Carroll University announces the student speaker for its Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 11, 2014. Dane Mariani, a history major with a philosophy minor, is a resident of Pulaski, Wis.
Faculty members nominated him based on academic and leadership achievements, and the graduating class voted him as its representative.
"I'm incredibly honored to have been chosen as the class speaker," Mariani said. "I want to talk about the way that each of the people sitting in front of me have found their own brand for success. Siting in a cap and gown, you've completed something, you've succeeded. I want to highlight the fact that we are a unique group of people. I want to talk about diversity in a more nuanced way."
As a 2013 Pioneer Scholar, Mariani attended the 48th Annual Northern Great Plains History Conference. He received a Scholars Center Scholarly Travel Grant to present his paper, "Performing Progress: Native Americans at Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition, 1933-1934." The project, completed with mentor Dr. Abby Markwyn, associate professor of history, explored the different ways groups at the World's Fair in Chicago presented American Indians and how they determined what it meant to be "Native American."
This spring, he will present his Pioneer Scholar article as well as his Capstone paper, "Christo et Litteris: Religious Liberality at Carroll College, 1959-1969," at Celebrate Carroll, the university's academic conference. Mariani's project is the result of three years of research in the Carroll University Archives on historical identity, specifically the religious affiliation changes on campus throughout the 1960s.
Mariani also has been a Kennan history fellow, a writing assistant and an Archives student worker. He has held internships at the Waukesha County Museum and the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear in Milwaukee.
After graduation he hopes to preserve and restore artifacts in historical collections, and continue to graduate school after he gains some field experience.