End of semester brings flurry of activity and great news

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Greetings from Valley City State University!What an activity-packed couple of weeks we have been enjoying at VCSU! Whether athletic or music contests, concerts, gallery shows, guest lectures, award ceremonies, or conference tournaments, there has been no lack of things to do! The calendar has been full of activities featuring and recognizing students and their achievements this past academic year. I continue to be amazed at the breadth and depth of activity in which our students are involved. I’d like to take a moment to highlight just a few of these activities that have been populating our calendar.On April 24, I was honored to spend some time with VCSU alumni at a special gathering in Jamestown. Organized by Kim Hesch and the VCSU Foundation Office, this was a terrific gathering of a large group of alumni from the Jamestown area. It was great to meet some new folks and reconnect with others we already know. VCSU hosted a regional Academic and Literary Publications Conference on April 26. The event brought writers and editors from Bismarck State College, NDSU, the University of Jamestown and VCSU. Many of our students participated in this engaging event, which included a keynote reading by Larry Woiwode, North Dakota poet laureate.That same day, VCSU hosted the North Dakota High School Activities Association’s State A string and vocal music competition, which brought more than 1,000 student musicians from across North Dakota to our campus. Beautiful spring weather permitted the musicians to gather on the campus green when they weren’t performing; the whole place was buzzing with energy and excitement throughout the day.On April 28, the VCSU chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success inducted new members into their organization; it was great to see many of the students’ parents in attendance to witness this honor.The Eagles Club was the site of the 2019 Athletic Department Awards Banquet April 29. What a tremendous site to have more than 200 of our student-athletes on hand to celebrate the many team and individual successes this past year. Earlier that evening, I was honored to present 16 Valley City High School seniors with scholarship awards to VCSU totaling over $130,000 over the next four years beginning with the 2019-20 academic year! These scholarships are awarded based on each student’s cumulative grade point average and ACT score.We capped off the flurry of activity by hosting the North Star Athletic Association softball and baseball championships May 2-6. Teams from throughout the conference participated in the tournaments, and players, coaches, parents and other fans spent time in our beautiful city. The cooperation and support we received from local businesses helped make this exciting event possible. I hope you had the opportunity to get out and see some tremendous softball and baseball.In the midst of all of this, we’ve been preparing for our spring commencement which will recognize more than 320 student candidates for degrees, with a large proportion of that group participating in the ceremony and marching across the stage May 11. Commencement is always a day of celebration and pageantry, and we look forward to celebrating the successful achievements of our students with their families and friends!Finally, I would be remiss to not mention the momentous news that capped off the legislative session: Governor Burgum’s signature on Senate Bill 2297 finalized the Senate and House funding for our new $32 million communication and fine arts building to replace Foss Hall. Planning and final design work is underway, and we are very excited for the many ways this facility will strengthen the academic footprint of VCSU! We look forward to bringing art, communication arts, and music together under one roof, and we thank all those who helped make this happen for VCSU and North Dakota.Go Vikings!