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Spring Commencement Drives Celebrations at Wisconsin School of Business

by Staff Friday, May 11, 2012

On Saturday, May 19, the Wisconsin School of Business awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the class of 2012, as part of the UW-Madison commencement ceremonial. The two-hour event began at 2:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center.

The ceremony featured keynote speaker Carol Bartz, former CEO and president of Autodesk and Yahoo!. Bartz returned to her alma mater to deliver the speech at the four University of Wisconsin-Madison commencement ceremonies that took place that Saturday and Sunday. Bartz declared, “I’m so happy to be back in Madison as a commencement speaker. I missed my own graduation ceremony here in 1971, so I’m really going to enjoy this with the class of 2012.” Bartz received a bachelor of arts degree in computer science. In 2004, she was named the second inductee into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed by the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Wisconsin School of Business candidates shared the Kohl Center on Saturday with candidates from the College of Engineering. The commencement event was open to the public. Tickets were not required, and seating was available on a first-come, first-served basis. Friends and family who cannot attend the event in person were able to watch a live stream online.

On Saturday, the Wisconsin School of Business bestowed 259 MBA degrees: a total of 117 candidates hailed from the Full-time MBA program compromised of 10 career specialization areas. The other 62 candidates were from the Evening MBA program, which represented 58 employers. An additional 80 candidates, represented 34 area employers, received their Executive MBA degree. Regional employers from Madison metro, Milwaukee metro, Chicago metro, Fox Valley, and the state line area were represented.

Another 90 graduates hailed from the Master's of Accountancy programs and 5 graduates from the Global Real Estate Master (GREM) program. 

The school presented the largest group of graduates their BBA degree (Bachelor of Business Administration), with nearly 505 degrees granted. The class of 2012 was the first to graduate under the new sophomore admissions requirements. On Friday, May 18, five candidates received their Ph.D. degree during a special hooding ceremony in Grainger Hall.

Beyond the commencement ceremonies, over a half-dozen events were planned for students in and around Grainger Hall, including: brunches, receptions, award ceremonies, and other programming. At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, there was an open reception for BBA graduates and their friends and families. Guests had the opportunity to meet faculty and staff, tour Grainger Hall, take photos with Bucky Badger, and hear from Dean François Ortalo-Magné. Coffee, punch, and cake was served.

Parking for the events was available in almost all university lots. Lot #7 (Grainger Hall) and Lot #83 (Fluno Center) are the most convenient for business students and their families. Those traveling with elderly and disabled guests used the drop-off location on West Dayton Street. Maps are available online and through the Mobile UW app for iPhone and Android.

For accommodations, the Fluno Center welcomed friends and families of business graduates. In addition, those staying at the facility enjoyed a “pre-alumni” discount savings of 10 percent off the room rate. Smitty’s Study Pub, located on the eighth floor of the Fluno Center, is open to the public daily from 4:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Additional information regarding commencement can be found online at


(pre-registration required unless noted otherwise)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ph.D. Hooding: 2:30–4:30 p.m., Grainger Hall, Room 5120

Saturday, May 19, 2012

BBA Open Reception: 12:30–2:00 p.m., Grainger Hall, West Atrium

BBA Celebration of Excellence Awards Reception: 10:00–11:30 a.m., Grainger Hall, Plenary Room

BBA Celebration of Excellence Brunch: 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Grainger Hall, Plenary Room

Wisconsin MBA Brunch: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Fluno Center, Executive Dining Room

Wisconsin MBA Program: 12:30–1:30 p.m., Fluno Center, Howard Auditorium

Evening MBA Brunch: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, First Floor Atrium

Executive MBA Reception: 4:30–6:30 p.m., Fluno Center, Executive Dining Room

MAcc Reception: 4:30-6:30 p.m., Memorial Union, Second Floor Main Lounge and Balcony