Class of 2020 Graduate Celebration

3 Steps to Attend!

  1. Register – Please complete the online Registration Form which will capture all of the details we need in order to celebrate. Indicate which events you plan on attending, and we will follow-up with you based on your preferences. Please reach out to Wisconsin Union Conference Management at conferences@union.wisc.edu or (608) 265-6534 if you need to make any adjustments to your registration.
    Registration is required by Monday, August 2.
  2. Celebratory Attire – Graduates of the Class of 2020 participating in the Camp Randall Celebration on Saturday, September 18 will receive a cap and commemorative tassel on behalf of the university. Caps and tassels will be distributed at the gate entrances to Camp Randall, at the University Book Store, or with your rented attire, and are yours to keep. If you already have a cap and tassel from a prior cap and gown rental, you are welcome to wear it, especially if it is decorated! Academic Attire for graduates is not required to attend the celebration, although we do encourage you to show your Badger pride. Cap and Gown rentals are available through the University Book Store, and the deadline to reserve your attire, for pick-up the weekend of the celebration, is Friday, August 20. Discounts are available for graduates who rented attire in 2020 and are renting again. If you are in need of scholarship support to offset the financial costs of renting academic attire, please contact the Commencement Office at commence@chancellor.wisc.edu.
  3. Plan Your Visit – Review the schedule of events and travel information to make your plans!

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 17 – Class of 2020 Grad Night at the Terrace

Celebrate the Class of 2020 at the Memorial Union Terrace with fellow graduates, family and friends! The evening will include a variety of events and activities from music, food, and photo opportunities. Graduates of the Class of 2020 will receive a complimentary scoop of Babcock ice cream (while supplies last). Check out @UWGrad for a friendly competition for the flavor that will be scooped. 

Saturday, September 18 – Class of 2020 Graduate Celebration at Camp Randall

Graduates of the Class of 2020 will have the opportunity to celebrate, together, all of their accomplishments with an in-person recognition event at 2:00p.m. Central Time at Camp Randall. Programming will include remarks from Chancellor Rebecca Blank, a keynote speaker (to be announced soon!), a Class of 2020 alumni speaker – and of course, a chance to Jump Around in Camp Randall! Additional program details are still being determined and will be provided as soon as they are ready for grads. The celebration will be available livestreamed on our website, and available after the ceremony for those who would like to celebrate virtually. We anticipate the ceremony to last approximately one hour. Download a save the date here!

Class of 2020, share your story and you could be the alumni speaker for the Camp Randall Celebration. Submit your remarks (3-5 minutes) about your time at UW and your journey over the past year, along with audio or video of you giving your remarks. Deadline to apply for consideration is Monday, July 26 at Noon, central. Application link: https://go.wisc.edu/classof2020studentspeaker

Photo opportunities will be available on the field with our commencement photographers, Empire Photography, as well as opportunities outside of the stadium with family and friends. All degree earners are welcome, including Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral and Professional Degrees.  

Graduates of the Class of 2020 will have the option to wear existing rental attire, rent attire at a discount, or purchase a stole. Caps and commemorative tassels will be provided at no cost to all graduates. If you already have a cap and tassel, you are encouraged to wear it—especially if it is already decorated! Reserve your attire or purchase a stole at the University Book Store website today. The deadline to rent attire online is August 20.

The celebration will happen rain or shine. Only in the event of severe weather will the event be delayed or cancelled.  

Photos with Abe

Graduates, you are invited to participate in a special Class of 2020 Photos with Abe session. Photographers (along with a safety ladder) will be available to take your professional photo from 10am – Noon; 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. Note: no cell phone cameras allowed during these designated photo session times. A code for one free digital photo will be provided per graduate, additional photos will be available for purchase. We will not be providing academic regalia for the photos, so if you would like the photo in regalia, please be sure to rent and pick up regalia with the University Book Store prior to your photo session. Regalia is not required for the photos. Please sign-up for an appointed photo time.

An exclusive Class of 2020 Concert at The Sylvee

Class of 2020 Concert at The Sylvee. Join us for a celebration unlike any other, for graduates only – a private concert with Yung Gravy (’17) and Jesse McCartney. Doors will open at 8pm and conclude with a DJ set until 1am. Information about securing your ticket will be sent to graduates who indicate they are interested in attending the concert in the online registration.  

Sunday, September 19 – Class of 2020 Strolling Brunch at Alumni Park

The Wisconsin Alumni Association invites you to join your fellow Class of 2020 graduates for a scrumptious strolling brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Alumni Park (between the Red Gym and Memorial Union). This complimentary brunch will feature special guest servers from across campus delivering delicious catered foods from our friends at the Wisconsin Union. We’re honored to help you close out your graduation celebration weekend with this casual and fun event and welcome you to alumnihood in person! We hope to see you there. On, Wisconsin!   

Become a Wisconsin Union Member for LIFE!

When you return to campus, do so as a Wisconsin Union member. Special member only opportunities will be available during this celebratory weekend. Purchase a lifetime Wisconsin Union membership for just $50! Use promo code WELCOMEBACK

Click here to become a member today.

*May 2020 grads: This is a special, one-time offer saving you $150 off the alumni rate. Offer expires Sept 19, 2021. Don’t wait – become a member today!

*August 2020 and December 2020 grads: The $50 rate is only available for one year after graduation, after which the $200 alumni rate will apply. Don’t miss this chance to save $150 – become a member today!

Travel

Hotels

Various hotels will be offering discounts and complimentary packages for the Class of 2020.

Holiday Inn Express and Suites Madison Central will be offering an exclusive rate of $199 per night by using a personal link. Book at the exclusive rate here. For more information please call 608-630-7124

Hilton Garden Inn Madison Downtown will have single/double occupancy rooms available for $159 a night on September 17th and September 18th. These rates include complimentary WiFi, in room microwaves and refrigerators, and access to their 24-hour fitness facility. Day parking for non-overnight guests is $5 per day and overnight parking for guests will cost $15. For more information please call 608-251-9588 and use the link here to book a room.

Best Western Premier Park Hotel will have rooms available for $140 per night for traditional or deluxe rooms with 1 or 2 beds and $190 a night for king suites. Upon check-in, guests will receive a Bucky Badger frosted sugar cookie as well as 2 complimentary drinks and 1 complimentary appetizer from The Post Restaurant & Bar. Please call 608-327-1134 for more information.

Flights

Planning to fly to Madison, Milwaukee or Chicago? Book with American Airlines for an exclusive discount for the Class of 2020. Enter 3191BK in the Promotion Code box when booking your flight online at www.aa.com. If booking with a travel agent, please have them enter the same code in the tour code box. Discount is available for travel occurring on September 14 through September 21, 2021.  

For questions regarding Ticketing, please call Meeting Services at 1-800-433-1790. 

Note: Code may not apply to some flights depending on pre-existing American Airlines discounts, terms and conditions.  

2020 Graduate Celebration FAQ

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

How is this celebration different from normal commencement?

This celebration will be shorter than a normal commencement. As all degrees have already been conferred to the Class of 2020 graduates, we will have the celebratory portions of the ceremony only. This includes speeches from the Chancellor, a keynote speaker, and a selected alumni speaker.

Posted on

Why is this celebration being held?

To recognize the important accomplishments of these graduates who weren’t able to celebrate in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted on

Can my friends or family attend these events with me?

Yes, you may bring other attendees to the Graduation Celebration at Memorial Union Terrace (seating is first come, first served) and the ceremony at Camp Randall. Due to space constraints, the concert at The Sylvee and brunch at Alumni Park will be ticketed events limited to graduates only.

Posted on

Can my family come to the Camp Randall ceremony with me?

Yes! We gladly welcome guests to Camp Randall. Seating will reflect typical spring commencements, with graduates in chairs on the football field and guests sitting in the Camp Randall stands. Attendance at other events is subject to availability due to space constraints.

Posted on

Are we going to be wearing caps and gowns?

Graduates will have the option to wear a cap, gown, and a commemorative stole to the Camp Randall ceremony. Academic Attire for graduates is not required to attend the celebration, although we do encourage you to show your Badger pride.

Posted on

Do we have to pay for caps and gowns?

Graduates of the Class of 2020 will have the option to wear existing rental attire, rent attire at a discount, or purchase a stole. Caps and commemorative tassels will be provided at no cost to all graduates. If you already have a cap and tassel, you are encouraged to wear it—especially if it is already decorated!

Posted on

Will there be any mask requirements?

No, but we strongly encourage all graduates to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and the community as a whole. If you need help finding a vaccine appointment, go to vaccine.gov for your local information. 

Posted on

Is there a chance this event could get postponed due to COVID-19?

As with any event occurring on campus, we will abide by the university’s current COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

Posted on

Can I participate from home?

Yes! We understand that not all graduates are able to return to campus, and we will miss you. The Saturday ceremony will be livestreamed via YouTube on our website so anyone is able to watch. Additionally, stay connected by following @UWGrad on Twitter and by using #uwgrad2020

Posted on

Where and when will these celebration events be happening?

  • Friday September 17th events will be happening at Memorial Union Terrace 
  • Saturday September 18th: Camp Randall Stadium graduation will start at 2:00 p.m. CT. Photos with Abe on Bascom Hill will occur from 10am – Noon; 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Please sign-up for an appointed photo time. Finally the concert at the Sylvee will occur from 8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
  • Sunday September 19th the scrumptious strolling brunch will happen from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Alumni Park (between the Red Gym and Memorial Union)
Posted on

Will there be food and drink options throughout the weekend?

Ice cream will be provided for graduates at the Terrace event on Friday, September 17. The Alumni Strolling Brunch is free for graduates. 

Posted on

What is Camp Randall's carry-in policy?

Please view the carry-in policy for Camp Randall here.

Posted on

Will there be college-specific graduation events?

Yes, some Schools, Colleges, Departments and Organizations will have celebrations for graduates. More information will be provided on our website as those event details are collected.

Posted on

Are plus ones allowed for the Sylvee concert?

At this time, tickets are restricted to graduates only as capacity is limited at the venue.

Posted on

Are there any hotel discounts?

There will be special rates and/or packages at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Madison Central, the Hilton Garden Inn Madison Downtown, and the Best Western Premier Park Hotel.

Posted on

Are there any flight discounts?

Yes, book with American Airlines for an exclusive discount for the Class of 2020. Enter 3191BK in the Promotion Code box when booking your flight online at www.aa.com. Valid only for travel occurring on September 14 through September 21, 2021.

Posted on

Stay connected by following @UWGrad on Twitter and by using #uwgrad2020

Excited to attend? Don’t forget to register! Click here to let us know you’ll be attending.