UW commencement speech creates controversy

Kristin Czubkowski:

UW-Madison’s winter commencement ceremonies have passed, but one student’s speech has generated continuing controversy for giving parents and families a little too much detail about what their graduates may have been doing over the past four or more years.
UW-Madison graduate Savannah Ziegelbauer spoke on behalf of graduates at the 10 a.m. ceremony Sunday. While her speech’s focus was on three campus landmarks that symbolized the growth and achievements of graduates, it also made eight references to drinking or partying — including four in the first 30 seconds — which caused offense for some faculty and audience members.
Julie Mitchell, a professor of biochemistry and mathematics at UW, said the number of references were not as troubling as the visceral image that Ziegelbauer, a journalism and political science major who graduated with honors, was able to portray.