MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - For the first time in almost a quarter century, Wisconsin's flagship university will hold a single commencement for all of its graduates next May.
UW-Madison's new chancellor, Rebecca Blank, worked with senior class leaders to move the spring's commencement to Camp Randall Stadium -- home of the football Badgers with over 80,000 seats.
Former Chancellor Donna Shalala moved the commencements indoors to the Kohl Center -- but with 19,000 seats, there was not enough room to graduate everybody together. So they held four ceremonies spread through a weekend.
UW spokesman John Lucas said it was hard to find top rate speakers for all four ceremonies -- so moving it to Camp Randall should make that task easier.
Senior class president Joe Meeker says it will be a powerful experience to share a single ceremony with all of next spring's expected 6,000 graduates.
The change had been considered for three years. Blank said it would allow seniors to graduate on a "grander scale" while maintaining the ceremonies' personal elements.