Northwest Technical College Celebrates 211 Graduates in Class of 2020

On May 7, nearly 140 students, family members, faculty and staff joined to congratulate Northwest Technical College’s Class of 2020 and acknowledge its commitment to the campus community in a virtual event broadcast on Zoom.

NTC’s 211 graduating students earned 55 associate of science degrees, 53 associate of applied science degrees, 75 diplomas and 41 certificates. Of the class, 90 graduated with honors, earning cumulative grade-point averages of 3.50 or higher, 15 identifed as American Indian and three are military personnel or veterans.

Associate Vice President of Student Life and Success Travis Greene reiterated that the virtual recognition honored feedback from graduating students. Most preferred to postpone a formal commencement ceremony rather than replace it with a fully virtual alternative.

“Student Senate and other student leaders decidedly asked that we not have a virtual commencement ceremony, like some schools are doing,” he said. “We’re too small and too intimate of a family. We wanted to reserve that right and hold the ceremony when it is safe to do so.”

President Faith C. Hensrud opened the event by thanking students, family and friends in attendance for supporting each student on their journey to graduation. She congratulated the class of 2020 and recognized the perseverance and grit it took to reach end of the semester amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Graduating from college is one of the truly monumental milestones in any person’s life. Even in the best of times, it’s an achievement to be celebrated,” she said. “Not only have you reached this milestone, you’ve done it during an entirely unprecedented time as the world responds to COVID-19.”

Hensrud concluded her remarks by sharing her pride in each graduate’s accomplishments, and acknowledging the opportunities presented in hardship.

“You now know that you can respond to and succeed under conditions of adversity,” she said. “You know you can enter the unknown and still find success. And you know how to keep your focus and stay the course during this extraordinary time. These are lessons that will serve you well for the rest of your life.”

Attendees also heard from Vice President for Academic Affairs Darrin Strosahl, Dean of Nursing and Health Services Michele Brielmeier, Dean of Skilled Trades, Business, and Industry Monty Johnson and members of the Office of Career Services.

Strosahl emphasized the excitement felt by all NTC faculty, staff and administrators for the graduates.

“Whether you earned a certificate, diploma or a degree, your academic achievement really is worth celebrating,” he said. “We want to remind you that you made a good decision in aligning your education with your employment and better yet, you were successful in earning your award.”

Graduates were notified they should expect a package in the mail containing a cap and tassel, a certificate of achievement signed by President Hensrud and Strosahl, a commencement program and an NTC-branded cloth face mask.

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MN State logoNorthwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, has prepared students for fulfilling careers in high-demand fields for more than 50 years. The college’s accessible, affordable, hands-on programs also help the region’s employers meet their ever-growing need for a highly skilled workforce. NTC serves more than 1,000 students with an excellent education, an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition. Students may pursue nearly 40 degree, diploma and certificate programs in six distinct career paths. Classes are offered on campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities. For more, visit ntcmn.edu.