Winter Ceremony 2021

Winter Ceremony 2021

Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degree Ceremony
Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
Kohl Center, 601 W. Dayton Street
Doors open at 8:00 a.m., graduates are asked to be seated by 9:40 a.m.
The keynote speaker will be announced soon!

Guests, family members and friends are welcome to attend. There is no ticketing for attendance and seating is general admission, first come, first served. Anyone needing accommodations should meet with Guest Services at Gate A for assistance. If you are a graduate in need of accommodations please email

Download a Graduate Checklist with everything you need to know!

A group of graduates, including Zafirah Zaidan, Fatin Nadiah, Anis Syazwani Mazelan and Auni Mohamad Nuri, take a photo following the winter commencement ceremony held in the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Dec. 15, 2019. (Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison)


UW graduate and student keynote speaker Lisa Kamal points to an audience member during her speech at the winter commencement ceremony held in the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Dec. 15, 2019. (Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison)

We are seeking a graduating student of the Class of 2021 to serve as the student speaker at the Winter Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2019, at the Kohl Center. The selected student will be invited to speak on behalf of all graduates. Any student who completes degree requirements in either Summer or Fall of 2021 and indicates their intention to graduate through the MyUW Student Center is eligible, regardless of school, college, or major. The student selected will deliver a three to four minute speech at commencement.

Your submission should reflect your unique path to UW–Madison, how you have been shaped by your time here on campus (what are some of the most impactful moments, what was a turning point, etc.), and what you hope to see yourself and your fellow classmates achieve in the coming years after graduation. Check out Class of 2019 graduate Lisa Kamal’s speech from Winter Commencement to get a feel for what it would be like to be the student speaker.

If you are interested in being considered for this speaking opportunity, please complete this application, and upload a Word doc of your remarks, as well as an audio or video file of you presenting your remarks, by midnight on Monday, October 25This is an absolute deadline, and no late applications will be considered.

The application will ask for your name, phone number, email address, school/college and major from which you will graduate, a word doc of your remarks and finally an audio or video file of your remarks as you would present them onstage.

The student speaker will be notified by November 1st if they have been selected. Senior Class Officers, along with representatives from the Chancellor’s Office and University Communications will review all applications. Some candidates might be asked to come in person to present their remarks as part of the selection process. If you have any additional questions please email


This event is subject to public health guidelines which are subject to change at any time. Campus event policies, Kohl Center policies and carry-in procedures will be enforced in alignment with Public Health Madison Dane County. In regards to COVID-19, please consult PHMDC, the latest emergency orderCDC guidelines, and the Campus Event Guidelines under the COVID Campus Operations Response page. The Winter Commencement Ceremony will adapt to changing public health guidelines as necessary.


The deadline to Apply to Graduate is November 5, 2021. Applying to graduate by the deadline ensures that your name will be included in the official Commencement Program.  Students who apply to graduate after the deadline will not see their name in the printed program.

Visit the student center’s instruction page and the Office of the Registrar’s webpage  for detailed instructions on how to apply to graduate.  Master’s and PhD students can find additional information on the Graduate School’s “completing your degree” webpage.


In Spring 2017, the gown designs were updated to include the University of Wisconsin–Madison colors and crest logo, providing both a pop of red among the traditional sea of black and an additional display of UW spirit that’s recognizable to all.  Read about the significance of the cap and gown. To ensure that your academic regalia is reflective of the new design, please place your reservation order through the University Book Store. View the University Book Store’s timeline  for picking up attire. All graduates should reserve their academic attire by December 18, 2021. Call (608) 257-3784, extension 5924, if you have questions.

Eligible undergraduate degree candidates can also order a stole from the University Book Store here. Honors candidates do not need to pre-order stoles; the University Book Store will receive a list of honors candidates in advance. Academic stoles, for the foreseeable future, will also now only be available as purchase only.

Graduates facing financial hardship, who cannot afford to rent their academic attire, should contact the Commencement office for a scholarship application to support the costs associated with renting a cap and gown.  Scholarship requests need to be submitted by November 15, 2021 in order to be considered for approval.

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