Pettit, Traeger graduate from UW-Madison
Morgan Pettit and Jean Traeger, both of Merrill, were among the more than 1,770 students received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 15, 2019. About 1,200 graduates took part.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank told graduates she’s been following closely the national debate over whether a college degree is worth the cost. As an economist who has spent much of her life studying the U.S. labor market, she said she finds the question mystifying.
“Simply put, you have just made the best investment you will ever make,” she said, to applause. “The monetary returns on a college degree are higher now than they have been in the past 50 years. College graduates earn far more than non-college graduates. It’s clear that university training gives you skills that this global economy values more and more each day.”
Keynote speaker Jason Gay, the sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a 1992 UW-Madison graduate in political science, stressed the messiness of life. Embrace the uncertainty, he said.
“My friends, you’re about to step out into this beautiful chaos,” he told graduates.
Student speaker Lisa Kamal, a highly accomplished geology major, told the graduates that their everyday human experiences give weight and substance to the diplomas they are about to receive.
“Every sacrifice, every bit of energy you dragged out of you every morning – even if all you managed to do was scratch the bare minimum. You are graduating today. You did enough and I am proud of you. I am immensely proud of you.”
Both graduates attended the university’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Pettit received a Bachelor of Science Degree in the field of Horticulture, while Traeger received a Bachelor of Science Degree in the field of Biology.