Student Voice


July 14, 2024

Commencement set May 15

May 12, 2010

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will hold spring commencement in two ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15, in the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education and Recreation Center. Some 624 undergraduates will receives degrees.

The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will include students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the College of Business and Economics and Graduate Studies.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will include students from the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education and Professional Studies. The Class of 1960 will lead the afternoon processional march.

Physics Professor Lowell McCann, of Oshkosh, will receive the 2010 University of Wisconsin-River Falls Distinguished Teacher Award at the commencement ceremony. Graduating seniors and recent graduates nominate the Distinguished Teacher; it is the highest award that can be presented to UWRF faculty.

McCann graduated from UWRF summa cum laude in 1991 with a major in physics and minors in math and Spanish. As an undergraduate, McCann was a member of both the Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Pi Sigma honor societies. After receiving his degree, McCann attended Michigan State University, where he received his doctorate in experimental condensed matter physics. McCann came back to UWRF in 1999 to teach, benefitting from the experience of his former instructors, who mentored him as he learned how to be more effective in the classroom.

At UWRF, McCann has taught more than 20 different courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate level.  He predominantly teaches upper-level physics courses such as Quantum Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Advanced Laboratory, and Optics.  He also supervises a large number of student research projects. In 2001, McCann and a colleague were awarded a National Science Foundation grant to modernize and expand the UWRF optics curriculum. In 2007, McCann was named the Outstanding Faculty Mentor for the McNair Scholars program. He has co-authored ten publications on a wide variety of subjects, and is a board member of the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association.

The 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award will be presented to Arlin Albrecht at the ceremonies. Albrecht is a 1958 graduate of UWRF. After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics with minors in journalism and agriculture, Albrecht launched an award-winning, distinguished career in journalism that led to the ownership of 21 community newspapers in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Albrecht began is career at the River Falls Journal, a newspaper he would later own, before moving on to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He joined the Red Wing Publishing Company in 1962, and after becoming a partner in 1967, would go on to become chairman and CEO before selling the company in 2001. During his tenure, Red Wing Publishing grew from one newspaper to 21 and employed more than 400 workers. Albrecht’s newspaper won several “Best in Nation” awards and he was awarded the Herman Roe Editorial Writing Award by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 1990 and the Al McIntosh Distinguished Service to Journalism Award by MNA in 1997.

Albrecht, and his wife, Marilyn, a 1956 UWRF alumnus, are the parents of two grown children, Rebecca and Elizabeth.

Also at the ceremony, an honorary doctorate will be presented to Wong How Man. Honorary doctoral degrees may be bestowed on individuals of exceptional accomplishment and distinction who have made significant contributions to UWRF.

Wong graduated UWRF with a double major in journalism and art in 1975. In 1982 he led the first of six major exploration and photographic expeditions for the National Geographic Society. In 1985, he led an expedition that culminated in the extraordinary discovery of a new source of the Yangtze River. Wong founded the China Exploration and Research Society (CERS), at his invitation UWRF faculty, staff, and students have become engaged in CERS, giving them unique and matchless opportunities.

Recently, TIME Magazine honored Wong as one of 25 ‘Heroes of Asia,’ calling him “China’s Most Accomplished Living Explorer.” In 2002 Wong was recognized as UWRF’s Distinguished Alumnus.

Candidates for degrees will be presented by Fernando Delgado, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dale Gallenberg, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Glenn Potts, dean of the College of Business and Economics; Douglas Johnson, director, graduate studies; Bradley Caskey, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Faye Perkins, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. Chancellor Dean Van Galen will confer degrees.

The River Falls Brass will accompany seniors Brittany Kamrath, a music major from Chetek, at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony and Stephanie Webster, a music major from Shakopee, Minn., at the 2 p.m. ceremony as they sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and the UWRF Pledge Song. The River Falls Brass will also play a variety of music during the prelude to the ceremony as well as “Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar during the Processional and “Quintet No. 1” by Victor Ewald during the recessional. Faculty marshals for the ceremony include plant and earth science Professor William Cordua at the morning ceremony and English Professor Nicholas Karolides at the afternoon ceremony. A congratulatory message will be shared by David Rainville, Faculty Senate chair.  Joe Boles, chair of the UWRF Foundation Board of Directors, will welcome the graduates into the UWRF Alumni Association.

Commencement will be streamed online 15 minutes before each ceremony and may be found at by clicking “view this event live online.” Viewing either event is free but Windows Media Player, a free download, may be required for viewing. In addition, both ceremonies will be shown live on the campus public access station channel 19.