Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 12:52 pm | Author: Doug Anderson
Ken Astrup '73, the General Manager of the Dakota Plains Cooperative in Valley City, will deliver the keynote address at Valley City State University's 120th Commencement exercises, scheduled for 10:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2012 in W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse on the VCSU campus.

Astrup is a recognized expert in the establishment, development and operation of cooperative businesses. He has spoken at numerous meetings nationally and internationally, and has traveled internationally to Hungary, Ethiopia, Macedonia, and Moldova consulting and conducting seminars on leadership and the development of cooperatives. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association, and is very active in community, state and regional associations, especially state and local school boards and task forces. Ken is currently a member of the VCSU Foundation Board of Directors and was elected as a recipient of the VCSU Distinguished Alumni Award by the VCSU Alumni Association. He is married to Linda (Anderson) Astrup '72, and has three children.

Jennifer Crom, the first student to complete VCSU's M.Ed. with a concentration in Teaching English Language Learners (ELL), will present the graduate student address. Jenni is a teacher at a Global Studies Elementary School in Sioux Falls, SD where about one third of her class consists of language learners. VCSU's ELL concentration meets the requirements for ELL endorsement in North Dakota and, through reciprocity agreements, the 19 other states in the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium. The program also closely aligns with the requirements of 22 other states that have teacher standards for ELL instruction.

The undergraduate student address will be presented by Nick Faure of Valley City. Nick majored in Chemistry, Biology, and Health Science and is graduating Summa Cum Laude. While a student, Nick served on the Student Senate, the Pre-Professional Club (president), the Spanish Club (treasurer), and the Viking Ambassadors, and he was named the 2011 Student Employee of the Year. He testified on VCSU's behalf at the ND Legislature, and participated in study abroad in China and Peru. He has been accepted to Dental school at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education will be represented by Janice Hoffarth, Staff Adviser to the Board.

Approximately 248 graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to participate. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and a reception that immediately follows.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.