157 receive degrees in DSU winter commencementLindsey Arnold and her family are no strangers to Dickinson State University.
By: Bryan Horwath, The Dickinson Press
Lindsey Arnold and her family are no strangers to Dickinson State University.
In fact, one could say the DSU campus is a venerable home away from home for the Arnolds. Taking it a step further, one could even argue that Lindsey, in a way, owes her very existence to DSU.
Arnold was one of 157 students awarded degrees during DSU’s winter commencement ceremony Friday afternoon at the Dorothy Stickney Auditorium. For the Arnolds, it was another in a long line of memorable days — with more to follow — on the DSU campus.
Lindsey’s parents, Tom and Marie Arnold, met while both attended what was then Dickinson State College about three decades ago.
“I was the class of 1979 and Tom was the class of 1980,” Marie said. “We’ve had a lot of good memories here and this is another one today.”
Already possessing a degree in nursing, Lindsey received her Bachelor of Science in business administration Friday. Lindsey is the fourth of her five siblings to receive a degree from DSU with her younger brother, Erik, who is the student senate president, set to graduate this spring.
“I have so many wonderful memories here,” Lindsey, a Trinity High School graduate, said. “It’s a great school. It’s close to home and it’s a small enough school where you can really get to know your instructors. I think I’ll miss the homecomings the most.”
DSU President D.C. Coston, Terry Hjelmstad of the State Board of Higher Education and record-setting DSU football coach and senior faculty member Henry Biesiot all spoke during the hour-long ceremony, but it was student speaker Zachery Keller who stole the show.
An accounting and business administration major, Keller joked — while purposely over-using the word “like” — that he learned the art of public speaking at DSU and learned from his statistics professor that winning the lottery isn’t something he should worry about.
“I understand life will change for us once we leave and get what they call ‘real jobs’” Keller told the audience. “But I think DSU has provided us with the skills we need to handle the task. DSU is more than just an institution where we came to study simply for the sake of landing a job.
“For some, it’s a place where we developed our passions,” he said. “For many others, it’s a place where we developed meaningful relationships.”
Calling Friday’s commencement a “reason to celebrate,” Keller said he and classmates’ experiences at DSU — both good and bad — have made them all better people.
After the ceremony, countless hugs were issued from family, friends, classmates and faculty members and pictures were taken with a sparkling winter day as a backdrop outside the steps of May Hall.
“We’re very proud of Lindsey and we feel fortunate to have an institution such as DSU in our community,” Tom Arnold said. “This place has afforded our family a lot of opportunities and we’re grateful for that.”