Alumni News

Now, more than ever, we need your support!

Now, more than ever, we need your support!

The world has certainly changed over the past few weeks. It has been a challenging time. Our students will complete their coursework for this semester online. Commencement will take on a new format. We have been working from home. Communication has taken on new meaning with Teams, Zoom, and conference calls. One thing that has not changed is our scholarship commitment to our students.

Now, more than ever, we need your support. Throughout the past few weeks we have continued to work toward reaching our scholarship goals. Needless to say, it has not been easy. We still have a considerable way to go to generate the necessary dollars to cover those commitments.

If you have been supporting our scholarship programs (Phone-a-thon, Century Club or V-500), thank you for that support. If you have not, please consider making a contribution today. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated. You can make a difference. Just like with the effort we are making to confront the coronavirus pandemic, it takes all of us to be successful.

DONATE NOW! To pledge your support to VCSU
-please contact our office at 1-800-532-8641, ext. 37203
-donate online at vcsualumni.org
-or mail your contribution to: VCSU Foundation 101 College St SW Valley City, ND 58072

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To honor its 2020 graduating class, Valley City State University will hold a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, starting at 10 a.m. At the ceremony, VCSU will recognize 299 graduates — 261 candidates will receive bachelor’s degrees and 38 students will receive master’s degrees.The VCSU virtual ceremony will be played on the university’s YouTube channel, VCSUVikings (www.youtube.com/user/VCSUVikings). The event will appear on the YouTube channel that Saturday morning.“COVID-19 has changed much of how we do things in 2020,” said VCSU President Alan LaFave. “Unfortunately, responding effectively to the coronavirus requires us to alter our plans for one of the most hallowed of university traditions, the commencement ceremony. Although we wish we could honor the Class of 2020 with an in-person ceremony, we trust that this virtual ceremony will provide a way to honor our graduates and their accomplishments.”President LaFave will preside over the commencement exercises. Audience members will also hear from Nick Hacker, chair of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), along with graduating senior Brandi Aranda and Steven King, professor of social science.Alan LaFave has served as president of Valley City State University since December 2018. He previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. In addition to his SBHE service, Nick Hacker is CEO of Guaranty and Title Company, which provides title insurance and real estate closing services across North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana.A VCSU senior from Hitterdal, Minn., Brandi Aranda will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. She has served the university as an R.A. and a Viking Ambassador, and also as a student athletic trainer and leader in the Athletic Training Club. Aranda, who served as homecoming co-chair last fall, received a Viking Pilot Award in 2019 in recognition of her passion for and contributions to the student body and campus community.Steven King began teaching at VCSU in 1998 and secured a tenure track position in 2005. In 2019, he was recognized at the Dakota Conference at Augustana College with the Distinguished Contribution to the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of the Northern Plains Award. Campus adviser for the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, King was honored by VCSU’s Student Senate as its 2020 Teacher of the Year.VCSU has invited all spring 2020 and fall 2019 graduates to return to campus to participate in one of its next in-person commencement ceremonies in December 2020 or May 2021.

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Now, more than ever, we need your support! The world has certainly changed over the past few weeks. It has been a challenging time. Our students will complete their coursework for this semester online. Commencement will take on a new format. We have been working from home. Communication has taken on new meaning with Teams, Zoom, and conference calls. One thing that has not changed is our scholarship commitment to our students.Now, more than ever, we need your support. Throughout the past few weeks we have continued to work toward reaching our scholarship goals. Needless to say, it has not been easy. We still have a considerable way to go to generate the necessary dollars to cover those commitments. If you have been supporting our scholarship programs (Phone-a-thon, Century Club or V-500), thank you for that support. If you have not, please consider making a contribution today. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated. You can make a difference. Just like with the effort we are making to confront the coronavirus pandemic, it takes all of us to be successful.DONATE NOW! To pledge your support to VCSU-please contact our office at 1-800-532-8641, ext. 37203-donate online at vcsualumni.org-or mail your contribution to: VCSU Foundation 101 College St SW Valley City, ND 58072

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Dacotah Bank of Valley City received the 2019 Corporate Leadership in Philanthropy Award at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northern Plains Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo on November 14.Dacotah Bank was nominated for the award by the Valley City State University Foundation. Speaking for the foundation at the luncheon, Larry Robinson, VCSU executive director for advancement, commended the bank: “Dacotah Bank has a long and rich history of supporting the greater community with time, talent and treasure. They have clearly led the way in philanthropy in our community, donating and supporting more than 165 entities over the last five years.”Robinson also noted, “The philanthropic support that Dacotah Bank has provided to Valley City State University exceeds $300,000.”Accepting the award for Dacotah Bank at the luncheon were Paige Bjornson, senior business banker, and Mark Oberlander, senior agricultural banker.When presented with the award by Travis Christopher, president of AFP’s Northern Plains Chapter, Oberlander spoke first: “On behalf of Dacotah Bank, we are tremendously honored to accept this prestigious award. With sincerest gratitude we thank the AFP Board for choosing Dacotah Bank from what most certainly was a tremendously worthy list of nominees. Thank you, also, to VCSU for their nomination of Dacotah Bank.”Bjornson followed Oberlander, sharing how Dacotah Bank’s people make a difference in the community. “What makes us especially proud today is that this award recognizes not only the corporate culture of financial giving that is Dacotah Bank, but more importantly it recognizes the many hours and the immeasurable talent that so many Dacotah Bank employees are willing to share,” said Bjornson. “They want to make a difference when and where they can; they want to elevate community and quality of life for their children and for their neighbors; and they want to make a difference not only for today but also for tomorrow. For our company — Dacotah Bank in Valley City and Dacotah Bank across three states — and for our 25 local employees — to be recognized for these efforts is humbling, and we are truly grateful. Thank you.”VCSU President Alan LaLave joined the Dacotah Bank representatives and Robinson at the luncheon. VCSU representation at the luncheon also included foundation board members Robert Horne and Mark Richman, foundation staff Kim Hesch and Loree Morehouse, and staff Casey Olney, Pete Smithhisler and Greg Vanney.

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An inauguration ceremony for Alan D. LaFave, D.M.A., the 14th president of Valley City State University, will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 27, at the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse on the VCSU campus.At the inauguration ceremony, LaFave will receive the formal investiture of office from Nick Hacker, chair of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, and Mark Hagerott, Ph.D., chancellor of the North Dakota University System.A reception at Epworth United Methodist Church, adjacent to Osmon Fieldhouse, will follow immediately after the ceremony.On Sept. 27, 2018, the State Board of Higher Education selected LaFave as the next president of Valley City State University. LaFave began his service to VCSU on Dec.17, 2018. A native of Onida, S.D., he previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.LaFave’s family includes his wife, Kari; daughters Ashley and Lexi; and son-in-law Logan Fahnhorst.At Northern State, LaFave worked his way through the faculty ranks from instructor to full professor in the music department (1991-2015). He also served as the music department chair (1994-97) and associate dean and dean of the School of Fine Arts (1997-2015). LaFave served as provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2015-18. His professional background includes three years at Aberdeen Central High School, and he also served at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D. (1990-91).An accomplished musician and conductor, LaFave holds doctoral and master’s degrees in clarinet performance from Arizona State University, where he studied with Robert Spring. LaFave also holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Northern State University, where he studied with James Gai. He is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association. He has performed, conducted and adjudicated throughout the United States and Canada, including 14 states and 3 provinces.Other inauguration events include a Thursday evening recital and a Friday evening concert. Both LaFave and Spring will perform alongside VCSU student and faculty musicians in an inauguration recital at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Vangstad Auditorium on the VCSU campus. The Chicago tribute band Transit Authority will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, on the McFarland Lawn on campus, with an inclement weather location in Osmon Fieldhouse.The public is invited to attend the inauguration ceremony and reception, and the recital and concert, all with no charge for admission. The inauguration coincides with Homecoming on the VCSU campus; the public is also encouraged to participate in those events as well.

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Several Valley City State University alumni will be honored during the VCSU Alumni Association 2019 Homecoming celebration to be held Friday-Saturday, Sept. 27- 28. On Saturday morning, the Alumni Honors Breakfast will be held at the VCSU Student Center cafeteria beginning at 8:30 a.m. The Honors Breakfast provides the VCSU Alumni Association with an opportunity to present fellow alumni with Certificate of Merit, Alumni Service, and Distinguished Alumni awards. Six alumni will be honored with the Certificate of Merit Award, adopted by the VCSU Alumni Association to recognize alumni for accomplishments, service or other noteworthy honors. This year’s recipients include Galen Brantley, Soldotna, Alaska; Kevin Bratland, Enderlin, N.D.; David Griffin, Bismarck, N.D.; Scott King, Malta, Montana; Rhonda (Schneekloth) Nudell, Buffalo, N.D.; and Wayne Steiner, Wahpeton, N.D..Alumni Service Award recipients include George Berger, Binford, N.D., and Teresa (Pritchard) and Todd Christiansen, Valley City. The Alumni Service Award was adopted by the VCSU Alumni Association to recognize alumni or university friends who have attained exceptional achievement in their careers and have made significant contributions to the university through dedicated service, promotion, financial support or other efforts. The Distinguished Alumni Award was adopted by the VCSU Alumni Association to recognize alumni/alumnae who have achieved prominence in their chosen field of endeavor. The nominee must have received national or international recognition and must have been identified as an expert in the individual’s chosen field. This year Mel McNea, North Platte, Nebraska, will be recognized as the 61st recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.The public is invited to attend the all Alumni Honors Breakfast on Saturday, Sept 28. Tickets are $10 each and may be reserved by calling the VCSU Alumni Office at 701-845-7403 or by emailing kim.hesch@vcsu.edu.The Valley City State University Alumni Association is sponsoring a number of additional events to celebrate Homecoming 2019.Friday, September 27<\b>•Alumni welcome back ice cream social at 2:30 p.m. in the Student Center Lounge.Saturday, September 28<\b>•Homecoming Parade (10:30 a.m.) down Central Avenue in Valley City.•First Annual VCSU Alumni Motorcycle/Class Car Cruise following the parade. This fun run and cruise is open to anyone wanting to ride their motorcycle or drive their classic car. Stops include Ashtabula Crossing, Punky’s Bar (Dazey), and J&L’s Bar & Grill (Sanborn). There is a $20 entry fee. All proceeds raised will be donated to the V-500 Scholarship program. The first 75 participants will receive an official VCSU Homecoming bandana. To preregister, call 701-845-7203.•Viking Tailgating at Lokken Stadium starting at noon.•VCSU football with the Vikings hosting Dakota State University in the homecoming game. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Lokken Stadium. •Postgame All Alumni & Friends Social following the football game at the Valley City Eagles Club. For more information about Valley City State University’s Homecoming 2019 festivities, contact the VCSU Foundation and Alumni Office at 701-845-7203.

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