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UWS to host inclusive grad ceremony Friday

The University of Wisconsin-Superior holds its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Graduation Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in Thorpe Langley Auditorium in Old Main, 1710 Weeks Ave.

A reception will follow in the William "Pope" Wright Jr. Student Center located in Old Main, Room 232.

This public event includes graduation ceremonies for more than 40 students involved with First Nations, Lavender, Multicultural Affairs, and the Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center. Additionally, 10 faculty and staff members will be recognized for completion of UWS's new Equity and Diversity Certificate Program offered through the Department of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

"This is our favorite time of the year," said Jerel Benton, director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and senior diversity officer at UWS. "We get to celebrate our students that we serve in the Department of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. This is such a special occasion, as many of these students have overcome many challenges and systemic barriers getting to this point of their lives, whether that is raising a family, integrating back into civilian life, or being the first person to navigate higher education. Our staff has the pleasure of experiencing the ups and downs of these students' experience, but also get to see the tremendous growth that happens over time."

Scott Holmes, a senior interdisciplinary studies major with an emphasis on education, language arts, and writing from Superior, has been selected as the student speaker for the event. The current Student Government Association president, Holmes has also served as a student worker within the UWS Department of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

A nontraditional student who served in the National Guard, he was also involved in Future Teachers Association, English Club, Sigma Tau Delta, Mock Trial, Summer Undergraduate Research, and the McNair Scholars Program.

This event is free and open to the community. UWS holds its commencement Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at Siinto S. Wessman Arena on the UW-Superior campus.

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