Chadron State College will return to in-person commencement exercises Saturday after hosting virtual events due to COVID-19 the past two semesters.
Graduate commencement will start at 9 a.m. with speaker Dr. Rick Koza, a CSC Business Professor who is retiring this year. Eighty-one May 2021 graduates and 14 graduates from 2020 will be participating.
Undergraduate exercises will begin at 1 p.m. with speaker Center Dr. Merlin Butler, Director of the Division of Research and Genetics within the clinical department at the Kansas University Medical. One hundred ninety-seven May 2021 undergraduates and 24 undergraduates from 2020 will be participating.
All guests must have a ticket and wear a face mask, and all participants and attendees must abide by the college’s COVID-19 guidelines. Public seating is available at Beebe Stadium where the commencement ceremonies will be broadcast on the videoboard.
In the graduate ceremony, the opening moment of reflection will be given by Savanah Silbaugh of Sundance, Wyoming. Andrew Johnson of Fayetteville, North Carolina, will offer the closing moment of reflection.
During the undergraduate ceremony, the opening moment of reflection will be given by Emily Hansen of Hemingford, Nebraska, and Konnery Klueber of Rapid City, South Dakota, will offer the closing moment of reflection.
In addition to graduates, four ROTC cadets will be recognized. The following will receive their commissions or advancement to Second Lieutenant in the Army: Calvin DePriest of Omaha, Neb., Kalli Talbot of Rapid City, S.D., Klueber, and Colton Alexander of Bridgeport, Neb.
DePriest’s assignment will be Active Duty/Field Artillery. Talbot will be assigned to the South Dakota Army National Guard/Military Police. Klueber will be assigned to the South Dakota Army National Guard/Military intelligence. Alexander will be assigned to the Nebraska Army National Guard/Aviation.
The speakers for commencement are both CSc graduates. Koza’s long association with Chadron State College has included playing football for the Eagles, earning a bachelor’s and two graduate degrees and teaching courses, serving as chair of the Business Academy, several years as Faculty Athletic Representative, and receiving the 2006 Teacher Excellence Award. In addition to connections with CSC, Koza, has owned and operated a local real estate business and an insurance agency and taken an active role in community affairs.
Butler was raised on a small farm or ranch in the Sandhills, attended a rural one room schoolhouse until eighth grade and graduated from Stuart High School in 1970. He attended Chadron State College and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a year later with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology-Pre-Medicine. Butler received a Distinguished Service Award from CSC in 1986.