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Soccer star Rose Lavelle to speak at UW-Madison's online winter commencement ceremony
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Soccer star Rose Lavelle to speak at UW-Madison's online winter commencement ceremony

Rose Lavelle

The United States' Rose Lavelle, right, celebrates after scoring her side's second goal during the Women's World Cup Final against The Netherlands in July 2019.

Soccer star and Badger alumna Rose Lavelle will deliver the keynote address at UW-Madison’s winter commencement ceremony, which will be held online because of COVID-19.

Rose Lavelle


More than 2,000 degrees will be conferred during the Dec. 13 ceremony, the university announced Wednesday. Chancellor Rebecca Blank said UW-Madison will “find an opportunity” for graduates to celebrate in person with family and friends.

Lavelle took up soccer at the age of 5. The Cincinnati native studied sociology at UW-Madison and, as a Badger, was a 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, two-time Big Ten midfielder of the year, Big Ten freshman of the year and NSCAA First Team All-American. She graduated in 2017.

Lavelle scored the second goal for the United States in their 2-0 victory over The Netherlands in their World Cup Final in July 2019. She earned that tournament’s Bronze Ball award and was later named to the 2019 FIFA FIFPro World XI. She is now a midfielder for Manchester City.

“Rose is an extraordinary University of Wisconsin alum who is not only a world champion player on the field but a champion off the field as an advocate for gender equality and equal pay in professional sports,” senior class president Alec Bukowiec said in the university announcement.

Addressing the disappointment of another commencement ceremony held via computer screen, Bukowiec said: “While we cannot come together in one physical space, we will still cheer for the achievements of our graduates as one class. I am confident Badgers know how to celebrate each other wherever we are, no matter the circumstance.”

Photos: UW-Madison graduates gather after virtual commencement ceremony

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