Marquette, UWM grads don caps and gowns, celebrate graduation

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Sunday, May 19th was "Graduation Day" for now former UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University students, who celebrated their commencements in downtown Milwaukee. Comedian Bill Cosby was the commencement speaker at Marquette University, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was the commencement speaker at UWM.

Donning a Golden Eagles hat and Marquette sweatshirt, comedy legend Bill Cosby shared words of wisdom with Marquette's Class of 2013.

"Some of you have people in walkers and wheelchairs who will die two days from now. They just hung around to see this miracle," Cosby told the graduates.

Cosby was given an honorary degree by Marquette before a crowd of thousands.

Next door, UW-Milwaukee graduates filled the U.S. Cellular Arena. Selig received an honorary degree from UWM's School of Business.

"On this day of hope and optimism, it's a privilege to congratulate the Class of 2013 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I wish you all the best and good fortune as you begin to realize your dreams and make an impact on the world where all things are possible. It's a privilege to be here. Thank you very much," Selig told the crowd.

Graduate Bianca Costanzo reached her goal in four years.

"Graduated with honors, so kind of ruled the roost on that one. I am so excited and so proud of my accomplishments," Constanzo said.

Donnie Shade celebrated graduation on Sunday, but isn't saying goodbye to school quite yet.

"Two more years of grad school, and then hopefully into the workforce after that," Shade said.

John Zignego took a year off, and had some help getting back into the classroom. Six years after starting, he walked across the stage and accepted his diploma on Sunday.

"My mother and my brother convinced me to go back. Without them I probably wouldn't be here. Everyone has a unique path, and it's finally over. Now I have an engineering degree and can put the shovel down and hopefully use my brain instead of my body. That was the idea of going to school," Zignego said.

Zignego has a job lined up at the family's paving business.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies plan to hire 13% more recent graduates than last year.