Advisory: Marquette Commencement ceremonies to be held May 20 at Fiserv Forum

May 11, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University will recognize the 3,143 members of its 142nd graduating class with Commencement ceremonies to be held Saturday, May 20, at Fiserv Forum.

Undergraduates will be recognized in a ceremony at 9 a.m., and graduates of the Graduate School and Graduate School of Management will be recognized in an event at 2 p.m.

Photographers are welcome to capture b-roll and still images freely in an unobtrusive manner. Media interested in attending a Commencement ceremony should RSVP by contacting Kevin Conway, associate director of university communication, at The ceremonies will also be livestreamed on the 2023 Commencement website.

*All media are required to enter Fiserv Forum through the loading dock entrance #10

Below is information and facts for each Commencement ceremony, as well as graduates who are available this week for interviews leading up to Commencement.

Undergraduate ceremony

Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin will serve as Commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. She will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree as part of the ceremony. NOTE: There will be no media availability for Marlee Matlin in conjunction with the Commencement ceremony.

Jamal Hanson, a history major in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, will be this year’s student speaker for the undergraduate Commencement ceremony.

Facts about the undergraduate Class of 2023:

  • 1,828 graduates
  • 23% of graduates are first-generation students
  • 26% of graduates are students of color
  • Graduates are representing 40 states, three U.S. territories and 17 other countries
  • 33% of the graduates are from Wisconsin and 39% are from Illinois
  • Most popular majors, by size of graduating class: nursing, biomedical sciences, finance, psychology, marketing, accounting

The following graduates are available for interviews surrounding graduation. It may be easier to find time with them during the week instead of on Sunday. Contact Marquette's Office of University Relations to arrange a day and time:

  • Tea Lowe is graduating from the College of Education, but she will not be searching for her first full-time teaching position. In fact, she is finishing the 2022-23 academic year in the West Allis-West Milwaukee school district as a teacher. She performed so well that the district worked to get her a temporary teaching license so that she could finish out the school year as a non-training teacher. She is graduating with degrees in elementary education and psychology.
  • Bogdan Taran came to the United States from Ukraine when he was 12 and is graduating from the College of Business Administration. While he has been in the U.S., his father and brother remain in Ukraine with other family members living in the midst of the war zone. Through this, he has persevered through his college education, focusing on how to lead and make meaningful change in the world, while his homeland was being torn apart in the war.
  • Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Milwaukee graduated its first class on 2019. Now, four years later, members of that first graduating class are now graduating from college in 2023. In fact, 11 members of CRJHS’ inaugural graduating class are among Marquette’s graduates. Cristo Rey and Marquette have a strong connection along mission lines as Jesuit institutions, while also partnering for student development. Cristo Rey students intern in office across the Marquette campus, while the Encuentros Mentor Program pairs graduates attending Marquette with student mentors who have also graduated from the Cristo Rey network.
  • Alex Blum is graduating from the Opus College Engineering and will head to Houston in July to start post-graduate career as a test engineer at NASA. He spent three semesters interning at NASA while at Marquette, which undoubtedly led to NASA taking the rare step to directly hire a new engineer—engineers are usually hired through subcontractors. An electrical engineering major, Blum expects to join a team that is testing for VIPER, NASA’s newest moon rover, and Gateway, Artemis Mission’s new space station to orbit the moon.

Graduate ceremony

[NOTE: Graduate recognition ceremonies for the law and dental schools are not part of this ceremony and are not open to media at this time.]

John Gurda, noted writer and Milwaukee historian, will speak at the Graduate School and Graduate School of Management ceremony. He will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree as part of the ceremony.

Paige Peters, the founder and chief technology officer of Rapid Radicals Technology, LLC, will address fellow graduates at the ceremony for the graduate school and professional studies programs. She is receiving her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the Opus College of Engineering.

Facts about the graduate and professional studies class:

  • 1,315 graduates
  • 849 master’s degrees
  • 72 Ph.D.s
  • 394 professional studies degrees (law, dental, physical therapy)

The following graduates are available for interviews this week:

  • Kat Klawes established Gloss Moss in 2021 as a business selling marimo moss plants. The profits from the business are used to support survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Marimo moss are an aquatic plant that is known for being easy to care for. Over the past two years, seven families have been able to secure housing thanks to Gloss Moss' donation totaling over $5,000. Additionally, Klawes is a volunteer survivor advocate through Survivor Shoulders. She organizes various activities such as book clubs, writing nights, and other activities to provide support for survivors. She will be receiving her master's degree in education policy.

For assistance the morning of Commencement, please contact any of the following:

  • Kevin Conway, associate director of university communication
    • (414) 202-9329 – mobile
  • Melissa Barclay, senior communication specialist
    • (603) 897-5770 – mobile
  • Lynn Griffith, assistant vice president of university communication
    • (414) 499-5157 – mobile

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

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