UW-Stout Chancellor reflects back on career at final commencement ceremony

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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU)- Just as hundreds of graduates embark on the next chapter of their careers, the leader of UW-Stout prepares for the final part of his career.

UW-Stout Chancellor Charles Sorensen started his career at the university in 1988.

Sunday he reflected back on his career as he attended his final commencement ceremony as chancellor.

“The last couple of months I have had a lot of lasts and this is the ultimate last,” Sorensen said following the graduate school commencement ceremony on Sunday.

Commencement is a sight Sorensen has seen time and time again but there was something a little bittersweet for him Sunday as nearly 200 graduate students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

“There were nostalgic feelings. I will never do this again at UW-Stout,” he said.

Sorensen who announced his retirement this December says he has much to be proud of during his time at the university. Provost Jacalyn Weissenburger says one of his greatest accomplishments can be seen by taking a look around campus and in the crowd of graduates.

“We are at almost 9,300 students today and at the time that he started there were only 7,000 students,” Weissenburger said.

Weissenburger says in addition to growing the student body, Sorensen was key to putting technology at the center of learning at the university.

As for the future of Stout's leadership, the selection process is underway but the university says it will be hard to replace its long-serving leader.

“We are going to miss Chancellor Sorensen and we hope we will be able to hire someone as good as him,” Weissenburger said.

“We have good candidates we are going to get a good chancellor,” Sorensen added.

The university says three of its five candidates for the chancellor position have already made campus visits.

The remaining two candidates will visit campus this week. The UW-System Board of Regents will announce its choice for the position at the end of this month.

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