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Waukesha County Technical College to honor graduates at two spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 20

Dual Enrollment Academy graduation to be held May 19

grad rich and student

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Tuesday, May 14, 2023) – Waukesha County Technical College students who will be graduating from associate degree, technical diploma and apprenticeship programs are getting ready to cross the stage at two spring commencement ceremonies set for this Saturday, May 20. This is the first class to graduate in WCTC’s second century of operation, as WCTC is celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

The College will also honor high school students who are earning credentials through the Dual Enrollment Academy (DEA) at a ceremony set for Friday, May 19. DEA allows high school students to explore high-demand fields and earn college credit while still in high school.

  •  WCTC’s Saturday morning ceremony will be at 10 a.m. for students in programs within the School of Business and the School of Protective & Human Services; the afternoon ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m. for students in programs within the School of Applied Technologies and the School of Health.  Jon Wehrli, retired president of Eaton Corp. – Power Systems Division, will serve as commencement speaker.
  • The Friday night DEA ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Mark Hansen, Ph.D., superintendent for the School District of Elmbrook, will serve as the DEA commencement speaker.

All ceremonies will be held on the main Pewaukee campus in the Anthony J. Natalizio Center (AJN Center), Building S.

Newsroom-OSA_23Graduation marks a significant academic milestone for students. Around 450 students are slated to participate in the Saturday exercises, with 220 DEA students being honored at Friday’s event.

Four Outstanding Student Award recipients – those who embody the spirit and mission of WCTC -- will be honored Saturday. 

These students are selected based on their academic performance, credits completed, leadership experience and involvement in campus activities. They are:

  • Heather Lewis, Baking and Pastry Management, Culinary Management -- School of Business (student speaker, morning ceremony)
  • Maya Pagel, Fire/EMT Dual Enrollment Academy (including Emergency Medical Technicial technical diploma program) -- School of Protective & Human Services
  • LeKennen Kirk, Automotive Maintenance Technician -- School of Applied Technologies
  • Sherry Drinan, Nursing -- School of Health (student speaker, afternoon ceremony)Newsroom-Grit-2023

In addition, the Grit Award will be presented to one graduating student who demonstrates the characteristics of courage, resolve, strength of character, perseverance and determination in reaching their long-term goals. This year’s recipient is Nicklaus Ryan, who will earn his associate degree in Front End Web Development.

Suzanne Kelley, who is the president and CEO of the Waukesha County Business Alliance, will be honored with the Outstanding Service Award on Saturday. This is presented to an individual who gives of their talent, skills and resources toward the advancement of technical education. Kelley is a true proponent of technical education and promotes its important connection to business and industry.

Besides the official College graduation ceremonies, students in several programs have held celebrations throughout the month, including the law enforcement academy graduation, nurse pinning ceremony and program showcases. On May 4, several students were honored at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Induction Ceremony and Spring Awards event.  (PTK is an international honor society for students enrolled in a two-year associate degree program who have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in their program of study.)

       >> Those who are interested in watching the DEA graduation ceremony online on Friday, May 19, via a live stream can visit (Scroll to the bottom right of the page, and click on the “DEA Graduation Ceremony” link.)

        >> Those who are interested in watching the spring commencement ceremonies online on Saturday, May 20, via a live stream can visit and click on the graduation link.

About Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 170 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit