NDSU Commencement Set For May 13

A total of 1,420 graduate, professional and undergraduate students have indicated they will participate. There are 2,251 eligible students.

Colleges participating in the 10 a.m. ceremony include:

• College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

• College of Human Development and Education

• College of Engineering

• College of University Studies

• Interdisciplinary Studies (graduate level)

Colleges participating in the 2 p.m. ceremony include:

• College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources

• College of Health Professions

• College of Business

• College of Science and Mathematics.

“Commencement ceremonies provide us the opportunity to celebrate our graduating students,” said Jackie Schluchter, associate registrar. “Not only are we proud of what they have accomplished while they have been at NDSU, but we are excited to see what they will achieve in the future.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is scheduled to attend and speak at both ceremonies. Burgum, who earned his bachelor’s degree in university studies from NDSU in 1978, was elected as the state’s 33rd governor on Nov. 8, 2016. He is a highly successful business leader who helped develop Great Plains Software from a startup company into a major tech firm, and was later a senior vice president at Microsoft. He also founded Kilbourne Group, a real estate development firm that specializes in downtown projects.

Honorary doctorate

Longtime NDSU faculty member and administrator H. Roald Lund has been selected to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Agriculture at the 2 p.m. ceremony. During his 37-year career at the university, Lund advanced to dean of agriculture and director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Many important projects became reality through his vision and leadership, including Hultz Hall, Van Es Laboratory, Robinson Hall, the North Dakota State Seed Department building, Northern Crops Institute, Loftsgard Hall, Industrial Agricultural Communications Center and the USDA-ARS Northern Crops Science Laboratory.

Student speakers

Class representatives have been selected to give addresses during the ceremonies.

Jenna Murphy, who is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in English and minor in philosophy, has been selected to speak during the 10 a.m. ceremony. She graduated from Carrington, North Dakota, High School. An outstanding student, she has taken an active role in a number of campus organizations. Murphy is a senior member, volunteer and event organizer for Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. She is a tutor at NDSU’s Center for Writers, a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and a member of the Philosophy Club. She has presented research at the NDSU EXPLORE undergraduate conference, Red River Graduate Student Conference, Geological Society of America’s national conference and the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Murphy will begin her pursuit of her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling next fall.

The student speaker at the 2 p.m. ceremony will be Colette Bersie, a native of Delano, Minnesota. She is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in marketing and management with a certificate in professional selling. She has been a student representative on the College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society and she is co-founder and past president of Leading Edge, an NDSU College of Business organization. She also represented the college and the Center for Professional Selling at numerous events for prospective students. In addition, Bersie was marketing officer and event director for the Gamma Nu chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta and is vice president of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. During her time at NDSU, she received four national scholarships from Kappa Alpha Theta. She also was a 2016 Homecoming Queen Court member. She has accepted a position as a marketing coordinator for Cargill in its Agricultural Supply Chain Division, where she’ll develop marketing strategies for grain marketing and risk management across North America.


The soloist for both ceremonies will be Michael Fairbairn, who is originally from La Grange, Illinois. He studied under Robert Jones, professor of music, while pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree in vocal music education. He was a member of the Madrigal Singers and the NDSU Concert Choir, where he was featured as a soloist in Handel’s “Messiah.” He also appeared in the NDSU Opera production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury,” Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” and Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Fairbairn was the chorus master for the NDSU production of “HMS Pinafore,” as well as a student conductor for the University Chamber Singers, Madrigal Singers and the Statesmen. He is a student composer, writing pieces premiered and performed by the NDSU Madrigal Singers, NDSU Concert Choir, Pennsylvania-based Princeton Singers and several Midwest regional high schools. Originally brought to NDSU on a football scholarship, Fairbairn spent five seasons with the Bison football team. He was a four-year starting nose guard and a team captain. Fairbairn also competed in track and field, earning a second place finish in shot put at the Summit League Indoor Championship. He also was a founding father of the NDSU Chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society. Mike also sang with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.

For questions regarding commencement, contact the Office of Registration and Records at 701-231-7981, 1-800-608-6378 or ndsu.registration.records@ndsu.edu.

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