Nearly 900 Students Begin Their Next Chapter as They Graduate from MSUM

This is the first class that spent all four years with MSUM President Dr. Anne Blackhurst

MOORHEAD, Minn. — As the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the air, hundreds of Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) walk in unison step-by-step towards the next chapter of their lives.

“Today is the best day of the year, it’s the day we wait for all year, and of course for our students, it’s the day they’ve waited for four or five or more years,” said Dr. Anne Blackhurst, the President of MSUM.

Four classes have come and gone since Blackhurst began her time as MSUM President in 2014, but for her, the Class of 2018 carries special meaning.

“The students who started as first-year students in 2014 who are graduating today started when I started as university president, so it feels like we’ve been on this journey together and it’s great to be able to celebrate with them,” said Blackhurst.

The featured student speakers at this year’s ceremony were Isaac and Ashley Skalsky, a husband and wife who became the first couple on record to speak at any MSUM graduation.

“I mean there’s definitely a dynamic that you have to have when you’re speaking with another person, thankfully we know each other very well, so we were able to use that to our advantage,” said Isaac Skalsky.

The Skalsky’s were married last August several years after they first met as middle schoolers in Thief River Falls.

As education majors, the husband and wife are grateful for the chance to learn at an institution like MSUM.

“Having the opportunity to go to college together, it really made our experience unique, I think, and, you know, we loved it here, we’ve made a lot of wonderful friends, had wonderful faculty members, but having the opportunity to share that together has been really wonderful, too,” said Ashley Skalsky.

On this special day, the Skalsky’s and their classmates join together to walk into their next chapter, unified as Dragon alumni.

The oldest graduate in MSUM’s Class of 2018 is Marijo Vik, who at 72 years old, walked across the stage with a degree in journalism.

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