UWM, MU host spring commencement ceremonies, "the pay off" after years of hard work

MILWAUKEE -- Graduation ceremonies were held for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University students Sunday, May 22nd in downtown Milwaukee.

UWM's spring commencement ceremony took place at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Kilbourn Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

There was a "Black Ceremony" that began at 9:00 a.m. for all Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Candidates from the following schools/colleges:

School of Architecture and Urban Planning
School of Freshwater Sciences
School of Information Studies
College of Letters and Science
Peck School of the Arts
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health

There was a "Gold Ceremony" that began at 1:30 p.m. for all Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Candidates from the following schools/colleges:

Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business
School of Education
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
College of Health Sciences
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
College of Nursing

CLICK HERE to WATCH streaming video of UWM's commencement ceremony.

For thousands, late-night study sessions and test anxiety turned into excitement Sunday.

Kathryn Henry, UWM graduate

"Absolutely. I can`t wait to be done," Kathryn Henry, UWM graduate said.

The ceremonies marked the culmination of years of hard work.

"Today is the pay off of work that all of the students have done," Wyatt Massey, Marquette University graduate said.

UWM's Class of 2016 included students from 35 different countries, and the university's first graduate from the new School of Public Health.

"I think there are going to be a lot of people happy to be able to accomplish such a great deal," Alberto Maldonado, assistant director of undergraduate admissions at UWM said.

UWM graduate Kathryn Henry is headed to Julliard. She said UWM got her there.

"Absolutely. They grew my passion a lot here," Henry said.

Wyatt Massey

Wyatt Massey, an MU graduate said he is going to intern at the Baltimore Sun to continue his passion in journalism, which was sparked by MU alumnus James Foley, who was killed while on assignment in Syria.

"Learning about him and his mission showed me that there is an intersection between storytelling and social justice and it made me see that I could make a difference as a human rights and social justice journalist," Massey said.

James Foley

Massey and 2,700 others from six countries and 47 states packed the BMO Harris Bradley Center to take their final bow as college students.

MU commencement

"We see all kinds of diverse fields that our graduates are going into but one thing that ties them all together is the mission of Marquette," Chris Jenkins, MU spokesman said.

Dr. Judith Mayotte was the keynote speaker during MU's 135th commencement ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m.

According to Marquette University's website, Mayotte boasts a long career as a teacher, author, television producer and humanitarian.

CLICK HERE to WATCH streaming video of Marquette University's commencement ceremony.