Advisory: Marquette celebrates graduates despite delayed Commencement

May 13, 2020

CommencementMILWAUKEE — Despite the postponement of an in-person Commencement ceremony, Marquette University is excited and honored to celebrate its graduates, who completed their final semester amid a profoundly challenging time for the university—and the world.

The @MarquetteU Twitter account has begun recognizing graduates with encouraging and congratulatory messages, while graduate yard signs were available for purchase with proceeds being directed to the university’s Bridge to the Future Fund, which provides immediate impact dollars to students whose families have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 900 signs were sold, generating almost $4,500 for the scholarship fund.

The following graduates are available for interviews this week.

Rachel Beilfuss. Rachel was the 2020 recipient of the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award, which is presented to a student who has shown exemplary service to the Marquette community and beyond. Over the past two years, she has spent hours serving with StreetLife Communities, providing meals, toiletries, food and fellowship to people in the Milwaukee homeless community. She also serves as a eucharistic minister at Gesu Church, a volunteer with Midnight Run and as an executive board member for the Backpack Program.

Brendan Blaney. Brendan is graduating from the College of Nursing. COVID-19 interrupted his final semester of studies as he was doing his clinical rotations at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. He authored a reflection for Marquette Today in honor of National Student Nurses Day on May 8. The current pandemic has solidified his calling as a nurse. Brendan is preparing to take the nursing licensing exam (NCLEX) before getting to work.

Noe Rincon. Noe is a recipient of the Bruce Biever Award for Outstanding Student in sociology. A first-generation college student and the son of Latinx immigrants, he saw both of his parents contract COVID-19, but was able to finish a stellar academic career as they made full recoveries. He worked in his family cabinetry shop and now will attend law school, while exploring interests in legal sociology and environmental economics.

Jasmine Hernandez. Jasmine is active in the campus community and beyond, promoting diversity in nursing through her work as a project coordinator for Project BEYOND-2. With PB-2, she has co-presented at various schools in underserved areas in Milwaukee, sharing her struggles of growing up in a low-income family, being a minority and a first-generation college student. She has also served as a class representative for the Marquette Student Nurses Association, Student Alumni Ambassador, and was the president of the Dance Marathon at Marquette, raising $130,000 for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Charlie Bowen. Charlie is graduating from Marquette Law School and was recently honored as an Outstanding Public Interest Law Student by the Wisconsin Bar Association for his commitment to public service, his energy to work for a better world and his leadership. He performed more than 450 hours of pro bono work as a law student and is a leader in the Public Interest Law Society on campus. After graduation, Charles will begin work with the Milwaukee Public Defenders Office.

Ariana Chiapas. Ariana is the president of the Anthropology Society and was the recipient of the department’s Outstanding Senior award, as well as the James M. Rhodes Student Citizen Award from the Political Science Department. Her leadership has been noted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, offering comfort and support to fellow students. After graduation, she is joining Americorps and will then continue her studies in anthropology. Ariana’s senior capstone research project examined the experiences of transnational adolescents.

Media interested in reaching a student featured or any other programs at Marquette University can contact Kevin Conway in the Office of Marketing and Communication at

Note: Marquette will exercise best practices in social distancing for all media interviews to protect the health, safety and well-being of our university community and our partners in the media. Interviews will be done remotely via Skype or a similar mutually agreed upon technology; b-roll footage may be captured on a limited basis and in close coordination with the Office of Marketing and Communication.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or