Northwest Technical College celebrates its class of 2015

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Northwest Technical College recognized the 369 members of its Class of 2015 in front of family, friends and supporters at the college’s 2015 Commencement ceremony.

Northwest Technical College’s Class of 2015 included:

  • 13 honor graduates;
  • 82 graduates who earned associate in science degrees;
  • 84 graduates who earned associate in applied science;
  • 114 graduates who earned diplomas; and
  • 89 graduates who completed certificate programs.

NTC’s honor graduates finished their programs of study with a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher and were enrolled in 12 or more credits.

The college’s graduates were greeted by Thomas Renier, chair of the Board of Trustees for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Reiner delivered well wishes on behalf of system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone as the graduates begin their futures.

“We expect you to become leaders in your fields, and we expect you to contribute to the quality of life that keeps Minnesota, the region and our nation competitive and strong,” Renier said. “And we expect you to be someone who supports and encourages those who want a brighter future.”

Commencement Address: Dr. Richard Hanson
NTC’s commencement address was given by Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of the college and Bemidji State University. Hanson relayed his long-time passion for commencement exercises as the highlight of an academic year.

“For a president, commencement is the best thing ever,” he said. “This is my 41st commencement, so I’ve seen a lot of students and shook a lot of hands, and it’s still exciting every time.”

Hanson left graduates with three pieces of advice to be successful in their futures: learn how to ‘pay it forward,’ pursue your vocation, and develop a sense of humility.

“Commitment to the ‘other’ — a spouse, children, your parents — is a primary task as you move into the world,” he said.

He listed several elements of character — truth and justice; security; friendliness and serenity.

“Through provision of these elements of character, you become the light for the people around you,” he said.

Hanson also encouraged graduates to understand the difference between having a job and a vocation, and encouraged them to pursue their vocations.

“If your life’s work is intrinsically satisfying, and if you focus on being excellent at that, your excellence will fill the room,” he said.

He added that “our world does not encourage the skill necessary to find vocation,” and told graduates it would be found by discovering not what we want out of life, but what life expects from each of us.

Finally, Hanson encouraged the Class of 2015 to embrace humility, and that through humility one could find wisdom

“Wisdom is a collection of individual virtues,” he said. “It’s knowing how to behave when knowledge isn’t present.”

Northwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, is an open, inviting technological learning organization. For more than 40 years, the college has valued life-long learning and the worth and dignity of all people. The college serves more than 1,200 students with its a high-quality education, an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition. NTC offers more than 40 degree programs in areas such as business, health, human and protective services and environmental and industrial technology career programs. Classes are offered on the Bemidji campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.