Commencement: A Virtual Celebration for the Class of 2020

2020 graduate posing with law building sign

yaron and kids W handsAlthough physically apart, the UW Law School community came together in Badger spirit to celebrate the Class of 2020 on May 15.

UW Law’s annual commencement ceremony, held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis, featured a pre-recorded keynote speech from the Honorable James Donald Peterson ’98. His selection as keynoter by the graduating class was a fitting honor for Peterson, who is chief judge of the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin; he also presented the welcome keynote at the Class of 2020’s orientation ceremonies.

Peterson delivered his address from his basement workshop, where he shared lessons he learned from his years as a woodworker: he told graduates to be open to where their path leads; have confidence they’ll succeed through study and careful work; and get some guidance.

Dean Margaret Raymond hosted the ceremony, her last before stepping down as dean on July 31. Additional recorded speeches were provided by Professor Howard Erlanger, representing the faculty, and Nancy Cruz, Tajae Evans, and Daniela Fachiano Nakano, representing the graduating class.

To view the ceremony online, visit

2020 graduate in robes with parents2020 grad selfiemegan heneke with W hands


student speaker Nancy Cruz2020 graduate in robes by capitolkeynote speaker, honorable james donald peterson

student speaker tajae evans posing with sonprofessor mitra sharafi in robes with dog

student speaker daniela nakano2020 graduate in robes up closetati with Wisconsin bumper sticker

student page exampledean raymond at graduation