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2011 Commencement

Forty-eighth Commencement held on May 14, 2011

More than 300 seniors received bachelor of arts degrees during the 48th annual University of Minnesota, Morris Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Faculty, staff, family, and friends gathered on the mall to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates. The celebration began with division receptions before the 1:30 p.m. ceremony.

The Symphonic Winds, under the direction of Martin H. Seggelke, former assistant professor of music, and the Concert Choir, under the direction of Ken Hodgson, associate professor of music, performed a pre-commencement concert and musical selections during the ceremony. Matthew Torgerson ’11, Clinton, conducted “The Eighth Candle.” Donovan Hanson ’11, Ada, conducted “With Each Sunset Comes the Promise of a New Day.” The “Star Spangled Banner” was lead by Samantha J. Chevalier ’11, Paynesville.

Student Color guards Zak Forde ’12, St. Paul, and James Rook ’12, El Mirage, Arizona, lead the processional. Mace Bearer was Jenny Nellis, professor of studio art. Student Marshals were Zach Van Cleve ’13, St. Paul, and Madison Anderson ’14, Circle Pines. Faculty Marshal was Judy Kuechle, associate professor of education.

Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson gave the welcome and recognized special guests including University of Minnesota Regent Laura Brod.

Chosen by fellow graduates to represent his class, student commencement speaker was Nate Christensen ’11, Cottage Grove.

Stephen V. Burks, associate professor of economics and management, introduced the graduation speaker, Doug Lennick ’10. Lennick is CEO and co-founder of the Lennick Aberman Group. He is an internationally known speaker on the development of successful individuals and organizations, with an area of expertise in the practical applications of the art and science of human behavior. Lennick has shared his leadership philosophy—a path of integrity, responsibility, compassion, and forgiveness—in several books, including the recently released Moral Intelligence 2.0: Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success in Turbulent Times. On Commencement day, he shared his story and thoughts with more than 300 graduates prepared to be leaders, today and in the future.

In recognition of the campus’s origins as an American Indian boarding school, an American Indian Honor Song was performed by the Northern Wind Singers to recognize and pay tribute to the achievements of Morris scholars. The Honor Song was dedicated to the Class of 2011. Gabriel B. Desrosiers ’05, American Indian language and culture lecturer, is lead singer and keeper of the drum.

Former Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean Cheryl K. Contant presented the Class of 2011. Regent Brod conferred degrees. Dennis Gimmestad ’73, president of the University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association, welcomed the newest members of the alumni association.

Following the ceremony, a reception was held in Oyate Hall in the Student Center. Commencement guests were invited to view the 2011 Senior Art Show in the Humanities Fine Arts Gallery before and after the ceremony.