Long-time Wisconsin legislator to address UW-Stevens Point graduates

Wisconsin’s longest serving congressman will address University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduates and their families at spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16.

David R. Obey, who represented Wisconsin’s 7th District for 42 years and helped launch several innovative programs at UW-Stevens Point, will speak. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the university, the second one conferred in UW-Stevens Point’s history.

Nearly 1,400 graduates will earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the UW-Stevens Point Health Enhancement Center.

The student speaker at 9:30 a.m. will be Joao Castro Silva Jr., a computer information systems – application development major from Stevens Point. New alumni will be welcomed by Clint and Jamie Kriewaldt of Seymour, alumni of the classes of 2008 and 2001.

The 2 p.m. speaker will be Alisa Damitz, a graduate student in speech language pathology from Cudahy. Welcoming the new alumni will be Andrew and Shana Halverson of Stevens Point, alumni of the classes of 2001 and 2002.

Senior Dana Carlson, a choral music education major from Somerset, will sing the national anthem and UW-Stevens Point’s alma mater. She will be accompanied by the UW-Stevens Point Band, directed by Jon Caldwell.

Guests may park in any campus lot (for free) except Lot F West, which will be used for handicap access.

Obey, who grew up in Wausau, made significant contributions to higher education, the state and the nation. He supported several federal student programs, increases to Pell grants and reduced interest rates for student loans.

At UW-Stevens Point he helped secure funding for the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, the Geographic Information Systems Training Center, and the Trainer Natural Resources addition and environmental education.

Obey was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1962 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 1969. He served on the Labor, Health and Social Services and Education Subcommittee and Appropriation Committee for 35 years, including four as chairman. He also served as chair of the Foreign Operations Appropriation Subcommittee. He was an advocate for education, public health, political transparency and humanitarian assistance in the United States and abroad.

Article Tags

CPS; COLS; CNR; COFAC; Alumni; Chancellor; Prosperous