20th anniversary of first class to earn baccalaureate degrees to be celebrated

    The Class of 2014 will be honored during commencement exercises at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Saturday, May 10. Nearly 250 students will take part in the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium. Graduates will represent 13 countries and 29 states and include more than 35 online graduates who are setting foot on the campus for the very first time. The ceremony also recognizes the 20-year anniversary of the Class of 1994, who were the first to earn baccalaureate degrees on the Crookston campus.    

    A reception in the Northern Lights Lounge in Sargeant Student Center precedes the commencement ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both events; no tickets are required. A special reception for international student graduates will be held following commencement exercises at 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom in Sargeant Student Center.   

    At 2 p.m., the formal procession of faculty, candidates for degrees, and platform guests will begin from Sargeant Student Center to the gymnasium led by Mace Bearer William Peterson, professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. The procession also includes Faculty Marshal W. Daniel Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus.   

    Bringing greetings from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the Honorable Clyde Allen, from Moorhead, who will also assist with the conferring of the degrees.    

    U of M Crookston alumnus Tyler Grove, ’94, will give the commencement address. Grove was one of the first to earn a four-year degree from UMC. His major was in plant industries management with an agronomy emphasis. While at the U of M Crookston, he participated in the Crops Team and in NACTA (North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) competition. In 2007 he earned his master's degree in agronomy from Iowa State University. In 1995, he was employed with American Crystal Sugar Company as an agriculturist for the East Grand Forks district, and in February 2013, he accepted a position as the ag strategy development manager at the corporate office in Moorhead. He was named Outstanding Alumni during Homecoming 2013.   

    University of Minnesota, Crookston Alumni Association (UMCAA) Board President Rory Held, ‘11, will bring greetings from the UMCAA and welcome the new graduates to the alumni association. For the first time, the U of M Crookston Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman will play along with selections during the ceremony by the campus choir under the direction of George French.   

    Graduating senior Alexmai Addo, Crookston Student Association (CSA) president, will speak on behalf of the Class of 2014 and pass the torch of education, a Crookston campus tradition, to Justin Goodroad, incoming CSA president. Addo, from Monrovia, Liberia, is a communication major.   

    The 2014 commencement exercises mark the 106th graduating class to be recognized on the Crookston campus. A live audio stream of commencement exercises will be available at umcrookston.edu/people/services/MediaServ/Stream.htm.     

    For more information, visit umcrookston.edu/commencement.