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Our View: Congratulations to Dickinson State University graduates

Congratulations are in order for today’s graduates of Dickinson State University and their families. The journey for this year’s class has been one marked with distractions that most college students never have to overcome.

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Earning a college degree is normally challenging enough, but the distractions this year’s class has withstood makes their accomplishment even more noteworthy.

No one could have imagined what these students have dealt with in their four-plus years. Fifth-year seniors graduating today were freshmen when the they learned of the tragic loss of their three university students who drowned inside a vehicle while stargazing in a rural area. Later, their focus would be challenged with an enrolment scandal that caught the attention of the national media. They endured a lockdown of their campus and the suicide of one of the school’s most well-liked professors.

Off campus, the quiet western town they came to live in saw a dramatic change with the recent oil boom. Prices for everything, including off-campus housing, skyrocketed, causing increased hardships for students. The oil boom also offered tempting and instant high-paying jobs that didn’t require the diploma they were working so hard to earn.

Transferring to a more stable university and economy, or to take the money from a high-paying oilfield job, would have been an easier alternative than the path of determination they chose in reaching their goal of graduating. Few, if anybody, would have blamed them for taking an easier road.

Today, as the graduates leave the stage with their diplomas in addition to the world-class education they earned from DSU, they will have a better understanding and training for succeeding in the world, having dealt with adversity uncommon to most college students earning their degrees.

DSU will be better for the accomplishment of their own overcoming so much and stronger for having today’s new alumni who will be such an asset to their alma mater in the future.

DSU has a rich tradition of preparing students to go out and make a difference in the communities from where they came. We’re sure these students will even be a bigger asset to their communities. We at The Press hope many of you will stay in southwest North Dakota, because our communities can use the education, skills you have learned and determination you have displayed earning your degree.

Graduates, today is your day to celebrate your achievement.

We at The Press want to applaud your accomplishment. We wish you an enjoyable and safe graduation weekend with families and friends. Good luck and thanks for all you have done for our community and DSU.

Publisher Harvey Brock, Managing Editor Dustin Monke and Assistant Editor April Baumgarten are members of The Dickinson Press Editorial Board.