The greater Madison community is invited to attend the inspiring and memorable graduation ceremony for students of the UW Odyssey Project class of 2018 on May 2 at the Great Hall of Memorial Union that will feature guest speaker Judge Everett Mitchell.

“The Odyssey Project is a gem because it allows for the voices of those who are normally kept silent or ignored to get the nurturing and support those voices need to be set free,” says Mitchell in a statement. “I have witnessed students re-discover their purpose and put into action dreams many believed had been lost. Under the careful and compassionate guidance of Emily Auerbach, students display the depth of their souls and talents. I cannot think of a greater way to spend my time than celebrating graduation with this year’s Odyssey graduates. I am inspired by their journeys and I know others who hear from them will leave inspired as well.”

Judge Everett Mitchell

UW-Odyssey Project is a two-semester humanities class for adults facing barriers to a college education. They provide them with free tuition, textbooks, childcare, a weekly dinner, and six UW credits in English through support from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grants, and private donations. From September to May, students in this rigorous, six-credit humanities course have discussed great works of literature, American history, philosophy, and art history while developing skills in critical thinking as well as academic, creative, and persuasive writing.

At the UW Odyssey Project Graduation Ceremony 2018, Judge Mitchell will join the faculty team — Project Director Emily Auerbach, Associate Director Kevin Mullen, Marshall Cook, Jean Feraca, and Craig Werner — in celebrating students’ successful completion of six UW credits following two semesters of work. At the graduation ceremony, each student will share a reading. Reception with refreshments and live music will follow.