Concordia University Wisconsin will celebrate a total of 1,239 candidates for graduation during Virtual Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12.


Download Commencement Program

The 2020 Virtual Commencement ceremony will recognize both the undergraduate and graduate candidates who completed programs in May or December of this year. The December cohort comprises 318 of the total. 

As previously announced, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, and current ESPN analyst Tim Tebow will deliver the keynote commencement address. His pre-recorded address is expected to air around 2 p.m. CT, after an address from the CUW student commencement speaker, Tavia Quaid. 

Other special speakers/addresses will include: 

  • Tanner Olson (’12), a published poet and spoken word artist, will open the ceremony with a commissioned piece for the Class of 2020 titled, “Before You Go”. 
  • Brief remarks will be given by Concordia‚Äôs academic deans, director of church work placements, Vice President of Student Life and Campus Pastor.
  • Senior Vice President Gretchen M. Jameson, Ed.D., will MC the event.
  • Provost William Cario, PhD, will present the candidates, and University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD, will pronounce the formal conferral.

Names of individual graduates will not be announced during the virtual ceremony. Instead, a downloadable commemorative program is available online, and candidates’ names are listed by their academic school at cuw.edu/graduation.  

Virtual Commencement will feature a combination of pre-recorded and live-streamed footage. The stream will be available for viewing beginning Saturday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. CT. Starting on Monday, Dec. 14, the Virtual Commencement stream will also be made available for on-demand viewing at cuw.edu/graduation.  

Student Commencement Speaker

The student commencement speaker is Tavia Quaid, who will graduate with her Doctorate of Education in Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement. She is among the first to graduate from CUW’s EdD LICI program. Quaid earned her bachelor’s degree in history from San Jose State University, and, later, a secondary teaching credential, which allowed her to begin her career in public education in 1988. She completed the Master of Science in Liberal Studies program at Reed College in Portland. 

Quaid is a respected advocate for school reform, and has been honored with several recognitions for her work. Three times over she received “Excellence in Teaching” awards, first from University of California San Diego in 1999, then from Stanford University in 2007, and, most recently, from Vancouver Public Schools in 2016. She also held the title of “California State Mentor Teacher” from 1995-97, and again from 1997-99. 

She, along with her husband and their two daughters, reside in southwest Washington. Quaid teacher history and English at Columbia River High School. 

A comprehensive commencement experience

To pay tribute to its May and December 2020 graduates, Concordia created a digital commencement portal that will house the video for the Virtual Commencement ceremony, commemorative pieces including graduates’ names, and a digital commencement celebration kit.

The commencement portal is available at cuw.edu/graduation. Click below and take a moment to browse through the resources and opportunities that exist to celebrate you or your loved one’s milestone achievement!  

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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