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NCTA graduates aspire in agriculture

NCTA graduates aspire in agriculture

Congressman Adrian Smith delivered the 2022 Commencement Address at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. From left, Bob Phares, Jennifer McConville, Larry Gossen and Mike Boehm. The top of a mortarboard says, “My Story. His Glory.” (Mary Crawford / NCTA News Photo)
Congressman Adrian Smith delivered the 2022 Commencement Address at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. From left, Bob Phares, Jennifer McConville, Larry Gossen and Mike Boehm. The top of a mortarboard says, “My Story. His Glory.” (Mary Crawford / NCTA News Photo)

By NCTA News

The Class of 2022 Aggies made up for the lost celebrations of high school at their college commencement on May 5 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

“This is a very special time for our graduates. The Class of 2022 is a class of survivors,” said Larry Gossen, NCTA dean. “Two short years ago, the world as we knew it shut down and many of these students didn’t get to experience a normal graduation.”

An overflow crowd of an estimated 550 guests attended commencement at the Curtis Memorial Community Center.

“They missed their prom, they didn’t get a chance to exhibit their talents in state competition, and today they show their resilience and have reached a major milestone in their educational journey,” Gossen said.

Seventy-six of 80 graduates attended their commencement. Aggies received diplomas for Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degrees in Agribusiness, Agricultural Production or Veterinary Technology.  Sixteen academic certificates were awarded.

The graduates were encouraged to become involved in their communities. Four keys of advice shared in the keynote address by Congressman Adrian Smith were:

  1.  Keep showing up, even when it’s not easy or convenient. Show up for the things you care about. For family, community.
  2.  Keep working hard. Nothing replaces hard work. Don’t take shortcuts. You will always be better off for doing the work.
  3.  Remember where you came from. No matter what’s next for you, never forget where you started.
  4.  Don’t let comparison steal your joy. Your journey is your own. You have so much to give. You will chart your path but always remember where you started so you can find pride in stepping forward.

 “Moments of adversity aren’t the end of your story,” Smith said. “I encourage you to try to appreciate difficulties. They are a part of life. You might even look back and realize you are better because of the opportunity.

 “I also encourage each of you to use this milestone in your life to reflect on how your time and talents can make our country a better place.”

Bob Phares of North Platte brought greetings from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Currently serving as board chairman, Phares retires from the board in December. He was thanked by Dean Gossen for his years of service and the many visits he and his wife, Margene, shared with the Aggie campus.

Gossen introduced class valedictorian Rylie Borgerding of Blue Rapids, Kansas, who completed her studies in December and was unable to attend. Salutatorian is Olivia Nyberg, an animal science student from Stromsburg, Nebraska.

Jennifer McConville, NCTA associate dean, introduced graduates who are honor students, served on Student Senate, and were in the academic honorary Phi Theta Kappa.

Twelve students graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.75-3.99 GPA and 11 were Cum Laude with 3.5-3.74 GPA.

Mike Boehm, University of Nebraska Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor, conferred degrees shaking hands with each graduate, as did the rest of the platform party.  As they left the stage, graduates were congratulatedby a line of instructors and faculty members.

Also part of the ceremony were PTK graduates Macy Zentner, Cedar Rapids, with the opening invocation. Taylor Hendrix of Holyoke, Colorado, gave the closing benediction.  First-year student Emma Yarolimek of Papillion sang the National Anthem.

On May 4, campus awards from individual departments were presented in a public program. Animal Science major Maddy Carr of North Platte was named Aggie of the Year. She continues her NCTA studies in the fall semester.

Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.