The road ahead: Hundreds of students graduate from UND on Friday

More than 900 new graduates were eligible to cross the stage in three commencement ceremonies at UND on Thursday and Friday.

UND interim president congratulates state board of higher education member and recently confirmed federal judge Dan Traynor after Traynor spoke to the graduating class at UND. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Despite the amount of change going on in the workforce and the world, UND graduates have a great future ahead of them, UND interim President Joshua Wynne said during Friday’s undergraduate commencement address.

“The process of earning a degree through college education is not an end but a beginning,” Wynne said. “Your degree is a starting point that provides the educational foundation for lifelong learning. I hope you view it as an opportunity to build on your education as means of intentionally preparing yourself for the inevitable changes along your career path – because they will happen.”

In total this week, more than 900 new graduates were eligible to cross the stage in three commencement ceremonies at UND on Thursday and Friday. A total of 662 undergraduate students were eligible for commencement, along with 236 graduate students, one M.D. student and 11 law students, UND said in a statement earlier this week. Seventeen students, who earned their degrees earlier or will earn them soon, also walked across the stage.

“I cannot overstress the importance of lifelong learning even after you leave us today,” Wynne said. “It enables you to continuously upgrade your skills and your knowledge. Your UND degree represents your insurance policy for adapting to change in whatever career field you have chosen."

Undergraduates crossed the stage Friday afternoon, while graduate, medicine and law students celebrated their accomplishments on Thursday.


Speaking to the Herald before the ceremony Friday, Wynne said graduation is a special time for all parts of the campus community.

“I really enjoy not only seeing the students’ faces as they cross the stage, but also visiting with spouses, family, children and so forth,” he said. “It’s really a lot of fun.”

Wynne said he spends a lot of commencement smiling through each ceremony, as he’s proud of the graduates’ accomplishments.

“It really is a very moving thing, especially when you see people who’ve been working at it for a long time, and balancing family and a job and so forth,” he said.

UND graduate Carlie Scheer, right, reads the commencement program while she and other graduates wait for the processional at Friday's commencement ceremony at UND's Chester Fritz Auditorium. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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