WHEDA CEO Joaquin Altoro to Keynote; Congressional Gold Medal Winner William Coffer Jr. to Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award at MATC Winter Commencement Dec. 13
MILWAUKEE (Dec. 10, 2019) – Joaquin Altoro, CEO and executive director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), will present the keynote speech at Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Winter Commencement at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the Miller High Life Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave. More than 750 students will graduate from associate degree, technical diploma, apprentice and adult high school programs. William Coffer Jr., who received the Congressional Gold Medal as one of the first African-Americans to enlist in the Marine Corps, will receive a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the college.
MATC President Vicki J. Martin will officially confer the degrees; Lisa Olson, member of the MATC District Board, is scheduled to address the assembly. MATC board members Erica Case and Citlali Mendieta-Ramos also are expected to attend.
Altoro served as vice president of town banking for Town Banking of Delafield before his appointment by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers as CEO and executive director of WHEDA this past June. He also served as city plan commissioner for the City of Milwaukee for more than seven years. Altoro is an alumnus of MATC and holds a bachelor’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University.
Coffer was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his military service in August. When he completed basic training in 1948, he became one of the first African Americans to serve in the Marines. Because the Marines were heavily segregated at the time, all 20,000 African American Marines recruited between 1942 and 1949 went through basic training at Montford Point Camp in North Carolina. Coffer went on to serve two years in Korea. When he returned from the service, he earned an associate degree from MATC and a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. He later served as manager at the Milwaukee Housing Authority.
Amanda Ann Szatkowski, who will graduate with an associate degree in accounting, will present the student speech. She also will receive the Outstanding Associate Degree Graduate Award. Sarah Rose Sesterhenn-Lee, who will receive a paralegal studies diploma, will receive the Outstanding Technical Diploma Graduate Award. Keith L. Williams will receive the Outstanding Adult High School Graduate Award.
For more information, call (414) 297-6703.
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and the most diverse two-year institution in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 35,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 150 academic programs; transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 35 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the national standard for academics and student services.