Saturday, May 15, 2010

MFA Class of 2010 Graduates

(pictured l to r: Alyssa Knickerbocker, Barrett Swanson, Jake Wolff, Noreen McAuliffe, Angela Delarmente, Stacey Mantooth, and Vanessa Merina)

This was graduation week at UW-Madison, a bittersweet time given we're thrilled by the accomplishments of our 7 graduating fiction writers, but sad to be saying goodbye. To avoid dwelling on how much we would miss these guys, we made sure we were all very busy this week. Along with final thesis meetings, the signing of warrants, one last reading (by our own Jesse Lee Kercheval), and the usual last-week-of-the-semester craziness, there were a number of events to celebrate our graduating class's achievements. These included an intimate champagne reception at Lorrie Moore's home for the fiction MFAs and the fiction faculty and, on graduation day itself, Friday May 14, a bash at Jesse Lee's, where fiction and poetry faculty, our 2010 Institute fellows and our first-year MFAs, as well as a number of MFA alumni, proud parents, and supportive partners, toasted the graduates and marveled at how quickly two years can go by.

Around 4pm, the soon-to-be graduates and their faculty escorts donned their academic regalia and, after the obligatory photo session, headed to the Kohl Center for the early evening ceremony.

On a personal note, it was a thrill for me to escort two of my thesis students, Stacey Mantooth and Barrett Swanson, to the stage, where Chancellor Biddy Martin presented them with their diplomas. Congratulations to them and to the entire class of 2010.

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