MADISON, Wis. -

Slippery conditions and long, slow drives were all too common stories at this year's University of Wisconsin - Madison winter graduation ceremony.

"We actually drove up today. It was pretty slushy and slippery, we had to take our time," one graduate said.

With Madison getting over a half foot of snow, staff said they weren't expecting such a large turnout for the usually smaller ceremony. But it was something graduate Devin Schlapbach said no student or family would have missed.

"After you go to school for four or five years, you put a lot of time and effort into it," Schlapbach said. "Nothing is really going to stop anyone from seeing their kids graduate."

Another graduate concurred, acknowledging how important the day was for family.

"It was more for my parents," he said, also adding, "and it's nice being around graduates that have done the same thing."   

Graduates who are now ready -- maybe most of them, anyway -- to go out and conquer the world, where most of them will face challenges far greater than a few inches of snow.