes. But I would like to thank the folks who are
responsible for giving me this great honor. To Karl Scholz, the dean of the College of
Letters and Science, to Doug Rosenberg, of the Department of Art, Gene Phillips of the
Department of Art History, and, of course, Chancellor Blank. I also want to give special thanks to my wife
Simona, whom I met on campus, married soon after, and with whom I am about to celebrate
69 years of wedded bliss. (Applause)
My children, Kathy, Louise and David are here with their spouses and their own children. I’m very pleased that my daughter Kathy, and
three of my grandsons, Ross, Zach, and Alexander, are UW grads. So a three-generation family. Thank you. And with all the above, my thanks really go
to the University of Wisconsin for my education and exposure to what I refer to as the Midwest
Ethic. An uncompromising approach to a truthful and
moral life, which has served me well. I wish my parents were here to share this
moment. They were both immigrants who somewhat reluctantly
sent their son, 16 years old from New York, to go to school in the Wild West. (Laughter)
One big bonus at UW back then, free tuition, even to out-of-staters. (Applause)
And now 70 years later we’re still trying to figure out how to make college affordable. In the next couple of minutes, I’d like to
share with you some highlights of my career path. Not so much as a guide post for any of you,
but rather an illustration of how life leads us down unforeseen roads. Today you’re a very special group of young
men and women. Each of you decided that you needed more than
a four-year degree to achieve your dreams. I know that it meant more effort, more expense
for you and your wonderful parents, but you did it. And here you are today, at the culmination
of all of those years of education, ready to conquer the world. And it is a world that sorely needs new thought
ideas, and inventiveness. So for what it’s worth, I thought I’d give
you some perspective and experience gained from my own career. Like you, some 68 years ago, I participated
in my own commencement receiving an MBA from Columbia University Business School. I was fortunate, as I hope most of you are
in getting my — what I thought was a dream job as a junior analyst at a Wall Street stockbroker
firm. I was all set with a plan, my plan all worked
out. I had just gotten married and was looking
forward to proceeding on my career path, having a family, and so forth. Perfect, right? Well, just like the movies. Then six months later came a time when I had
to make a life-changing decision. I got a letter and then a call from a UW classmate,
one of my real buddies. His family, from Milwaukee, owned what was
then considered a large apparel company. When we were at school, he kept urging me
to plan to work for this family business.My answer was always the same. Excuse me. Thanks, but no thanks. (Laughter)
I knew nothing about apparel and wanted to head for business school and to Wall Street. This last call was a plea to meet his uncle
who was president of the company and who also wanted to show me his stock portfolio. I jumped at the chance. He was a very pleasant man and made a good
case for me to come to Milwaukee, head up a new marketing department and with my newly
acquired education, help to build their company. He said, “you’re young. Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, we’ll move you back to
New York.” By the way, my salary at Wall Street, at the
end of the free-tuition thing, was $40 a week. MBA and all. He would almost triple it. That night, I went home to discuss everything
with my wife. Bottom line, we decided to go. That was not a bump in the road to my career
path that was a sharp turn. To this day, I wonder what it would have been
like if Id stayed on Wall Street. But let’s go on. The marketing job never really came about. I got involved in sales instead and discovered
that I really liked the industry. I also discovered that while manufacturing
was nice, retailing was what appealed to me. After two years of sales experience and interfacing
with retailers, I decided to leave the company and embark on a new career path. I went to work as a trainee in the largest
department store in Milwaukee. Not exactly a sharp turn, more of a swerve. I wanted to stay involved in the world of
fashion. New goal, hopefully, to become a department
store president. I became a buyer, and I left to work for a
larger store in Philadelphia with my growing family and was on my way. Then I was recruited by a specialty store,
headquartered in Detroit, with buying offices in New York. I would manage the office. I was then told if I left the department store
field, I could never get back. The department stores wanted people to climb
a particular kind of ladder. But I took it. I did very well at the specialty store and
climbed the ladder to the very top. Then another sharp curve in the path. I got what sounded like a great entrepreneurial
opportunity with a textile firm, and poised to go public and my opportunity to be a part
of it. I realized then that I had some sort of venture
gene. I wanted to be in my own business. While this new opportunity was not an exact
fit, it was close enough to be worth a try. It was another geographic upheaval, but it
was back to New York, and, thankfully, my family consented. I signed a five-year contract, really learned
the textile business and even ran a knitting mill for several years. However, the “partnership” role that I thought
would be there, never materialized. One of my key customers, a medium-sized apparel manufacturer
had been asking me to join his company with the promise of a substantial equity position. And here I went again. And I get whatever was driving me to get to
some end, which I hadn’t yet figured out. I left the textile company and went back to
apparel manufacturing, where it had all started. And it went well. I was in charge of all sales and merchandising,
but the 100% owner of the company was having a very difficult time sharing the equity. And then, out of the blue, came another phone
call, this time from my ex-roommate at the University of Wisconsin. A gentleman who had also become part of the
fashion industry, mostly in textiles, who is married to a lady by the name of Liz Claiborne. And he and I were best friends, and, of course,
I knew Liz extremely well and admired her talent as a designer. And he let me know that something had happened
in their lives. He was acting as a consultant and his main
client had decided to abort the project that Art was working on. Liz has gotten notice from her company that
the company was being shut down. Both of them would be out of a job. So we sat down and talked about it, and here
this entrepreneurial gene of mine rose up again, and I saw the possibility of a business
starting that I would really be a part of. And we talked about a new woman that I kind
of thought about and was watching during my career as a so-called well, let’s put it this
way, even though I was working for a manufacturer, I always felt I was still a retailer. And as a retailer, I tried to studied the
consumer and understand what kind of moves she was making and why. And I thought about this “new” woman. Very confident, very poised, making her mark
in the world. This was 1975. And I explained this woman to Liz, and I said,
do you think you could design for this woman? And she said, “I think so.” She says, “On top of it, I think I am that
woman.” And I said, I think so, too. I was 48 years old. I had two kids in college, one at UW, and
a wife who had gone back to school to get her master’s in social work. I had a mortgage and limited savings. But I never hesitated. I quit my job. Took an 80% cut in pay. Invested a chunk of my savings and built my
dream. It wasn’t easy, and it was 24/7, but it was
enormously satisfying. We all worked very hard, had some good luck
as well and built the largest fashion company ever. And because my grandchildren asked so many
questions, I finally wrote a book about the whole experience. Its called “My Life at Liz Claiborne,” and
you can get it on Amazon. (Laughter)
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” wrote about many so called “overnight” successes
— which people used to call our Liz Claiborne company — and how in reality they had put
in thousands of hours of hard work and preparation for the big break through. I feel very much the same way about Liz Claiborne’s
success. It was all those years of effort in the fashion
industry that gave me the background and courage to start, and, ultimately, lead my whole team
to unprecedented heights. So I say to each one of you as you enter your
careers and begin that journey, that you learn every day, that you stay open to change and
opportunities, and never feel it’s too late to start something new. I’ll leave you with some news of current medical
research. Of the millennial generation, which encompasses
all of you students in this audience, 50% of you will live to at least 100 years. Think about that. 65million Millennials, 50% of whom will live
to 100 years and more. While you ponder that, I’ll leave you to ponder
it with the meaning — one final bit of advice. Find a job you love, and you will never work
a day in your life. Thank you. (Applause)
>>Professor Tigges: I call upon Professor Emeritus Wilmer Anderson
to bring forward David Fahey. David Fahey earned his bachelor of science
in physics from UW–Madison, and then a Ph.D. in physics at Missouri University of Science
and Technology. In his 35 years at the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, he has been involved in conducting research on air quality, climate
change and stratospheric ozone depletion, earning many well-deserved awards and recognitions. His research is an integral part of the scientific
foundation behind the landmark Montreal Protocol, which has led to the global phaseout of the
most harmful ozone-depleting substances. Chancellor Blank, on the recommendation of
the faculty and by vote of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I present
David Fahey to receive the degree Honorary Doctor of Science.>>Chancellor Blank:
DAVID FAHEY: In recognition of your outstanding contribution to atmospheric science and to
our understanding of earths climate, including research that revealed the harmful effects
of ozone depletion and ultraviolet radiation, the University of Wisconsin in Madison confers
on you the degree Honorary Doctor of Science. Congratulations. (Applause)
>>David Fahey: Good evening. Chancellor Blank, members of the administration
and faculty, fellow honorary degree recipients, graduates and their family and friends. It is a pleasure and privilege to address
you today. I feel honored to receive this distinction
from my alma mater and am deeply humbled to join the group of past recipients. I thank Professor Wilmer Anderson, and Professor
James Lawler of the Physics Department for my nomination and the Chemistry Department
and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences for their endorsement. More than four decades ago, my UW–Madison
physics degree launched me on what turned out to be a highly rewarding career as an
atmospheric scientist for which I am exceedingly fortunate. My most important moment as an undergraduate
occurred after my freshman year when I knocked out Professor Anderson’s door in the basement
of Sterling Hall and asked about a summer job in his research lab. He hired me on the spot and tasked me with
building a new research instrument. I was more than delighted to have such a challenging
opportunity. Working for several years with Professor Anderson
and his Physics graduate students was an outstanding
plus for me because they set valuable examples of how a physicist conducts research and relates
to the scientific world. Today, I’m committed to mentoring young scientists,in
my current position, because of how valuable Professor Anderson’s mentorship was to my
career. And as has been said by others, “a mentor,
like a teacher, affects eternity because no one can tell where his or her influence stops.” I have spent my career as a scientist at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducting research on stratospheric ozone
depletion, climate change and air quality. The citation for my degree, as you just heard,
highlights my scientific contributions to the Montreal Protocol, known as the world’s
most successful environmental treaty. The protocol has protected the ozone layer
for future generations by phasing out the global use of certain manufactured substances
used in refrigeration and other sectors. The success of the protocol rests, in part,
on its commitment to maintaining a strong scientific basis for its control measures. And Ive been fortunate to be part of this
process for many years. The Montreal Protocol process is an excellent
example of the wise insight from Victor Hugo more than a century ago. That is, “Science has the first word on everything
and the last word on nothing.” Important societal issues emerge first with
scientific discoveries and new understanding of the natural world, such as the ozone hole. What the world actually does in response,
namely the last word, depends primarily on the nonscientific aspects, which are often
related to technology, economics, society, and governance. So how does this inform us about global climate
change, the major unsolved issue facing the world today? Science has given us the unequivocal first
word, namely, that it’s real. Now the world is debating the last word. How to adapt to, or to mitigate, advancing
climate change. Here in Wisconsin, as in the majority of the
regions of the world, important changes have already occurred. I hope some of you, as newly launched graduates,
will consider using your knowledge and skills to contribute to the first word or to the
last word on climate change. The world needs you. That is what I am doing in the last stage
of my career. I will never forget what Professor Anderson
told me one day in that first year in his laboratory. He came in one day and said “Young people
don’t realize that they can do something important.” I don’t know what I did that day to elicit
that comment. By that he meant that young people often unnecessarily
wait for permission or direction from above. So I offer you that same wise counsel as newly
launched graduates. Go forth and do something important for the
world and don’t wait for permission. I would like to thank my wife Debra, an amazing
partner, and my four children for their love and support through what’s been a very demanding
career. My mother and father also own a big part of
my success. And I especially wish my late mother could
have shared this day. Thank you for listening. Be well. (Applause)
>>Professor Tigges: I call upon Professor Aili Tripp to bring
forward Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has been heralded
as one of the most dynamic and effective diplomats of her time and one of the best leaders of
the State Department’s African Bureau. Her brilliant career in the United States
Foreign Service spans 35 years, most recently with her service as the Obama Administration’s
Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. After her graduate training at University
of Wisconsin–Madison, she joined the U.S. Foreign Service and has subsequently held numerous
appointments around the world, including an ambassadorship in Liberia. She served as Director General of the U.S.
Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources. She also served as Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau
of Population, Refugees and Migration. Chancellor Blank, on the recommendation of
the faculty and by vote of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I present
Linda Thomas-Greenfield to receive the degree Honorary Doctor of Law.>>Chancellor Blank:
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in recognition of your 35year tenure as a diplomat, your work
as an architect of U.S. foreign policy in Africa, your skillful handling of humanitarian
refugee issues and lawful elections, the University of
Wisconsin at Madison confers upon you the degree Honorary Doctor of Law. Congratulations. (Applause)
>>Linda Thomas-Greenfield: Good afternoon. Chancellor Blank, Professor
Emeritus, mentor and friend, Crawford Young, Professor Aili Tripp, family, friends, graduates
and fellow recipients of this award today. And let me say what we always say in Africa,
when there a lot of people on the stage, and you don’t want to ignore anyone, you always
say, “All protocols observed.” (Laughter)
I am truly honored and humbled by this award and to be in your presence today. The award came as an incredible surprise,
and I wish to thank all those involved in the conspiracy to nominate me nonetheless,
Crawford Young. For many years, I have referred to myself
as Crawford Young’s failed student, because unlike so many of his successful students,
I never finished my dissertation. And I promise, Crawford, it was not for lack
of trying. But even being a failed student of Crawford
brings some prestige and credibility. And I will admit I did have some distractions
— joining the Foreign Service, traveling to 4 continents and 8 countries over 35 years
is just one of my excuses. If you will indulge me for a few seconds,
Id like to go back in history. Some 44 years ago, I came to Madison from
a small, segregated and racist town in Louisiana. (Whistle from audience)
I did not know — fellow Louisianan (Laughter) I did not know who I was or what I would become. My parents were working poor, and I was the
eldest of eight children at home. I had never flown on a plane until I flew
to Madison, Wisconsin, and I had never been north of the Mason-Dixon Line. My window to the world had been very narrow. That window was just briefly opened for a
moment when I was 13 years old, when Peace Corps came to our little town, and used as
a training center a closed historical black college, to train Peace Corps
Volunteers who were going to Africa. When I came to Madison, I took a class with
Crawford, and he reopened my eyes to Africa, and I say here the rest is history. I would go on to Liberia in 1978 to do research,
and there I would meet my husband who was in the embassy there. And my path in life would take an about face. I would join the Foreign Service after a brief
stint in teaching. And, again, for the second time in my life,
the rest is history. And while I considered myself a failed Ph.D.
student, today I have finally received that degree. (Applause)
I know that what I’ve achieved in my life is a result of the extraordinary education I
received at this great university, and the connections I made here. All the major milestones in my life would
start here on this campus. This university has been in the forefront
of academic studies in Africa, and continues to this day to have a major impact on the
continent. As I traveled across Africa, it was rare that
I didn’t meet someone who I had known at the university when I was here, or who was here
before me, or who came after me, including the President of Liberia, who was here at
Madison Business College, when her husband was studying at this university. It was the connection that led to many lifelong
friendships, such as some of the people in this room: My friend, Bai Akridge. My friend, Joe Laymon, both of whom are here
today. Ben Marquez, who is here at the university,
and I can continue to name many, many, more, but I think if I tried to name them all, Ill
miss some. But all of us have carried the UW badge very
proudly. Also this university is host to the Mandela
Washington Fellowship Program, this is the Young African Leaders Initiative, and will
be bringing, for the third year in a row, 25 extraordinary young Africans to study here
this summer. This program, a legacy of the Obama Administration,
was a major priority for me during my tenure as assistant Secretary of State, and I was
so proud that UW–Madison was part of it. For students in this room, the moral that
I would like to share with you today is that there’s no right path except the one you choose. And the one less traveled will always lead
you to somewhere different. Also, as my life story illustrates, the first
chapter of your life does not foretell what will be in subsequent chapters of your life. My first chapter was written with failure
all over it, and yet I stand before you today with tremendous pride, humility, and gratefulness
for the recognition. I want to end by giving an immense thank you
and recognition to my husband Lafayette, my daughter Lindsay — both of whom who are here
today — my son Deuce, who is at home with our new granddaughter, who was born two days
ago, and to all of my friends who are here in the room. Everything that I have achieved has been possible
because of their support. And, finally, I offer my deepest gratitude
to this amazing university for the honor that you have bestowed on me today, and a special
thanks to Crawford Young, my mentor, who has inspired me and an entire generation of Africanist
through his amazing scholarship and support. Thank you very much. (Applause)
>>Chancellor Blank: It is my great pleasure to introduce Professor
Michael Leckrone and members of the university’s School of Music band who will play our musical
selection this evening: ‘Songs to Thee Wisconsin,’ arranged by Professor Leckrone. (Band Playing “Songs to Thee Wisconsin”)
(Applause)>>Dean Berquam:
Thank you, Professor Leckrone and band members, for your special contribution to our program
today. Graduates, in a couple of moments, you’ll
become part of an illustrious group called UW alumni. Please turn your attention to the video screens
where your Wisconsin Alumni Association shares a glimpse of the Badger community that awaits
you.>>The University of Wisconsin has been a
place of learning and discovery, a place where you’ve made friends and memories that will
last a lifetime. For some of you, today is bittersweet. You will be saying farewell to Madison and
a community of people who have become an important part of your life. The good news is, you’re joining a worldwide
badger community that stretches from Minneapolis to Malaysia, from L.A. to Austria, from Sweden
to the Swiss Alps. Wherever you go, the Wisconsin Alumni Association
will be there to connect you to this family. And remember, no matter how far you travel,
or how long you’ve been away, Madison will always be your home. We hope you come back and visit often. Because as a member of the badger family,
you will always have a seat at our table. When you say, Wisconsin, you said it all. (Applause)
>>Chancellor: Now for the central event of the evening, the conferral of degrees. I call upon William Karpus, dean of the Graduate
School.>>Dean Karpus:
Candidates for the degrees Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Master of Fine
Arts will please rise. Chancellor Blank.>>Chancellor Blank:
Dean Karpus.>>Dean Karpus:
These scholars have devoted significant time to graduate study and research. In addition, they have defended theses or
presented exhibitions that have been accepted by faculty committees as substantial contributions
signifying scholarly or professional achievement in their respective fields. They are presented for the highest academic
recognition in their fields given by the university the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of
Musical Arts or Master of Fine Arts.>>Chancellor Blank:
On recommendation of the faculty of the Graduate School and under the authority granted by
the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, I confer upon you the degree Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Musical Arts, or Master of Fine Arts. In testimony thereof, you will receive your
diplomas. Candidates please be seated until the marshals
instruct you to proceed to the platform. (Playing Processional Music) (Reading Graduate Names)>>Chancellor Blank:
I now call upon Robert Golden, Dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health.>>Dean Golden:
Candidates for the degrees Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Biomedical
Data Science, Master of Genetic Counselor Studies, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, and
Master of Public Health will please rise. Chancellor Blank.
>>Chancellor Blank: Dean Golden.>>Dean Golden:
These scholars have successfully completed the requirements of the courses of study in medicine, physical therapy, biomedical informatics, physician assistant studies, public health or medical genetics. Upon the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Medicine and Public Health, I present these candidates for degrees.>>Chancellor Blank:
On the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Medicine and Public Health and under
the authority granted by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I confer
on you the degree Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Biomedical
Science, Master of Genetic Counselor Studies, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, or
Master of Public Health. In testimony thereof, you will receive your
diplomas. Candidates please be seated until the marshals
instruct you towards the stage. (Band playing processional) (Reading Graduate Names)>>Chancellor Blank:
I now call upon Mark Markel, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine.>>Dean Markel:
Candidates for the degrees Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science-Comparative Biomedical Sciences will please rise. Chancellor Blank.
>>Chancellor Blank: Dean Markel.>>Dean Markel:
These scholars have successfully completed the requirements of the courses of study in veterinary medicine and comparative biomedical sciences. Upon the recommendation of the faculty of
the School of Veterinary Medicine, I present these candidates for degrees.>>Chancellor Blank:
On the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine and under the
authority granted by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I confer upon you
the degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or Master of Science-Comparative Biomedical Sciences. In testimony thereof, you will receive your diplomas. Please be seated until the marshals instruct you towards the stage. (Band playing processional) (Reading Graduate Names)>>Chancellor Blank:
I now call upon Steve Swanson, Dean of the School of Pharmacy.>>Dean Swanson:
Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy will please rise. (Applause) I’m not sure if you heard me. Please rise. Chancellor Blank.
>>Chancellor Blank: Dean Swanson.>>Dean Swanson:
These scholars have successfully completed the requirements of the course of study in pharmacy. Upon the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Pharmacy, I present
these candidates for degrees.>>Chancellor Blank:
On the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Pharmacy and under the authority granted
by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, I confer upon you the degree Doctor of Pharmacy. In
testimony thereof, you will receive your diplomas. Candidates please be seated until the marshals
instruct you to proceed. (Band playing processional) (Reading Graduate Names)>>Chancellor Blank:
I now call upon Karl Scholz, Dean of the College of Letters and Science.>>Dean Scholz:
Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Audiology will please rise. Chancellor Blank.>>Chancellor Blank:
Dean Scholz.>>Dean Scholz:
These scholars have successfully completed the requirements of the course of study in audiology. Upon the recommendation of the faculty of the College of Letters and Science, I present these candidates for degrees.>>Chancellor Blank:
On the recommendation of the faculty of the College of Letters and Science and under the authority granted by
the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I confer upon you the degree Doctor of Audiology. In testimony thereof, you will receive your
diplomas. Please proceed to the platform. (Band playing processional) (Reading Graduate Names)>>Chancellor Blank:
I now call upon Linda Scott, Dean of the School
of Nursing.>>Dean Scott:
Candidates for the degree Doctor of Nursing Practice will please rise. (Applause) Chancellor Blank.
>>Chancellor Blank: Dean Scott.>>Dean Scott:
These scholars have successfully completed the requirements of the course of study in advanced
nursing practice. Upon the recommendation of the faculty of
the School of Nursing, I present these candidates for degrees.>>Chancellor Blank:
On the recommendation of the faculty of the School of Nursing and under the authority
granted by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, I confer upon you the degree
Doctor of Nursing Practice. In testimony thereof, you will receive your
diplomas. Please proceed to the platform. (Band playing processional) (Reading Graduate Names)>>Chancellor Blank: One last round of congratulations
to all of today’s graduates. (Cheering and Applause) Congratulations to each and every graduate. Thanks to the family members and friends whose support and encouragement made this proud day possible. Good luck to every one of you. And, on, Wisconsin. To conclude our celebration,
please join Professor Leckrone and the university’s School of Music band in singing ‘Varsity.’ Varsity! Varsity! U rah rah! Wisconsin, Praise to thee we sing! We sing! Praise to thee, our alma mater, U rah rah! Wisconsin! (Cheering and Applause) (Processional Music)

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