CNN correspondent Manu Raju addresses UW Madison winter graduates

Manu Raju
Manu Raju(NBC15)
Published: Dec. 19, 2021 at 8:25 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An exciting weekend for UW Madison continued with in-person Winter Commencement Sunday. CNN’s chief congressional correspondent and former NBC15 intern Manu Raju addressed 1,200 graduates and their families on the importance of taking risks.

Raju drew upon the lessons of his parents’ humble upbringings and his own UW Madison experience for his keynote address. Despite pursuing a marketing degree, Raju says he took a risk when he chose to cover sports for the Badger Herald, moved to Washington, D.C. and persevere when facing rejection from news outlets early on.

“While daunting risk won’t always materialize in meaningful rewards, meaningful rewards will seldom materialize without daunting risks,” he said.

Raju drew parallels between the way Badgers stick around for 5th quarter festivities regardless of the outcome of a game, and how they will face the post-grad world.

“When trials tempt you to take no for an answer, remember what we do here in Madison. We jump around when we see the good and stick around when we can’t yet,” he said “As you prepare to enter the world WU alums will cheer you on as you work to enrich it.”

According to UW, more than 1,800 doctoral, professional, master’s and bachelor’s students were conferred degrees. About 1,200 of them were in attendance at the Kohl Center. In total nearly 6,000 people gathered for commencement -- including for the first time in two years -- friends and family.

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