The final leg of a 7.5-year journey

As Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Leon worked tirelessly toward a double major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he knew two things: He wasn’t going to give up on what at times seemed like a far-away dream. And, he was going to wrap up his university experience with a literal race to graduation on commencement morning.

What he didn’t always know is “Why?”

Why was he so inspired to run? It’s something he says he never particularly enjoyed. Why did it mean so much to him that he felt compelled to invite the chancellor of UWM to join him?

And, when Chancellor Michael R. Lovell surprised Leon with an enthusiastic “Yes,” Leon wondered: “What did I get myself into?”

In this video, the 37-year-old Army reservist describes his life as a student, soldier, husband, father and high-school dropout. Sunday afternoon, Leon added a new title: Lubar School of Business graduate, with his dream job at Rockwell Automation. He also shares his thoughts on his symbolic race to graduation – the final, four-mile leg of a 7.5-year college journey.

Homepage photo by: Peter Jakubowski