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UW-La Crosse to host virtual ‘Couch Commencement’

Kaitlyn Riley

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More than 1,700 UW-La Crosse students who cannot graduate in person will be recognized in a virtual ceremony Saturday, May 16.

Being called a ‘couch commencement,’ the event will go online at 10 a.m. with a short message from UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow and others along with photos and written messages of encouragement from the graduates.

On April 28, students planning to participate in spring ceremonies were asked to upload an image and share inspiring thoughts for family, professors or friends.

“While the tribute is not ideal, it’s a good way for graduates to start their celebration,” Provost Betsy Morgan said. “We are so proud of you and all you’ve done to get to this major milestone. We look forward to sharing this online celebration with you.”

Additionally, nine UWL ROTC students will be commissioned during a special virtual ceremony on Zoom Sunday May 17. Instead of one mass commissioning, each student will be commissioned individually in a personal, 30-minute ceremony with parents, siblings, grandparents and others close.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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