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The first winter commencement ceremony took place in the Wisconsin Field House in January of 1965. Before the UW began welcoming alumni back to campus to serve as commencement speakers, it was tradition for the president of the university to deliver a keynote address to the graduates. The winter class of 1965 graduated near the tail end of this tradition, so they heard from President Fred Harvey Harrington at their commencement ceremony. After speaking at 13 consecutive winter and spring ceremonies, it seems President Harrington was ready to move on to a more varied pool of speakers. Tune into this weekend’s commencement ceremony with congressional correspondent Manu Raju ’02, who’s back on campus to break a different kind of news to our most recent grads. Other changes in commencement programming at the UW over the years include a number of venue switches and increases in sessions to accommodate growing classes. And, of course, we hope to soon forget the COVID-19-related changes to our graduation festivities.

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