The Stellar Class of 2023

The Stellar Class of 2023

The NCTA Aggies of 2023 commencement on May 4, 2023 at the Curtis Memorial Community Center. (Photo by Staci Blomstedt / NCTA News)
The NCTA Aggies of 2023 commencement on May 4, 2023 at the Curtis Memorial Community Center. (Photo by Staci Blomstedt / NCTA News)

By NCTA News

CURTIS, Neb. (May 17, 2023) Friends, family, and supporters filled the Curtis Memorial Community Hall with pride and anticipation as the Class of 2023 entered at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, for the NCTA Spring Commencement.

Students hailed from 13 states, including Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, California, Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

NCTA dean Dr. Larry Gossen welcomed attendees and congratulated the 87 graduates with enthusiastic opening remarks on the graduates' high achievement and quality of character.

The audience was then moved by the national anthem sung acapella by Emma Yarolimek of Papillion, followed by a heartfelt invocation from Allison Wilkens of Gibbon, later honored as Aggie of the Year and Class Valedictorian.

Honored guest speakers Regent Kathy Wilmot, IANR Vice President/Vice Chancellor Dr. Mike Boehm, and University President Ted Carter each brought words of high praise to the graduates and gratitude for the student's supporters.

President Carter shared the commencement address, noting that the graduates were living proof of the value of a college education. He praised the students for the many faculty comments that they hated to see them go.

He asked students to appreciate that they each have a unique story and path to how they arrived at this moment, saying, "Don't underestimate the power of what you've learned, the experiences, the academic excellence, and be grateful for those that got you this far. But at the end of the day, you did it."

He closed by reminding students not to forget their special relationship with the town of Curtis and called it "one of the most defining rural communities in the country."

Dr. Gossen announced the Valedictorian as Allison Wilkens of Gibbon and Trevor Schneider of Cozad as Salutatorian.

Dr. Jennifer McConville, Associate Dean, recognized 12 graduates as Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Members, 12 graduates achieving Magna Cum Laude (3.73-3.99 GPA), and 14 earning Cum Laude (3.5-3.74 GPA).  

Dr. Gossen presented the candidates, and Dr. Mike Boehm conferred degrees to graduates. They received diplomas for Associate of Science degrees or Associate of Applied Science degrees in Agribusiness Management Systems (AMS), Agricultural Production Systems (APS), or Veterinary Technology Systems (VT). 

Dr. Boehm also conferred 22 certificates for one-year or two-year programs. Some graduates had multiple degrees and certificates.

Tanner Ostrander of Ogallala, Student Senate president, closed the joyful ceremony with the benediction.

Spring 23 Graduates

(Nebraska cities, unless otherwise noted.)

Anselmo - Joel Finney, APS          

Arnold - Logan Peterson, APS      

Ashland - Ellie Stohlmann, APS            

Atwood, KS - Christina Frink, VT 

Axtell - Jayden Robinson, VT       

Benkelman - Gillian Fell, APS       

Bertrand - Amanda Patterson, VT             

Callaway - Brandi Coons, APS, Certificate Equine Training Mgt

Callaway - Reagan Ross, APS       

Cambridge - Kyle Borland, APS   

Cozad - Trevor Schneider, APS     

Colby, KS - Wyatt Tubbs, APS       

Curtis - Austin Niemoth, APS, Certificate Irrigation Tech

Derby, VT - Celeste Tanguay, APS, Certificate Equine Training Mgt

Doniphan -Taylor Lautenschlager, APS     

Dorrance - Garrett Thielen, APS 

Elwood - Cauy Bennett,  APS, Certificate Agricultural Welding

Ewing - Emma Hollenback, VT    

Faulkton, SD - Koltyn Forbes, APS             

Fordyce - Claudia Stevens, APS   

Franklin - Levi Lennemann, APS 

Gatlinburg, TN - Casey Podsobinski, APS 

Geneva - Reid Richards, APS

Gibbon - Allison Wilkens, APS, AMS, Certificate Irrigation Tech

Grand Island - Madolyn Clark, VT             

Grand Island - Chastity Gaunt, VT             

Hillsboro, KS - Cheyenne Bernhardt, VT  

Hoxie, KS - Gavin Tremblay, APS 

Indianola - Ty Bennett, APS          

Kearney - Gabrielle Post, VT        

Lawrence - Konnor Thompson, APS          

Lexington - Christian Del Palacio, VT        

Lincoln - Emily Hasse, VT              

Lincoln - Aubrey Kelley, VT          

Lincoln - Lauren Kelley, APS          

Long Pine - Ellie Welke, VT           

Loomis - Katie Morten, VT           

Lumberton, TX - Heidi Wilkerson, APS     

Maywood - Wilhelmina Albaugh, APS      

McCook - Shelby Kofler,  VT         

Midland, GA - Braeden Theriault, VT       

Milliken, CO - Codi LaBorde, APS

Minden - Dane Teel, APS              

Nelson - Keith Miller, APS             

North Platte - Abbey Paul, VT     

Norton, KS - Carson Harting, APS              

Norton, KS - Emily Miller, VT       

Oakland - Rheanna Paul, APS      

Ogallala - Tanner Ostrander, APS

Omaha  - Laureline Orr,   APS, Certificate Equine Training Mgt

Pleasanton - Jack Berggren, APS 

Pleasanton - Austen Cronin, APS, Certificate Irrigation Tech

Pleasanton - McKenna Darby, APS            

Potter - Cooper  Mazza, APS        

Rapid City, SD - Hadley Geigle, VT             

South River, NJ - Ashley Kowalski, VT       

Spalding - Grace Glaser, VT          

Spencer - Andrea Hipke, APS       

Stanton - Eva Searight, APS, Certificate Equine Training Mgt

Stapleton - Saige Johnson, VT     

Stockton, KS - Nolan Buss, APS   

Twin Valley, MN - Abigail Gebhardt, APS 

Victoria, KS - Payden Leiker, APS 

Wolbach - Larista Barner, VT       

Wray, CO - Riley Brown, VT          

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 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.

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